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Thursday, December 16, 2010


By 1922, when the magazine Canning Age published its story on Sylmar, California, the San Fernando Valley had the largest olive grove in America.  Under the brand of San Fernando Valley Olives, Cristo Fusano sold his highly superior olives and olive oils across the world.

You can read some of the story of Cristo Fusano at:

When Mark Davis and I talked about these cans of olives that he donated to The Museum's archives, we recalled how along San Fernando Road in San Fernando and in Pacoima, there were for years stands selling California oranges, walnuts and olives. I remember my parents on Sunday automobile drives would stop in Sylmar to bring home lemons and olive oil. 
In the year 1867, a New York newspaper reporter arrived at the Mission San Fernando, in what is now called Mission Hills. He was accompanied by two highly ambitious political men, George Stoneman and Jefferson "C" Davis.  Davis, not to be confused with the president of the Confederate States, had been a Union general during the Civil War only two years earlier. The New York Times reporter wrote:
"We sat long, one delicious evening in December, under the olive trees at tat place, smoking cigarettes rolled by Stoneman, chatting about the war, and getting slightly boozed upon aguardiente furnished by General Andres Pico..."

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