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1 The Cats 9
2 The Mill, the Creek, and the Crops 15
3 The Landmarks 27
4 Religion, Education, and Health 37
5 Downtown 59
6 Town Life 77
7 The Mountain Communities 93
8 Transportation and Tourism 101
9 The Views 119
About the Organization 127
Posted May 2, 2009
This is a fascinating addition to the record of our town's history. Instead of Clarence Hamsher's carefully-preserved photographs of the town used to illustrate the first book of Los Gatos history, author Stephanie Matthews organizes and presents photographs from the Library and Museum History Project. The result is a fresh look at the original 1908 high school, the fire station (now the town's art museum), Bus Benson's Live Oak Inn (now Double D's), Effie Walton's Little Village shops, and every other aspect of Our Town.
As the author of one of several books about the history Los Gatos, California, I can heartily recommend this book for its accuracy and insight. Others will find it a fascinating record of a small town through the years. Matthews mostly lets the postcards tell the story--every page has photographs--and her captions inform without editorializing, but she slips in a few poignant insights, such as a novice priest's postcard to his family, featuring a view of the Sacred Heart Novitiate. The captions include stories, such as a 1935 gas explosion at the high school, that I had not heard before.
Full disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher, but I would not hesitate to point out any flaws. I found no quibbles, and in a town full of amateur historians, that's just amazing.
This book is a must-have for Los Gatans, but it will engage anyone interested in 20th-century local history.