San Jose’s principal newspaper is the MERCURY NEWS. I always thought that the paper’s name was chosen on account of Mercury’s fabled speed and the journalistic imperative to be the first with the latest. So much for assumptions. Before San Jose was celebrated as the urban center of Silicon Valley, and even before it was known as the fruitful hub of the agricultural Valley of Heart’s Delight, San Jose was famous for its supply of the metal mercury. That turned out to be very important to the city, the state and the world. As you’ll see in the video, without mercury the Gold Rush may never have occurred. The mercury was derived from rocks within the present-day Almaden Quicksilver County Park, a swift getaway from the modern metropolis. Park staff and docents tell the little-known story of the symbiotic relationship between mercury and gold very well. The Park provides a fascinating glimpse into San Jose’s mining history. The Park’s hills are alive with history, and the beauty of nature is slowly retrieving the landscape from its nearly forgotten industrial past.