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January 9, 2008 > Victoria Christian: Forever Sunolian

Victoria Christian: Forever Sunolian

By Anuja Seith

Sunol, a small town that stands sheltered amidst the bustling Bay Area was founded by Antonio Maria Sunol and Maria Bernal Sunol. The two gained ownership of the 14,000 acres of Rancho El Valle de San Jose in the 1800s, where one of their sons, also named Antonio Maria Sunol, built a complex of ranching support buildings near the present-day Sunol Water Temple. During this time, trains came through Sunol and Niles Canyon as the easiest way enter and leave San Jose, making it a hot tourist destination.

As this town continues to grow, Victoria Christian gives us a tour of her home town through her new book "Sunol." A part of the Images of America series by Arcadia Publishing, the book takes readers around her town. Christian shares a deep connection with this town where her daughter is the third generation to go to Sunol Glen School. Victoria was a student at Sunol Glen School like her mother who came to Sunol at an age of one in 1939 when her grandparents moved to Sunol Valley. Her parents married at the Little Brown Church and purchased their first home on Kilkare road.

Christian infuses her childhood memories into the book that captures the essence and heritage of this small town. "I have a sense of family closeness with Sunol so my book has a little more personal touch as it gives more personal information about the people in it," said Christian. Most of her research comes from conversations with long time Sunolians, their anecdotes and journals written about their families and lives. She also spent long hours researching in Amador-Livermore Valley Historical Society's Museum, the Fremont Museum of Local History, and Mission San Jose and Santa Clara Library while visiting East Bay Regional Park's Coyote Hills and Sunol Regional and San Francisco's Watershed Department to tie all threads of history together.

Writing this book has been a wonderful and exhilarating and a learning experience for Christian. The chance to relive moments of past first appeared in her inbox when Arcadia Publishing offered her the opportunity to write this book. Her passion for writing is reflected in this pictorial history that allows readers a glance into life of pioneering families, railroads, downtown, Kilkare road and other pivotal characteristics that form heart of this town.

The book is available for $19.95 at bookstores and on the Internet through the publisher at

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