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September 22, 2023

Biography covers Gilroy’s namesake

Much of the life of Gilroy’s namesake is unknown to many people, said Phill Laursen of the Gilroy Historical Society. As the city’s sesquicentennial wraps up, Gilroyans now have the chance to learn more about John Gilroy and how he arrived in Rancho San Ysidro,...

Immigrants play big part in Gilroy history

For nearly a century, the two blocks of Monterey Street south of 7th Street in Gilroy were home to two thriving groups of immigrant business owners—first Chinese and then Mexicans. It was a vibrant part of the small city where racial segregation forced a concentration...

Holsclaw Road: From Gold Rush to the Civil War

Three brothers left their 11 siblings and parents at a northwest Missouri homestead in 1849 to head west to California, in search of gold. They would eventually settle in a place called Gilroy. There is no record of how they got to the Golden State,...

John Gilroy: Cattle, soap, wheat and tobacco

In 1833, John Gilroy described himself as a soap maker and millwright. In 1842, there were  several references to the flourmill of William Mathews “at Gilroy’s.” By 1845, the era of Spanish and Mexican colonization was coming to an end in the region. The...

The Santa Clara Valley

By:  Gilroy Advocate, October 1868 It is not our purpose at present to say much in regard to the claims of the valley of Santa Clara, over other parts of California for a permanent settlement. It is well known, however, conceded by all who have...

Early settlers mired in decade-long lawsuit

Nine years after Gilroy was incorporated as a city, most of its landowners didn’t know the exact boundaries of their properties. But when the so-called “Cattle King” Henry Miller came into town and began purchasing property in the 26,000-acre Las Animas Rancho, where Gilroy was...