Jim Arbuckle and Leonard McKay were instrumental in the
development of Pellier Park - one third of an acre located at
Terraine and St. James.
Louis Pellier is the father of the prune industry.
The park was dedicated on San Jose's 200th birthday -- Nov. 29,
Fallon Statue has arrived.
Not a blade of grass grows in Pellier Park. A few barren prune
trees preside over some faded plaques and abandoned shovels.
A heavy rusted iron gate prevents anyone from entering It is
as remote and barren a spot as you will find in the downtown
San Jose area.
I spoke to Jill Cody of San Jose Beautiful who was involved
in an early effort to revitalize and replant the park. Apparently
a contractor was lined up and set to go when the 1989 draught
prompted the city to cancel any and all planting. Then, year
after year rolled by with no funds earmarked from the vast money
bin of the RDA. Another genuine San Jose historical figure forgotten.
Meanwhile, grotesque cylinders of ice-skaters are erected adjacent
to the arena.
A sign next to the gate reads:
"Site of "City Gardens"
Nursery of Louis Pellier"
"Pellier, native of France, and founder of California's
prune industry, came to California in 1849. In October 1850,
he established a nursery called "City Gardens" on this
site. Here, aided by his brothers Pierre and Jean, he introduced
the French Prune, "La Petite D'Agen," during the
winter of 1856-57."
A San Jose historical resource rotting in the sun.
The information below is from Signposts by Patricia
"He was a happy man until late in life when he
married a French woman who was to cause him nothing but grief.
One writer has noted "the only thing Louis and his wife
had in common was their nationality.""
"Not only did she make his life unbearable from the day
they married in 1860 until she returned to France in 1867, she
reportedly tried to poison him."
"After Madame Pellier left, Louis, his health broken, discouraged
over ridicule growers were heaping on his beloved little prune,
beset with financial worries, began selling off pieces of his
nursery. There were no more picnics in the City Gardens and the
children came no more."
"Suffering a nervous breakdown, he died of a broken heart
in the state hospital in Stockton on June 13, 1872."
Guess he should have read Men are from Mars, Women are
from France to find out how he was not being sensitive to
his wife's needs.