Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Luck Museum and Jim Jack's Cabin

The Luck Museum, more formally known as the San Juan Bautista Historical Society Luck Museum, stands at the corner of Monterey and Third Streets in San Juan Bautista. The museum is open by appointment. Check out the San Juan Bautista Historical Society website for contact information.

The museum was originally a gas station owned by Carl Martin Luck. The building and the grounds, which is today the Carl Martin Luck Memorial Park was donated to San Juan Bautista by Franchesca Luck, his daughter, in 1974. The historical society plans to restore the building to its original 1930s design.

For more about the museum, check out this article recently published in the Mission Village Voice.

During the late 19th Century, a Chinese man named Jim Jack lived in the one-room cabin that stands behind the Luck Museum.  Its original location was on Mission Vineyard. Jim Jack was known as The Mustard King for his work of clearing wild mustard from the grain fields in San Juan Valley and selling the mustard seeds to French mustard manufacturers for big money.

According to the stories I've read, Jim Jack was a generous man who bought flour, potatoes, and other provisions to give away to people in need in San Juan Bautista. He also bought many bags of candy that he gave to children.

To learn more about the man, check out this article by Martin Cheek in The Gilroy Dispatch, as well as the story on page 2 in the September 2011 San Juan Bautista Historical newsletter.

Jim Jack's Cabin in the Carl Martin Luck Memorial Park.


  1. Come visit us during our OPEN HOUSE on SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10, from about 10-2 (exact time to be determined). Ken Halla's video presentation this year will feature the highlights of the Historical Society's 50 years of service and will be moderated by Georgana Gularte, who has been with the organization during its entirety. Thanks for the write-up, Su-Sieee!

  2. By the way, read more about the history of the Luck Museum in the August issue of the Mission Village Voice:


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