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San José City Landmarks

San Jose City Landmark
George and Mary Friend House
City Landmark #
777 E. William St.
Architectural Style:
Dutch Colonial Revival
Wolfe & Higgins

A two-story residence with original garage at 777 East William Street in the Naglee Park Conservation Area of San José. This Dutch Colonial Revival house exhibits such character-defining features as a side-gambrel roof with a wide shed dormer rising from the lower slope, and an accentuated front entrance porch supported by two sets of columns under an open pediment, creating a distinctive representation of early twentieth-century residential period Revival design.

George Cox Friend (1866-1953) was born and raised in Chesterfield County, Virginia, son of Dr. George William Friend and Lelia Aiken Friend, at age nineteen, he left home to roam the country, moving first to Texas, then to Los Angeles, where he struggled to support himself by washing windows and shining shoes in a Los Angeles hotel, then to the Sacramento Valley, where he worked the harvests. In 1890, attracted by the discovery of gold in Alaska, he and a couple of other young men went north, where Friend made his way to the Iditarod mining district deep in the interior and became a prospector. Friend worked the mines for thirteen years before striking it rich.

George Friend and Mary Pender married in 1919, ages fifty-two and forty-two respectively. Mary and her children moved into his house on South Seventeenth Street and he took over the management of her Meridian Avenue prune orchard.

–Excerpt from 2022 DPR form, Krista Van Laan, author

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