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What was Mountain View like in the '70s

Original post made by Newbie, Whisman Station, on Apr 13, 2008

I am new to the area and am curious what life was like in Mountain View in the 1970s, 1980s and even earlier. I would love to hear some interesting facts from native Mt. Viewers or long term residents.

Comments (228)

Posted by judielaine
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 14, 2008 at 9:20 am

There's a good DVD at the public library on the history of Mountain View. It answers the "even earlier." I can't remember which of these it was that i watched. (Probably "Looking Back")

Magical Mountain View [looking back--]
Mountain View Library centennial celebration 1905-2005

There's also a history center in the library. I haven't used it, but you might be able to find some helpful resources there. You might also look at Web Link

Posted by Nick Perry
a resident of another community
on Apr 14, 2008 at 10:37 pm

Mountain View was a very different place back then!

-Downtown Mountain View was kind of a ghost town.
-Mountain View High School was on Castro Street.
-The Crossings was a mall called The Old Mill
-The Mayfiled Mall "site" was actually Mayfield Mall
-San Antonio Center was a mall (yep, three malls!)
-Whisman Station was a big industrial campus for GE.
-The North Bayshore area was still farms.
-Shoreline Park was a landfill.
-Housing was affordable and the city was considered working class.

I'd say more, but, well, there's a little book you can pick up at the library or at Books Inc that has tons of photos of Mountain View's history and will probably answer a lot of your questions. It's called, "Images of America: Mountain View." I highly recommend it ;)

Definitely check out the History Center if you get a chance. There are tons of photos and books, and if you go on the right day, long-time residents and natives from the Historical Association are usually around and they are happy to recount the "old days" - although to most of them, that usually means a couple decades before the 70s.

Posted by Val
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 16, 2008 at 12:14 pm

In the 60's on the corner of Middlefield Road and Moffett Blvd. where
hundreds of cows.

Central Expressway was two lanes a dirt road with no lights.

JCPenneys was on Castro Street

You could hear the Saint Joseph bell ring everyday at 12noon. Then the sound became noise pollution.

There was no Shoreline overpass you would cross the railroad tracks.

Posted by Mele
a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2008 at 5:53 pm

Downtown Mtn. View was a ghost town on weekends. My friends and I would literally rollerskate down the middle of Castro St., on Saturday's with no problem. And the Navy was the major employer of the city, at least when I was in elementary school. AND, There were greenhouses along 237 for as far as the eye could see, along with Ferry Morse Seed Company. Sometimes I don't even recognize the downtown area.

Posted by Mele
a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2008 at 5:53 pm

Downtown Mtn. View was a ghost town on weekends. My friends and I would literally rollerskate down the middle of Castro St., on Saturday's with no problem. And the Navy was the major employer of the city, at least when I was in elementary school. AND, There were greenhouses along 237 for as far as the eye could see, along with Ferry Morse Seed Company. Sometimes I don't even recognize the downtown area.

Posted by Bernie Brightman
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 19, 2008 at 10:59 am

When I got here in '86 the Shoreline Amphitheater had just recently been converted from the dump and methane fires were breaking out when the garbage caught fire.

The only things going in the downtown were Printer's Inc. and a few restaurants like Szechuan Gardens, Dynasty, Fu Lam Mum and Florentine. It was mostly known as the place to get Chinese food. Imperial Gardens was doing big business on Rengstorff and El Camino and also Peng's further up on El Camino, both specializing in dim sum. Imperial Gardens even had a water wheel going in their back yard. There was a movie theater on Castro, but it only seemed to show Chinese or Mexican films and nobody went there.

It's amazing how many good book stores we had back then. There were also Tower Books, Printer's Inc. in Palo Alto, Stacey's, Kepler's, Books Inc. in the Stanford Center... all of them with much bigger and more fascinating selections than one sees now.

The Old Mill and Mayfield malls were already mostly derelict.

The library had only one story and was overcrowded. The current city hall and MVCPA did not exist.

Sun and SGI were a couple of the large employers, fighting out the workstation market.

Posted by Old Times
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 21, 2008 at 12:59 pm

I have lived in Mountain View since the early 70's. Here is some details about the Mountain View I grew up in.

Downtown only had Chinese Restaurant's except for the Weinersnitzel on the corner of Castro and California Street.

Mountain View Hight was located in downtown M.V. and it was the Mountain View Eagles.

The Redrock Cafe was a butcher. That's where my mom got her meat.

Shoreline Avenue was called Bailey Avenue

The Monte Carlo Restaurant was the Movie theater for the town

Florentine Restaurant ( The only Italian place in the middle of all the Chinese Restaurants ) was located where Xanh now is.

We had 3 shopping areas in Mountain View . Old Mill on California Street where the Crossings housing is now located. Mayfield Mall where HP had offices and now is empty. And San Antoinio Mall where Menu Tree was located. ( In door food court )

Shoreline Park was the dump for the city

The Chinese market on Castro street was a pharmacy/rite aid type store.

The Kaiser bldg was a shopping center with a grocery store Lucky and the best bakery. Stigs plus also a mens clothing store, dry cleaners and a small store that sold home items.

We had 2 A&W Burger places in Mountain View. One was on ElCamino Real where the Amber Cafe is now located. The other was located after you pass the train tracks going towards Moffet on left side near the corner of Moffet and Sterling.

I could go on forever on how much this city has changed. I have we have one of the best downtowns in the area with such a great selection of places to eat and hang out. On the other hand as a kid we felt safe walking any where in town not now. The California Street area and Cuesta Park has become a gang area.

Posted by Angel
a resident of Jackson Park
on Apr 21, 2008 at 11:56 pm

The shopping center on castro was called Palm Plaza and the thrift shop was Palm Variety. The mens clothing store was George"s. Who remembers the mexican restaurant on el camino and bailey.

Posted by michael sabastia
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 22, 2008 at 11:19 pm

i went to monta loma back in 1979 then i moved to oakdale

Posted by Ag
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2008 at 2:20 pm

The Simpson Buick car dealership used to be on the northeast corner of El Camino Real and Castro with a Chrysler dealer that had a huge tower with a globe on top on the opposite corner where the big bank is now. On the northwest side there was an (RCA?) television dealer in the building that burnt down recently.
The Monte Vista drive-in movie theater was on Grant Road behind where the Walgreens is now (bunch of housing there now.) Lots of good memories there...
You could buy tires from a tire dealer in the middle of downtown Castro Street (about where Don Giovanni's is I think.)
Mtn. View was a great town back then and still is today.
Thanks for an interesting trip down memory lane.

Posted by neighbor
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 23, 2008 at 10:07 pm

I have lived in Mountain View since the mid 70's. Here are the places that I remember on Castro Street:

cheap movie theater
old Mountain View High School

Flower Shop
Printer's Inc.
Tire Store
Grocery Store
Florentine Restaurant
"Dog City" Building
Kamei House Chinese Restaurant
Music Store
Eddie's Gun Shop
Stuft Pizza

I also remember P-3's flying over my house hourly from Moffett Field and the Blue Angels Air Show annually with Fireworks on July 4th
Cuesta Park has an artificial lake. There was no Shoreline Park. It was farmland with a few ranch homes. There was a drive in theatre on Grant Road across the street from Erik's Deli. The old Nob Hill was Fry's Grocery Store. Rite Aid was called Thrifty then Payless with Alpha Beta Gocery Store next door. There also was Handyman hardware store where Radio Shack is today. Juice Time was next to the cleaner's
There was Rainbow Record Store at the light on Grant Road as you approach the shopping center. When they closed, it became Jenny Craig, and then Prudential Real Estate office. Currently being remodeled and replaced with Wachovia Savings. There was an A&W Root Beer, Bob's Big Boy Hamburgers, Bowling Alley, Gelato ice cream, Foster's freeze ice cream, Mike's Pizza, were on El Camino Real.

Posted by kathryn
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2008 at 11:29 am

I've been her since 1952 (Sunnyvale, actually). Remember St. Johns on Moffett? It was a great place to go and drink and dance. It has the peanut shells on the floor and it was a great singles dive. Oh, how I long for the old days!!!

Posted by memories
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 24, 2008 at 1:47 pm

Don't forget Bob's Big Boy and Linda's on El Camino. Tater tots and Parisian Burgers!

Posted by Jack Gale
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 24, 2008 at 9:23 pm

This was a Navy town back then. St. James Infirmary with Wonder Woman on Moffett Blvd, and the Cottage, and nobody has mentioned Andy's, the best Chinese food in town.
And the Mountain View Bakery, the Navy used to buy cakes from them for every occasion.
The King of Clubs was a big Navy bar and we used to go to Denny's across the street.
About the only remaining part of downtown is Colonel lee's Mongolian BBQ and Meyer's Appliances.

Posted by Pete Kramer
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 25, 2008 at 1:30 pm

Wow. I lived in Mtn. View from '56 to '79 with a detour through the USMC abd SE.Asia. Let me just add to notable places, Susie's Diner and El Zarape on El Camino. I went to St. Joseph's Elementary and we had to buy our burlap pants and sweaters at the J.C. Penney store on Castro. You could buy fresh ravioli at the old State Street Deli on Castro and State. The car dealership on El Camino with the globe on the pole was Mancini Motors. Thank goodness, Foster's Freeze and Clarke's Charcoal Broiler are still there. The concession stand at McElvey Park was run for ever by an old guy named Levy, who loved baseball. We used to have regular apricot fights in the orchards that are now Cuesta Park. Malachi's was a little "head shop" that sold beads, incense and other weird stuff in a little stucco building on the east side of El Camino when you sat at the El Monte and El Camino stop light. At one time, a band that later turned out to be Santana could be heard practicing in Malachi's basement while you waited for the light to turn green. Harry's Hofbrau was the Food Fair Market. Ken's House of Pancakes was the best (and maybe the only) middle of the night meal in town. St. James Infirmary was always rockin'. I think the Angels had several social functions there. Everybody actually went to Shakey's Pizza in P.A. on Friday nights after football games. I could go on.......

Posted by Old Times
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 25, 2008 at 4:04 pm

wow I forgot about some of the places listed above. As for the tire store it was located where the bead store is now. And yes who can forget St. James ( cheap drinks and lot's of fun ) and my favorite place Linda's on El Camino. Tater tots and Parisian Burgers. Such great memories. Keep them coming...

Posted by neighbor
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 25, 2008 at 6:10 pm

Ken's Pankcake House.... I loved their apple and blueberry pankcakes. Now it is El Charro's Mexican Restauraunt.

Blossom Valley Shopping Center (Cuesta and Miramonte)
---Stig's Bakery.... The best pastries ever./Photo Shop

----Jocelyn's Bike Shop.... Now it is a Karate Studio.

----Woolworth's/Wells Fargo Bank/ Long's Drug Store

----Great Western Savings/Home Savings/ Westwood Childcare Center

-----Brentwood Grocery Store/Safeway

----Imagemakers Hair Salon/Vicky's Hair Salon

Posted by Reminiscer
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2008 at 1:53 pm

Wow, what memories! I was born and raised in Mtn. View since the mid/late 70's, things have definitely changed since then, both in the town and around the valley.

I remember Bank of America where it used to be next to that tire store, and is now a sushi restaurant in front (if you go inside and look at the floor, you'll still see the original mosaic flooring at the entrance), the Asian supermarket being some sort of drug store? My sisters all worked at the Weinershnizel at the corner of Castro/California. In the median of Castro in front of the city hall was a huge redwood? tree that always got decorated during Christmas time, and unfortunately got damaged and chopped down during Castro st. renovations. Carrs pet store at the beginning of Castro Street was where me and my dad would always go to buy chicken feed for our chickens. Moffitt drive-in where Century 16 is now, Shoreline park area being a big expanse of empty dirt and the landfill, and the shoreline house being in it's original location near where the movie theater is today, boarded up and being in shambles. Shoreline Blvd was Sterlein Rd the entire length. The Safeway on Shoreline was tiny compared to today with an empty restarant space next to it, and when the Grateful Dead came to play Shoreline the deadheads would always take over the parking lot. Old Mill had a AMC theater in the back with cheap movies, then it turned into a big empty farmers market, then finally razed. Mayfield Mall with the Grayhound station next to it became HP, and will now become more housing, the original San Antonio mall with Menu Tree (what a great place to eat), the little water fountains and a Woolworths where BevMo is now. Target used to be a store called Gemco. That area around Middlefield/Ellis was where Raytheon? was. I remember visiting it during a shadowing exercise as a student at Crittenden. There was a party supply store on the corner of Old Middlefield/Middlefield, and my grandmother would clean their linens for side money. That furniture place on El Monte/El Camino that sold unfinished pine furniture became... Office Max? And across the street where Longs Drugs/Starbucks/Blockbuster is was a lumber yard/home improvement type of place, forgot the name. Old Mountain View High was diagonally across the street from St. Joseph's church, one of my sisters was one of the last graduates from that high school before it got tore down (what a shame). The Navy was in town, Moffitt Field was booming and the Blue Angels had their air show every year (my family would watch the show from our roof). I remember St. James Infirmary, but I was too young to go inside, but I do remember eating some leftover hot wings my sister brought home and lovin it. Bobs Big Boy became a Japanese restaurant became another restaurant. Where that big El Camino Medical group complex is at 85/El Camino used to be the Emporium Capwell department store. And don't forget the Camino Bowl, a great place to go bowling before it got torn down and replaced with businesses/condo units.

And I second the notion of Web Link being a AWESOME place on the web to see the rich history of Mountain View.

Posted by Miles Tone
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 28, 2008 at 4:18 pm

The "shoreline house" was actually the home of Henry Rengstorff.

The lumber yard and hardware store on El Monte near El Camino was called Hubbard & Johnson; I used to do a lot of business there.

I remember the Gemco store being where Target is today and you had to show a membership ID card to even go in the door.

A couple of good books on Mountain View history are: "Milestones - A History of Mountain View" by Mary Jo Ignoffo and "Images of America - Mountain View" by Nicholas Perry.

Posted by neighbor
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 28, 2008 at 8:24 pm

Yes... I do remember Carr's Pet Store. I bought a hamster for my kids there. There was an unfinished furniture place called Decor on El Monte near El Camino Rl that became Office Depot. I bought a coffee table and oak side tables there. Don't forget Andy's Chinese Restaurant on Castro Street. They had a neat fish tank inside. The Golden Wok was good too, but suddenly closed and never reopened. I believe it is still vacant. Don't forget Fairchild. It was located off Middlefield near Ellis Street. JoAnn Fabrics was called New York Fabrics. Camino Bowling Alley was near Bob's Big Boy on El Camino Real. Next door, was a Gelato ice cream shop. Mayfield Mall was where The Crossings condos were buildt. It had a french quarter food mart , mexican restaurant, movie theatres, bookstore, and and water wheel with water in the center of the mall.The mall was two stories. It seemed like a great concept. It was sad to see it go.

Posted by Sam
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 29, 2008 at 9:09 am

Wow we can't forget Art's chili bowl on el camino real. You could drive up el camino and art would be sitting outside reading. Does anyone remember the gas station on evelyn and casto back in the 60's shoreline was two lanes. Does anyone remember the little italian restaurant right across the street from Graham. the best mexican food was on castro the "cabana".

Posted by Miles Tone
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 29, 2008 at 9:54 am

The Decor furniture store that became Office Depot at El Monte and El Camino was also once a grocery store, in the 60's I think?

The mall where the Crossings is now was The Old Mill. I do remember the French Quarter food mart and the Mexican restaurant was called La Posada. There was also a pizza place called Fargo's that had live music on weekends. The Old Mill also had an FM radio station at one time where you could watch the DJ's at work, through a large window. That mall also had another restaurant that had live jazz music by The Danny Hull Quintet?

Posted by michelle
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Apr 29, 2008 at 2:08 pm

I remember:

I swam for the Mountain View Dolphin's swim team, at Mountain View High School which was on Castro Street in the 1960's.

We ate at Ken's House of Pancake's (apple pancakes! mmm) on El Camino.

"The Rumpus Room" (I shot the 8-ball in on the break on New Year's Eve!).

Eating at the "picnic tables at Clarke's" with my mom quite often.

Bowling Alley on El Camino

Payless Drug Store, which is now Rite-aid

Shaw's Ice-cream on El Camino

Linda's Hamburger Joint on El Camino

Carr's pet store on Evelyn

Mayfield Mall and Old Mill for shopping Centers

Awalt High School for swimming lessons on Bryant and Truman

Drying apricots in the orchards on Grant Road

Drive-in Movie Theater where Walgreen's is.(I saw Swiss Family Robinson there! + many more)

The Emporium on El Camino and Sylvan

The original "Der Weinerschnitzel" on California and Castro.

The Handyman store on Grant road

The Dublin Inn on Middlefield and Rengstorff

Later on.... Two Guys from Italy Rest. where Heritage Bank is on El Camino

"Kentucky Fried Chicken" and "Walgreens" are still the same

Mountain View was and still is a great city. Thanks for bringing back some good-ole memories!


Posted by Janis
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 29, 2008 at 6:56 pm

I remember when there was a break between Sunnyvale-Mountain View. Lots of fruit trees on ElCamino. On El Camino near Mathilda was this huge langendorff bread sign that sliced bread of buttered the slice. Anyway it was big. Driving to Stanford via ElCamino Real one could smell skunks from the open fields. Great times when Mountain View really felt like families where the heart of the community not transplants!!!!!!

Posted by Liz
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 29, 2008 at 11:05 pm

wow such great memories. I also grew up in Mountain View and attended Landels, Graham and Mountain View High on Castro Street. My friends worked at the movie theater and some also worked at Village Host a pizza place in downtown. I think it won't broke due to all the free pizzas that they gave away. My first job was at Menu Tree and after that I worked at Gemco. You needed to become a member and show your card when you entered the store. I will never forget how nice they would fix up Mayfield Mall for Christmas. And all the great air shows at Moffett and yes when the Blue Angels came to town one place they would hang out was St. James.

Posted by michelle again
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Apr 30, 2008 at 9:08 am

I just remembered "The Menu Tree" Does anybody remember The Menu Tree?
The Menu Tree had quite the selection. I sure miss that restaurant.

Michelle again

Posted by Tanya
a resident of The Crossings
on May 1, 2008 at 9:47 am

The Scuitlebutt on El Camino Real. It was known to be Mountain View High School's teachers watering hole. Now its an India restaurant.

Posted by Stan R
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 2, 2008 at 10:56 am

Mt View in the 60-70's was the best
the MV Eagles ruled
Linda's on El Camino was the place to go for lunch Paresean burgers $.25
The copper penny
Middlefield Mall
Thrifty's at the San Antonio Shopping Center for ice creams
Super Duper market at central and Rengstorff
Red Barn for a Barnbuster
Gas was cheap, crime was low and we had a blast growing up there.
Best of all was C Grafton. Miss you

Posted by Albert
a resident of Castro City
on May 2, 2008 at 2:13 pm

Slot car racing at a small shopping mall on san antonio road.
Where the loop is now.

Posted by gc
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 3, 2008 at 9:43 am

In the 80's

I was told was like the 70's only more people. It started when high tech (ie computers) hit the area. Shockley lab the real birth of silcon valley is still on San Antonio road as a furniture store. but others are not Fairchild, Atari, National Semi, Intel ... All these parts but no real use until the computer, more jobs more people.

The house prices went up, $450,000. These were new, and under the daily Navy P-3 airplane landing routes (4 propellers). Who knew those daily landings for about an hour would go away along with the base. 20 planes about 2 minutes apart, talk about noise pollution. Yes there were also the yearly Navy air shows.

The only other big event was the art and wine festival and a chinatown. Maybe if we had renamed it "Peking buisness district" it would still be there. Shoreline made us known in the area as thousands came to listen to music. But so did Thousands of Deadhead fans, noise complaints and traffic jams. We are lucky some parts of the old town remain and we have " a downtown area " unlike Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Cupertino. We tried to be a Palo Alto, thats why people eat in parking spaces on Castro street!

Did we grow up OK?

Posted by Bernie Brightman
a resident of North Whisman
on May 3, 2008 at 10:34 pm

A few notes:

Not just the Gemco in Mountain View, but all the stores in the Gemco chain across California were bought out by Target.

The redwood in front of city hall wasn't merely damaged, but actually accidentally cut down and then someone said "whoops!"

A friend of mine had a bad experience at Kirk's Steakburgers and turned vegetarian.

Posted by Kent from Morgan Hill
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2008 at 11:34 pm

Miles Tone wrote: "The Decor furniture store that became Office Depot at El Monte and El Camino was also once a grocery store, in the 60's I think"?
The grocery store was Diamond Ranch in 1970 until 1971, before Diamond Ranch was Les Brothers grocery store since we moved to MV in 1951.
At corner of Castro/El Camino where Wash. Mutual located, Mancini Motor (Chrysler Dealer)had world globe on a top of round column, that column with globe came from Treasure Island World Fair in 1930's.

a resident of Jackson Park
on May 5, 2008 at 11:07 am

I live in Mountain View from 1958-1976 it was and still is one of
best city in Northern California.I attended MVHS AT Castro street.
I live now in Kiseemmee Florida,but I travel to Mountain View
every year.GO EAGLES

Posted by gepers
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 6, 2008 at 11:28 am

no one mentioned Continental MKT. Their ad every Tuesday on the back page of the PA Times. Food Fair where Harrys Hofbrau is. The field where they sold Christmas trees and fireworks on El Camino Real east of Calderon (across from Tuban Ford). It was the site of the old Highway School. The old house on Phyllis (the last home on the back side of the shopping center) was originally located in a ring of Redwood trees in the former Handyman parking lot! The field behind Cooper School was not a park yet! Just east of Cooper school on Eunice was a big dip in the road where it was county property, as was all the neighborhoods with no sidewalks. The Wunderman house is there still. TG&Y between Safeway and Walgreens. Spiveys was in the shopping center too. Old California Pizza Galaxy Gifts, the Variety store, Archies Couffures, and Tots to Teens at the Blossom Valley shopping center where Mayfair Market was. My 'Tiny Tots' (preschool) was at the Adobe Building where we would take walks holding onto a rope to cross the Expressway! Walking to the pet shop by the laundry where the lpressing shirts would wave at us. Grant Road was only 2 lanes with no sidewalks! Ming Pan Florist and the Moffet Drive-in Theatre too! The small open spaces like the corner of Cuesta and Grant Road and on Shoreline Blvd were homes that had to be moved for the widening of the those respective streets. Noone mentioned Lenny's Pies on Castro and the Dairy Queen on El Camino Real! Standard Brands was built on the corner of 237 and El Camino Real, so many open fields built up. But the biggest thing to miss... STIGS bakery and the pink box those treats came home in!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Karen
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 8, 2008 at 2:44 pm

In the 50's, MV had a downtown city park on Castro. There was a Penneys store (now Meyer's), Sim's Shoes, Veglia's Store, Arminini Drugstore and two popular Chinese restaurants: Andy's and Qui Hung Low (?). Bells would ring from St. Joseph's at noon and the whistle would blow at 5:00 from the downtown fire station everyday, so kids always knew when to go home for meals. In the summers, kids rode their bikes all over town and hung out at the local neighborhood parks. The parks would take us on a tour to the downtown firehouse and police station where we got to slide down the firepole! We always looked forward to the annual Pet Parade that would start in front of the downtown pickle factory and march down Castro to MV High. There was a pedestrian tunnel under the El Camino at Calderon for the kids going to Highway School. Highway School had large wood paned windows, oak floors, wide halls, and huge cloakrooms! Across the street from the school was a small gas station store that sold penny candy. The Mancini house on Church St. was the place to go on Halloween because of the great treats and to sneak a glimpse at the marble interior. Open fields around the neighborhood were great places for playing baseball and hide and seek. Our Mom would send us to Hap's Grocery on Calderon with a quarter to buy a loaf of bread and tell us to keep the change! We thought the old house (still there) on the corner of Calderon and Church was haunted. The Jewell Tea Co. brought groceries right to your door without the Internet. The first 2 years of St. Joseph's School were held in the old classrooms of at what is now St. Francis High School. The first Bank of America was located where the Red Rock Cafe is now, then it moved into the building where Books Inc. is located until it grew out of that location. MV is still a great place to live!

Posted by Ted
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 9, 2008 at 2:56 pm

There was a "Variety Store" at Blossom Valley shopping center on the corner nearest to St. Francis. It was full of inexpensive children's toys and candy, and had this amazing candy smell that I still remember to this day. As a kid in the 70s, we would go there in the afternoon with our parents and get a match box car from there extensive collection. At halloween time, they had the best selection of wax whistles, plastic lips, and dracula teeth.

Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on May 15, 2008 at 12:16 am

My mom wored for Wells Fargo Bank but it wasn't always a wells, we also owned a short lived book store in Blossom Valley Center, how about the deli and donut store, old cal pizza use to be a paint store, now the safeway

Posted by Mike
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 17, 2008 at 10:20 pm

Lets not forget The TownClub, R-Club, Cottage, The OakRoom, Mervyns,

Posted by Jeff
a resident of another community
on May 24, 2008 at 4:02 pm

As a former resident of Old Mountain View in the 70's and 80's one of my fondest memories is of St. James Infirmary on Moffett. Who could forget WonderWoman on the main floor and (if your male) the "Not tonight I've got a headache" dinosaur in the men's room. Who was that guy who wore a dress and sat in the bleachers? $2.00 pitcher of beer, peanuts on the floor, awesome pinball, and almost a guaranteed biker tussle every Friday night. It's hard to find entertainment like that anymore.

Posted by Danny V
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 28, 2008 at 1:32 pm

Dear Newbie-

First things first. It is called Mtn. View not Mt. View. BIG difference. I will give you a pass on that since you are a


Posted by Dave
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 28, 2008 at 4:04 pm

Growing up near Blossom Valley and St Francis high school I have some great memories of the annual Western Roundup/Carnival St Francis put on. They would have this giant table with holes in it, and you would roll a ball and make bets where the ball would stop and then you would win whatever amount it landed on if you had that same bet. 5-1 or 3-1 etc.....

Blossom Valley also had a great pizza place called Old Cal where we would go as kids on minimum days from Blach. There would be like 50 bikes out front on those days.

I remember when they opened up Fro Yo at that shopping center, when Safeway was Brentwood market and opened into a liquor store, there was a deli next store called Feinshmeckers? Jocelyn's Bike shop, Movie Rental Place next to the post office, and Jack "n" Jill kids clothing store was there, I think close to the Vacum Cleaner sales and repair place.

Ah to be a kid again....

Posted by neighbor
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 29, 2008 at 2:39 pm

Remember Gregg's Pharmacy and Los Altos Travel at the current Bossom Valley Shopping Center? I miss Old Cal Pizza and Stuft Pizza on Castro St.

Posted by Bernie Brightman
a resident of North Whisman
on May 31, 2008 at 11:46 am

Where was Stuft Pizza located again?

Speaking of pizza, have you followed the curious path of Pontillo's Pizza that was on Rengstorff near El Camino? It later moved to El Camino and lost an "l" to become Pontilo's. Then a few years later it became Ontilo's. I only tell you all this so that someday when it's called T's there will be a record ...

Posted by long time MV resident
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 2, 2008 at 12:21 pm

Stuft Pizza became Kapp's Pizza Bar. It's located on Castro St. across the street from Red Rock Cafe. Also, does anyone remember Otto's Cheesecake downtown MV? They had the best selection of cheesecakes...
similar to The Cheesecake Factory.

Posted by Miles Tone
a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 2, 2008 at 1:40 pm

Another pizza place I remember was Boswell's Pizza Company on Castro near California, probably more 80's than 70's. They had a huge selection of bottled beers from around the world. I think that space is now occupied by a Chinese restaurant. There was also Fargo's Pizza at the Old Mill.

The betting game with the ball at the St. Francis Western Roundup was The Pan Game and it is still played every year at the St. Joseph International Festival on Miramonte.

The "new" MVHS used to host a carnival in its parking lot on Bryant Avenue in the 80's and there was also one that stopped at the Sears parking lot on San Antonio Rd. Any others going further back?

Posted by Heidi
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 2, 2008 at 9:53 pm

When I first moved to Mountain View in 1983 I went to the movies at the "Old Mill" shopping center. I had only been here for a day or two. I thought this place was absolutely perfect and much better than Redding, where I had just come from! I saw "Purple Rain" at the movies that weekend.

And to this very day, Prince's music reminds me of how happy I was to have discovered Mountain View!

Posted by DV
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 3, 2008 at 9:59 am

Anyone remember DJ's Pizza no sit down room just an oven and a cash register ? It was off of Castro Street by the RR Tracks near the alley.

Posted by Irma Wehle
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 4, 2008 at 3:57 pm

I was a Mt. View renter in Mountain View from '73 through '85 then returned to Florida.

Thanks to all your memories of place & business names I had forgotten. Here are some more ... the memories may be too personal... but I see them as a testament to how comfortable Mountain View was to live in... I truly felt at home.

First I rented in a duplex on Sierra Vista:

Sold my 1958 VW bus, painted Rustoleum orange with yellow roof, with an engine that had died forever on the highest point of Hwy 17, to teenagers across the street who cut out the back end for surf boards and replaced the engine. Still had the bumper sticker "Can't read? Write now for free help" that Herb Caen's column had mentioned when I had lived in Santa Cruz.

Dreamed of a jet in a small group colliding with a tree, a few days before the Blue Angels had their first (?) fatality. Never dreamed of planes before or since, despite having been a sky diver and knowing well of the Blue Angels.

I see from maps now there is a pocket park on Sierra Vista by Middlefield. There was a nursing home across the street from us. "Our" red painted wood duplex and the big empty field inside the block disappeared when the block "went condo" (in '76?).

Lived the rest of the time near Castro Street:

Ken's House of Pancakes' German Babies soufflé pancakes with powdered sugar & lemon wedges.

The El Camino foreign auto repair/sales where Fred Stengle sold me a rebuilt forest green 1966 MGB for $2,000, and the foreign auto repair guys west of there on Miramonte who later kept it running (re-rebuilding it piece by piece).

Being wakened one Sunday morning each year by a strange sound - drums, cornets, and clarinets of a Portuguese fraternal band marching down Castro Street to St. Joseph's Church and marching back after a church service, with a parade of small children costumed as friars passing out miniature loaves of bread, teenage girls trudging along in formal gowns or robes, accompanied by proud mothers.

Mountain View Library with great new book selections inside the entrance... usually getting no farther than that to stop and read.
Near San Antonio & Middlefield the pay-to-play indoor racquet ball courts for just a few years, and next to it, I think, was a pay-to-play woodworking shop.

Chuck's Cellar on El Camino near San Antonio. The live music downstairs... John Stewart of "California Bloodlines", Crystal Pistol (3 girls, violin & guitars)...

Getting a traffic citation for making a u-turn in front of the Post Office (considered in the business district although 1 block east of Castro and seemingly behind the actual business on the street.

Registering a complaint with the City of MV when my landlord (1904 Bates house at California & View Street - next to the little home in the orchard tower) planned to cut down his 2 story tall Australian Pine (Casuarina equisetifolia ) because it dropped too much "mess." The tree reminded me of home (Florida beaches... now it's illegal to grow them in my Florida city). Turned out there was a mistake and the permit was supposed to be to have been issued for his small pepper tree instead. MV was specifically preserving the Casuarins - had a special one in a ramp right-of-way (Central Expressway and...El Monte?).

The persimmon tree in "our" front yard and the people who would drive up and try to strip the fruit. The tulip tree next to it, with bare branches I filled with lights at Christmas while blaring my record of Bach's "Magnificat." A plant nearby that sprang from nothing each year and was spectacular. Little violets that filled the back shady patio if the landlord was slow to mow.

Taking Amtrak to San Jose train station by dropping off my bags at the Amtrak shelter, driving back home, and walking back the 2 blocks to catch the train. Or, taking a local bus home from San Francisco Airport, down El Camino to my street (View), and rolling the bag home.

Blue Sky Cafe - vegetarian restaurant in a wooden cottage west of Castro.

Aikido lessons in a hot second floor dojo above Castro Street.

Poking around the unrestored Rengsdorff house in that surreal setting all sky and wet/flat lands, pre-development and amplitheater.

Mountain View near Castro was a wonderful place to live.

Posted by Long Time MV Resident
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 4, 2008 at 10:15 pm


General Electric and the "big" Orange Pumpkin

Ferry Morse Seed Company

Foster's Freeze Ice Cream on El Camino Real

Fotomat Drive Up

Wherehouse Records

Posted by Miles Tone
a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 5, 2008 at 10:30 am

Chuck's Cellar on El Camino was mentioned and John Stewart of Kingston Trio fame. The Cellar was in the 4900 block of El Camino, on the Los Altos side and operated from 1969-85. Stewart recorded his "Lonesome Picker Rides Again" album there.

In 1971, Linda Ronstadt played The Cellar with Randy Meisner, Glenn Frey, and Don Henley who soon formed The Eagles.

I remember the Wherehouse Records store at El Camino between Clark and El Monte, although I bought most of my LPs at Tower Records on San Antonio in the 70's and 80's.

Posted by Rosalie
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 5, 2008 at 4:29 pm

I lived on Sterling RD.(now shoreline) my home was where the parking lot for Shoreline AmpleTheater is now. There was aWhisman Gramer School on the corner of Sterling and Charlston Rd.It had 4 class rooms with two grades each room. During the summer many of us were required to work in the fruit harvest. ie Apricots, cherries, prunes.
Tour buses would take visitors on tours to see all the trees in blossom that were a sight to behold. What wonderful memories!!!
It is STILL the BEST.....

Posted by MtnViewNative
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 13, 2008 at 1:03 pm

I remember in the late '60's entering my cat in the local "pet parade". Lots of other kids participated ... did that continue into the '70's?

Posted by Christine
a resident of another community
on Jun 20, 2008 at 12:48 pm

Reading all the comments brought back fond memories - I grew up in Mtn View in the late 60's, early 70's, in the neighborhood that is bordered by 101, Middlefield Road, Shoreline (Sterling), and Moffit. My parents still live there, and I visit them often.

We had a wonderful wholesale bakery in that neighborhood, where you could buy a big bag of shortbread cookies for a $1. they were the "reject" cookies, but as kids, we didn't care if it was missing a corner or had a funky shape, as long as the cookie was warm and melted in your mouth.

Does anyone remember the name of this bakery? If you grew up in that neighborhood, you would remember the smell of those cookies! Is this bakery still in existance? No one in my family can remember the name of this bakery! Even our long time neighbors can't recall the name. It's driving us all crazy.

When I was pregnant a few years back, I had a sudden craving for these cookies from my childhood!

Does anyone know what bakery I'm talking about?

Posted by jeff
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 21, 2008 at 12:00 am

yes,st. james that burned down.and Gyro's house of terror at the old mill ..before it became a tent in san jose>> The Greatful Dead would come into town!!!!!!!!the jack in the box at shoreline & montecito was a gas station>>> the deli at baily park was owned by a former wrestler.. who cut turkey sandwhiches w/ an electric carver as you ordered>> where I practiced graffiti.. god bless IN&OUT BURGER

Posted by DV
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 21, 2008 at 12:15 pm

Baders Cookies...they came in a blue can.... they made Shortbread, Ginger Bread Houses, one with a cherry in the middle my grandmother mother uncles aunts great aunts all worked there....

Posted by Sam
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 24, 2008 at 12:15 am

Does anyone remember the gas station on the corner of Castro and California Street. The owner had a old pick-up. After the station was gone. The lot was empty for several years.
Louie comicbooks and texan horns at the elzarape. The little lady in the kitchen i think her name was "short" best tacos for 25 cents.

Posted by Sam
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 24, 2008 at 12:15 am

Does anyone remember the gas station on the corner of Castro and California Street. The owner had a old pick-up. After the station was gone. The lot was empty for several years.
Louie comicbooks and texan horns at the elzarape. The little lady in the kitchen i think her name was "short" best tacos for 25 cents.

Posted by Charllie Welch
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 24, 2008 at 1:56 pm

Monta Vista Drive-In.. Moffett Drive-In.. auto wreckers and the city dumps at the end of what is now Shoreline (Bailey Ave)... Fosters Freeze when it was two buildings... burgers on one side, shakes and ice cream on the other... Ike Wilson Car Wash... Camino Bowl, Ron's Farm House, Babe's Mufflers, Bettencourts Market, Simpson Buick on the corner of Castro and California (later ECR & Castro)... My Uncle Bob's Chevron station on the opposite corner, the Flying A (I think) across from it... the fighter jet crashing into my friend Charlie Myers home in 1957... the undercrossing at Caldron and El Camino... the old Highway School on Caldron and ECR... the mini putt golf course along Stevens Creek on ECR... Anrad's Hardware... Tuban Ford on ECR... Mancini Motors and the World Globe... the Mountain View Gateway signs at the entry to Castro St. from ECR... Stereo Habitat home of the first 8 track tape decks on Castro... Sherm's Barber Shop at Palm Plaza... Yorkshire Clothes at Palm Plaza... the Old City Hall... the old little park on Castro, between California and Mercey (Easter egg hunts)... the old Presbyterian Church on Castro St... of course the old Mtn. View High (graduated in '68, brother in '59 and mother in '37)... orchards everywhere... Rengstorf Rec Center Friday dances... Dana Street School... Slater School... Linda's Drive In.. La Cabana Mexican food at the end of Castro near Andy's and Florintine restaurants... gadz, someone said they swam for the Dolphins in the 60's, so did I... do remember Shaw's Ice Cream.. Suzie's Diner... Hap's Market on Caldron and Church (Sav-Mor)... the Rumpus Room and Matts on ECR, good ol' dive bars... of course St. James Infirmary with Wonder Woman and the bi-plane and peanuts on the floor... Mtn. View - Alviso Road before it became Hiway 237... the 88 Cent Store on Castro... JC Penny's before it moved to the Mayfield Mall... Co-Op Market by Sears... the pool hall on Castro.. the old theater (stinky bathrooms)and double features (25 cents)... Wagner's Drugs on Castro... Robert Moore Flowers on Castro... Parkers Flowers on Castro... Moore Furniture on Castro.. Lawrence Tires... Sims Shoes... Mtn. View Music.. I think I have to quit now... my brain hurts... cheers to all who recall the peace and joy of growing up amidst the orchards and of our once sleepy little town... keep the faith and go Eagles.

Posted by Long Time MV Resident
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 26, 2008 at 6:05 pm

Thanks for the recap Charlie. You forgot Herman's Sporting Goods

Posted by Stan R
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 27, 2008 at 8:54 am

Dances on friday night at the rec center were great.. Eagles Rule!!! Crusin with Dave G and the Cuz Glenn. Moffet Drive In..worked there in the 60's along with the Shell station at San Antonio and El Camino. Tackle football on the weekends at Monta Loma school with the forniers and walshes in the mud. Man what a time... You could actually walk across town or to school and not worry about anything but being late. Those were the days !!!!

Posted by oldscholgirl
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 1, 2008 at 7:52 pm

I remember my mom and grandma shopping at the Purity grocery store where Golden Wok now sits, it was one of the first grocery stores in town and had smaller shopping carts for the kids to use. When it closed down we started going to the Continental Market on California Street. I remember the Rexall drug store on Castro and J.C. Penney's and if you now go to Mayer Electric it still has the squeaky floors Penny's had upstairs. How about the California Bakery and the Beauty College right in town and how you always took out of town visitors to Andy's restaurant for the best chinese food or Linda's for the magnificent Perisian burgers and tater tots. Later years the Poblanita restaurant on Castro for the Milanesa, yummy! and those Cinco de Mayo dances that Mountain View high school would have at Rengstorff park or sometimes at the Portuguese hall on Stierlin (boy did you open a can or worms) i could go on and on. The year the Circus came to Mountain View high school field and the carnivals the school would have. The high school games at Foothill and how exciting it was and still is being in Mountain View.

Posted by Irma
a resident of another community
on Jul 2, 2008 at 4:04 pm

Speaking of burgers, Hobees when it started in the 70s (?) near NW corner of Middlefield at Rengsdorf. First gourmet burgers for me... the Hawaiian with pineapple.. and the friendliest of owners.

Posted by ma
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jul 2, 2008 at 6:32 pm

Does anyone remember the name before Gemco? I think it was White something.

Posted by MV
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jul 2, 2008 at 9:29 pm

Gemco was called Bazaar. They had these numbered grey totes that the checker put the groceries and purchases in, and placed it on a conveyor belt which sent it to the front of sidewalk., where you would present your claim ticket and another clerk would load it in your car.
Dont forget about Rhodes department store, Roos Atkins, Purity Super Market at San Antonio Center.

Posted by MH
a resident of another community
on Jul 3, 2008 at 1:27 am


Are you thinking of White Front in Sunnyvale by Toys R Us. It was Treasury for a while, and Drug Barn, now vacant.

Posted by Irma
a resident of another community
on Jul 3, 2008 at 6:03 pm

I was wrong re Hobee's beginnings... was Rengsdorff at Alma. Yes?

Posted by Bernie Brightman
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 4, 2008 at 10:01 pm

Didn't like La Poblanita 'cause I got sick once after eating there. Renamed it La Problem Eata.

Posted by Frank Brune
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 13, 2008 at 11:32 am

I was born in Lost Altos and lived there until 1971. I attended Eastbrook Elementary. Since I was so young I am not sure about the cities for these places.

We used to eat at The Menu Tree and the kids got the $1 burger basket. Was the Chinese restaurant Qui Hing Low? Also, there was “Mings” where the kids never ate because it was “too fancy for kids.”

We used to go to a hardware store in what I believe is now The Village. There was a huge barrel of pickles there – does anyone remember that? Next door was an ice cream store, I think it was called Don’s.

At the little mall with the hobby store upstairs they used to decorate extensively for Christmas. There was a frozen North Pole and Santa sat in his house nearby.

I remember the P-3s flying over, often with a prop feathered for training. My dad worked at Lockheed. He quit in 1971 and we moved to Southern California.

Posted by Frances
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 15, 2008 at 11:02 pm

Just a few things I didn't see mentioned. Liberty House department store at the old San Antonio Shopping Center. And the "Generic Hamburger Stand" in the old Der Weinerschnitzel (which became Weinerschnitzel again after the generic place closed). You could get a hamburger for 39 cents.

Posted by Richard Ragan
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 20, 2008 at 5:34 pm

For a taste of the restaurants in the area circa 1969, you can see this document preserved at the Computer History Museum.

Web Link

Posted by Richard Ragan
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 20, 2008 at 9:25 pm

The site of Nob Hill on Grant Road was a Hubbard & Johnson hardware store before it's more recent incarnations.

Posted by Miles Tone
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 21, 2008 at 2:20 pm

Thanks for the link to the 1969 restaurant guide, Richard.

I remember Sakura Gardens at 2116 W. El Camino and it did have some beautiful Japanese gardens inside. Chevy's occupies that site today. I also remember another Japanese restaurant on El Camino west of San Antonio that did teppan style (similar to Benihana). It might have been called Samurai, but I can't recall.

Chez Yvonne was at 1854 W. El Camino, although I never went there. There's a Residence Inn there now.

It was also interesting to see that 1984 W. El Camino was once a Holiday Inn. We'll see if the condo development goes through for that location.

Posted by Long Time MV Resident
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 21, 2008 at 7:46 pm

Does anyone remember Mountain View X-mas Tree Farm? I used to get a postcard in the mail for a discount. They had monterey pines and stone pines freshly cut for sale.

Posted by Angie
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jul 22, 2008 at 10:06 am

How bout the Greek resturant on elcamino. The walls where filled with black and white pictures of actors and sport figurs from the 30' and 40's and 50's i think it was the bolkin village??

Posted by Miles Tone
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 22, 2008 at 5:13 pm

I remember the Balkan Village with its Greek themed architecture. I believe they also had live music and entertainment from Greek/Mediterranean culture.

The Japanese teppan place I was trying to think of was called Shogun, on El Camino west of San Antonio. I think Rambus occupies that site now.

Posted by MV
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jul 22, 2008 at 7:06 pm

Actually, the Nob Hill where it is today was Handyman, a home center. Hubbard and Johnson was on the corner of El Monte and El Camino, where Longs and Starbucks are today. Nob Hills previous location across the parking lot was called Fry's Food Store, then Food Fair, which had relocated from El Camino and Bonita Av.

Shogun was about a half a block up El Camino from Rambus.

Posted by LLOYD HUFF
a resident of another community
on Jul 23, 2008 at 10:33 am

I took my parents to the Balkin Village on the Elcamino for their 25th wedding aniversary in 1973. That place could get really crazy. Some guy would provide entertainment by dancing and picking up a dinner table with his teeth and begin swinging it around.I ended up on his shoulders while he was doing a greek dance step and the whole room got up and everybody started dancing to the greek music . It was crazy but totally fun!!

Posted by Peter Stahl
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 23, 2008 at 5:18 pm

What I remember from my 1982 arrival in Mountain View:
- The constant drone of P-3 Orion aircraft overhead
- The Emporium department store at El Camino and Hwy 85
- Cherry Chase golf course where Cuernavaca is now
- Farms on Charleston north of 101, orchards on Whisman & elsewhere
- Highway 237 had traffic signals; was called Mountain View-Alviso Road
- Zen Houseplants at Middlefield and MV-Alviso Rd
- "Castro" CalTrain station at Rengstorff
- El Camino Real was just 2 lanes each way in places, some blocks lacking sidewalks, some with diagonal parking
- Highway 101 was 3 lanes each direction, Hwy 85 was 2 lanes and ended at Stevens Creek Blvd. Speed limit was 55 mph on all freeways (coming again soon?)

Posted by Jay Pushkin
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jul 26, 2008 at 10:55 am

I remember moving to Mtn View in 1965 from Sunnyvale so that my dad could live closer to his clothing store that was located on Castro St. The name of the store was called Palm Yorkshire Clothes in the Palm Plaza shopping Center. I went to Huff elementry, Graham Jr. High and Awalt High School. I miss those days

Posted by steve
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 27, 2008 at 11:27 pm

I cannot believe I am reading this article still. Is the staff stagnant, lazy and amateur. I am sure it isn't hard to keep up with the current events, sports and crime of this town a week at a time. But to leave this on for weeks and weeks is very ridiculous and very boring. It's time has expired.


Posted by DV
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 28, 2008 at 10:19 am

Steve don't be such a downer... you must be a transplant... people like myself who happen to be a 4th generation MV resident like hearing old stories of MV... stop clicking on the link. This is an old town paper not the SF Chronicle...The Home Page has plenty of updates and current news for your viewing pleasure... now kindly stay out of the Town Square if you have nothing nice to say...


Posted by Nick
a resident of another community
on Jul 28, 2008 at 4:59 pm

Steve - It's pretty obvious that the Voice's website is designed to place links to the three Town Square threads that have the most recent posts.

So by posting to this thread, you inadvertantly ensured that it will continue to grace the front page.

So to that, I say, thank you :)

This thread keeps me coming back to the site each day to see what new memories have been posted. Keep em' coming Mountain Viewers.

Posted by Irma
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 29, 2008 at 9:29 am

I live in Florida now, but I keep checking this on-going trip down memory lane. It stimulates my aging brain. And probably ensures I will make Mountain View a destinationthe next time I visit relatives in the area... and patronize the MV businesses... so, Steve, it may bore you, but, it's not all a waste!

Posted by Long Time MV Resident
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 29, 2008 at 5:56 pm

I enjoy reminiscing the things that made Mountain View so great. When my kids were small, the biggest thrill for them was hearing the music and seeing the ice cream truck come down our street. They took their hard earned allowance and bought an ice cream. All the neighbors would then come out and talk. We had a close neighbors that looked after each other.

Posted by Greg
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 31, 2008 at 7:05 pm

I guess you could call me a true Mtn. View native. I spent the first 30 years of my life living in what is now called 'Old Mountain View.' I lived there from the '50s thru to 1984. I remember the following:

When Shoreline was still Bailey Ave. and it was just a 2 lane road. Calif. street was still 2 lanes, too.

When MVHS was still on Castro St. Could hear the Friday nite football games from where I lived.

When Pacific Press was still in town. (I worked there from 1976-1984).

When the infamous 'dog house' was built.

When Mancini motors (Dodge dealership) was on the corner of Castro and El Camino. I think the globe on the building came from '39 or '40 worlds fair(s), but don't quote me on that.

The tire dealership on Castro was called Paul Auger's Tires.

Across the street from the tire store was a five-and-dime store.

JC Penney's was where Meyer Electric is now.

A butcher shop was where Red Rock Coffee Co. is now.

State Delicatessen. Had the best ravioli anywhere. And the best kosher hot dogs, too. Makes me hungry just thinking about it. Great funky atmosphere, too.

Andy's Chinese Restaurant.

Heard the wind tunnel at Ames at night.

Town dump at the end of Stierlin road. (Now Shoreline park)

Ferry-Morse seed Co.

When Central Expressway was built.

Mayfield Mall, Old Mill, Rhodes department store.

Posted by Holly
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 5, 2008 at 3:16 pm

Frankie & Johnnie Luigi's on El Camino Real...I lived in the "flat" above the resturant.
People came from miles to have New York style pizza/dinners.

Munson's Drugstore on El Camino and Castro

McKelvey Baseball Field/Park

El Zarape Resturant on El Camino

Shaw's Ice Cream

Posted by Jason
a resident of another community
on Aug 6, 2008 at 1:34 pm

Anybody remember Gemco?

Mountain View was the southernmost town with the 415 area code.

Posted by GEORGE
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 6, 2008 at 3:55 pm

There also was an ElZarape Resturant on San Antonio Road.

Posted by Pete
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 8, 2008 at 4:53 pm

Steve, Is someone making you read this stuff? It's great and I am grateful to the Voice for continuing it. If it's boring you, CHANGE THE CHANNEL...! Does anybody remember the Sunnyview Family Club, down on Esceula? I think everyone attended some sort of function there at some point in their lives.

Posted by JOE
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 8, 2008 at 8:52 pm


Posted by neighbor
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 8, 2008 at 10:14 pm

Mountain View Library was very small and crowded. It was hard to find parking. There was no parking garage. Mountain View High School was on Castro Street. It was a beautiful spanish style building which should of been restored and named a historical landmark.

Posted by Lee
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 9, 2008 at 6:45 pm

I grew up there in the late 70's when my grandfather retired from TWA we moved from Mountain View to Florida. I remember that Mayfield Mall closed right around 1983 when we moved. When did the Old Mill close down and whateve happened to the best pizza place that I knew of Fargo's?

Posted by md
a resident of Waverly Park
on Aug 11, 2008 at 3:17 pm

Anyone remember Clints ice cream? Bubble gum was the best flavor. Feinschmuckers Deli, remember Best products store. Mtn View Dolphins swim team, coaches Sehlmeyer, Perry, and Bosmans. Albertsons and Payless were connected in the middle, @ El Camino and Grant. TG&Y, the Red Barn (country Gourmet now). House of Yee on Castro. Eddies Sport Shop, The Instep for Addidas. Shagging foul balls at McKelvey for a quarter. Free suicides after the little league game. Baseball team sponsors, Civitan, Freeman Songroth, Gienger and Hays Funeral Parlor, Raytheon, Cliffs Chevron, Kiwanis, Collishaw Sprinklers, RW Consruction, Oddfellows. OJ Cooper school. What a great place to grow up.

Posted by neighbor
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 11, 2008 at 7:25 pm

I have lived in Mountain View since 1977 and this is what I remember:

Blossom Valley Shopping Center (Cuesta and Miramonte)

Stig's Bakery
Brentwood Market
Joselyn's Bike Shop
Blossom Valley True Value Hardware
Los Altos Travel
Gregg's Pharmacy
Great Western Savings
Mountain Mike's Pizza
Ken's House of Pancakes on El Camino Real (great for breakfast)
Harry's Hofbrau (my favorite)
Bowling Alley
Bob's Big Boy

Posted by Lee
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 13, 2008 at 3:48 pm

When did the Old Mill and Fargo's Pizza close

Posted by Student now teacher
a resident of another community
on Aug 13, 2008 at 9:30 pm

Did anyone go to Crittenden for elementary school?!
I did in 1978 and broke my arm on the monkey bars. My mom was a single mother of 4 and she was able to afford to feed all of us occasionally at the Menu Tree and Bobs Big Boy. When we moved to Palo Alto, we would take the bus for 10 cents and go to Mayfield Mall.

Posted by Stan R
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 15, 2008 at 6:05 am

Went to Crittenden in the late 60's . The Menu Tree.. spent many days there..

Posted by Frances
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 15, 2008 at 11:47 pm

I think the Old Mill closed in the mid to late 80s? The movie theater may have stuck around a little longer than the mall. I thought that place was so cool when I was young!

Gemco was where Target is now. You had to have a membership card to get in, I think the card was $1.

On California there was a Best (Service Merchandise?) where the Albertson's was.

My Grandma used to take me to Mervyn's downtown when it was still a diner, and not a bar.

Posted by Pete
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 16, 2008 at 5:01 am

OK, JOE. 'See Ya !!!

Posted by Charlie Welch
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 17, 2008 at 8:06 pm

Oh... I forgot Roger and Chez Yvonne restaurant on ECR at El Monte.. nd the 88 cent store... instead of 967 or 96whatever it was YOrkshire and there were still party lines...

Posted by Miles Tone
a resident of North Whisman
on Aug 25, 2008 at 1:50 pm

To answer Lee's question from Aug 13th, according to the book "Milestones - a History of Mountain View" the Old Mill's water wheel was removed in 1988 and then the mall was demolished by the mid 90's to make way for the Crossings development.

The book also said that the owners of Fargo's wanted to build a hotel on the site, but that project obviously didn't go through. I recall that Fargo's was a pretty happening spot for live music in its day.

Posted by H
a resident of another community
on Aug 26, 2008 at 9:05 pm

I remember when the "Dog City" building (corner of Castro and Mercy) was vacant, for years, and full of dogs. The entire street, except for the scattering of bars and Chinese restaurants was vacant in the late 70's and 80's. As a kid my friends and I would like to knock on the windows and aggrevate them. The grocery store at the Palm Plaza was for years called Bee Foods. I have fond memories of taking my little sister there in her stroller so I could get free candy from the manager. He liked my sister, but never gave my friend and I candy if we came by ourselves.

Posted by VB
a resident of another community
on Sep 15, 2008 at 3:48 pm

For the longest time on ECR (80's) there was a great little store selling seat covers (I think it was near Castro). The sign for the shop was misspelled as "Sheespkin House", and as a teenager I giggled every time I drove by. I assume the owners knew about the misspelling and either enjoyed the humor of it, or just didn't care.

I also remember the original House of Humor in the shopping center at the corner of Grant and ECR. Going into the back of the store was always a scandalous adventure as a child...

What about driving through The Milk Pail at the corner of San Antonio and California to get your daily dairy? My grandpa and I would go through in our funky station wagon.

Now -- this one may be way in my imagination, but I remember as a child that at the corner of Escuela and ECR there used to be a shoestore in the shape of a house (before the Cost Plus moved in there). Does anyone else remember this or am I crazy?

Everyone remembers the Old Mill, but do you remember the fantastic candy store there? It was the first place I'd ever found Jelly-Bellies.

I lived right behind the Mayfield Mall, and mostly what I remember are annual magic shows, Easter egg hunts, great decorations at Christmas, and the fantastic egg-rolls that a man sold from a cart. Does anyone remember the name of the diner on the lower level of the Mall? I used to love to go there as a kid with my great-uncle who spoiled me rotten with pancakes.

My grandmother and stepmother both worked at Liberty House in the San Antonio Shopping Center, and the Menu Tree was the best place ever ever ever (besides the fantastic Hobby Shop). I'm still digging through old family photos trying to find a pic of the big tree of birds and clocks.

My mom and dad both went to the original MVHS -- though I went to LAHS (who stole their mascot and not a few of their teachers). My dad and I both had Mr Chadda and Mr Bonzell for math, heh.

Posted by Jeff
a resident of another community
on Sep 15, 2008 at 8:17 pm

I moved to Old Mtn View in the late '70s....remember Gemello Winery? You could bring your empty bottles and get them filled. I thought that was absolutely amazing. I now live in Napa Valley and I haven't found anything like that here.

Posted by Liz - a new resident
a resident of Castro City
on Sep 17, 2008 at 2:42 pm

Thanks for this thread! I've recently moved here from Louisiana, married, and bought a lil condo. Whenever I ask my husband to take me to the 'fancy market on Middlefield' he says something about Brentwood:)
When I want to go to Target, he reminds me that it used to be Gemco:) When I craved a burger, he took me to Clarke's. I've spent my lunch hour - and beyond - catching up on the memories and history of the city I now call home. Very special indeed! Thanks again:)

Posted by Frances
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 17, 2008 at 6:40 pm

VB, I think the diner at Mayfield Mall was called Kelly's. My mom used to take me there and I remember always ordering the grilled cheese sandwich and jello for dessert. There was also a Kelly's at Stanford Shopping Center before it went so upscale.

And I remember the candy store at the Old Mill. We used to go to the Mexican Restaurant there that was in the middle of the mall (La Posada???) and it was a treat to go to the candy store afterwards.

Posted by Michael T
a resident of Whisman Station
on Nov 6, 2008 at 3:49 pm

I worked at GTE Government Systems (formerly GTE Sylvania, formerly Electronic Defense Laboratories) from 1983 to 1990. It once comprised 7 buildings, of which only two still stand. The others were demolished in the 1990s for the present-day Whisman Station development. GTE's greatly reduced operation was moved to Santa Clara a few years ago. I don't know who occupies the site now. Across the street on Evelyn (which was a dirt road in places) was Ferry-Morse, but HP more recently occupied the site.

I think Rotten Robbie's is still on the corner of Whisman and Middlefield, maybe even the Wagon Wheel restaurant next to it.

I lived in a complex of yellow apartment builings on Montecito Ave. That street seems relatively unchanged. My wife was on-call as a dietitian at the nursing home there in the early 80s. You could still find "cowboys" in the Rengstorff-Rock St-Middlefield area 20 years ago but they are long gone.

The Camino Medical Group building at El Camino and 85 is on the site of the defunct Emporium-Capwell store.

A Palo Alto Co-op store was on the corner of San Antonio and El Camino. This was a hippie/environmentalist type of grocery store. It's was a PayLess the last time I noticed.

There was actually a gun shop (Eddy's) on Castro and El Camino which first moved across the street then finally went out of business about 6 or 7 years ago. When I lived on Park Dr I used to walk over on Saturday mornings. Try to find a gun shop in Mountain View today.

Well at least Clark's burgers is still around!

Posted by Charlie Welch
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 18, 2008 at 2:04 pm

Greetings.. Nothing here to do about old places in Mtn. View.. This is about the old originals of Mountain View.
Today, my Aunt, Betty Todd (deCurtoni) passed away at the age of 84. She was married to Cpt. James F. Todd (Navy), who was aboard the USS Macon when it went down off the coast of Monterey (Hanger 1, was it's home back then). She was a long time Sunnyvale resident with roots back to old Mountain View.
Betty is the last of a generation of the deCurtoni family who settled in Mountain View from San Francisco in 1906, on what was the family ranch along Church Street (35 Church Street, still in family) belonging to her Grandfather and Grandmother, Frank and Mattie.
Her father, Frank and his wife Sara brought into the world, her brother, Charles (1913), and sisters, Doris (Laurie/1912), Elva (Kankel/1917) and Barbara (Welch/1920) all preceeded her in death and all graduated from Mtn. View, either the Old Highway School or the newly completed (back then) Mountain View High.
The old days of a quiet little town with orchards and farms and friendships that lasted a lifetime... John Puppo, Don Lawson, Ed Mylrea, Lorena Mylrea, Maggie Mylrea, Charles Moore, Lawrence Anderson, Pete Stahor, Stan Anderson, Marty Spangler, Doris Awalt, Irv Carter, Alan Cranston, Peppy Martinez, Pete Janovich, Jack Randall, Bob Mastin, Helen Shearer, Jean Mockbee, Andy Janovich... too many to recall and too many departed... Maybe they are all now gathered together at my Grandmother's old Creamary that sat next to the old Mountain View Theater. The place where my mother, Barbara met my father, Jim as she worked behind the counter and he would stop in after a day of teaching at the old Highway School and the old timers used to come in for a treat... The originals from back in a day we can only imagine and who so few are still around to shed light on how truly special Mountain View was back before Silly-con Valley erupted. As a community, Moutain View is far better off having had such people as molders of what we have today.
Go Eagles and Keep the Faith...

Posted by BF
a resident of another community
on Jan 15, 2009 at 12:20 pm

This is a great thread. I have another memory I haven't seen mentioned yet: a restaurant called Woody's that was on Middlefield (or Old Middlefield?) not too far from San Antonio. That's the closest address my childhood brain can come up with.

Woody's was a real old-school place, with all the breakfast dishes or sandwiches available for ordering written on tiny chalkboards behind the counter. My dad and I used to go there for breakfast, back around 1980 or so.

As a kid I lived mostly in extreme south Palo Alto, but I was oriented more toward Mountain View than anything to the north: Mayfield Mall with its music store and Consumers Distributing catalog store; the San Antonio Center with the Menu Tree, the Time Zone arcade, and the Sears with the candy counter.

I also remember the 50s holdout restaurant Linda's, farther down El Camino (at Escuela, evidently). Someone mentioned it closed in about 1980, but I say it hung on a few years longer than that, maybe till about 1985. I remember the big white-and-red sign very well.

I also remember the spooky old house standing alone somewhere along Shoreline, even after the golf course was set up. It's not still there, is it?

Posted by Irma
a resident of another community
on Jan 19, 2009 at 5:52 pm

BF, "...the spooky old house standing alone somewhere along Shoreline...." Search on line for "Rengsdorff house". (Thank you, historic preservationists!).

Posted by Matt R
a resident of another community
on May 5, 2009 at 9:31 am

I worked at the Sav-Mor food store on Calderon an Church for about 5 years, along with my Brother. My Family knew the people who owed the big spooky looking house across the street. I graduated from Mtn. View High in 78 and remember all the places mentioned. One was missed ( or was not that important) The Akron store on El Camino and San Antonio, the Wherehouse replaced it. Also the Time Zone Arcade. I spent many a quarter there playing air hockey and the Night Driver video game.

Posted by Bathsheba Malsheen
a resident of another community
on May 5, 2009 at 3:55 pm

I moved to the Bay Area in 1983 from NJ, and started a new job in a technology company on No. Bernardo in Mountain View near Middlefield. My co-workers and I would go to lunch on Castro St. every day--we loved Florentine (great pizza bread), Mekong (run by a former Vietnamese diplomat), and the Blue Sky Cafe, where I believe I had my first tofu sandwich. We also went to Country Gourmet on El Camino (I think it's still there), and of course the food court in the Old Mill. Castro St. was quite run down in the early '80s--it seemed like the poor man's Palo Alto...what a transformation!

Posted by memories
a resident of North Whisman
on May 6, 2009 at 10:01 am

I remember Payless on Grant next to that was Albertsons that had the bus depot where kids would take the bus to San Francisco during the Flower Power days. Albertson's bakery had the best brownies i've ever tasted.
Qui Hing Low and Andy's best chinese food ever!
Thrifty for 5, 10 and 15 cent ice creams in the San Antonio Shopping center and right next to it was Woolworth with the restaurant where you could sit at the counter or the booths while everyone else was shopping around you.
Moffett Food Center owned by Sam Leong and his family.
The little store on Rengstorff and old Middlefield where La Costena
now sits.

Posted by Gary
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 19, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Nice thread full of great memories! Didn't see any mention of Monte Vista, or Moonlight Drive-In theatres. As for the slot car racing place in Mt View, it was called D&S Hobby, in Carlotta Shopping Center, which used to be across from Franciscan Glass, off the west bound loop of the San Antonio Rd overpass. A family run business- all their first names started with "D" Dean, Don, Dale, Dennis, etc ...their last name was Steinke. The hobby shop was really packed on weekends from 1966-1968. In 1967, one of the boys got killed in an accident, and the business went down hill after that. In the 70's, the shopping center went belly-up, stood vacant for years ...I recall a Frye's market and Cost Plus in there. The first job I ever had was scooping ice cream in THAT Thrifty's Drugs, when cones were 5, 10, & 15 cents.

Posted by MV resident since '66
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 17, 2009 at 9:07 am

Ahh, the way it was...

Linda's and the Red Barn
Bokman Chevy and Tuban Ford
Fremont Fire Dist. and County 'hoods
Air raid sirens @ 11:00
Church bells @ 12:00
Food Fair and Palm Plaza
Bazaar- Roadway- Gemco- Target
Open fields and dirt-clod fights
Road burning and Raiche paving
P-3s, S-2s, and F-4s
'73 Moffet crash and more
Safe and Sane fireworks, (thanks Mountain View...)
Neon lights, I miss those too...

The list goes on and on.

Posted by roger cuadra jr.
a resident of Castro City
on Aug 6, 2009 at 7:25 am

Frankie, Johnnie & Luigi Too! in the 70's best pizza ever !!!!!!!!!! Always busy and great New York Style pizza never had any since!!

Posted by stacy
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 6, 2009 at 7:42 pm

Dial-a-bus... this was back in the early 70's. You call and requested a bus to pick you up for only 10 cents. I don't think this service lasted long.

Posted by Al Figone
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 12, 2009 at 9:59 pm

I remember:

Blossom Valley Shopping Center was an orchard; as was most of the surrounding land.

Bubb Elementary School opened without asphalt pavement.

The only hardware/nursery store was on the north side of the tracks, on Castro Street.

Downtown Mtn View was a vital business district for everyone.

Miramonte Avenue had NO traffic after 5:30 PM, at Sladkey (later Questa Drive).

Spivey's resturant never closed their doors; the Monte Vista Drive-in was right behind it; the Chevron station (across Grant Road) was there, but a whole lot smaller; and an old barn closed off the t-intersection of El Camino & Grant Road, it was an auto repair shop.

High Way Elementary School on El Camino; it was closed and became the temporary Foothill College; closed and left empty; later developed into a mixed use project; there was a pedestrian tunnel crossing under El Camino there.

Dana Elementary School, at Dana and Bailey; closed and demolished.

A man named Chester F. Awalt donated 40 acres of orchard land to MVLA High School District for a much needed third high school; they named the school ... Chester F. Awalt HS.

Navy jets flew overhead constantly, then it was the Orion P-3 submarine chasers.

Foothill College, the new campus in Los Altos Hills was talked about thruout California, for its inovative architectural style; this topic was an English class required paper for the first couple of years.

The water tower at Questa and Grant Road was routinely vandalized with painting by person(s) unknown (before tagging was a term).

The only electric signal lights were on El Camino Real.

Bayshore highway was a 4 lane undivided road.

Tidal lands existed along the bay.

Linda's drive-in had the BEST hamburgers (Parisian burger) and fries in town.

Posted by MJ Feeney
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 17, 2009 at 7:30 pm

My apartment($125/month) at 515 Central looked out over onion fields in 1966. A&W near the corner with Castro. Central Expressway stopped at Castro. Had to go to liquor store near Safeway to get a Sunday Mercury or Chronicle. Great town to start a career in Semiconductors. Echos of Don Sherwood and Superfrog live on in Maine.

Posted by Cathy Brunk, Neal Pickett
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 18, 2009 at 2:00 pm

Spectra Physics Lasers started up 1961 in Mt. View. They are planning to move soon to San Jose area. We moved 12 years ago. I lived there 24 years and Neal lived there 30 years.

Posted by Frank
a resident of another community
on Oct 6, 2009 at 11:39 am

Wow--Been here since 1966--On Hwy 237(Mountain View-Alviso Rd) there was a place called the Heidle Beer Garten--Best burgers and beer in the city.

Posted by Gerald Krug
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 11, 2010 at 12:44 am

Had a fun summer vacation visiting my dad and his partner, they owned
the Diamond Ranch Market in 1970 until 1971, as mentioned above,
Thank you for that :)

Ate at the Chez Yvonne many times at 1854 W. El Camino.
As mentioned above...
Antipasto salad to die for, (Hold the anchovies please)
I'm was 12 years old.

Posted by memories
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jul 1, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Anyone remember the Hell Angels' moving into the house on 237 and then filming in parts of Mountain View and Sunnyvale?

Posted by Dennis Philpott
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Oct 23, 2010 at 7:19 pm

The Variety Store at Blossom Valley had a great big neon sign (at least I think it was neon.)
My parents owned the store with my father's cousin and wife. I remember delivering flyers announcing store-opening specials (and being paid the handsome wage of 35 cents!
Every Sunday night we would go to the store after dinner and my father would work on the books. Boy, talk about kids in a candy store. Being able to walk the store aisles when the store was closed and no one else was there :)

Posted by cathy d
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 6, 2010 at 3:44 am

remember hanging out at rengstorff park alot, swimming every summer the vampire movies they would show every Ithink wednesday or friday after school (mvhs) for free in the auditorium. The school dances and alot of fights in the year 1970. The park behind the high school were we cut classes all the time. It was sooo easy to cut classes back then some of my friends volunteered there and always signed anyone sick. I remember the funnn cinco day mayo parties there everyone had fun, not all the politicle chaos its become. There was ateen center hangout for awhile downtown in 70 but I dont recall were it was exactly. I remember the clinic on castro where alot of my friends got counceling and pills the cool thrift shop the gun shop lindas in 70s mvh alot of fun but also a bit of the wild west going on back then alot of fist fights not gangs and guns like nowdays and walkinggggg everywhere bein safe good old days.

Posted by Elizabeth
a resident of Whisman Station
on Feb 22, 2011 at 3:15 pm

There was a fancy hotel with a big fountain in the front. It was across the street from a bowling alley. I don't remember if it was in Mountain View or Palo Alto. Does anyone remember the name of this place?

I always loved Frankie Johnnie and Luigi too. Loved the tater tots at Linda's. Went to MVHS when it was on Castro St.

Posted by Pierce
a resident of Whisman Station
on Mar 15, 2011 at 5:26 am

I grew up next to Therekauf/Stevenson school.
Remembering that when our family drove to First Baptist Los Altos we went up Castro St. to many times and saw Doberman Pincher dogs inside as guard dogs at the newly built High Rise down town, dog poop on the vacant expance of concrete floors when you look into the windows here BoofA is currently standing .... as it was completely VACANT. Somebody sprayed on the windows of "DOG CITY" and those buildings have always been Dog City in my mind........ only a moment in time.
I remember walking through the construction site where the new Mtn View Police Department is now standing, picked up spent shell casings in the basement level, before it had a roof over it.
Dropping eggs over the now CAL TRAIN main engine trying to get them into the big fans blowing off the top of the locomotive, I think I was about 16.
There was a Pet Store I worked at for one weekend helping put hay in the attic area on Evelyn and feeding the mice for sale.
Walking the underground runoff tunnels that go next to now "Shoreline" my friend and I started at Stevenson School culvert...... up to almost el camino avenue under ground. Pretty spooky and not for the weak. NO Flashlights!!!

Posted by Dan Marquez
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 30, 2011 at 3:59 pm

1. The old Highway school on the corner of El Camino and Calderon. There was an underpass that allowed children to go beneath the busy road to get to school. The school was later used as the temporary site for Foothill College until it opened in 1961. The Foothill Owl mascot used to reside in the highway school tower. This used to be my playgournd.

2. The jet that crashed into the Salmi house in downtown Mtn View in 1956. That was
the second crash in as many years.

3. Cruising between Johnny Macs and Spiveys drive Inns on the El
Camino. Played Little League for Johnny Macs the first year of the league -- 1955?

4. El Zarape, Qui Hing Low, Fosters hamburgers, the original "Big Mac" at Johnny Macs, Lindas, The Red Barn, the Sylvania pit, . . . thanks for the memories. Go Eagles!


Posted by Liz L
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 30, 2011 at 9:13 pm

I was part of the last graduating class of old Mtn. View High. We'd go to Bee Foods (formerly Lucky) sometimes and grab something for lunch (where Kaiser is now) and there was Palm Variety in that shopping center too. We'd also get lunch at Weinerschniztel (at the corner of Castro and California). I've lived in the neighborhood since 1967. I remember when Edelweiss Dairy was on 237 and it was all farmland to Milpitas. I used to ride my bike down El Camino when it was 4 lane, no center divider and no sidewalks. Andys and Qui Hing Lo were the two best restaurants. I used to ride my bike on the dirt trails where the old Highway school used to be. A huge pepper tree was like a secret room. Fosters Freeze and Linda's were a treat. I once got to see the inside of the Mancini house because a friend of a friend lived there. The inside was as cool as the outside. Pioneer Park behind the library was named that because there were once graves of pioneers there. Loved that park. Is the waterfall still there? Oh one last thing... the phone prefix for Mtn. View was 'Yorkshire' and all numbers began YO7-xxxx. I remember that Yorkshire was written on the side of the Palm Variety shopping center. Palo Alto was 'Davenport'.

Posted by Deusa
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 12, 2012 at 10:49 am

Does any one have the shortbread cookie recipe made by Baders' in Mountain View. I read someone's mother and relatives used to work at that bakery and I was wondering if they remember and would like to share and bring a little of joy to others.

Posted by Wes
a resident of another community
on Jun 12, 2012 at 7:25 pm

I lived in Sunnyvale and San Jose for quite a few years. I have just returned to Sunnyvale after ten years in L.A. I also briefly had a place in your fair city.

Mountain View (and the rest of the Peninsula seems quite different now).

My favorite place, of course, was Chuck's Cellar. Saw John Stewart (formerly of the Kingstion Trio) there several times. But the best night was seeing the original Limelighters (Lou Gottlieb, Alex Hassilev, Glenn Yarbrough). What a great time!

Their downstairs cellar was a nice and intimate showroom and upstairs they had good steaks. Chucks also once had a place in Tustin (Orange County), with no entertainment, and I quess two or three are still going in Hawaii.

The Tower Records in Mountain View is the only one I have been to that had an actual bookstore. It was a good one, too. And I have seen quite a few Tower Records; in the Bay Area, L.A., Orange County and even London.

The San Antonio Shopping Center had that church single's group that met every Sunday morning in the upper floor of the Menu Tree. And the center's hobby shop was a fun place to browse.

The Old Mill had that Upstart Crow Bookstore and (I think) the "Jumping Frog," a dance place where I saw a full sized 1940s style dance band one night. The place was on the eastern end of the complex.

I don't think there are as many night spots in the whole penisula area as there were when I first came here in 1972. I think with the aging of the baby boomer generation, the place has gentrified into a lot of expensive condos. It just doesn't seem as fun anymore…

But then maybe younger people know where all the new nightspots are.

Posted by Carlos S
a resident of another community
on Jun 16, 2012 at 3:33 am

Born 1978 @ the El Camino hospital. I might be the youngest and recent entry here. Thank You all for your shared memories. It has helped me bridge the gap of what Mountain View used to be. I moved to San Jose, CA in June of 1984. And regrettably been here ever since. Whenever the free time I always like to revisit entire areas and scenes. During the early years I lived on Leong Dr. My home had a 3 foot chain link fence; green with white trim; and was directly across the street from the 76 gas station; and next to That service station was the Denny's restaurant. I remember seeing military officer's/personal around the community (the base was on the other side of the free way overpass) felt like the norm. I went to school with their children "military brats". I Do remember the Blue Angel fleet air performances during summer. My uncle had a Moped (gas powered scooter) club. At the time was a 4 year student at the relocated MVHS class of '85. (Jason Williams) I remember the Weinerschnitzel on Castro St. I remember the A&W chain next to the Social Service Agency. The mobile home park community; I went to Theuerkauf elementary. There was a playground facing the parking lot where now the front gate and front office is. My kindergarden classroom was the 1st near the entrance, I remember feeling excited and part of an elite school that invested in Apple computers. Did lots of educational games of learning on the 2e ! Then a fire had destroyed a class room module/building (in fragments i remembered either it was used as a science lab or it was actually the computer lab). I seen the fire dept. arrive, but school was being led out at the same time, i remember seating to face the damage. There was a curve loop for students to be picked up. That's Gone. Change has made the campus unrecognizable. My parents work for the Government Telecommunication Co. GTE. Michael T is right, there were 7 buildings. I remember the fun Easter egg hunt; company picnics; dept. baseball league teams and games. We lived across the street from the Whisman Fire dept. And GTE @ the Central Park Apts. My dad was laid off in '90 my step mom is still with the company under new name General Dynamics. I remember the Old Mill theaters and seeing Return Of The Jedi. That night I learned people yelled "Where's The Beef!" But can anyone please help me remember the name of the pre-school on San Ramon Ave. where The Fountains retirement community is built. There was so much land there before, and it devastates me to only have fragments of memory..

Posted by Elena
a resident of Castro City
on Aug 20, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Wow, it great to read about MV in the 60's and 70's..I was born and raise in MV. In the mid 80's is when everything started to change..I have a little memory of downtown, I'm a Castro City resident, so I remember San Antonio and the Old Mill more. I'm trying to remember where the beauty college was located at, fond memories of downtown. It's such a great town still, very expensive but it holds my childhood memories, love MV!!

Posted by Tim
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 29, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Used to ride bikes with friends to the Time Zone arcade at San Antonio Shopping Center then stop for donuts at Winchell's and look for 45's at Warehouse Records across the street ....

Posted by John
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 7, 2012 at 5:48 pm

The Bowling alley was/is called El Camino bowl ( I hung out there a lot from age 10 to 19)

Frankie Johnnies & Luigi's on El Camino was/is the best place for a pizza

There was a Red Barn Hamburger place on El Camino @ Rengstorff

Linda's was great ( I know the recipe for their sauce!)

The gas station where Jack in the Box is on Shoreline (sterlin rd)
was a Union 76 (I worked there when I was 16)

I took my first date to the movies @ San Antonio center and for a burger at the Menu Tree after. (my first kiss too!)

Where Sterlin meets Moffet blvd there was an auto repair place where you could bu a Coke in a 6 1/2 oz bottle for a dime. The bottle was refundable for a nickle at the store where you could buy a candy bar for five cents!

Posted by Elizabeth, a resident of the Whisman Station neighborhood, on Feb 22, 2011 at 3:15 pm

There was a fancy hotel with a big fountain in the front. It was across the street from a bowling alley. I don't remember if it was in Mountain View or Palo Alto. Does anyone remember the name of this place?

Fiesta Bowl in Palo Alto/The Hotel was the Cabana Hyatt house where the Beatles stayed (now the Crowne Plaza)

Posted by Michael Munoz
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 24, 2012 at 1:56 am

Came to Mtn View in 1967
I remember in the 70s, the Monte Vista drive-in.
And who remembers Rod Martin karate studios on El Camino near the San Antonio shopping center? And seeing their adds at the drive-in during intermission?

Posted by Eileen
a resident of North Whisman
on Jan 17, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Thanks for taking me on a trip down memory lane!

Posted by Dnini
a resident of another community
on Jan 17, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Does anyone remember Johnny Macs drive-in? What a place to hang-out in the 40's. Best hamburgers in the south bay. Waitresses in shorts; orders placed in car windows, fantastic. I went to Fremont Hi, but met lots of students from Mt. View high. It was THE place to go on Friday and Saturday nights.......not to mention the other hangout was "The Shack" for dancing and meeting 'guys'.

Posted by Dan
a resident of North Whisman
on Jan 28, 2013 at 8:18 pm

I remember going to both Fargo's (Old Mill Sh. Ctr) and St. James Infirmary (Moffett Blvd) with my friends back in the late 70's to mid 80's era. Fargo's was considered the classier place. I frankly had more fun at St. James and spent more time there. It was more laid back and had more friendly and fewer conceited image conscious people. It was also easier on the pocketbook. I then moved out of the area, but then moved back to an apartment in nearby Sunnyvale and worked for someone I knew for awhile from 1999 to 2001. He moved his business and family out of state in 2001. Then I moved to the Monterey area working for an educational publishing company, but try to enjoy Mountain View on occasion when I visit friends and family in the area. By then, St. James and Fargo's had both closed, but Mountain View had really developed an impressive downtown that I have enjoyed (especially considering it is a suburb of Silicon Valley). Los Gatos and Mountain View have SV's best downtowns IMO. There are still some very good bookstores in DT Mountain View. Another place I have enjoyed is Tony and Alba's Pizza. The original Mountain View location has always been better than the recent chain locations IMO. I went to Two Guys From Italy back in the 80's which was also good but is now a Burger King. I got Frankie, Johnny and Luigi's Pizza to go once and it was good. The wait to eat inside is a little much, though. The Boardwalk is a good burger and beer place on the El Camino with a friendly vibe. I also enjoyed a great Steely Dan concert in the late 90's at Shoreline Ampitheater. I have enjoyed the Shoreline Century 16 movie theater and The Sports Page Bar and Grill, too. I have also taken several nice walks in Shoreline and Cuesta Parks. Mountain View has provided some good times and good memories.

Posted by Karen
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 5, 2013 at 10:18 pm

i worked at rhodes and lunched at the menu tree. i remember mayfield mall, with jc penneys and world mart. old mill had the jumping frog and then there was st. james, moffit drive-in and handyman. my friends worked at foster freeze, red barn chicken (SJ), payless donuts, mcdonalds and arby;s in sunnyvale when i was in my high school fast food phase. My sister made one big donut with the leftover dough at the end of the shift and would bring it to the parties in a big pink box. We went wild over it. miss those days.

Posted by Mtn ViewMJ
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 19, 2013 at 7:25 am

Wow, I read every response. Like to give a shout out to all the families that participated in making Mtn View such a fun place to grow up. The recreation department was second to none. Did anyone mention Holy Cross High School next to St Josephs School. I think it closed around 1971 and that's when St Francis High School was allowed to enroll girls. D.V., when you mentioned Baeders cookies I knew it was you cuz. Did they really stop the church bells from ringing though. I remember Father Moss walking the streets alone late at night. Hello Father, we would say...Hello boys..his response..Keep the memories coming .

Posted by Andrew
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 19, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Does Anyone Remember the La Cabana? It was my grandpas restaurant!!!!

Posted by Gary
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 6, 2013 at 7:39 pm

Does anyone remember the Old Plantation restaurant, just off El Camino, on the Los Altos side of San Antonio Rd? Songroth Brothers (gravel & cement) next to the railroad tracks near Alma & San Antonio? Star & Bar gas station? Carlotta Shopping Center?

Posted by Jr
a resident of another community
on Mar 18, 2013 at 8:21 pm

What about the holiday decorations in both the Mayfield Mall and Old Mill Mall and shops like that jelly belly booth with every imaginable flavor I so enjoyed.

Posted by John
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 23, 2013 at 1:32 pm

I lived in Mtn. View since I was about 6, went to Slater elementry, then Graham jr. High and graduated Mtn. View High in 87. It was the best place to grow up, My first job was at the Best store in the San Antonio center, then at Rogers deli on middle field and whisman. Its been a long time since ive been though there. Me and my friends rode our bikes all over Mtn. View and Sunnyvale at all times day and night and never had a worry. Alot of great memories, thank for the thread.

Posted by Karen
a resident of another community
on May 2, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Oh Mountain View... and how I miss it. I live on the East Coast now, 35yrs. later and let me tell you, Mountain View was fantastic in the 1ate 1970's and early 80's when I resided in the area. There are a lot of restaurants that I remember. Uncle Otto's Cheescake where I went nearly every day for lunch takeout, and they were the best!Mountain Mikes Pizza..I believe it is still there. We would order the largest pie,and all the drinks refilled over and over again. Bob's Big Boy and Denny's... There was The old Mill Mall, had nice shops inside and I remember a little coffee and cake shop that you could sit and read in while eating. Casa Maria also and there was a nice steak and ale type restaurant on the corner of El Camino and Castro St., but I cannot remember the name of it.It did have great steaks and baked potatoes with all the salad you could eat, and wine carafes. A&W Root Beer, Also a great soup and salad shop on the corner of Moffett and Central or West Evelyn, maybe California St.... can't remember this. Togo's was great, but I am not sure if it was toward Palo Alto or not. El Chico's Italian was on El Camino to the south.
There were a lot of Country Stores throughout the bay area, little shops. Bay Meadows was fantastic right next door in San Mateo; won 21 to 1 odds on Bridgetwister!!! I remember that well. St. James Infirmary just outside of Moffett Field Naval Air Station was a frequent place as well as The Country Store, but that was south past Sunnyvale on El Camino. The mall was great off of, I believe Covington Rd. Had a Sears, JCPenney, other nice shops inside and out.
One of the things I really liked about the area was that there were small artisan shops, whether they were small restaurants with health food items on the menu, sprouts and tofu, or if they were jewelry and clothing shops, privately owned. They were just fantastic. Lots of small apartments everywhere and all very kept up. Winery Restaurants and shops were popping up around the area, some were really good to lunch and dine at. Many mini motels, and lots to do. Halloween was a must every year. There were contests at all the night spots and tons of costume shops in and around the areas. We frequented Bourbon Street night club in the Old Mill Mall which had ...again... great food and night life.
Mountain View in the vintage 70's and 80's years was a haven. There are many more places I can talk about while I lived in the area. I do not know what the atmosphere is now. I attended some classes at Foothill College..remember their "new" lazer light shows for the time!It seems that it was just that perfect place with so many things to do and so many people starting businesses. It was comfortable. Oh, if anyone can remember a few other night spots in Mountain View, one by the Old Mill Mall and another I believe was Froggers or a name similar. No one can remember them, but they were great for the time when I was young. Bullfarbers ? was in San Jose, I think.... It was a nice time and if I could, I would go back; maybe in the near future!

Posted by Roland
a resident of North Whisman
on Aug 5, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Anyone remember the drive in theaters...?
I do i do i do boy do I.... !

Posted by BvP
a resident of another community
on Aug 7, 2013 at 8:24 am


The nightclub at the Old Mill was called Fargo's. The mall with Sears and JC Penney was San Antonio Shooping Center on the corner of El Camino Real and San Antonio Road, across the street from what was Tower Records. I think everyone also remembers the Menu Tree there as well, so that has to be mentioned.

The shopping center is no more, at least not anything like the original. It is now The Village at San Antonio Center (Web Link

Posted by Marlene Koers
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 26, 2013 at 6:25 pm

I lived briefly in Mtn View from September to December 30, 1952. I will be 79 in November 2013. My husband was stationed at Moffett Field and worked in Hangar One daily. We loved Moffett and Mtn View. We were newly wed and I was pregnant with our first child. I took a part time job at Knight's Drugstore at the soda fountain, having my 18th birthday celebrated there with wonderful fellow employees. Mr Knight was a wonderful employer and friend. I bought my first maternity clothes at JC Penney's near the drugstore on Castro. We went to Mass at St Joseph Church and shopped at Bettancourt Grocery. There was an appliance store in town that had TV in their window and it was on after they closed. Can't remember for sure, but I think they had sound to outside. We would go over in our car, a still new 1951 Plymouth Belevedere hardtop convertible, on Saturday night to watch the Jackie Gleason Show. I remember all the fruit orchards around and Libby's canning factory in Sunnyvale. We lived in a trailer park just going north on 101 from the main gate at Moffett. Our first home! We thought we were in heaven and loved our life there until one night John came home and told me his division was being transferred to San Diego North Island and the aircraft carrier USS Princeton CV 37. He was in port until early February and they sailed to Japan and Korean War. Our baby was born in March and I came home to Indianapolis Indiana to stay with my parents until his leave in September 1953. In 1999 we took a nostalgia trip back to San Francisco and Mtn View and then on to San Diego. Mtn View seemed the same right in old downtown but the shops were all different. Knights drugstore was an Asian restaurant. We went to Mass at St Joseph Church and it had not changed one bit. The painting behind the altar of the Holy Family was still there. Unfortunately, Moffett had been closed. We drove to the main gate and a pleasant young lady guard was given permission to escort us to Hangar One and we stepped in and took pictures of each other. We had a wonderful life the short time we lived there and treasure the memories and friends there. We left the Navy in 1955 after John made two nine month cruises on the Princeton. We went on to have a total of eight children (with set of boy-girl twins) and we had all twenty-one of our grandchildren before we lost John at his 75th birthday Christmas 2006. And our wonderful married life started in a beautiful and wonderful place named Mountain View CA and Moffett Field Naval Air Station!

Posted by Newbie
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 10, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Thank you Marlene Koers and everyone above for contributing your memories of the Mountain View of yesteryear. It is a lovely thread to read and I am pleased to see it is still getting new posts after 5 years!
- not so Newbie anymore

Posted by Karen
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 2, 2013 at 7:03 pm

I worked at Rhodes which became Liberty House, which became random stores which is now a new mega mixed used complex. Rhodes had midnight madness sales. I used to go to the menu tree for a bite to eat. They had a neat stairway with upper level seating. My sister worked at Handy Man and also payless donuts. She made donuts with leftover dough the size of bike tires. I loved the moffett drive-in. I remember 4th of July at Rengstorff Park with fireworks. Someone said that Linda's sold horse meat burgers. Fun times in the '70's. The vibe was great. People did there own thing and weren't into $ and status.

Posted by Lenna
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jan 31, 2014 at 1:48 pm

I am looking for any one who might possibly have any information on who owned The Rumpus Room and or The 101 Club back in the 80's???? This is very important to me I am trying to locate my father who I have never met and I think he may have worked at one of these places. Please if any one has any thing that could help I would appreciate it. You may also email me at Thank you!

Posted by PT
a resident of another community
on Feb 12, 2014 at 7:09 pm

Hello. Does anyone know what was at the northeast side of the Moffett and W. Middlefield intersect? It's an open field now that runs north along W Middlefield. There's a blocked off driveway off Moffett and an old parking lot inside the area. The Shenandoah military housing is adjacent to this site. Was this area a library building?
Thanks for any insight!

Posted by Dherrera
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 27, 2014 at 7:33 am

Does anyone remember the name of the coffee shop next to rower records? I frequented it in the mid 90s

Posted by Dherrera
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 27, 2014 at 7:34 am

Sorry. I meant Tower Records. Thanks

Posted by Marie
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 1, 2014 at 7:18 pm

PT, I don't think it was a library. If my recollection is correct, it used to be an Exxon station.

I saw some great photos of Castro street circa 1965 on Mountain View Historical Societies Facebook page. Here is the link to one of the photos.

Web Link

Actually the whole page is excellent if you want to follow them on Facebook.

Posted by OscarP
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 11, 2014 at 7:41 am

My folks moved to Mountain View from San Bruno in 1962 when I was 4. We lived on Parker Ct. I went to San Ramon, Monta Loma, Crittenden and Mountain View (72-74). Mayfield Mall Construction went on for quite a while and the place was really novel with JC Penny holding the anchor spot. There was a Pier One in the underground area and the Mall had a good record store. Don't forget the Bickell Brothers Lumber on San Antonio and Freeman-Sondgroth Paving Company (the gravel factory) making noise and causing cracks in the windows and drywall of everyone's homes. Dairy Bell restaurant had burgers at 5 for $1 and some really good greasy deep fried taco's. The Super Duper Grocery store and the Rexall Drugs and the Barbershop rounded out the corner of Rengstorff and Centeral Expressway (Alma St originally). You could get your gas pumped by the attendant a the Texico station--- “Skychief or SuperChief for you today?” The 7-11 at the end of Alvin on Middlefield Rd brought us the Slurpee when it opened in the mid 60's. You could buy beer by waiting outside Mayfair Market for someone "cool" to walk in and ask them to score you a six. I remember the Menu Tree...all you can eat. Andy's Chinese was the best place for Chinese on Castro. The Army Surplus store on San Antonio was a cool place to find war fashion and boots. Fiesta and Camino lanes on El Camino. Don't forget the Red Barn with 19 cent burgers, Taco Tico and I saw someone else mentioned El Zarrape (the best). Der Wiener Schnitzel on Castro was a great place to skip off campus from Mountain View High for some munchies. I delivered San Francisco Chronicle and Mountain View News Herald papers along Thompson Ave and Alvin St as well over in Del Medio area. Rengstorff Park had our swimming pool and great summer programs like Archery class and Tennis lessons among them. If you had to grow up somewhere in the 60's and 70's, Mountain View had it all and was a real community where we all knew each other (absolute Americana). Kragan’s Auto? Where else do you go to buy hot rodding parts. There were a few other places in Sunnyvale, but Friday night at the Jack in the Box parking lot on El Camino by Grant Rd was where me and my gearhead buddies stopped to watch the show and surreptitiously quaff a brew or two. All of this is mostly Linda's. Clarke's is great.

Posted by OscarP
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 11, 2014 at 7:51 am

Oh yeah, I went to preschool at the Adobe building on Castro east of Central Expressway. I'm not sure many people ever went there because the preschool was moved to Rengstorff Park facilities if I remember correctly. I also forgot to mention Castro City Market on Rengstorff west of Central Expressway right by the Amtrak commuter train stop at the same location. Many people used the train in those days to commute to "The City (San Francisco)".

Posted by eric
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 11, 2014 at 4:06 pm

I spent my early childhood in Mountain view in the 1970s. I went to Landels elementry school until 1979. I remember Dog towers,A very cozy public library with a fireplace, A big fire at Mountain view high school in 1974 and spending every day at Fairmount park.The city had a great summer recreation program that gives me some of my best childhood memories.Especally going up to Deer hollow farm in the Los Altos foothills.I was very lucky to be able to spend my childhood years in Mountain view. Anyone remember the Community School of Music on California street

Posted by Sean
a resident of another community
on May 24, 2014 at 4:09 pm

I am a little bummed out that the 1st and last schools I attended, San Ramon Elementry and Old Mt. View High have been demolished and are now condominiums. I think the biggest change is East Mt. View, where Google is now, I had some classmate that lived out there and back then it was dirt roads and chicken coops.

Posted by MV Mama
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 27, 2014 at 6:42 pm

The lot at Moffett and Middlefield held the temporary library while the one downtown was being rebuilt. This was in the mid-late 90s?

Posted by rolo
a resident of North Whisman
on May 29, 2014 at 7:15 pm

Mountain View had that," Small Town USA " feel . It felt like home . People moved alot slower , talked a little slower . I wished Id taken more pictures , than what I have

Posted by T
a resident of another community
on Jun 26, 2014 at 4:37 pm

This was such a great place in the mid to late 70's - the Baylands Park, the old white house near Shoreline. The first time we saw "Great America" parkway.....and all the drive in movie theaters and how we would sneak are friends in and have great ol' times. No cell phone, no internet, no answering machines, just good friends, good times. Thanks for the memories people.

Posted by Liz Miller
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 8, 2014 at 7:40 pm

I was born and raised in Mountain View and, except for about 6 years out-of-state for college, I've spent my whole life here. I lived in the Cuesta Park area growing up (my parents still live in the same house) and have rented several apartments/duplexes/houses in other parts of our town over the years, but just moved to a tiny house in Old Mountain View with my daughter and new husband.

I went to Bubb Elementary School when Ben DeBolt was principal, to Graham Junior High, and to Awalt High School (when it was an open campus and we used to cut class occasionally and hang out at an old dry creek bed in the surrounding neighborhood).

One of my favorite 1960s childhood memories is of riding stingray bikes with neighborhood friends across big muddy meadows (now the surrounding shopping center including Nob Hill) to get Slurpees or hot chocolate at the Payless Bakery (where all my best friend's many sisters worked one after the other)followed by a doughnut.... YUM!

I also have very fond memories of the Variety Store at Blossom Valley Shopping Center where we all got candy for a nickel, the Galaxy Gift Store where we got every Christmas Present for my mother for about a decade, I think, and Tots-to-Teens where my mom took me for school clothes (and I had to get size "6x" which meant I was not skinny enough :/)....

Linda's was my favorite place for take-out as a child (I LOVED the tator tots!) and going to Old Mountain View's Castro Street felt soooooo far away! I believe I saw the original JUNGLE BOOK movie at the theater there : )

I loved going with my family to the Drive-In at the corner of Grant and El Camino (hard to imagine a drive-in on that corner!!!) and saw a ton of great kid movies there in my pajamas! Does anyone else remember playing at the little playground there before the movie started?

Mountain View was a working-class town back in the 60s and 70s, and while I still love living here, I'm sad that high-tech has made it so hard to afford to live here.

Have read every entry and look forward to reading more : )

Posted by Mrstinylady
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 18, 2014 at 4:13 pm

I have not returned home to Mountain View for decades and just now saw pictures of the town. WOWwee!!!!

I won't be going back . . . but I sure do miss Uncle Otto's Cheesecake and Stigs Pastry shop on Castro. Neither are there anymore. Imagine.
Hello California!

Posted by Mrstinylady
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 18, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Oh gosh! I forgot something! Does any one remember that Mountain View was owned by the 7th Day Adventist who spent a few years looking to move away (BEFORE the computer movement)? Many of the streets were unpaved and had chickens and peacocks roaming around. I never bothered to buy an alarm clock!

Posted by ODB
a resident of another community
on Oct 16, 2014 at 10:11 am

My dad worked in the telephone company central office at Hope & Dana streets in the '60s and '70s. It had a big room full of mechanical switching relays which were constantly clicking. My brother and I called it "the popcorn room". It also had a smallish, old-fashioned PBX switchboard with plugs and cables. It was unmanned but still wired in. I don't know when or why they would use it, maybe as a backup?

How well I remember the Town Club! Dad used to spend major portions of his paychecks there, a practice which ultimately destroyed his marriage to my mother. While I was struggling to get through San Francisco state in the mid '70s, the owner of the Town Club could have put his kids through Harvard with the money my dad used to spend there.

I lived in Mountain View briefly in 1973. Once in a while I would walk down Castro street and some guy in a Ford Mustang would try to pick me up, a lad of 18 at the time. I made it clear that I wasn't interested.

I have happier memories of seeing movies at the Monte Vista drive-in near Mancini Motors' tower and globe. My folks shopped at Sears a lot, which was there for as long as I can remember. I still can't believe it's gone! We lived in Palo Alto and it was a completely different world south of San Antonio road, much different from snooty Palo Alto.

Posted by Chuck Harvey
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 24, 2014 at 11:06 am

I lived on Colony St and went to Powell School, Crittenden and Mountain View HS on Castro street.
Left in 68 to join the USMC.
Just loved reading all these posts and bringing back all the memories.
Go Eagles!!!

Posted by Paul
a resident of another community
on Dec 12, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Grew up in Los Altos in the 60s-90s.

Shoppers World at ECR and Escuela(Cost Plus, now - at least as of the early 2000s)

Remember Freeman - Sondgroth paving, where Old Mill was built (and eventually razed)

Arby's at San Antonio and California

San Antonio Hobby Shop --four locations till it closed in '05

Fabric store in the Purity Market building (Later torn down)

Minton Lumber (gone now)

Watching SP commute trains at San Antonio and Alma

-Paul Portola Elementary, Egan JH Los Altos High '78 Foothill 78-80
Apt. in Downtown Los Altos 88-96. Belmont 96-2002

Now reside in New Mexico

Posted by Sharon
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 3, 2015 at 11:39 am

I know this blog is a few years old but he ran across it and boy can you bring me down memory lane I'm sure I will repeat a lot of the familiar places in Mountain View but I just wanted to share them as well.

I remember the following
Mountain View high school was actually bordering Castro Street, old high school way, shoreline (formerly n. Bailey/sterlin road)
It closed in 80/81 school year.
Graham middle school is known as Graham junior high.
Two a&w's in town (frequented the one on el CAMINO air)
Foster freeze was my go to for French fries and fried burritos and shakes.
Car dealership n Castro and el CAMINO. My friend lived very close. We heard every announcement.
Stings bakery was my walk to bakery yum yum
Palm variety was a store with tons of household knick knacks.
The grocery store in same center was my "pac man " destination.
Downtown was a quest area with a few Chinese restaurant.
Knights pharmacy was my grandmas go to pharmacy.
Frequented San Antonio shopping center, mayfield mall and old mill.
Watched movies at the old mill and don't forget the Moffett Drive in (shoreline blvd)
Rexall drugs was our downtown drugstore.
The town had a Bobs Big Boy, Linda's drive in, foster freeze, Wiener schnitzel, st James infirmary, Denny's restayeant (great for after a long night if dancing), GEMCO, Carrs pet store, emporium, mervyns, Sears, tower RECords, warehouse records, jcpennys, cost plus, tony Roma's, lots of used car lots along el CAMINO real, kens house of pancakes, thrift store next to cuisimanos (sp?) mortuary, all you can eat (pre-mega buffet) Chinese buffet near middle field road/San Antonio rd)
Constantly hearing the U.S. NAVYS planes overhead. (I lived in Old MV)
"Continental market" was at the old safeway on california/San Antonio road.
We had a "Food Fair" grocery store on El CAMINO between Castro and grant/237
5 cents/10 cent Woolworth ice cream cones at woolworths in the San antonio shopping center.
Dairy Pail (San Antonio/california) was a drive thru.
Most neighborhood streets were without roundabouts (as they are now)
St Joseph church would ring the church bell during the day. (It was beautiful)
We got our pumpkins from a farm stand on grant road (near el CAMINO hosputal)
My favorite Italian restaurant was "two guys from Italy" on grant and el CAMINO.
Children can walk at night without fear.

Posted by James
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 9, 2015 at 12:09 pm

Any recall/information about the Mountain View Ice Company? Any one work with/through the Youth Opportunity Program (high school students) at the Mountain View Post Office? Name of the bowling alley near Cherry Chase Golf Course? Was the Rumpus Room ever "topless"?

Posted by Sparty
a resident of another community
on Feb 10, 2015 at 3:57 am

Sparty is a registered user.

We didn't have our killer turf stadium at MVHS

Posted by Tim May
a resident of another community
on Apr 15, 2015 at 1:31 am

Moved to Santa Clara in 1974 to work for Intel, a small company back then. Moved to Sunnyvale a year later. Moved to Mountain View, in the Americana apartment complex next to Emporium/Capwell, now PAMF at 85 and ECR. I left the area in 1986 and moved to the Santa Cruz/Aptos area, with only occasional visits. Mountain View has changed a lot in 29 years, so my recollection of where things were may be off (esp. in downtown Castro, where the landmarks have shifted dramatically!).

Castro Street in the 70s was a ghost town. A movie theater, not much else. It began to boom in the 90s and is now a destination. (Sunnyvale went the "planned route" and tore up Murphy Avenue to give it over to a covered mall in the 70s. That mall was a flop from Day One and has since been sort-of-converted back into something else. Mountain View was obviously a bigger success.)

I of course remember: the hobby store near The Menu Tree, the Pacific Stereo/Sound Goods down San Antonio (which had in the 1950s been the site of Shockley Semiconductor), Tower Records, Best Products, the fabric store next door (because an old girlfriend used to buy fabrics there), the shopping center with the water wheel and gardens inside (saw "Animal House" there in 1978), Gemello's Winery off of ECR, the Heidelberg Beer Garden where some high tech buildings are now located (Daisy Systems, now Synopsis, I think), Eddy's Sport Shop (where I bought some nice guns), and the first Byte Shop, a few doors down from Frankie, Johnny and Luigi and also from Mel Cotton's Sporting Goods. (These two are still there, but the Byte Shop bit the dust by the late was first opened around 1976, and I visited it often.)

As for restaurants, I was saving my pennies in those years. I remember a Chinese restaurant near the Mt. View theater, through a kind of walkway/tunnel to the parking lots behind. The movie theater was pretty small....I recall we usually chose the Varsity Theater up in Palo Alto over the small MV theater.

Nostalgia is great, but I think I prefer the current downtown MV to the sleepy street of the 1970s. When I'm visiting friends in the area, we often end up on Castro Street for meals. Which is something we would'nt likely have done in the 70s.


Posted by margo
a resident of The Crossings
on May 29, 2015 at 7:01 pm

I would like to know what the name of the furniture store was where Wholefoods market is now on El Camino in Mtn. View across the street from
Target and where the DMV used to be and is now a truck driver training school. Thank you for any info. Had a friend that called and asked me the name of the furniture store and I have forgotten. Thank you anyone and everyone for any info.

Posted by jeff tarnow
a resident of Gemello
on Jun 11, 2015 at 8:03 pm

Who remembers Frankie, Johnnie and luigo too, before major expansion, on Friday and Saturday nights the line to get was so long. But thier pie always worth it. Is it still good. I actually worked down the road in Los Altos at the Boardwalk, what a shame they closed.

Posted by Ron H.
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 24, 2015 at 11:38 pm

I remember the pre Gemco store named White something, was it White Castle? I believe Bazaar was in between the other two names. And I too remember the table game with the volley ball at St. Francis with very fond memories, thank you for bringing that memory back to me. I worked nights when I was in high school (Awalt on Bryant)at the DerWienerschnitzel in 1972 and '73, does anyone remember getting one of my special versions of the polish sandwhich where I deep fried the polish sausage? I also worked at the Ferry Morse Seed Co. in 74-77.

Posted by Ron H.
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 3, 2015 at 12:09 pm

No, it was White Front!

Posted by David B.
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 6, 2015 at 5:35 am

Maybe this has been covered already but does anyone remember the bike shop, "The Bicycle Tree", that had a section of a large tree in the shop where the tree had grown around an old bike frame?

Posted by Howard
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 9, 2015 at 5:00 pm

I remember when I moved to Mountain View in 1973 there were still orchids around. I was teaching at Foothill Jr. College. I went to Chucks for entertainment and the Tarr & Feathers in Palo Alto. I remember the disco on San Antonio Road at the Old Mill, jogging at the high school, St. james Infirmiry, Andys Chinese Restaurant, Longs Drugs, The Boardwalk on El Camino near Chucks, I remember when my friend Len Rhode opened his burger King on San Antonio Road and El Camino. It was a great time but I grew up and moved to other places for my career.

Posted by Susan
a resident of another community
on Oct 29, 2015 at 10:00 am

Did anyone here work for HandyMan in the 1960's or 1970s?

Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of another community
on Nov 9, 2015 at 5:31 pm

What an interesting question. I was here in the 70's though I lived in Palo Alto.
Mountain View was sleepy and boring and we used to consider it lower class
and the home of greasers etc. It did not have a good reputation in Palo Alto.

The downtown was 2 narrow lanes with no parking and there was nothing going
on, with the High School being down towards El Camino.

Having just gone to Watsonville for the first time a few months ago, I was
thinking how much it reminded me of Mountain View of the 70's. There were
some highlights, like the Co-op Supermarket which became the old Rite Aid
in the San Antonio Shopping area. Of course Hobees we all loved.

When they re-did Castro Street ... can't remember if that was late 70's or
80's things began to happen, and now I think Mountain View is nicer and
more forward thinking than Palo Alto and I am sorry I moved to Palo Alto

Shoreline Park is much nice than Byxbee Park in Palo Alto with the stinky
sewage treatment plant and the airport spewing noise and leaded exhaust
fumes overhead.

Key points were Shoreline Park, Century Theaters, Downtown renovation.
San Antonio Center, Tower Records for a time, more and cheaper housing,
the Library, the City Hall area, Steven's Creek trail ... Mountain View is
doing well.

HOWEVER, whoever, and I used to know the name because I used to call
up to complain, is the manager of the City recreational facilties has let
Mountain View's facilities go to heck. The restrooms in the parks are
disgusting, particularly the ones on Terminal Ave that went without
hand towels of a working hand air dryer for almost year despite my
calls to this department. They never cleaned or bothered to inspect
their facilities.

I spend a lot of time and money in Mountain View, used to live there
and may again, but why don't people do their jobs when they are
entrusted to live and work for such a with-it city?

Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of another community
on Nov 9, 2015 at 6:09 pm

Wasn't Handyman over there near the Oasis Laundry and what used to be
the best Chicken place in the area, Pollo Loco! Oh, I miss that barbecue

There used to be that drive in place Linda's that is now Wolfe Camera, I think, or was.

I just heard that Sono Sushi has closed too, and I really used to like that place
despite the rude owners ... great sushi.

And the Old Mill was really nice, and seems like it was a terrrible place to
build houses so close to the train tracks. I remember you could hear the
train go by when you were watching movies in the Old Mill Theaters.

Ugh ...also Saint James Infirmary ... terrible place that everyone used to
go to with a giant statue of ... ??? wonder woman inside???

Does anyone remember Beto's Casa Blanca Mexican Restaurant. I liked
that place ... but it was short-lived.

And Mountain View Surplus where I used to get my blue jeans and blue
workshirts in high school early 70's. Now on El Camino, but nothing like
it used to be.

Remember the P-3s that used to fly over on their quests to track Soviet

Also, I remember the ... Copper Penny a big A-frame restaurant near
where Rengstoff and El Camino split off with El Monte .. that was a dirt
road on the one side where the shopping center is now, and the it was
a fruit/vegetable stand.

I remember seeing the Exorcist with my girlfriend at the time in the View

There was a Food Fair market that I used to live behind from El Camino
on Bonita in the 70's ... The Huntingdon Apts $125 a month rent ... now
I think it is like over $3000 for a studio. Food Fair turned into Harry's
Hofbrau and then office buildings or something now.

And Clarkes had the best burger in Mountain View, Amber Lantern had
the best in Palo Alto.

Oh yeah, the Gelato Classico used to be located by the bowling alley
but now I cannot even recall where that was ... I'm thinking across from
Cost Plus? Wow, so much has changed.

There was Mervyns in San Antonio Shopping Center, and the Time
Zone video game place.

Then there was over where the medical center is the Emporium clothes
store. My price and style at the time.

Jocelyn's Bike shop started in Midtown Palo Alto didn't it?

Shoreline used to be called Steirlin Road, and before that part of
it was Baily Rd ...

Oh, and back when 85 was only 2 lanes ... where I got my first
traffic ticket as a kid ... and never thought I could feel so bad! :-(
Coming home from Foothill College. I am not sure it was called
85 then ... what did they call it? Was it part of 237?

What did they used to call 85 before it was a highway and ended
at Steven's Creek?

Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Nov 9, 2015 at 9:49 pm

Here is a bit of the inside scoop. For some, the 70's kicked off in Mountain View with a homecoming float featuring a huge EAGLE. The Eagle was simply left at the old MV High football field. So we at Los Altos High salvaged it to build a giant KNIGHT which road the winning float at the following week's Los Altos High homecoming. Maybe thanks to the float, the Los Altos football team flushed the Santa Clara High Panthers (the float's tasteful theme) enroute to a Santa Clara County championship.

Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 12, 2015 at 3:46 pm

True is a registered user.

It was a quiet bedroom community. Mostly comprised of middle-class folks employed in the military industrial complex that eventually morphed into Silicon Valley. In addition there was a healthy contingent of military families, many lived off-base in addition to the those in on-base housing and unmarried military in barracks and off base as well.

Those days of MV being a quiet, bucolic suburb are over.

Get used to it.

Posted by
a resident of another community
on Nov 14, 2015 at 10:32 pm

South Palo Alto, I attended Wilbur Junior High on East Meadow, class of 1957 and Cubberley class of 1960 on Middlefield Rd just before San Antonio. They had a student built Totem with Paly, Cubberley, Wilbur and Jordan mascot heads. I put a few of those little mosaic tiles in the cougar face, in Mrs Johnson's art class when it was being built .

About where the Hausner Day school is now on San Antonio between Middlefield and Alma, there was an Indian mound (Ohlone--pre Spanish era) camping/living area. I found a few shell beads and many small shells from their food scavenging at the bay. Not many people were aware of this, or cared, for that matter--those bead makers were the very first Palo Alto hi-tech design engineers. My father liked Indian history and so I did too. He and my mother are buried next to each other at Alta Mesa Cemetery on Charleston. Gunn Highschool across Charleston used to be a field full of cattle. The train to Santa Cruz rail bed is a jogging trail now. VA construction started about 1958 and opened a few years later. Ive had both knees replaced there and the VA health care system gets a 5 star rating from me. They give me the best care one could hope for. Almost every VA patient naysayer Ive listened to has problems best cared for in the VA mental department.

My first "job" was gathering eggs at a chicken farm on Old Middlefield in early 50s' (the fork hadnt been built yet, so there was just "Middlefield Rd" no "old" Middlefield.
Mt View east of Bayshore (101)had no paved roads--dust in summer, mud in winter. There was a political scandal of sorts when big money started offering what seemed high sums for all the old run down shacks and houses north of Moffet Field east of 101 and south of San Antonio. Everyone knows who owns big chunks of that land now. Google, Ebay and others seem to like that area. There was a big cattle ranch out there too. I helped the owner fix his truck once. He had more cattle up off Skyline and near Half Moon Bay
I stopped at Omalley's a week ago and two of the "old regulars" didnt believe me when I told them I thought it had been the Dublin Inn before it was Francesca's. O'Malley? or his father? probably know this--unless two Irish Pubs at same location is just a coincidence--I have emailed a couple of old friends who may remember if it was once the Dublin Inn.

I joined the Navy in Mt View in 1961, went on an old Destroyer, was in Vietnam in 1964, the Tonkin Gulf Incident, got out in 1965 and went to work for a small electronics company as a Field Service Engineer. Went into Intel before D2, their first modern Fab area was built--have been to all Intl site in western part of US, Oregon, New Mex, Ariz. There is a Historic marker in front of a small building on Charleston just before it crosses San Antonio. Its where the first IC was made by Noyce? and is where Silicon Valley essentially started. There used to be a tree diagram inside the lobby that showed the true history of early Silicon Valley--but when I went back to photograph it about 1975 it had been removed when they did some remodeling Several Fairchild Semiconductor engineers left and started other companies that later became big players and the history is on that tree diagram. I would hope it still exists in someones attic and wasnt destroyed. I have seen several of those trees over the years and they werent accurate as far as the 1950s and 60's are concerned Hewlett/Packard and Varian werent on one of them which indicated the authors lack of knowledge and research efforts. Hopefully that new Electronics Museum has some accurate literature available. I havent been there but hope to before "old age" sets in :>) My thanks to all other contributors--so many places and things I had forgotten!

Posted by Big Osc
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 6, 2016 at 2:17 pm

Grew up in MV and graduated from MVHS in 1971. Too many memories to mention. One of my favorites was Linda's with their Parisian burgers and tater tots. A lot has changed since then. My parents lived on View Street which is 2 blocks from Castro Street. I used to work at Andys Chinese Restaurant while I was in high school. Great place to grow up. Went to Landels Elementary and Graham Junior High.

Posted by Oddgothgirl
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Jan 21, 2016 at 10:07 pm

I moved to Mtn. View in 1975. Went to Crittenden in the 80's, Graduated from Los ALtos High.
I remember the wonderful Chinese bakery on Castro that had the best black bean buns..I still haven't found any to rival them.
Der Wienerscnitzel, Harry's Hofbrau (best place EVER)
What was the name of that Ice Cream place on the corner of San Antonio and El Camino..they had ginormous bowls of ice cream (where that guy used to sell flowers...remember that?)
Eucalyptus trees everywhere...I grew up on Hackett Ave (next to the "creek")
I loved the water wheel in the Old Mill mall, near that Japanese restaurant and the clothing stores where NO ONE could afford the outfits (upstairs)
Yeah Gemco...the German Deli by Mervyn's, Aladdin's Castle (where I spent a lot of my time)
My first job at Blazon for Hair on El Camino real
playing D&D at the bowling Alley and ordering fries and coffee at Lyon's as a senior and pissing off the waitresses (ranch dressing on their fries omg soo good)
Walking into cost plus and taking a deep breath...ahhhh,
Looking out my bedroom window to Silverwood apartment homes and wishing I lived there...
the trains...
Watching the BIG planes fly over...
Afternoon sea breezes...
cold foggy days...
Smelling patchoulli and knowing that the "Dead" were here
I haven't been to Mtn. View since 1992...I live on the East Coast now. everything I knew is gone. Nice to remember everything tho.

Posted by Oddgothgirl
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Jan 21, 2016 at 10:22 pm

85 was Central Expressway

I almost forgot:

La Petit Boulangerie, Florentines Pasta Shop, TOGO's!!!!! omg Togo's turkey and Avocado....

Baileys Pharmacy, The Menu Tree had that awesome place to get the BEST fish and chips I have EVER had (seriously), Round Table Pizza, The Boardwalk bar and grill

Seeing Whitesnake at Shoreline Amphitheater and then being there when they had to close it down to clean all the methane (because flicked lit cigarettes were flaring up) lol...good times...good times

Posted by mary vipham (Davis)
a resident of North Bayshore
on Feb 8, 2016 at 10:13 am

Thank you everyone for the 60's memories my family and I lived on stierlin rd. Where the amp. Theatre is now standing. Mtn view has come a loooog ways but I loved it better when it was smaller and slower. I know Mtn. View high building is gome but......Go eagles !s31ZJ

Posted by Rick
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 10, 2016 at 3:46 pm

I was a kid here in the 1960's, My family moved here in 59. I have fond memories of the Mountain View Movie theater and remember Palm Plaza, long since torn down. I remember the New Library that has since been replaced with a newer library. Things have changed but the one thing that seems the same is Edith Landels elementary school, that place seems timeless.

Posted by Produce
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 11, 2016 at 9:24 am

You could get excellent fresh artichokes at a reasonable price back then.
WTH happened?!?!

Posted by Carol Ann fontaine
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 17, 2016 at 7:39 pm

There was a Chinese restaurant named Andy on Castro st. 1970s very good food

There was a night club called The Infirmary lots of fun. Bicycles wagons all sorts of things hanging on the walls. People were alot happier back then, with less

The E.M. club at Moffett Field naval Base was a great place to go. .25 cents for mixed drinks.

Surely miss those days

Posted by Djgaydos
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 19, 2016 at 11:06 am

Looking for pet stores in the Mtn View, Los Altos areas in the mid 70's. Trying to locate a Amazon parrot that was left at a store in that time frame. Amazons live to be 50~60 years so he may still be alive. This my wife's quest and wants to know where he went. Thanks for any pet related recollections you may have

Posted by Djgaydos
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 19, 2016 at 11:06 am

Looking for pet stores in the Mtn View, Los Altos areas in the mid 70's. Trying to locate a Amazon parrot that was left at a store in that time frame. Amazons live to be 50~60 years so he may still be alive. This my wife's quest and wants to know where he went. Thanks for any pet related recollections you may have

Posted by Djgaydos
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 19, 2016 at 11:06 am

Looking for pet stores in the Mtn View, Los Altos areas in the mid 70's. Trying to locate a Amazon parrot that was left at a store in that time frame. Amazons live to be 50~60 years so he may still be alive. This my wife's quest and wants to know where he went. Thanks for any pet related recollections you may have

Posted by Djgaydos
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 19, 2016 at 11:07 am

Looking for pet stores in the Mtn View, Los Altos areas in the mid 70's. Trying to locate a Amazon parrot that was left at a store in that time frame. Amazons live to be 50~60 years so he may still be alive. This my wife's quest and wants to know where he went. Thanks for any pet related recollections you may have

Posted by Phil A
a resident of another community
on Jul 2, 2016 at 2:09 pm

This page has been a really interesting read. I lived on the southern end of Los Altos from 1961 through about 1985. I grew up there, and spent a great deal of time in Mountain View. I can't think of anything to add to the list, and it sure brought back memories.

I'm going to add something a little different... the Cold War. MV was on the USSR's list of early nuclear targets, for good reason.

Lockheed was designing and building spy satellites, as well as the submarine based Polaris nuclear missile. Right next door was a large building, light blue and cube-shaped without windows or features of any kind other than a US Air Force sign on top. Armed soldiers with police dogs constantly walked the grounds. On one side, there was a collection of large satellite dishes. It was later disclosed that this was one of two centers where the US controlled their defense satellites, and downloaded intelligence.

Lockheed shared Moffett NAS with the Navy VP-31 squadron, flying P-3 Orions day and night, patrolling the waters of the west coast for USSR submarines.

Also worth noting but less strategic is NASA Ames research center, which was doing key research on human physiology and support systems in space and wind tunnel research.

There were dozens of Dept of Defense contractors in the general area including Raytheon, doing radar research and production, and Singer, doing flight simulators.

So, you see, we talked about earthquakes, but the real unexpected danger, now thankfully past, was nuclear attack.

Now, did anyone mention Frankie Johnnie & Luigi Too!? Surely so... that's the first and possibly only place I would go to eat if I ever came back to visit.

Posted by Kevin Andrews
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 16, 2016 at 11:12 pm

Carr's Pet Shop. I used to love to go in there and watch the monkeys and dream about having one of my own.

Landell's Elementary. Where I would play baseball in the parks and rec league for poor kids in the summer.

Miramonte School. No grass, just blacktop. And great memories.

Arby's on San Antonio, where I worked for a while, and was taught that a fry should break, never bend. If it bent, we threw them out. Arby's had the best fries then. No longer.

The public library on Franklin Street, where Miss Marion the Librarian and Miss Meta Antisdell were like surrogate parents to me.

Eddy's Sport Shop on Castro, where I bought my first baseball glove (Bobby Bonds model).

Taco la Paz on El Camino Real, a Taco Bell knock-off, where I also worked for a couple years. I always thought the food there was better than Taco Bell.

Village Host Pizza on Castro. I can still taste it sometimes when I smell a truly good pizza.

Posted by Lanette
a resident of Shoreline West
on Aug 10, 2016 at 2:28 pm

Does anyone remember the helicopters flying overhead (every Monday evening, if I remember correctly) spraying Malathion? We had to say indoors and make sure cars were in covered parking. I only lived in Mtn. View for a bit over a year, but that is one memory of mine. Also, does anyone remember where on ECR Matt's Club (dive bar) was? On the corner of ECR & 237??

Posted by Tim May
a resident of another community
on Oct 15, 2016 at 2:32 am

I arrived in the area in 1974, joining a little company called Intel.

We had one of our early department picnics at a a hamburger joint in an orchard, near where the old Route 237 crosses Central Expressway. (Later turned into office may be where a big CAD company is now located.)

Castro Street was mostly a wasteland. House of Yee, an old movie theater, TAP Plastics, a good Mexican place down at the train tracks end.

I did like the St. John's Infirmary, on the Moffatt Field side of the railroad tracks. Went there many times in the 1975-80 period. (After returning from two rainy years near Portland, a few times. Then it burned down.)

The Old Mill shopping center was kind of cool. Gardens and water wheels inside the mall. A good pizza place next to the movie theaters. Fond memories of seeing "Animal House" there in around 1978.

Further up El Camino was the "other" part of shopping in Mountain View, the San Antonio Shopping Center. A big Tower Records across the street, a "Best" (not the same place as Best Buy) where I bought a ton of stuff, a hobby shop, and so on. Also, Chef Chu's nearby, my first exposure to high-end Chinese food.

In around 1982-86 I was living in The Americana, a large apartment complex at Highway 85 and El Camino Real. It was an easy commute to Intel, about 8 minutes.

I developed a routine I still remember fondly. On Saturdays I'd drive up El Camino. Mountain View was starting to have some interesting stores, so sometimes I'd stop there. After the Mac was introduced in 1984 I often went to Computerware, on California Avenue in Palo Alto. A block down from Printer's Inc.

Then on to Stacey's Books on University, and another computer store several blocks away.

These all mostly faded-out by the late 1990s. The bookstores all went away, The computer stores were subsumed by Fry's (which I was going to in Sunnyvale as early as 1984), Best Buy, and later by the Apple Stores.

But as for Mountain View, it is better than ever. It is bustling, vibrant, filled with great restaurants. I was just there several days ago to meet with some friends at Shiva's, an upscale Indian place with a reasonably-priced buffet lunch ($15). And this sort of group meets weekly at the Red Rock Cafe to talk about math and programming and physics.

So, though I now live about 50 miles away, downtown MV has become a kind of Mecca for me.

Wow, who've thunk back in 1975?

--Tim May

Posted by DC
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 15, 2016 at 6:57 pm

You can see some of the past if you go up the Parking structure off Castro.
The front facade are new buildings but the roof and rear are the remains of old Victorian houses. Some old photos were also in the lock shop plus the lock shop has not altered building it is the Jehning Family Lock Museum

Posted by DeLong's sister
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 19, 2016 at 3:00 pm

Lived in Mtn View on Nilda Ave from 1957-1969.Went to Bubb for kindergarten, St Joseph's for grade school, Holy Cross fot high school. Fond memories of Palm Plaza buying candy there on days we walked to church, buying comic books once a week at store on Miramonte? Riding the old plow horse Dolly in the field next to St Joseph's, little league games at McKelvey park,helping Levy in the concession stand . Drinking suicides through red licorice as our straw. Going to Linda's for Parisian burgers and tator tots,double features at Mtn View theatre on Saturdays. Sometimes the lines were around the block. Blossom Plaza gift store called Galaxy was 2 stories and THE place to buy presents for moms . El Camino hospital was behind orchards that ran all the way down Cuesta. Payless/Albertsons was on Grant road and had great garlic bread. We could see Monte Vista drive in from our roof . Food Fair was down 3 or 4 blocks. Walking miles to the nearest 7-11 past St Francis for slurpees. So many memories. Now our old house is appraised at 1.5 million + and apparently the Mtn View I knew and loved is no more.

Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of another community
on Nov 27, 2016 at 12:06 am

St. JAMES Infirmary was the name of the dive on Moffett with Muffler Guy and Wonder Woman.
I am kind of amazed at how many people get that wrong. I didn't care much for the place, but
I can remember the name.

Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of another community
on Nov 27, 2016 at 12:24 am

Hah, when I was going to Foothill I loved just down Bonita from the Food Fair Market
at the Huntingon Apartments. What a story that was.

That Food Fair on Bonita and El Camino was a good place and I was sorry to see it
go. I was out of the area for a while and when I can back it was a Harry's Hofbrau, but
I think it may have been some other kind of supermarket in the interim.

There was the I Magnin store where the Medical Center is now at 85 & El Camino. I
liked that place and the one at Stanford.

In the shopping Center was the Oasis Laundry that started out with popcorn and treats
that you could buy, TV going on. The Indian lady who started that was a visionary, it
was a great a place to do one's laundry and occasionally meet people. Then the City
came in and told them they could not sell food or drinks.

Down the drive was a grilled chicken place called Pollo ... now I cannot remember.
There were two chains, Pollos and Pollo Locos. The one in the shopping Center at 85 and
El Camino was the best I've ever tasted, and is sadly long gone now. I think it was
Pollo Loco. It was good but expensive, but worth it. Mesquite grilled - best BBQ chicken

In the shopping center at El Camino and Escuela was Macheesmo Mouse, the clone of the
fast food place in Palo Alto on University. That place was great too.

The Togos have moved around and changed a lot, but Togos used to be really great.
Not it seems mostly prepared food, but it used to be they cut the meet and did their
own bread, and sold beers ... at least in the old Palo Alto place on Meadow.

I remember the small TV store on El Camino and I think Castro where I bought my first
color TV set for like $325. 13" screen with rabbit ears. TV was black and white till them
for me.

Handyman was over by the Oasis Laundry and had tons of hardware stuff.

Mountain View Surplus sold all the clothes I needed at the time ... old surplus blue jeans
and blue workshirts.

It's odd to wonder how everyone got along without a phone in their pockets, and there
were a lot less photos of people's lives back then. All in all I think it was a better time
and it is too bad that someone did not foresee all the changes coming and head off
some of the problems.

Gelato Classico, the best ice cream in the world in my opinion, was over by a bowling
alley on El Camino before it moved to Castro. Double Rainbow was the ice cream place
on Castro back before that.

The crowds on Castro used to be nicer and more polite and drivers used to drive better.

Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of another community
on Nov 27, 2016 at 12:30 am

Oh, have to mention since another post reminded me ....

This was back in the first days of the home computers. Back over across
from the shopping center where Walgreens is at grant and el camino,
across the street was the Commodore Computer Store.

What got me into computing was the Commodore Vic-20 8 bit 6502
Computer, and I have such fond memories of that machine. I wish I
had kept it. i sure spent a lot of money on books and cartridges for
that machine ... that cheapie simple stuff was really expensive back

It was worse than going to the Apple Store today though ... the geniuses
really had an attitude and only helped the people they wanted to. They
were really arrogant and unhelpful ... probably one of the reasons Apple
got that right and Commodore is not more.

Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of another community
on Nov 27, 2016 at 2:04 pm

Oddgothgirl ... was the ice cream place you were thinking of Coldstone Creamery by chance?

Posted by Michael
a resident of North Bayshore
on Dec 23, 2016 at 9:52 am

Lived on the east side of 101 for many years in the 1970's- rent was cheap and neighbors were weird (imagine they said the same about us). First on Pear Ave, where we raised chickens and exotic birds. We were the group the released the Peacocks and Peahens into the community when our properties were sold and converted to Industrial! The moved down Sterlin Rd toward the dump (which much later became Shoreline Park). Had a small house with no heat except the fireplace and, most likely, the last outhouse in Mt. View. It had a flush toilet, but was just a small shed built over the septic tank. Also had an acre of land. Grew a huge garden every summer. In the middle of the rows of corn was a large plot of pot, strictly for medicinal purposes of course.
There was always lots to do in the neighborhood- during summer, the owner of the little east side grocery store would have a monthly quick-draw competition in the side parking lot. The Moffett Drive In was our cheap entertainment. One person would drive a car in, and 4 or more would sneak in through the hole in the fence behind the bush on the entrance road. We would then prowl the theater for carloads of girls to party with. When one of the Hispanic neighbors would host a party, everyone was invited! Some of the best people and food ever.
We would often drive over to St James, especially on Sunday afternoons when they had drink specials. I can almost remember their "3rd Annual Going Out of Business Sale" with 25 cent shots of Jack Daniels and 10 cent draft beers. It took a long time, but we did walk home. There was also another night club on the other side of the freeway, next to Safeway- can't remember the name- that was more of a dance club.
Other notable Mt. View memories of that era: Dog City on Castro, Linda's Drive In, a favorite from the early 60's when I attended high school in Palo Alto, Susie's Diner, and next door- Art's Chili Bowl- where you could get 5 way chili while Art snoozed in his recliner in the middle of the room, and for pizza, Frankie, Johnnie and Luigi too- the only place still in business after 50 years!
This barely scratches the surface of my experiences in Mt. View- was also a mailman there for a couple of years in late 60's.

Posted by Green Bay 913
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Dec 24, 2016 at 5:30 am

Green Bay 913 is a registered user.

I'd appreciate some help.

My Mother, brothers, and I moved to Mtn. View in late 1961 after my parents divorced. We lived on Cornelia Ct., and I attended Bubb School for the 4th - 6th grades when we moved back to Green Bay, Wi.

My brother, Steve Fisher attended Graham Jr. High during this time frame.

My cousins were Sharon & Jerry Stark, and Harvey, Ed, & Jay Miller.

My memories of this time are somewhat faded by time and the fact, my Mother didn't drive, so my mobility around the area was limited to foot and my Schwinn bicycle.

I do however have two clear memories of this period.

1) Playing park league flag football in the 3rd grade and getting knocked out cold on a kick off by a "BIG" kid named Rudy.

2) A very hot classmate whom I had a secret 6th grade crush on named Sandy Allen

I'd love to hear from anyone who may remember me.

Dave Fisher

Posted by Josh
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 3, 2017 at 1:57 am

There was a music store on Castro Street where I took classical guitar lessons back in the 70s when I was 9-10 years old, and later bass guitar lessons. It was cool. Funny I can't remember the name of that music store. Oh the perils of middle age, ugh!

Posted by Online name
a resident of another community
on Feb 3, 2017 at 10:15 am

A few years back I did a few interior deconstructions on the North side of Castro close to Central Express Way. I encountered hundreds of rat carcasses. I asked the owner, who by the way, is third generation, why? He explained that this was restraunt row, and it kind of came with the territory. He also went on to explain that, in the 70's, their were quite a few brothels operating on Castro!How things have changed!

Posted by Online name
a resident of another community
on Feb 3, 2017 at 10:30 am

Here is a little fun fact.... There was a motorcycle suspension shop on Leghorn called Simon's it later morphed into Roxshox.
Web Link

Posted by Alicia
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 1, 2017 at 10:01 am

I just wonder if anyone from the 70's can remember the name of the bakery that was located on San Rafael Avenue off of Terra Bella in Mountain View. Most of my neighbors and friends like me can remember purchasing the broken cookies for a penny and that these cookies were the best ever. However, I have not found anyone who remembers the name of the company and when they closed it no one seems to know where they went or if they just went out of business. If anyone knows this information, please post the answer and thanks in advance for your help.

Posted by Nick
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 9, 2017 at 7:28 am

I use to live in San Carlos ave. In Mountain View. I remember the cookie factory well. I use to walk over to buy cookies there too. I just don't know the name of it. Hope that you find something on the internet about it? In the meantime I'll ask my family that still live in there if they know the name.

Greets. Nick from the Netherlands

Posted by Bill D
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 9, 2017 at 1:46 pm

not sure if this is correct neighborhood---There is a restaurant/bar on Old Middlefield near Rengsdorf called O'Mally's. It used to be called the Dublin Inn as I recall from 50's, 60's and later.
Can anyone tell me when it changed names and the history? I stopped there a few years ago and was told it has always been O'Malley's. I know this is incorrect. I worked just a short distance away on Middlefield towards San Antonio and Palo Alto. also went to Cubberly High school in 50s-60s.
Thanks for any reply

Posted by Max Hauser
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 10, 2017 at 12:13 pm

O'Malley's Sports Pub (under that name) isn't quite three years old according to Elena Kadavny's blog post on this website, reporting the sale, remodeling, and renaming of what for some years had been Francesca's. Web Link That page includes comments from the new owner.

I fetched that post by typing O'Malley's in the Search box (toward upper right on this page). A search for "Dublin Inn" gave just a pointer to a late-2015 comment earlier on this same recollections page, signed by one Bill242 (same Bill who just asked?), saying 'two of the "old regulars" didnt believe me when I told them I thought [O'Malley's] had been the Dublin Inn before it was Francesca's. '

By the way, the tree diagram cited in the Nov. 14, 2015 comment above, showing "the true history of early Silicon Valley," does exist in durable forms. Versions of it (the tree got bigger with time) became posters or advertisements, and I encounter copies periodically. This was the family tree of the semiconductor industry, spawned by Fairchild Semiconductor after it spun off from Shockley Semiconductor (itself located in MV on San Antonio in the 1950s, subject of historical-article link that follows) -- the industry whose rapid succession of spin-off firms, even in its first 15 years, prompted journalist Don Hoefler in 1971 to write a series of historical articles about what he dubbed "silicon valley." That remained mainly an electronics trade term for decades, although by the 1990s, general journalism was using it for the geographical area. Only after it became a mainstream cliche did the various after-the-fact suppositions and misconceptions begin, wrongly associating the term's origin to this region's far longer history of technology firms, already underway by the 1930s (long before not just the semiconductor industry, but other technology firms such as Hewlett-Packard, which some people, especially around Palo Alto, like to conflate today with "silicon valley" origins). More details in a comment posted to this local 2012 article: Web Link

Posted by Emporium
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 10, 2017 at 11:33 pm

The store located at 85 and El Camino was The Emporium, not I Magnin.

It opened in 1970 and closed in 1995. It was replaced by the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. There were 11 Emporiums from Santa Rosa to Salinas with local ones at Hillsdale, Stanford, Stevens Creek and Almaden. I Magnin was at Stanford where the Macy's Men's Store is now located. The original Emporium at Stanford was taken over by Bloomingdales. When Bloomingdales moved to their smaller store built in the mall parking lot, the old building was torn down to make more smaller independent stores since large department stores have lost their appeal.

Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of another community
on Apr 11, 2017 at 12:09 am

You are correct ... Emporium, I used to shop there all the time.

Posted by Phyllis
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on May 2, 2017 at 7:29 am

Does anyone remember the old building along the Mountain View-Alviso Road (237) that was on the corner of either Maude or Middlefield? It was a hofbrau or road stop kind of place. We'd see it on the right side of the road when we drove from Mountain View to Alviso or Milpitas. I seem to be the only one in my family that remembers it and I can't find a picture or any other information.

Posted by Reg
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on May 17, 2017 at 2:21 am

There was an old farm house circa 1900's that was at the intersection on 237, near where the Union Pacific railroad crossing used to be, called The Beer Garden. It was a German resteraunt and pub. The place was torn down when 237 was rebuilt years ago. The old building was seen on the right of the road heading towards Milpitas. I remember The Beer Garden having a very old, tall, date palm tree in the parking lot.

I also remember the huge billboard on 237,alongside the crop fields, advertising Tai Ming Lo restaurant in bold red letters. I heard that Tai Ming Lo was a really good restaurant.

Posted by Phyllis
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on May 17, 2017 at 10:32 am

Thank you, this is definitely the place I remembered along 237 (The Beer Garden) but I'd forgotten about the old date palm. I really appreciate this information!

Posted by Fascinating
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 29, 2017 at 9:09 am

This is such a fun list to read. Thanks to everyone for the contributions. It's amazing, really, how much things have changed over the years, especially the businesses that have come and gone. So many memories attached to them from those whose formative years were spent there.

I wonder what businesses we have today are worth fighting for. People reminisce, for example, about Linda's. Before it was torn down, did the community come out to stop development, like they did for the Milk Pail? Is Mountain View better or worse without it? One thing for certain, everything changes. It's easy to be nostalgic. How difficult is it envisioning what we will (or should!) look like in 30 years? My daughter and her friends hang out at the In-n-Out burger on Grant or at our local smoothie places. When those establishments are gone, they will lament the passing of their youth like the many posts above.

Posted by Cuesta Park
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 29, 2017 at 8:23 pm

Ya... Luv these comments..

The Heidelberg was the Beer garden on 237... and down the road from there was the open air Vegetable Stand... I can visualize it now just like yesterday... So many memories... and the Monte Vista Drive in.. Wow.. Now that is along time ago... So sad to see all this go away.. Perhaps one day they will some how rebuild things.. You never know.. But My fav of all was Stickney's BBQ in Paly.. Man I wish The family would bring in back.. my Family knew Red Stickney... Good times... Keep bringing the memories back !

Posted by Bill D
a resident of another community
on May 29, 2017 at 8:43 pm

Wasn't there a Card Room called SUTTERS on 237?
This was before 237 was an expressway. It was near the road into Alviso, home of the first Yacht Club in Calif. I have noticed revisionist articles that claim their "whatever" was first. This done to promote the authors or owners agenda.

Posted by Eric Comerford
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 20, 2017 at 10:04 am

Worked at A & W for school credit in 1974 and 1975 for MVHS then after graduation moved to San Jose/Los Gatos area joined US Navy and retired.Live in MS now

Posted by Roger wabbit
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 9, 2017 at 2:04 pm

Let's not forget when the Hells Angels Visited this little town
Web Link

Posted by Cuesta Park
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 9, 2017 at 3:46 pm




Posted by Mary vipham(Davis)
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 25, 2017 at 2:12 pm

Thank-you for the memories. I lived on stierlin rd near the dumps lived next to the Capote family. I grad Mtn. View High in 1965 go Eagles memories...Andy's Chinese rest.,Linda's , drive in theater, dog city, Mayfield mall, soooo long ago. My front yard is now the parking of the outdoor amp theater. Families. Gonzalez, Morgan Maxwell,Davis, Capote,Addington, Hubner, . I now live in Hanford CA. Please keep the memories alive. Thank-you 1

Posted by Eric Comerford
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 5, 2017 at 9:12 am

Graduated from MVHS in 1975 while working at A&W riding my 125 Honda yep it is Eric

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