Arbuckle Gallery at the Pacific Hotel

Valley Memories: Curiosities & Treasures from History San José’s Collection

Opening August 12, 2022

History San José manages one of the largest collections of regional history artifacts in California, preserving the Santa Clara Valley’s collective memory. Originated in 1949 as a temporary exhibition inside a replica State House building in downtown San Jose, the City’s historic collection has grown over the decades thanks to its original curator, Clyde Arbuckle, and the thousands of Valley residents and businesses who have donated to the San Jose Historical Museum and History San Jose. The collection now represents not only the Valley’s innovative spirit – from Native American baskets and tools, to agricultural equipment, to locally-pioneered pre-silicon chip technologies – but also the everyday lives and interests of its citizens.

As History San José approaches the museum’s 75th anniversary in 2024, we are taking this opportunity to highlight the breadth of the collection, and engage visitors to History Park with a selection of the familiar – and not-so-familiar – artifacts usually kept behind locked doors in our warehouse. From vintage motorcycles, radios and cameras, to games, sports jerseys, fashion and food products, there will be something to interest everyone – and hopefully spark a memory…or two!

Exhibit Sponsor

We would like to thank our exhibit sponsor:

Robert Bettencourt

About Clyde Arbuckle

Clyde Arbuckle was instrumental in preserving San José’s history by collecting historic materials, and founding the San José Historical Museum, which later became History San José. Find out more about Arbuckle’s contributions to local history and his legacy at History San José.

About the Pacific Hotel

The Pacific Hotel was originally located at 74-80 South Market Street in downtown San José, near the Plaza de César Chavez. The first hotel at this location was founded in 1860, but the Pacific Hotel itself was not opened until 1880. Charles Schiele, a Prussian immigrant and former waiter, purchased the property, then known as Otter’s Hotel, and was the first owner of the Pacific Hotel. Schiele remained in charge for seven years, until he sold the hotel to Julius Neifing and Jacob Schlenker and was elected to the San José City Council. Schlenker owned the hotel with different business partners until 1903, when he sold it to George Pfeffer. The Pacific Hotel remained in business until July 1907, when the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company bought the building. Read more.