The Mercury News is one of California’s oldest continuously published daily newspaper, as well as Santa Clara County’s oldest operating commercial business, beginning its life as the San Jose Weekly Visitor in 1851. When State lawmakers abandoned San Jose for Vallejo as California’s capital in 1851, its two pioneer papers in San Jose — the Argus and the State Journal — went broke. Led by John C. Emerson, three businessmen bought their equipment and opened the San Jose Weekly Visitor. Ten years later, it became the Mercury, named for the nearby New Almaden mercury mines, and the messenger of Roman mythology.
After several locations in downtown San Jose, the paper moved in 1967 to 750 Ridder Park Drive, just off the Nimitz Freeway (I-880), where it remained until the paper’s owner sold the property to Super Micro Computer, Inc. The 300 editorial, advertising and administration employees have once again returned to downtown, while the printing and production of 10 daily newspapers are now mostly done in Concord and Hayward.
This website, sponsored by Super Micro Computer, Inc., and created by History San José using artifacts and archival material from its collection, as well as interviews from the Mercury News, documents the 312,000-square foot production facility at Ridder Park Drive, and the paper’s history, as well as those reporters and production workers who saw the paper transition from printing presses to digital content.