In the early part of this century, the Bayside Cannery was the third largest cannery in the world - next to Del Monte and Libby. Prior to 1906 it was called the Precita Canning Company. After the earthquake of that year, Thomas Foon Chen took over the business from his father and renamed it Bayside Cannery.
Up to that time, it canned only tomatoes. Chew implemented techniques to effectively can asparagus while keeping it fresh and tender. He became known as the Asparagus King. The death of Chew in 1931, combined with the depression, effectively ended the enterprise. In 1936 the cannery closed for good.
The abandoned cannery building is one of the landmarks of Alviso and is covered by a wonderful mural painted in 1981 depicting the history of Alviso.
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