Bio-Pen Pictures

            George M. Bowman, vice-president of the Garden City National Bank of San Jose, is also superintendent and secretary of the Golden Gate Packing Company, and has had charge of the extensive business of this company in his present capacity for eleven years, during which time it has grown to be one of the largest fruit-packing establishments on the Pacific Coast.  The company was incorporated in 1877, some of the members composing it have started the fruit-canning business in a small way on the site of the present works, Third and Fourth Streets, between Julian and Hensley Avenue, two years previously.  The company increased the facility for the business by erecting new buildings and other improvements the first year after its incorporation.  In 1881 the entire plant was destroyed by fire.  New and larger buildings immediately succeeded the old ones, which were fitted up with the best and most approved machinery, constituting a plant worth $50,000.  They manufacture most of the cans used, and their pack, which averages one million, nine hundred and twenty-five thousand cans, includes vegetables and all the varieties of fruits grown in the Santa Clara Valley.  During the busy season, from four hundred to four hundred and fifty hands are employed.  The constant aim of the management has been to attain the highest standard of excellence for their goods, and the “Golden Gate” brand is recognized by dealers and consumers, wherever introduced, as having no superior.  The principal market for their product is  the New England States, though their goods are shipped to all parts of the United States, and to Canada, England, India, and Australia.  Their fruits are carefully selected, put up in heavy syrup made from the best white sugar, and are held in such high esteem that they have had an extensive sale in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia.  Messrs. Cross & Blackwell, of London, England (the celebrated pickle firm), proposed to become the sole agents for Great Britain for the “Golden Gate” apricots, and to handle no others.  Mr. Bowman, to whose careful and able management the present enviable reputation and success of this company is largely due, is a native of Iowa, born in Dubuque forty-four years ago; was educated at Cornell College, Mount Vernon, Iowa, and came to California in 1866.  Previous to engaging in the canning business he was employed ten years by the Wells, Fargo Express Company.  He married Miss A. C. Coldren, at Boone, Iowa, in 1866, who was educated at the same institution as himself.  The family consists of two sons and one daughter, and their home is one of the handsomest in the Garden City.

Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago:  The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.
Pg. 175-176

Transcribed by Kathy Sedler


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight