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Immigrant House saved, for now

Original post made on Oct 25, 2012

The City Council voted Tuesday to save what is possibly the city's oldest home still standing in its original location, the tiny house at 166 Bryant Street where countless immigrants have lived, possibly since the 1860s. Saving the larger 1880s home on the property, the Pearson House, has been a more complicated matter.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, October 25, 2012, 11:47 AM

Comments (19)

Posted by GDM, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Oct 25, 2012 at 2:44 pm

There is only one place where this so call 'immigrant house' belongs and that is the city dump.

Posted by wendyleela, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 25, 2012 at 5:22 pm

I am elated Immigrant House has been saved.To honor and value where we come from in this uplifting way,really the better part of our history is to honor who we are now and where we are headed.
The immigrants who came to farm this beautiful valley with the aspiration to feed the world and create a good life for their descendants gave us a great gift.
They lived simply,loving the land more than their buildings, leaving
a modest home to demonstrate they valued the natural beauty that
surrounded them.
That hope and happiness and excitement for a new life still emanates
from the walls as I pass by it.The hope that gave them the strength
and energy to work unceasingly for 12 and 14 hrs. a day.
The enthusiasm that left a smile on their face when each night they
finished a sparse meal and fell exhausted onto their cots in this tiny humble home.

Posted by JXL, a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 25, 2012 at 5:36 pm

I'm glad a little bit of Mountain View's history will be saved. I read in the voice that the house was built before 1888 and decided to take a closer look at it being somewhat interested in our local history.

What I thought was particularly interesting was underneath the exterior siding is rough hewn Redwood put together with square nails; that kind of construction hasn't been around since long before the turn-of-the-last-century.

Mountain View is one of the fastest-growing and developing cities on the peninsula and it's nice to think some of its original history will be preserved I was always particularly fond of going by the pumpkin patch and the farm on Grant Rd. and seeing the kids having fun. Maybe Mountain View can figure out a new place for that to happen and immigrant house can go there.

Posted by huh?, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 26, 2012 at 6:30 am


Such a romanticized view of the past that shows little knowledge of history. Now try writing from a realist perspective. These immigrants did not come here to feed the world. You cannot prove that they loved the land more than their buildings. I suppose you think all the immigrants packed into the apartment on California Ave hold the same view. We romanticized the "noble savages" before we actually found out how they lived and wiped them out.

Posted by ugh, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 26, 2012 at 8:18 am

I guess some things never change, immigrants worked 12-14 hours days for a better future and these days we have engineers working 12-14 days for a better future, and neither one was getting overtime pay, bonuses, or vacations. Tech jobs suck. Sometimes I feel like the lessons learned from the industrial revolution have lost their impact.

Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Oct 26, 2012 at 9:11 am

Glad this little house was saved, gives you an insight of how anyone could live in such a small dwelling. Friut pickers have lived in more terrible places, ask any farm worker. Forgot we don't have pickers, farm hands or any.kind of back breaking work that pays so little. Some of them worked hard, built lives and added to Mountain View.

Posted by Steve, a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 26, 2012 at 10:57 am

"With all of this immigrant bashing and hater-talk these days"

Oh please, nobody has anything against immigrants that follow the rules.

Posted by Steve, a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 26, 2012 at 10:59 am

"including a dormitory for city employees who live far away"

Subsidized housing for people that have well paying government jobs? Isn't that a slap in the face to the type of poor immigrants that would have lived there?

Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Oct 26, 2012 at 12:24 pm

I don't subsidized housing is just for public workers. Look at this small house, built in a time when you built homes for your workers, this city has a history of workers housing, cottages and shacks.

Posted by Steve, a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 26, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Read again, Garret :

"the council voted to study several options, including a dormitory for city employees ..."

Posted by @GDM, a resident of Castro City
on Oct 26, 2012 at 2:35 pm

The city dump is under Shoreline Park which is one of the proposed sites.

Posted by wendyleela, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 26, 2012 at 11:38 pm

I knew some of the people who lived in that little home.It is not a romantic notion to say their aspiration was to feed the world.They said so.What is less romantic is living through the pain of the corrupt back door business deals that lost them their orchards-I was there for that too.And for the lamenting that the best farm land in the world was being mowed under and the land destroyed for unbridled greed and development.
What is less romantic is that they saw it as a tragedy that in such a beautiful area-people built their homes to lot line and began having to lock their doors because of the inability to see the value of their surroundings.This was not a fantasy-it was testimony.I am not so young-the fantasy part comes now-can we use the linear intellect this Valley attracts to begin to turn the circle?We can't go back in time but going forward can we begin to develop values that will restore some of our land and begin to give it the respect it deserves?
That would also please the spirit of the indigenous people that considered the land to be their soul.And who contributed mightily to what we still have yet to learn about caring for land.
For now we save the little house as a reminder-then maybe we can begin to share the aspiration-once again-not as hard as it sounds-look in to it.

Posted by wendyleela, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 27, 2012 at 12:16 am

I have no desire to deny the pain of the past.There is pain that goes
all the way back.But to honor it,perhaps in some small way to vindicate
those who aspired and also suffered, and learn from it.
Whether in the case of Immigrant House-those who passed the torch to me-
or those who came before,all deserve a legacy.Don't you- somewhere deep down- want to count?

Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Oct 27, 2012 at 6:48 am

I read about the dorm housing, they have that kind of housing in Napa County for farm workers. Just another way to house workers.

Posted by WendyLoo, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 27, 2012 at 7:39 am


Good luck! Have you seen the aberration going up at San Antonio Plaza!

Posted by wendyleela, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 27, 2012 at 9:35 am

The dorm housing was mentioned in connection with Pearson House which is a bigger project and as yet undecided.
Historical Preservation can serve a community and provide
contrast to between then and now.
Historical recognition is not an effort to return to the past,
but rather it is a way forward for a community to stake out
important parts of it's identity.This is what gives a character
to what is now,and prevents a town from becoming just another casualty
of unidentifiable big box sprawl.

Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Oct 27, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Look around, we have Big Box stores, strip malls, run down gas stations, tacky ugly retail buildings bland office buildings. We can just tear everything down, go back to 1938.

Posted by the_punnisher, a resident of Whisman Station
on Oct 29, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Other states including CO and WI have made efforts to preserve and protect history, even some BAD history events. Even the gambling towns of Blackhawk and Central City made it clear: you want to open gambling, preserve our " gold mine " heritage.

A better use would be turning this structure into a museum keeping the memory of the Santa Clara Valley BEFORE it became Silicon Valley.

" Pave Paradise and put up a Parking Lot "

-Big Yellow Taxi ( the other verses apply as well )

Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Oct 29, 2012 at 4:29 pm

There was a plan to send it to Cuesta Park, that didn't fly. I would love to a M. V. History Museum. Didn't want in the annex, don't know about the area next to tennis clubhouse, facing the parking lot annex. Years ago their was the Castro House.

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