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Guide to the Fred W. Crandall Photographs, circa 1883-1911Part of the Edith C. Smith Photograph Collection
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Indexing Terms
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement of the Fred W. Crandall Photographs

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Fred W. Crandall Photographs
    Date (inclusive): circa 1883-1911
    Collection Number: ECS01.04
    Creator: Fred W. Crandall Family
    Extent: Items: 29 photographs Selected online items available
    Repository: Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History, San José State University
    San José, California
    Abstract: The Fred W. Crandall Photographs collection consists of twenty-nine images that chronicle approximately thirty years of Northern California agricultural history, from approximately 1883 to 1911. It includes photos of the Fred W. Crandall and William T. Rice Fruit Drying establishment in Los Gatos and the Sorosis Fruit farm in Saratoga, as well as several photographs depicting turn-of-the-century life in Los Gatos.
    Language: English
    Selected digitized images from this collection.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Acquisition Information

    The Fred W. Crandall Photographs were donated to the Sourisseau Academy by the Edith Corinne Smith Trust in 2006.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Sourisseau Academy. Neither the original photographs nor the digital images held by the Sourisseau Academy may be reproduced, published, or used on the Internet without the expressed, written permission of the Executive Secretary. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Sourisseau Academy as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher. The credit line, "Courtesy of the Edith C. Smith Trust Collection, Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History" must accompany any such use.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Fred W. Crandall Photographs, Edith C. Smith Photograph Collection, Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History, San Jose State University, San Jose, California.

    Biographical Note

    Fred Warren Crandall was born to George Washington Crandall and Emily (Chaffee) Crandall on July 28, 1858 in Herrick, Pennsylvania. One of five children, Fred was raised a farmer’s son; however, from an early age, he aspired to join the clergy, and in the mid-1870s traveled to Irvington, California to study theology. Unfortunately, the misfortune of ill health forced him to reconsider his theological aspirations. After spending a brief time as an educator in Nebraska and Missouri from 1878 to 1883, Crandall moved to California to pursue a vocation in the ranching business.
    Fred Crandall entered into an agricultural, fruit-drying business partnership with William T. Rice in the mid-1880s. Over thirty years Crandall’s senior, W.T. Rice shared his partner’s farming background. Born in 1821, Rice owned nearly 600 acres of farmland in his native state of Tennessee before selling it in 1875. That same year, Rice moved with his wife to Saratoga, California, where he purchased a farm of 190 acres. Rice eventually sold much of the acreage and settled with a smaller farm consisting of thirty acres of prune and pear orchards.
    Located at University and Cypress Avenues in Los Gatos, the Crandall & Rice fruit-drying business was in close proximity to local fruit farms such as the F.H. Hume Ranch and the A.P. Chrisman orchards. An 1880s print advertisement describes the business as a “Big Orchard Drying Establishment, Dealers in Green and Dried Fruits, and Contractors for Drying,” and lists Crandall & Rice as the proprietors. The Crandall & Rice establishment included a fruit dryer, a drying yard, a packing house, employed approximately twenty-five employees, and produced twenty-five tons of dried prunes per day.
    Around 1890, Fred Crandall married Nebraska native Josephine West, and the couple had two sons, Thomas Eugene Crandall in 1890 and Harold Fred Crandall in 1893. Three years later, Crandall became manager of the Sorosis Fruit Farm, located in Saratoga, where he worked for over ten years. From 1896 to 1906, the Crandall family lived in the farm’s stately main residence, built in 1881 by wealthy mine owner William Farrington. During the heyday of Santa Clara County’s prune growing industry in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the Sorosis Fruit Farm was recognized as a farm and business par excellence. Comprised of nearly 250 acres, much of which was devoted to prune orchards, the Sorosis Fruit Farm was well-known for the production and processing of the petite prune, a fruit popular across the United States and Europe.
    During Crandall’s time as manager, the Sorosis Fruit Farm was highly regarded for the decent working conditions and generous wages the business provided its employees. In addition, the farm became a place of social interaction and fellowship: tours of the farm were given and banquets were held on a regular basis for visiting professional organizations; and, under Crandall’s direction, the second level of the Sorosis fruit evaporator was converted into a community hall which was used by local residents as a gathering space. After a successful tenure as manager, Fred Crandall resigned from the Sorosis Fruit Farm in 1907, with the intention of going into business for himself.
    By 1930, the Crandall family made their home in Santa Cruz. Fred W. Crandall died September 4, 1941, and Josephine passed away December 3, 1952, both in Santa Cruz County.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms may be used to index this collection.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Crandall, Fred W., 1858-1941
    Farrington, William
    Fruit -- Drying
    Fruit growers
    Fruit trade
    Prune -- History
    Ranch houses
    Rice, William T., 1821-1900

    Scope and Content

    The Fred W. Crandall Photographs consist of twenty-nine images, grouped by subject matter, and chronicle approximately thirty years of Northern California agricultural history, circa 1883-1911. The photographs include such images as: Fred W. Crandall and William T. Rice’s Fruit Drying Establishment located in Los Gatos, the Sorosis Fruit Farm located in Saratoga, G.S. Rawling’s farm located in Santa Clara County, and several photographs depicting turn-of-the-century life in the town of Los Gatos, particularly those related to agriculture, commerce, and politics.
    Although the creator of the majority of the photographs is unknown, some images are identified as the product of the Pacific Coast Photo and View Company of Los Gatos, and Andrew P. Hill of San Jose. In addition, many of the photographs include handwritten or typed captions describing the people, places and events captured therein.

    Arrangement of the Fred W. Crandall Photographs

    This collection is arranged by photograph number and photograph subject.