J. P Munro-Fraser.

History of Solano County...and histories of its cities, towns...etc. .. online

. (page 26 of 57)
Online LibraryJ. P Munro-FraserHistory of Solano County...and histories of its cities, towns...etc. .. → online text (page 26 of 57)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

responds with Wells, Fargo & Co., of New York and San Francisco.

Pioneer Brewery, Messrs. Smith, Lessees — Is situated on the northeast
corner of Marin and Carolina streets, and was established in 1862 under the
name of the Vallejo Brewery, by Edward McGettigan, his partners being
A. Murray and J. McGarvey. Under the exigencies of trade the building
was brought to the hammer in 1865, when it was bought by Mr. McGet-
tigan who rebuilt and put nuw machinery into it and changed its appella-
tion to the Pioneer Brewery, which it now bears. As a brewing establish-
ment it ranks second to none in the State.

The main building occupies an area of 60x80 feet, and is one story high,
with a basement, in the latter of which is the Malt floor and fermenting
tubs, the up-stairs being devoted to the malt kiln, malt mill, hop and sample-
rooms, while there is in use a patent refrigerator, one of three on the coast.
In connection with the brewery there are the usual out-houses of stables,
sheds, and other buildings, all of which are in excellent condition. The
beer made by the establishment is a strong and healthful beverage, for
which a large sale is found in Napa, Calistoga and the other interior towns,
while the home consumption is quite an item, the demand being always on
the increase.


Empire Soda Works. — O'Grady & Co., proprietors, is a two-storied frame
building, standing on the corner of Sonoma and Florida streets, covering an
area of 30x40 feet. The first floor is divided into two parts, one being occu-
pied as a saloon, run in connection with the business ; while, in the other,
stands a soda machine, by Smith, of San Francisco, with a capacity of
twenty-five gallons, and capable of manufacturing five hundred bottles of
soda water per diem. The reservoir connects with a patent bottling and
corking machine, made by John Matthews, of New York. There is also a
patent bottle-washer on the premises. The former machine is the only one
in the district, a royalty of $75 per month being paid on it ; while a charge
of about $398 had to be met before the use of it was permitted in the
county. In the winter months the consumption of soda is necessarily
smaller than in summer ; but seventy-five dozen per diem may be taken as
the average out-turn. All kinds of effervescing liquors, such as cider, por-
ter, gingerale, and lemonade, are bottled on the works ; while they have a
good business both in town and country, with every prospect of its exten-
sion to the adjacent counties. The present premises have only been occupied
since 1866, the original works having been erected fourteen years ago, by E.
McGettigan, on the corner of Sonoma and Carolina streets, who has now
sold out of the business.

The Vallejo Foundry and Machine Works — Is the first establishment
of its kind started in Vallejo. It stands, according to the new survey, at
the south-east corner of Block No. 791. This building is situated in South
Vallejo, and was erected in August, 1869, by the enterprising firm of Heald
& McCormick. In 1874, however, the former gentleman purchased the in-
terest of the latter, since when, the business has been carried on by Mr.
Heald alone. It is a source of gratification to remark that since the first
establishment of the undertaking, it has generally increased in importance,
the work turned out being first-class. A specialty is made of Straw Burn-
ing Threshing Machines ; while nearly all the rolling stock of the California
Pacific Railroad is manufactured on the premises. Every class of machin-
ery can be designed and moulded there ; the proprietor taking a just pride
in securing all the latest improvements in each department of his business.
The works employ continuously, a staff of twenty workmen; the capital
invested is about $20,000 ; while a general business is done to the extent of
$75,000 per annum. The machinery employed on the premises is of first-
class workmanship, and is driven by an engine of 26 horse-power.

Pioneer Sash, Doors and Blind Factory — Situated on Block No. 752,
at the corner of Bice and Fifth streets, South Vallejo, was established by
the present proprietors, Messrs. D. G. Barnes & Co., in the year 1869, on the
premises which they now occupy. This is the only branch of the industry


in the city, to which it does much credit. The building is of wood. The
The capital employed is entirely invested by the proprietors, who employ
ten men on the premises. They turn out all kinds of mouldings, and
house furnishings, as well as making, for the grape-growing ■ districts of
Napa and Sonoma, a large number of wine and water tanks. The machin-
ery is worked by a steam engine, made by William Reardon & Co., of
Brooklyn, N. Y. This factory is the first of its kind erected in Vallejo;
and from the position which it holds, and the easy access it has to communi-
cation, both by steamer and rail, in a country which is daily increasing in
population, the efforts of the proprietors are being rewarded by a thriving
and increasing business.

Solano Brewery — Is located on the corner of Kentucky street, on north
half of lots 1 and 2, block 264. It was erected in the year 1870 and is
built of brick, the area covered being 42x88 feet. On the ground floor is
the Sample Room 40x24, with the beer cellar immediately under it of the
same demensions; adjoining the former is the brewing room 40x24 containing
the furnace and malt tub. On the second story there is a brewing tub
capable of holding sixteen barrels, besides which there is a separate store
room built of brick 42x36. The entire premises were constructed by
Messrs. Widemann & Rothenbusch, the present proprietors, at a cost of
about $24,000. This is the largest brewery in Vallejo and has its principal
custom within the city limits.

Pioneer Marble Works. — James Doyle, proprietor of the above works
occupies a one story wooden structure measuring 100x25 feet with a yard
attached. He employs two men who dress the rough stone into monuments,
mantel-pieces and other work of a like nature. The marble used is im-
ported in its natural state from San Francisco while the granite is brought
from the Penryn quarries, Placer county, in this State. Mr. Doyle no longer
works at this branch of industry ; he is Constable for the city of Vallejo.
The business was first started in 1862.

Farragut Hall. — This commodious hall was built by the late Admiral D.
G. Farragut in the year 1869 on Georgia street. Its dimensions are 50x80
feet ; in the northern or upper end of which there is a stage fitted with all
appropriate paraphernalia for theatrical representations, besides five dressing
rooms. The original size of the building was too small, so 30 feet were
added to it making one of the largest rooms in the county. It is lit by a
sun burner gas jet in the center while brackets are placed at intervals
along the walls. It is well ventilated and built of brick. All public meet-
ings, social and political are usually held here, it having a seating capacity
of eight hundred.


The Alert Boat Club was organized July 16, 1872, by A. J. Brownlie,
W. S. Risley, Osgood Hilton, Wm. McDonald and A. J. McKnight.

It immediately began operations by electing new members and building
their first boat, which was done by the members themselves in the old
United States Hotel. The first race rowed was between crews from the
Riversides of Sacramento, and the first crew of the Alerts on January 1,
1873, the Riversides entering R. C. Lowell, W. Barry, W. A. Butterfield and
H. Thiel ; the Alerts, Jno. Reed, W. S. Risley, James Kane and Wm. Mc-
Donald. This race was for a set of racing oars, and was won by the River-
sides by ten boat lengths.

The next race occurred the same day between crews of Farragut Boat
Club of South Vallejo, and the junior crew of the Alert. The Farragut
seating Jas. A. Lamont, A. S. Carman, M. Dozier, Jno. T. Dare, and Alerts,
A. J. Brownlie, A. J. McKnight, H. E. Brown and Geo. Gorham. This race
was for a set of boat-house colors, and was won easily by the Alerts, beating
their opponents one-quarter of a mile. Shortly after this the Alerts sent
east for a four-oared paper shell, which arrived in due time and was the
only four-oared paper boat on the Coast. With this boat they entered the
grand regatta held in Vallejo July 4, 1873.

The first race that day was for the second class four-oared boats. The
Alerts and Pioneers entering. The distance was one and a half miles and
return, making three miles, which distance was rowed by the Alerts in
22-8, beating the Pioneers badly. Next race for first class single scullers.
Wm. Daily of the Alerts being entered against two others of San Francisco.
This was won by Daily by half a length, it being the best race of the day.
Third race for second class single scullers. W. S. Risley and Austin Steven-
son of the Alerts being matched against three other boats from other clubs.
The honor of this race also was the Alerts, for Risley won easily, Steven-
son also of the Alerts, second. The grand race of the day was for four-
oared boats, there being in all seven entries. The Alerts entering J. J
Smith, G. E. Taylor, W. S. Risley and Wm. Daily. The Riversides won
this race, nearly all the other boats having been swamped in the rough
water. The Farraguts of South Yallejo coming in second. Shortly after
this a set of champion colors for Vallejo waters was purchased jointly by
the Farragut and Alert clubs of Vallejo, and the first race was rowed for
these on January 1, 1874. The Farragut boys winning by two seconds or
half a boat's length in 21-29J.

On June 6, 1874, another race for the colors was rowed by the same
clubs. This being won by the Alerts in 21.20, beating the other boat 175

Nothing more in the rowing line was done until October, 1878, when
the Alert Club was represented by A. J. McKnight, Chas. B. Bond, Richard
McKnight and A. J. Brownlie at Oakland in the race for the McKinley


Challenge Cup. Here the Alerts were unfortunate, having made a poor
start, a worse turn, and breaking a seat on their road home. They came in
third however, making good time.

Thanksgiving day at Vallejo was the scene of another boating contest
between the junior crews of the Farragut and Alert Clubs. The Farragut's
boat being rowed by Jno. T. Dare, H. D. Lazelle, Chas. Morse and Henry
Gedge, and the Alerts by Geo. B. Hanna, Geo. Roe, Lyle Roe and Osgood
Hilton. The race was rowed for the honors, and resulted in a complete
victory for the Alert boys, they having distanced their competitors and
winning in 20-30f , the best three mile time ever made on this Coast.

The Alert Club membership is composed of some of the finest young men
in the place ; in numbers, 28. The Club owns their boat-house which is
situated on Georgia street wharf, one four-oared wood shell, one four-oared
paper shell, one racing barge, lately built, and launched February 21, 1879.
She is a beauty and pronounced (by those who are good judges) likely to be
very speedy. There is also in the boat-house two Rob Roy Canoes of Mc-
Gregor model and fame. Value of Club property, $1,300.

Present officers : Frank B. Lemon, President ; Frank T. Winchell, Vice-
President ; A. J. McKnight, Secretary ; Wm. McDonald, Treasurer ; Geo.
Gorham, Captain.

This Club was not organized for gain financially, but to promote good
feeling among its members, encourage boating, and benefit all by the physi-
cal exertion necessary in rowing. They do not row for money, but for the
honors of the occasion.

The Club appears to be in a flourishing condition and is rapidly increas-
ing in numerical strength, while it is growing in the esteem of the people.

Hotels. — There is no city on the Pacific Coast which is so well pro-
vided with accommodation for the traveler as is Vallejo, indeed some of
these structures are a feature of the town, while the principal hotel would
do credit to a place of double the pretensions. The first hotels, already men-
tioned in this work, have long ceased to enfold the weary traveler in their
hospitable arms. Some of the original buildings still stand, as it were to
mark the course of time, while others have been pulled down to make way
for more eligible structures, or been utterly wiped out by the devouring
flames which have on occasion visited the city.

Barnard House — .Chief among the present hotels is this elegant build-
ing occupying an area of 1^0x130 feet', on Georgia, the principal business
street in Vallejo. It was completed and opened on August 10, 1872, by
John M. Staples, the present proprietor of the Arcade House in San Fran-
cisco. The Bernard House is a large, square building, containing forty-five
bed rooms, a large dining room up stairs, and a restaurant on the ground


floor. It is fitted with every modern improvement necessary for the com-
fort of visitors, and has two entrances, one on Georgia, the other on Sacra-
mento street. The street car passes it on its way to the railroad depot twice
a day, and the rate for board and lodging varies from two to three dollars
per diem. The present proprietor is Adrian H. Izirar, who is a most popu-
lar landlord.

The Howard House, situated on 116 and 118 Georgia street, was com-
menced in September and finished in December, 1876. Has a frontage of
50 feet, and can accommodate 150 guests with comfort. It derives its name
from Amos Howard, its first proprietor, who died a few months after its
completion, the business being now carried on by his widow and her present
husband, R. J. Harrington.

In addition to these there are the Sherman House, Washington House,
and others, which all find ample patronage from the employes on the Navy

Newspapers. — The Vallejo Qhronicle was founded by F. A. Leach and
William Gregg, the first issue being printed June 20, 1867. It appeared
as a weekly edition of modest size and pretensions, and was continued as a
weekly until November, 1868, when the present daily was established. In
April, 1869, Mr. Leach bought the interest of his associate and became sole
proprietor of the establishment. On assuming the full control he began the
issue of the Weekly Chronicle, which had been suspended by the daily.
The politics of the paper, which owing to the conflicting principles of the
two proprietors had before been independent, were changed, and it became
independent Republican, and has ever since steadily advocated the views of
that party. In November, 1875, the ownership of the establishment was
merged into a stock company, incorporated under the State laws ; Mr. Leach,
however, still retaining all but a fraction of the stock and continuing in the
absolute management and control of the business. March 1st, 1879, feeble
and still failing health compelled him to dissolve his connection with the
journal, and he sold his whole interest therein to Thomas Wendell, a part
proprietor and the editor of the Chronicle for several years preceding. Mr.
Wendell, on entering into charge, united in himself the duties of business
manager with those of editor. The Chronicle has been a prosperous journal
from the date of its establishment and has increased in stability and reputa-
tion with its growing years. The circulation of its daily edition is found
chiefly in Vallejo and places along the line of the two branches of the Cali-
fornia and Pacific Railroad ; the weekly edition is found through every part
of the interior of Solano, and in Napa and Lake, besides having a very con-
siderable circulation among the vessels of the Pacific squadron of the Navy,
where its navy intelligence makes it an interesting journal.

The " Solano Daily Times " made its first appearance on the morn-


ing of September 28th, 1875, in its present form, 12x18, twenty col-
umns. It rose from the columns of the Daily Independent The type,
presses, etc., of the Independent had been purchased by George Roe, who,
forming a partnership with A. B. Gibson, commenced the publication of the
Times. About a month after this A. B. Gibson withdrew from the paper,
and George Roe formed a company, which was known as the " Times Pub-
lishing Company," and which was composed, besides himself, of W. V.
Walsh, H. J. Pelham, and Thad. McFarland. McFarland and Pelham here-
after seceded from the Times, which now was issued under the firm name of
Roe & Walsh.

In January, 1876, the Solano Weekly Times made its appearance in con-
nection with the daily. It is made up of all the reading matter that appears
in the daily during each week, and its columns are, consequently, well filled.
The Solano Weekly Times is 23x32 in size, of twenty-eight columns, and
has a fair circulation in Solano and adjacent counties.

The Valtejo Elevator. — In the year 1867 Mr. G. C. Pearson, a gentleman
of Chicago, came to the coast for the benefit of his health, and among
other places visited Vallejo, where he conceived the plan of erecting an
elevator after the manner of those in use in other grain producing States.
Among those to whom he imparted his idea was Dr. D. W. C. Rice, the presi-
dent of the California Pacific Railroad, who was so struck with the practi-
cability of such a scheme that he became anxious to share in the building and
participate in its advantages, suggesting that a joint-stock company should
be formed, which was done without delay, it being floated with a capital of
$500,000. On investigating the laws of the State, Mr. Pearson found that
there was none regulating the storage of warehouses whereby property
could be transferred upon endorsement. He therefore drafted a bill, with
the idea of regulating such, but it was, unfortunately, never passed by the
Legislature, although in each successive session presented to the Assembly.
Mr. Pearson thereupon seceded from any participation in the scheme, and
returned to Chicago, leaving the plans and specifications in the hands of Dr.
Rice. A company was organized, composed of Dr. Rice, with Dr. Ryder,
Messrs. Roelofson, D. C. Haskins, J. B. Frisbie, Dr. Spencer, and Messrs.
Hudson and Bauchius, of Marysville, who were" afterwards joined by I.
Friedlander, he having obtained a controlling interest by the purchase of
one-fifth of the stock. On his return to Chicago, Mr. Pearson had, not-
withstanding his connection with the elevator had ceased, engaged, at the
request of Dr. Rice, the services of Mr. Robert Mackie as architect and over-
seer of the construction ; and through the influence of Dr. Ryder, Mr.
Charles Wheeler, of Oswego, New York, was appointed superintendent.
These gentlemen arrived in the summer of 1868, but headway was not made
with the building till the following year. The piling was effected in Nov-
ember and December of 1868, and the erection commenced on January 4, 1869.


As far back as 1838 the practicability of shipping grain in bulk was dem-
onstrated when cargoes of wheat were shipped from Germany and other
countries to the United States, which arrived in better condition than did
that in sacks or boxes. There was therefore no reason why such should not
be equally practicable in 1869.

" Experience had shown," says Mr. Pearson, " the impossibility of storing
large amounts of grain in the old style warehouse, built with heavy timber
frames, the toughest oak being inadequate for sustaining the pressure of
even the small amount that it was possible to store in the shallow, flat bins
of the period. Various materials were tested without success, until the
plan was hit upon of using wooden strips, 2x6 to 3x12, resting flatwise,
one upon another, and thoroughly spiked together ; any mechanic will un-
derstand the impossibility of breaking down or rending asunder a building
composed of compartments or bins interlocked or dovetailed together in this
manner ; the whole fabric is one piece, possessing relatively more strength.
The Elevator building is simply an aggregation of bins resting upon pieces
of wood stone-bound together with iron bands and rods; surmounting the
bins is a light frame, serving to carry the roof and for operating the mach-
inery directly connected with elevating, spouting and weighing grain. Into
these bins (which are numbered in all the larger elevators) the grain is
bulked, i. e., stored loosely, which not only protects it from destruction by
rats and mice, but allows the formation of grades of uniform character,
whereby the value is recognized in the market at once by reference to
samples. An elevator's capacity consequently depends upon the number
and size of its bins. In this respect they vary from one to five hundred,
with storage room for 300 tons for the smaller, to 48,000 tons for the

"The Vallejo elevator stands on over 900 piles, of an average length of
forty feet, driven through about eight feet of mud and detritus, and into the
rocky bottom from four to six feet, forming a secure foundation against
settling. To secure it against the danger of careening over from earthquake
vibrations, Mr. Mackie had heavy timbers, well spliced together, placed all
around the outside piling, and these were firmly tied to the pier clumps or
clusters on the inside of the building with heavy iron rods, which are car-
ried below high-water mark, or about eleven feet below the top of the piles.
A portion of the area was then filled with rock and earth, from eight to ten
feet in depth, adjacent to the inside piles, and then raised in a mound form
to the centre, where the depth is thirty feet.

It will thus be seen on what a massive foundation this elevator was built.
It is never known when an earthquake may be experienced on the coast.
Former years have proved what devastation may be caused by one of them,
and it is never safe to erect a bulky building of this nature on any but the
soundest foundation.


" The construction of the building is most massive. The first and second
stories of the elevator are frame work of 12x1 2-inch — interspersed with
10x10 timber— Puget Sound timber. The number of posts worked in is
260, which are capped by 12xl8-inch timbers, running crosswise the build-
ing, a width of 85 feet. These joists are crossed by 12x1 6-inch timbers, in
four tiers, running at right angles the whole length of the building, a
distance of one hundred feet, and firmly attached to the underlying tim-
bers. Upon this structure commences the third story, or grain bins, which
are built up crib fashion, of an oblong form, 10x20 feet, hoppered at the
bottom, in which there is a casting with a slide for drawing out the contents
when required for shipping. The bins, of which there are thirty-nine, are
constructed of 2x6 plank, spiked on each other flatwise to a height of forty
feet. Above these is the cupola, forty-two feet in width, with a depth of
one hundred feet, running longitudinally through the building, and rising
a height of forty feet to the eaves, from the level to the top of the bins. This
structure is three stories high, with an attic, in which is the principal portion
of the elevating machinery. This is driven by a belt, weighing over 1,400
pounds, from a pully in the engine shaft below. The third story of the
cupola is designed for receiving and weighing grain from the cars. The
two lower stories are adapted for distributing the grain through wooden
spouts, or shutes, to the different bins. The scales for weighing the grain
in bulk are of Fairbanks' patent, and the three have each respectively a
capacity of fifteen tons at a draft, and their hoppers will hold five hundred
bushels. There are three receiving elevators — or, as they are termed in the
Western States, car elevators — and two elevators for shipping. The latter
are provided, each, with a pair of 250-bushel hopper scales. There is one
elevator, or " leg," on the south side, which is built into the building in a
frame, which is so arranged as to be capable of being lowered or raised into
barges or schooners for discharging grain. When not in use the foot rests
on the wharf, but when employed in unloading, the foot is carried into the
vessel to be discharged, sunk into the loose grain, a slide opened, and the
the cargo very rapidly elevated by buckets, or cups, attached to an endless
belt. These cups will contain about one-twelfth of a bushel, and three
hundred and eighty of them pass up in a minute of time ; equal to an
aggregate lifting capacity of from 1,500 to 1,800 bushels per hour. The

Online LibraryJ. P Munro-FraserHistory of Solano County...and histories of its cities, towns...etc. .. → online text (page 26 of 57)