Neighbors from the Past
Samual F. Ayer
Not technically a Vendome resident, Samual P. Ayer was a significant political player of the early days of San Jose. As a county supervisor, he championed the building of the roads to the Lick Observatory, which became a featured recreation of the Hotel Vendome guests.
An early mayor of San Jose, Belden's estate of 11-12 acres became the site for the Vendome Hotel. As with Peter Burnett, a Historic Marker recognizing Belden and his residence can also be found on North First Street. The hotel was demolished in April, 1930 and the subdivision of the property became the lots for the homes located today on Ayer Avenue, Rankin Street and Losse Court. The Belden mansion constructed in 1855 was a two-story, 10-room home with a piazza on all four sides.
The First American Civil Governor of California (1849) was a Vendome Neighborhood resident. Burnett was a developer who expected Alviso to become a significant seaport. In anticipation of the Alviso boom, Burnett constructed an imposing two-story home in Alviso in December 1850; when the Alviso bubble popped, Governor Burnett had his house disassembled and rebuilt on North First Street close to Ryland Park. A Historic Marker recognizing Burnett and his residence can be found on First Street.
Not a Governor or a Mayor, George Hobson was a pioneer from the east and brick mason. He established San Jose's first dairy in 1850. He purchased property north of the Belden Estate in 1855. On it he planted an orchard and vineyard. Later in the 1800's the property was subdivided and two streets in his namesake were created, George and Hobson.
A successful San Jose banker and financier, Ryland's heirs donated the property for Ryland Park. The unique wading pool in the park was financed by the San Jose Rotary.
This elegant elementary school was located on the north side of Hobson Street where the Jefferson Condominiums are now located.
The Keystone Coffee Company
The Keystone Company, a general food distributor, came into being in 1905 at 251 North Market Street and moved to 57 Bassett Street in 1949, by this time re-born as the Keystone Coffee Company. On one end of the building was a large neon sign with a coffee cup and the words, "Oh Boy! Keystone Coffee." The company closed in 1989.