Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Corn Palace, not South Dakota, the one in Silicon Valley

The buildings are getting closer to our favorite Valley of Heart’s Delight Produce Stand.  Sunnyvale’s Corn Palace may soon disappear.  I stopped by to take pictures.  

The Corn Palace, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara CA
 Of course, it is not like the famous Corn Palace in South Dakota, it is a symbol of yesteryear dating back to 1926 – and as they say, if the walls could talk, oh, what stories they would tell.

“The one good thing about the Silicon Valley parking lot commute mornings and evenings on Lawrence Expressway is this small open-air structure with fresh produce in front of a backdrop of acres of corn,”  Daniel Hindin writes in Sunnyvale’s Sun news article, Way We Were – Corn Palace in 2000.

Joe and Ben Francia co-owned this 20-acre farm along with farm land in Mountain View and in the Salinas Valley.  At 80 years in the year 2000, the Francia Brothers recall the history and growth of our area in this article. Even with many offers on this golden piece of real estate in Silicon Valley, neither one considered giving up life as they knew it. It was in 2005 – 2007 when one of the brothers passed away that a family decision overrode the other brother to keep their wishes and not let go.  And,  it appears there were ill feelings about this.  

The new residential buildings get closer

Progress ... in Silicon Valley
 I pulled this history together from three sources - talking with an older gentleman at the Corn Palace (he recently got out of the hospital after a long illness) and very happy to return to work at his beloved Palace, from the 2000 Sun article, and a Corn Palace blog post written in 2007

The gentleman told his story of this history word for word (before I read the article) as if it just happened. 

I also found this short video taken in the actual fields behind the building with excellent commentary of this area. 

Corn Palace Video is below.

What is your favorite story of yesteryear? 

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Let's salute The Corn Palace –Sunnyvale, CA.  One of  our last acres of agriculture in Silicon Valley ~ The Fun Tour Guru


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  1. We worked the fields with our dad in all the surrounding cities picking everything from green beans, peas, carrots, cherries, apricots, prunes, walnuts. We were as young as 5-6 years old. I remember the corn palace even as i lived in santa clara i never went anywhere else for corn, jalapenos, or the delicious tomatoes. I knew both brothers and was sad to hear one passed away then few years later Ben passing. But i continued going and would talk to Ben's son Gabe. Very friendly. I moved from the city i loved since our family lived in santa clara in the 1940's. I was raised here with brothers n sisters. I raised my children n now they raise my grandchildren n great grandchildren.he I'm retired an moved because of the high rent. Since moving i am still sad an cry for the place i left because of the high rent. I really don't know if the Corn Palace is still open or if it finally closed. I sure would like to know.

  2. Thank you for your comment and information. Yes the stand is still standing. 2017 with a small field around it.


Thank you with your interest!