Local, alternative perspective. Insightful stories for the Santa Clara Valley.

The Founding of the City of San Jose, Celebrating 240 Years at the Peralta Adobe & Fallon House


At the Peralta Adobe on Saturday, 19th November, the city of San Jose celebrated 240 years since the founding of El Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe.  Considered the city’s birthday, the official date is technically on November 29, 1777.

The event was hosted by History San Jose; the National Park Service (Juan Bautista De Anza Trail); San Pedro Square Market; and the city’s Councilmember Donald Rocha, and Mayor Sam Liccardo.

Visitors were invited to explore the inside of the historic Luis Maria Peralta Adobe (built before the year 1800) and to enjoy a variety of hands-on activities.  Dining was, of course, available from the adjacent vendors in the San Pedro Square Market.  Across the street, a tour of the historic Fallon House was available.

The Fallon House is an Italianate style home of the city’s early mayor that was fully restored and lavishly furnished.  Epoch decor that’s typical of the era can be found inside, although they are not originals of the homeowners.

The modern city is named after Saint Joseph of Guadalupe and was founded by José Joaquin Moraga as the first pueblo (town) in what was then upper Las Californias, the colonial northwestern-most area of New Spain (a viceroyalty).  Moraga completed the work set out by Juan Bautista de Anza, an explorer of New Spain, as well as the Governor of Nuevo México (Spanish New Mexico).

San Jose was originally home to the Ohlone Native Americans, but then became the first town in Las Californias that was not a mission or presidio (military post). The town was founded by a small band of settlers, led by De Anza, as a farming community.  They were to provide food for the nearby presidios of San Francisco (north) and Monterey (south).  Nearby Mission Santa Clara, just three miles away, was also founded just prior that year, January 12, 1777, as the eighth mission established by Father Junípero Serra


The Luis Maria Peralta Adobe was built before 1800, and remodeled in the mid 19th century. The original builder was probably Manuel Gonzalez, an Apache Indian. The adobe covers an area of 20 feet by 41 feet, and has two connecting rooms of approximately equal size. The walls are about two feet thick and made of adobe blocks that are 22″ by 11″ by 4.” This building was built around the Market Plaza of early San Jose. At the time it was built, this adobe was not unique, but now it is the last vestige of the Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe. [Excerted from the National Park Service.]

The Peralta Adobe is located at 184 West Saint John St., San Jose.
History San Jose administers the Peralta Adobe and The Fallon House located on the north side of West Saint John St.  The adobe and the Fallon House are open periodically for tours.  Contact History San Jose for schedules.

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