Photograph by Eric Carlson

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, 1977.

Update 2002--The 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 Loomis.

 "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."
Patricia Loomis

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.