The Last of the Prune Pickers: A Pre-Silicon Valley Story
Reviews, Letters, and Comments from people who have read the book
"Tim Stanley, author of The Last of the Prune Pickers, has written a comprehensive history of the agricultural past of the Valley, from the Indian to mid-20th century. The book is extensively researched and full of photos." Los Gatos Weekly Times
"The Last of the Prune Pickersis an excellent and enjoyable historic account of Santa Clara Valley from the Olhone's management of their lands, through the wheat farmers of the late 19th century, to the last of the commercial orchards." The Tall Tree Newsletter of the Palo Alto Historical Association, October, 2012.
[The Last of the Prune Pickers] is listed as one of the best new books of 2010/2011 by the Santa Clara City Library Heritage Pavilion.
“No book has covered it better! Goes way back with accurate information, hundreds of references and explanations, pictures, maps, etc. The detail is astounding. You will learn much and enjoy it even more. I am a native San Jose resident and lived across the street from a prune orchard until it was developed. Should be a required reading for San Jose students.” Brenda, (Review on Amazon)
"Absolutely a great documentation of ‘how it was’ back then.” Bob, (Review on Amazon)
“…Great book on the history of the area, and we forgive [the author] for not being as Campbell-centric as we are… We highly recommend this book!" D & D Campbell Patch
“Before the Santa Clara Valley was known for high technology, it was filled with fruit and nut orchards, especially prunes. The Last of the Prune Pickersby Tim Stanley harks back to those farm days, to the valley's roots. He tells the story of the family farm where he worked during summers when he was a teenager.” California Country Magazine
Listed below are excerpts from some of the many letters we have received from readers of The Last of the Prune Pickers. Virtually all of the letters begin with a “thank you” for writing the book.
“I couldn’t put it down…Thank you so much for writing this wonderful book. I tried to tell my grandchildren, but now I have your special book to show them.” Margie
“I have really enjoyed your writing style and the way you placed the content…a very enjoyable read for anyone….I have enjoyed the book so much I am going to order copies for all our board members!” Bill
“I wanted to thank you for writing [The Last of the Prune Pickers]. I came to the US and the Valley almost 17 years ago and I always wanted to know more about the "before". Your book transported me to that time, but also to my childhood and to the great stories my grandmother would tell me. Thank you.” Fabienne
“A wonderful story and so well-researched… You captured those memories so eloquently.” A.S.
“Your detailed Appendices, bibliography, and notes provide much useful information not always found in books about local history—nicely done!" Mary Morganti, California Historical Society
“Your book brought back so many memories and was a joy to read. I also appreciated the early history of the Valley, some of which I was aware but much that I hadn’t ever heard. Thank you for the writing and research that went into the book and thank you for the neat and funny anecdotes you added, I laughed my way through the chapter about the trailer.” Lillie
“Although Mr. Pitman [the farmer who is the main character in Part II of the book] would never have sought the attention your book has given him, he would no doubt have been thankful that he was able to be a good influence on the kids he hired. Thank you for giving honor to whom honor is due. I’ll be recommending your book…” Peter
“What a skilled presentation of Santa Clara Valley history and such a loving tribute to Mr. Pitman. That combination of overall agricultural history followed by focus on an individual farmer was a most effective way to tell the tale.” W.J.
“…I found [The Last of the Prune Pickers] very entertaining and informative.” Richard
“[The Last of the Prune Pickers] is great. What an excellent addition to our knowledge of the Santa Clara Valley.” Russ
“I read with such delight your book, The Last of the Prune Pickers.” Gail
“I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Last of the Prune Pickers.” E. K.
“…What a beautiful place to grow up in. Thank you for writing this book.” Philip
“…We have really enjoyed your very informative book.” L & F
“…a great read.” Lily
“…Such great memories.” Carolyn
“…you did a class act. I can’t thank you enough.” Michael