Sacramento Large Business Houses.
Huntington, Hopkins & Co.
This great hardware house is the largest west of Chicago, and probably the largest in the United States, outside of New York City, in this line of trade. Established in the Spring of 1852, by C. P. Huntington and Mark Hopkins, both 49ers--the former from Oswego, New York, and the latter from Lockport, New York. The location was then, as now, at 54 K. Street. But in that building was born the Central Pacific Railroad, the greatest work of the nineteenth century. In that building, twenty years ago, when the possibility of a railroad across the continent was being first discussed, gathered Leland Stanford, the Crockers, Huntington, Hopkins, and two or three others, and all prevailing theme was the trans-continental railway. The world knows the result of these deliberations. The same spirits which animated 54 K Street twenty years ago seems to prevail in that honored location today. But in this indomitable spirit of enterprise and determination lies the only resemblance of the house today with the house o 1852-57. The old frame building has passed away, and the present business house has a frontage of 80 feet on K. Street, extending back 160 feet to an alley, crossing which you come to their iron warehouse, with 30 feet frontage and running back 160 feet to L. Street. To this there is now being added extensive shedding, which will shelter a vast quantity of goods. These buildings are of brick, two floors and basement, built in the most substantial manner, and furnished with iron covers for the skylights. A branch house has also been established in San Francisco, at the corner of Bush and Market Street, in a handsome and substantial four-story brick and stone structure, 91 feet square. In the year 1868, Mr.'s Huntington and Hopkins retired from the active management of the business of the house, and Mr. Albert Gallatin, Mr. W. R. S. Foye, Mr. Chas. Miller and Mr. H. H. Seaton were admitted into the firm, the two former as managers of the Sacramento House, and the two latter as managers of the San Francisco house. The business of the house last year aggregated over $2,000,000. Any attempt to enumerate the various articles kept in stock would be futile. It is only necessary to say that their stock of heavy and shelf hardware, builders' hardware, mechanics' tools, mining supplies, powder, fuse, cutlery, bar and sheet iron, gas and water pipe, etc., is full and complete. The trade of the house is now almost exclusively with jobbers, who find they can purchase through Huntington, Hopkins & Co. to better advantage then upon their own account.
This firm consists of L. L. Baker and Robert Hamilton, and is one of the pioneer houses in the hardware in agricultural implement trade, having been started in 1853, occupying at that time but a small building, No. 21 J. street, and dealing in seeds, agricultural implements and other useful articles necessary for the proper tillage of the soil. The few husbandmen who then commenced to till the soil in the immediate vicinity of Sacramento, as well as in Northern California, soon became patrons of the house. From year to year, by marked attention to the wants of their customers, and as the farming interests of the coast increased, Baker & Hamilton had increased their stock of goods and business, showing good judgment in taking the lead in all new and improved machines.
Understanding perfectly the wants of the country, they have been able to furnish the farmers on this coast a better variety and better class of machines that can be found in any other place in the world. The firm have increased their stock to such an extent that they now occupy more warehouses and storerooms than any house in the city. Their main store is on J. street, 60x 65 feet; also one on Second street, 40x 160, and a wareroom on Third street, 40x 40, besides basements and yard-room covering almost half a block, which are used for storage purposes.
They have constantly on hand all kinds of agricultural implements and farming tools, as well as the largest stock of shelf hardware to be found on the coast. They are exclusive agents for many of the standard machines, which are well known by many of the farmers, such as the Ames' Straw and Wood -Burning Engines., Pitts' Genuine Thresher, Case & Co.'s California Headers, Bain Wagons, Buckeye Mowers and Reapers, Champion Mowers and Reaper, Hollingsworth and Tiger Rakes, Althouse and Raymond Wind Mills, and many other machines they have control of for this coast. The firm, in 1868, to meet the requirements of their business, opened a house in San Francisco, which has prospered much more than they at first expected. They still further advanced their business by establishing a factory at San Leandro for the manufacture of gang plows, harrows, cultivators, and such other goods as can be manufactured at a profit on this coast. Their two houses are now doing a very large business, with sales of nearly $2,000,000 annually. They employ here are some twenty clerks and men about their stores; in San Francisco, almost double the number. At their factory they employ an average 50 mechanics all the year through.
In talking with the manager of their Sacramento house, we find that their business is constantly increasing; that Sacramento merchants are drawing more trade here, and holding it, much to the advantage of country merchants, as they can buy here as cheap as in San Francisco, and receive their goods much sooner after ordering, besides saving considerable on freights. The firm has many advantages in handling the large amount of goods they ship all over the country. Being so near the depots and steamers, and having their warerooms so situated on the two grades of the city, they are able to load or unload at any door, saving expense of elevating and lowering from floor to floor. This house enjoys a reputation for strict business integrity which is equal by few and excelled by none. Mr. C. H. Hubbard, the manager, has been connected with the house for twelve years last past, has charge of the Sacramento business, and enjoys a reputation for strict business integrity equal to the fame of the house.
Booth & Co., Wholesale Grocers.
This firm was established in the spring of 1850, under style of Forshee, Booth & Co., composed of John Forshee, L. A. Booth and John Dye. The two latter gentleman retired in the Spring of 1851. About the same period Charles Smith and Newton Booth established business under name of Smith & Booth. After the fire of 1852, L. A. Booth became a member of the firm, which was then known as Booth & Co. Kleinhaus & Co., established in 1852, Theodore P. and David W. Kleinhaus as partners. The latter firm uniting with the Kleinhaus, constituting the firm. In 1856, C. T. Wheeler and T. L. Barker were admitted as partners. The Kleinhaus retired in 1860, and Newton Booth again entered the firm. L. A. Booth and T. L. Barker retired in 1862, and J. T. Glover became a member. In December, 1871, business was established in San Francisco in connection with W. W. Dodge. The firm at present is composed of Newton Booth, C. T. Wheeler, J. T. Glover and W. W. Dodge.
This well and extensively known house is probably the largest in its line on the coast, outside of San Francisco. Its dealings not only extending throughout our State, but into Nevada, Oregon and many of the Territories as well.
Having, as they do, a house in San Francisco, they are enabled to import in an extensive manner, coupled with their large experience and facilities, this firm holds out inducements to the country merchant and dealer, equal, if not superior to any other house in California. Their stock is extensive, comprising a much larger variety than is seldom, if ever, kept in a grocery establishment. They deal largely in the article of quicksilver, and at the producers' rates. This house employs no solicitors. Relying upon their well-earned reputation for fair dealing to secure patronage, believing it the right and better way, then to send drummers throughout the country, as is so largely done by most wholesale dealers--a very large expense, which the interior merchant must in some way pay for, thus is saved. Their store is located on Front street, between J. and K streets; occupies a spacious brick block 105 by 150 feet, two stories and a basement. The rooms of Governor Booth are in the second-story. W. W. Dodge and J. T. Glover, of the firm, reside at the Bay. The house in San Francisco is located at northeast corner of Clay and Front streets.
Marcus C. Hawley & Co.
This old and well-known hardware and agricultural implement house, commenced business in San Francisco in 1852, at 108 and 110 Front. Beginning in a small way, like all great houses and most great men, it has risen steadily and surely with the progress of the State. The firm at first had but a light assortment of hardware; but by strict attention to business and a desire to increase their stock to meet the demands of the growing trade, they have kept steadily in pace with the prosperity of the country. The rise and progress of the house of M. C. Hawley & Co. has been astonishing, and conclusively shows what enterprise, talent and strict integrity in business will accomplish. There is no firm on the coast, in their line of trade, that excels them in the amount of sales or prosperity. The principal of the firm is Marcus C. Hawley, who resides in New York, and attends to the buying, paying for, and shipping of all goods. The business in San Francisco is managed by the other partners, Walter N. and George T. Hawley. In 1874, in consequence of the demands of the business of Northern California, the branch house was started in Sacramento, corner of Second and J. streets. The sales of goods and demands of trade grew so rapidly that they were compelled to make an addition to their storage rooms, and in December, 1876, they moved into the large and commodious establishment, 43, 45 and 47 J. streets. The room occupied by them here is one of the largest and one of the most conveniently arranged stores in the State; the largest engines and threshers can be moved in and out at ease. It allows the display of goods to an advantage, and facilitates the transaction of business with greater ease and less expense. In addition to this store they have a large warehouse on L. street, between Third and Fourth, where are stored all kinds of agricultural implements and utensils, Rice' s straw burning engine, Gaar, Scott & Co.'s and Hoadley's wood burning engines, Gold Metal Separators, Haines' Headers, Case's Headers, Buckeye Drills and Seeders, Meadow King Mower, Schuttler wagons, plows, cultivators, harrows, and every article used in and about the farm. This house started its branch here under very unfavorable auspices--at the very time when Sacramento, in a business sense, was deeply distressed; but they knew there was a large field, and having confidence in the ultimate recovery of its business, and relying upon its stability, the rise and fall, and its previous recoveries from other disasters of flood and fires, they have by their faith and energy aided largely in placing Sacramento on the solid business bases that it today can boast of. There is hardly a firm in any portion of the state that has had such favorable increase in its business; in the short space of three years they have built up the trade of over half a million dollars annually, and established themselves as one of our most prominent houses. This branch of the business is managed by H. H. Lindell. Besides the two stores mentioned above they are largely interested in the firm of Hawley, Dodd & Co., Portland, Oregon, who do a business of about $500,000 a year. Probably no better evidence is required of the rise and progress of this firm, then the enlargement of their facilities to do business in San Francisco. In 1876 they were compelled to build two large warehouses and work shops on the corner of Beale and Market streets, a store 91x 137 ½ feet, fronting on Market Street, three stories high; the other on Townsend Street, between Fourth and Fifth streets, 100 feet wide, by 250 feet long. On the same lot, which is one-fourth of a full block, they have lately erected a manufactory for engines, and other implements, which is managed by Mr. Rice, of straw-burner engine fame. The other warehouse is on the same block, and covers a plat 60x 37 ½. To appreciate their magnitude one should visit each place, and see the immense amount of goods handled by the firm. Many other machines sold by this firm was awarded the Centennial gold metal, and are the best of their class in the world. For 1878 their facilities for business and the arrangements with manufacturers will enable them to offer still greater inducements than ever before to the merchants and farmers of the coast.
Adams and M' Neill & Co.
Importers and wholesale grocers, 91, 93 and 95 Front street, corner of L. The gentlemen comprising this firm have been, in some capacity, long connected with the present established business. The firm was first organized in 1851 under the firm name of Sneath, Arnold & Co., having their place of business on J., between Sixth and Seventh streets. In 1863 it was changed to John Arnold & Co., Mr. Sneath retiring, and in the Spring of 1865 they moved their business to its present locality, corner of [F]ront and L. streets. The present firm that is composed of L. and S. Adams, residing in San Francisco and John McNeill, of Sacramento.
In the general moving of the larger houses, in the Spring of 1865, down toward the riverfront, this company purchased a lot and erected a spacious storehouse, 25x 130, two stories high, in which to carry on its extensive business. But the necessities of an increasing trade compelled them to add another storeroom, in 1870, and still another in 1874, and still another in 1877, until they are now crowded for room with their four large stores, occupying a frontage of 65 feet on [F] front street by 160 on L.. There are at present thirteen men employed in carrying on the business of the house--working hard, early and late, receiving and shipping goods and doing the usual work of such a business. All their goods are shipped to them direct from the manufacturers and producers, and are distributed by this firm fresh to the trade.
When we come to take into account the style and extent of their purchases and the quality of their goods, fresh and new, thus going out to the trade; their ability to place their goods in the hands of the retailer for the consumer within from twenty-one to thirty days from the manufactory; their facilities for handling and shipping them, we begin to understand how it is that they are able not only to hold their old customers, but we get some insight into the secret of their steady and prosperous growth. The house has always been characterized by a broad and generous spirit of enterprise, which has not only been manifested by successfully carrying on the legitimate business of the house, but has been felt as well in all the public and charitable enterprises of the city. They sell to the trade only, and have the names of over four hundred business firms on their books as regular customers, trading in forty-seven towns in northern and eastern California, besides a large trade in the States of Oregon and Nevada, and Utah Territory.
While never departing from their straightforward business ways as wholesalers, they have still made some remarkable sales--in 1876,6,000,000 pounds of sugar, and in the past year, 80,000 pounds of cheese. Also, during the past year, twenty car loads of candles were turned out to light up the dark places in the earth, and two hundred barrels of Schumacher's oat meal, to give health and vigor to the body and mind.
Among the many special articles of their trade are Bonanza oysters, Golden Harp tobacco, Schumacher's oat meal, Macomber's Sonora pickles, Leef' s California dry hop yeast cakes, sold under contract with the manufacturers. They are also agents of the California Powder Works.
What is true of all successful business enterprises may be well said of this house. They do not divide their attention among half a dozen enterprises, but give it wholly to their own business--studying it as a new lesson every day, working earnestly, early and late, and all working--no figure-heads nor lazy man--filling an order for their customers as though they were filling it for themselves--giving care at attention to little things, and then, with all the rest, esteeming it wise, while holding an important place in the community, to let the people know that what and how they are doing.
G. W. Chesley
This gentleman is located on Front Street at No. 51. He is importer and wholesale dealer in general groceries, fine wines and liquors. This house ranks among the old and prominent mercantile business enterprises of Sacramento, having been established in 1856 by Mr. Chesley and Mayor Bryant, of San Francisco. Mr. Chesley is now sole proprietor. The building is 50x 150 feet, two floors. The amount of stock on hand in this house is great, and to which additions are made almost daily from the East. Anything in the grocery line may be obtained from this establishment; also the choicest and most celebrated brands of wines and liquors. They are agents for the renowned Gilt Edge Old Bourbon, and all the favorite brands of Kentucky whiskey; also for the Budweiser Beer. The trade of the house is as a wide-spread as it is large, embracing Nevada, a large portion of California, Southern Oregon, and the Territories.
Mr. Chesley is a pioneer of the Pacific Coast. He sailed from New York Feb. 5, 1849, on the steamer Crescent City for Aspinwall, and arrived in San Francisco by the steamer Oregon June 13th of the same year-- that being his second trip to the Coast. He engaged in the auction and commission business, in the firm name of Johnson, Chesley & Clark, and did a leading business in the city. In May, 1850, Mr. C. removed to Sacramento, when he continued the auction business until 1856, when he formed a copartnership with A. J. Bryant, the present Mayor of San Francisco City, in the wholesale grocery line. Mr. Chesley is still a young-looking man. He is an active businessman. He is considered one of those stand-bys of the city, and stands always ready to assist in all matters that tend to its interest. He is a native of Providence, RI.
L. K. Hammer's Music Store
Mr. Hammer commenced a small jewelry and music business at or about the same spot where his present store stands, sometime in the year 1865, carrying a wide assortment at first of pianos, organs, etc.. In the year 1866 a disastrous fire burnt Mr. Hammer out; he was enabled, however, to save something of his stock, and re-started business immediately in the same block, three doors above Eighth Street, where he remains until 1876, and then having purchased the lot on which his present building stands, he put up an elegant store which has a frontage of 60x100 feet deep.
Mr. Hammer has been sole agent for the celebrated Chickering pianos on this Coast for the past twelve years. Since he has taken its agency he has largely increased the sales of the Chickering, and established the agencies in all the principal cities and towns of the Coast, as well as in the Sandwich Islands. Mr. Hammer finding the demand for the Chickering growing so rapidly, has opened a general depot for the distribution of goods to different points, at 31 Post Street, San Francisco, and devoted part of his time there, and part in Sacramento. He is also a general agent of the Packard Organ for the coast, manufactured at Fort Wayne, Indiana; a very fine instrument, and one whose merits are being rapidly recognized. He also deals extensively in all kinds of musical instruments, sheet music, songs, operas, musical works, and everything pertaining to music and its knowledge. The jewelry part, which has also increased proportionately with the music, will in future be conducted by Mr. J. R. Heath, a gentleman long and favorably known in connection with this department of the business. There is a room in the rear of the music store 50x 35 feet, where the larger instruments are kept. It is very nicely arranged, and has a seating capacity of 200. Here many pleasant social musical soirees and recitals have been held, where the pupils of some of our noted teachers give exhibitions of their skill and power. The store and business has been left here in charge of Mr. K. B. Plumb, a gentleman well-known to the music public, who came here are a few years ago from the Des Moines, Iowa, and has been in the employee of Mr. Hammer ever since.
The Mechanics' Store, K Street, Sacramento.
To prove what energy will accomplish, we republish what the Daily Sacramento Bee of December 24th, 1877, has to say concerning the success of Messrs. H. Weinstock and D. Lubin, the proprietors of the above-named wonderful place of business. There is a whole army of clerks employed in different apartments, and everything goes along as though worked by clock machinery. The Bee remarks are as follows: "With feelings of pride and pleasure we are called upon to chronicle the success of new enterprises, and the establishment of new industries in the City of Sacramento, not only from the fact that the public are sure to reap the benefit of the successes into our midst, but also on account of the evidence of prosperity they present, and the establishment of the fact that as a great trading center Sacramento is continually advancing to the front rank. Our businessmen have been often, in early times, on the verge of despair and ruin, consequent upon the floods and fire, but from each fresh disaster they have rallied and eventually attained the desired success. At one time much of our trade was drawn to San Francisco, the facilities afforded by railroads and the manner in which the merchants of the city purchased their goods direct from the manufacturers' agents, enabling them to undersell our businessmen, and, as a consequence, in the competition for the interior trade, our merchants for time went to the wall. In order to sustain themselves against the loss under those circumstances, local merchants were forced to place high prices on their goods, and our citizens were the sufferers thereby, they being the only purchasers. Of late years however, the thing had been entirely changed, thanks to the energy and tact displayed by a few wide-awake businessman, who settled into our midst, and have entirely reversed the former method of doing business, until now our city competes successfully with San Francisco for the interior trade, and the country merchants have awakened to the fact that at Sacramento better bargains and more advantageous terms can be had than elsewhere on this coast.
We are prompted in making these introductory remarks, by having witnessed last evening the re-opening of the Mechanics' Store, which had been closed for several days undergoing repairs. Shortly after dark the shutters were removed, and the doors open to the public, and from the opening up to ten o'clock there was a steady stream of visitors and purchasers pouring into the vast establishment, by all of whom there was but one opinion expressed, that such a sight had never before been witnessed in this city, and that it was an evidence of what could be accomplished by fair dealing with the public, strict adherence to the motto of "One Price to All." It is estimated that not less than five thousand persons visited the establishment last night, and a scene of unusual brilliancy was presented as the great throng moved about in the brilliant lighted apartments, chatting pleasantly, commenting on the beautiful display, and making purchases. The old aphorism that "Great Oaks from little acorns grow," has never been more faithfully illustrated than in the case of the proprietors of the Mechanics' Store-- H. Weinstock and D. Lubin--whose rise in this community to the front rank of our businessmen is well-known. On coming here something over three years ago, they started business with a stock which could almost have been packed in a dry goods box, and located on K Street, near Fourth, in a room 15x 12 feet in dimensions. They dealt fairly with the public, had only "one price to all," gave people their money's worth, paid strict attention to business, turned neither to the right nor the left to notice the jeers or scoffs of those who denied them their success, and of course prospered. Addition after addition was made to their store, the last being handsome brick on the southeast corner of Fourth and K. streets, set apart exclusively as a wholesale and retail dry goods store, until now the establishment has a frontage on K. streets of one hundred feet, with a depth of from seventy to eighty feet, and still further improvements are to be made in the Spring.
The dress goods department at the opening last night was much admired by the ladies. It was handsomely arranged for the advantageous display of the silks of all shades and varieties, a large line of which is carried of the best quality. Long streamers of colored ribbons from end to end of the large store, supplemented with festoonings of lace and colored goods, set the place off most advantageously and made a fine appearance. A balcony around the story is a novelty, the extra shelving thus secured enabling the house to carry a double line of all goods without inconvenience.
The fine displays of table linens, domestic goods, Marseilles quilts, hosiery, laces, ribbons, etc., was the cause of general and favorable comment, and when the prices at which they were sold were made known, the low figure excited much wonder as to how it could be done.
Right here we propose explaining briefly the way it is that the firm enable to sell at such low prices and give such an excellent quality of goods therefor. In the first place the goods are purchased from the manufacture and first hands in job lots and large quantities, principally in the East. The smallest possible margin is then added, and the goods are then marked with the selling price in plain figures, at which price they are sold--no more being asked and nothing less taken--to all. By this system the poorest judge of goods is placed on the same level in purchasing as the closest and sharpest buyer. Another point is that by having an immense trade the firm is in able to buy large quantities, while a firm with a limited trade cannot risk purchasing a job lot of any kind of goods, amounting to several hundred dollars, while this firm can safely purchase and use a lot of from $2000 to $3000 in value. To make the matter plainer, take the buying of the clothing. Size 40 meets with a very slow sale on account of being so large. An ordinary house with a limited trade cannot risk or afford to take more than a dozen suits of that size, leading the balance on the hands of the agent as so much dead stock; but this firm, with its immense trade, can use several dozen of this size a month, hence they make the purchase of the goods at their own figures and sale corresponding very low. In addition to this, the firm advertises extensively, and no man who has yet made a liberal use of printer' s ink has been unsuccessful in business.
Dealers in wagon lumber, buggy, carriage and wagon wheels, springs, axles, and every article belonging to the carriage or wagon making business, have their Sacramento place of business on J Street, between Seventh and Eighth, and in San Francisco at 29 and 31 Fremont Street. The business and Sacramento was established as early as 1851, and has continued it in the firm name ever since. They are immense importers of the articles in which they deal, and virtually control the business of the State of Nevada in this line. The specialty of the firm is their buggy and wagon wheels, which they claim to be the best and cheapest ever manufactured. The stock of the firm is immense, and their facilities for manufacturing are most excellent. The firm is a very reliable one; small dealers all over the Pacific Coast recognizing the fact that an order can safely be forwarded to Waterhouse & Lester in the full certainty that whatever is sent will be accordingly to invoice.
This Company was incorporated April 30th, 1868, with a capital stock of $100,000. The original, or first constructed buildings were destroyed by fire on the morning of the 15th of September, 1874. It was promptly rebuilt and in running order a few months after, which was a practical refutation to the croakers who predicted that "another yard of cloth would never be made in Sacramento." The mills are located on Sixteenth street, between B and C streets; and are of brick, the principal one being 60x 216 feet, with lateral extensions of 40x 60 feet. The machinery used by them were made expressly in the East, and embraced all the latest and most improved inventions. There is 1, 140 spindles; two wool mashers, a centrifrugal dyer, a washing mill; three pickers; two fullers; four sets of carders, and a 60-horsepower Corliss Engine furnishes the power. The consumption of wool is about 1,000 pounds per day; and they employ about 60 hands. They manufacture cassimeres, beavers, chinchillas, tweeds, waterproofs, flannels, white and colored blankets. Like prophets, woolen mills and other manufactories have little honor in their own country, therefore the bulk of this factory's goods were shipped to San Francisco, and sold by agents for that market. The Company put forth every inducement to lead Sacramento merchants and support them in a wholesale trade; not finding it, however, as they should expect, were profitable, in 1876 they then opened their store to the public, an experiment which has proved in every way successful, and even beyond their brightest hopes and expectations. In 1877 the home trade had so increased that they were obliged to move into more, commodious quarters, which, on the first of August, was opened it and the large and handsome store previously occupied by J. T. Griffiths & Co., J. street, between Eighth and Ninth. The trade had so extended itself as to warrant the withdrawal of the San Francisco agency, bringing the entire business into Sacramento. The main building is used as a salesroom; an extension being added is used as a tailoring department and clothing manufactory. This department is the largest of its kind in Sacramento, employing two cutters and fifty workmen, and could double their business in this line if suitable help could be found. They have used principally goods of their own manufacture, but by reason of constant demands, they have been compelled to add a line of French cassimeres and English goods. The mills are owned by a joint stock company, and consists of the following officers: President, Sylvester Tryon; Vice-President, Geo. H. Swinerton; Treasurer, Julius Wetzlar; Secretary, W. C. Merrill. They have also recently commenced the manufacturer of boys' clothing, and we would say to the interior merchants and others, that it would be to their advantage to place themselves in communication with this corporation, as we think they could purchase such articles cheaper and of better quality.
One of the most thriving of the new enterprises is the Sacramento Plow Company, located at 297,299,301 and 303 J. street, between Tenth and Eleventh, which was started in Sacramento in April, 1875. Here is manufactured the well-known and popular Iron King Gang-Plow, as well as single plows, harrows, cultivators, 8-inch 5-gang plows, California Screw Mowers, and all kinds of plows built to order. A foundry and machine shop, 80x 160 feet deep, where thirty-five men are kept constantly at work, and were all kinds of general repairs of machinery, besides the manufacturer of farming implements are carried on. The industry has been well so sustained, and the company are constantly increasing their facilities for work, which proves that the plows and other farming utensils made here are equal in durability and finish, if not superior, to those imported. The plows made here are superior in lightness and draught to all others made, the fact of which is proven by the great number now in use. The plows built by this company are easily handled, capable of being thrown to and from land without stopping the team, or the driver leaving the seat, by means of a lever or tail-brake. This industry is under the management of R. S. Carey, a gentleman well-known all over this coast.
Wachhorst’s Jewelry Store.
This establishment is situated on J. street, between Third and Fourth. It is the finest in Sacramento, and will compare very favorably with any other splendid jewelry stores in San Francisco. Mr. Wachhorst began his present business in 1850, and by dint of energy and integrity he succeeded in building from almost nothing his present enviable trade. In 1867 he erected the fine fire-proof for building, at No. 79 J. street, now occupied, and it was planned especially for a model jewelry store; it is in all respects admirably adapted to its purposes. The Town Clock in the tower strikes the quarter hours and hours, and it is a great benefit to the public, who show there appreciation is a most practical manner, viz: by giving him the lion's share of their patronage. His large and carefully selected stock of diamonds, watches, jewelry, silver and plated ware, is in itself an inducement to purchasers, as it enables them to select their goods to much better advantage. Those who cannot here be suited, both as regards price and quality, are indeed fastidious, and far above pleasing. Much credit, is due to Mr. Wachhorst, and his success is but a just reward for his enterprise and merit.
Whittier, Fuller & Co.
This is the most extensive oil and paint house on the Pacific Coast, having a large establishment in San Francisco and another in Sacramento, the firm having begun business in that year which will ever be promptly associating with the history of California--1849. The present firm consists of Whittier, Fuller & Co., San Francisco, and J. Steffens and L. Tozer, of Sacramento. The Sacramento House is located at Second and K. streets, and occupies a large warehouse at No. 58 J. street, which are stored doors, windows, blinds and other building material in which the firm largely deals. Besides being the great paint and oil house, they are extensive dealers in plate and window-glass, wall-paper and moldings, pictures, frames, looking-glasses, sash-cord, weights, pulleys and doors, etc., etc., as above stated. The house carries an immense stock and is prepared to fill orders to any extent at lowest trade prices. They are the sole agents for the French and Belgian Plate Glass Companies and Valentines Coach Varnishes. For years they have been engaged in silvering French plates for bars, mantel and pier mirrors, which are of a superior quality, the imported article usually being damaged in transportation. The paint factory, located at San Francisco, is a brick building 45 by 275 feet, three stories and a basement; is supplied with new machinery of the most modern character, and is the largest and most complete paint factory on the continent. An addition to recently made to the manufactory was for the purpose of making a white lead, and is the only one of the kind on the Pacific Coast. This industry will open up a large trade, as quantities of lead are obtained in the extraction of silver ores, and this firm will now utilize this article at home. They are about ready to put their lead on the market, and our merchants need not import their white lead but get it at their doors, thus saving time, freight and trouble and get an article which will suit them. Particular attention is called to their sash, blinded door department. It is a fact well understood that goods of this character, manufactured and stored here, necessarily become dry, and will therefore stand the climate much better than those obtained at the Bay. The lumber for all such goods comes from the mountains, and as this city is more central, it is cheaper, quicker and more natural receiving and distributing point.
Cohen's Carpet Warerooms.
This large and extensive carpet wareroom, located at 117 J. street, was first started by Russ & Lull about 1857. It was the oldest carpet house in Sacramento. In 1867 Mr. Sharp bought out the business, and carried on until 1872, when the present proprietor, B. Cohen, purchased one-half interest; it was then carried on under the firm name of Sharp & Co. until 1874, when Mr. Sharp wishing to retire sold his interest to Mr. Cohen, who still carries on this extensive business on his own account. It is the most extensive carpet wareroom in Sacramento, and the largest outside of San Francisco. The business is conducted in a large one-floor store, with a frontage of 40 feet, and 100 feet deep. Here may be found the latest styles of body Brussels, three-ply carpet, hand loom, and all descriptions in the carpet and matting lines, lace goods and lace shades of all styles, upholstery goods of all kinds, wall paper, window shades, oil cloths, frames and moldings, stair rods, etc.. Mr. Cohen carries an extensive stock, occupying the first floor and basement, and being a direct importer from the manufacturers, and having less expenses in the running his establishment than any on the Coast, he can sell cheaper, make better bargains than can be had elsewhere. We would state to those visiting Sacramento, that it would be to their interest to call and see his stock especially merchants wishing to purchase for a retail trade.
Saddle and Harness Manufactory.
R. Stone & Co. (R. Stone, A. A. Van Vorhees ) manufacturers, importers and wholesale dealers in harness, saddles, saddlery hardware, carriage trimmings, leather and shoe findings, No. 150 J. street, between Fifth and Sixth. House established in 1850, being the oldest in this line in the city. Occupies a three-story brick building, three floors 20x 160 feet. The main floor is the salesroom, and it is filled with saddlery hardware, shoe findings, leather, blankets, robes, whips and shelf goods of every description in the trade. The next floor is filled, back 100 feet, with saddles, harnesses, collars, halters, bridals, etc.. In this department the house has no superior in bulk and quality of goods on the Pacific Coast, San Francisco not excepted, having taken the first premium and gold metal for the best carriage harness, best Mexican saddles, and best collars at the State Fair, 1877, and previously. The other 60 feet of this floor is used for manufacturing purposes. In the rear of the building is another manufactory, 20x 40 feet, for horse collars. The basement is packed to overflowing with goods in original packages. The house claims to manufacture the best heavy team collars made on the Coast. Messrs. Stone & Co. buy their goods direct from manufacturers, and claims superior facilities for getting the best goods at the lowest prices. All English goods are imported direct, thus saving the percentage of the middle men. The house can thus compete with San Francisco or Eastern jobbers, and is not only doing so every day, but in many instances shading their prices. Their trade extends all over the Pacific Coast, including Idaho, Montana, and as far east as Denver and the Black Hills. They also supply St. Louis, houses with skirting leather and other articles peculiar to this coast. Twenty-six workmen are constantly employed, and $25,000 disbursed annually for wages.
A Wholesale Crockery House.
A few years ago a young man came to Sacramento as a representative of the firm of Ackerman & Co., of San Francisco, and established here a general variety store, having for its basis, however, the sale of crockery, glass, Chinaware, etc.. It was not long before the young business man (Maurice Block) saw the opening that was afforded for building up a large wholesale trade in the latter line of goods. To think with him was to act; and, assisted by newspaper ink, he caused the people of the interior to understand that he could and would undersell the San Francisco houses in the crockery line. His trade increased, doubled, tripled, quadrupled, until now he has a number of men constantly employed packing goods for shipment to all parts of the coast. Their store, at 189 J. street, near Seventh, has been enlarged time and again, and the basement of the two buildings is occupied by a very large stock of crockery, elegant China sets, glassware of every description, etc., etc.. Hotels, country stores and families can purchased goods at this house and feel that nowhere on the Pacific coast could a like article be purchased for less money. Freight from this point is cheaper than from San Francisco, and the encumbrance of drayage, wharfage, etc. to be found by dealers there, are not found in Sacramento. This firm has in its main store an elegant assortment of silver-plated ware, majolica ware, Bohemian and enameled Bisque ware, Parian marble, and many articles of virtue, rare and beautiful. The success of the Sacramento House of Ackerman & Co., is unequaled in this city.
The furniture warerooms or John Breuner, Nos. 166,168 and 170 K. street, between Fifth and Sixth, is the largest single floor wareroom on the Pacific Coast. The main building is 60x 120 feet, with an addition fronting on the Sixth Street of 40 feet. Mr. Breuner is one of the pioneer furniture men of Sacramento, having first entered the business in 1856, on K. street, between Fourth and Fifth, where he remained two years, from whence he removed to 170 K. street, on the same spot where part of his present store stands, and continued business here until 1872, when a serious disaster overtook him, whether in consequence of the severe strain of the immense stock he was then carrying, or the poor material the supports were made of, the building gave way, crushing and destroying all its fall the building and furniture, amounting in all $120,000. After recovering from this embarrassment to his business and finances, he opened two stores on J. street, temporarily and then removed to the Masonic building, corner of Sixth and K, in July, 1872, where he carried on business until the present store he is now occupying was again reconstructed, which is finished in 1875.
Mr. Breuner manufacturers as well as imports largely of the finest furniture and household goods. He carries such an extensive stock, and dealing directly with first hands, can compete in prices with any house in California, from the plainest to the very finest goods.
Van Heusen & Huntoon.
These gentlemen have been established here some fifteen years. They are importers, wholesale and retail dealers in all kinds of furniture, bedding, etc. Their large and spacious store at No. 204 J. street is filled to repletion with a stock of well selected furniture, from the more common to the finest and richest kinds demanded by the trade. The individual members of the firm are Mr. Graham K. Van Heusen and Mr. John L. Huntoon, both of whom are well and favorably known in business circles. Their success is due to their own efforts, and, therefore, although more commendable.
This wholesale liquor establishment is situated on Fourth street between J. and K., and contains, perhaps, the heaviest stock of foreign wines and liquors of any house in the State. The firm does a large business in the State of Nevada, and is looked on as one of the most reliable, as whatever the agents sell it is delivered as represented. The business of the firm was started in Sacramento City as early as 1852, and has ever since continued under the same firm name. The close attention to business, and persistence under all the troubles of fire and flood, Ebner brothers have become wealthy.
Studebaker Wagon Agency.
E. E. Ames, general agent for Studebaker Bros' Manufacturing Co., South Bend, Indiana, manufacturers of wagons, carriages, etc.; of B. F. Avery & Sons, Louisville, Kentucky, manufacturers of sulky, gang and hand plows; of C. H. & L. J. McCormick, Chicago, Illinois, manufacturers of mowers, reapers and harvesters, and of the Sarvin Wheel Works, Indianapolis, Indiana. Mr. Ames' office and repository is at No. 49 and 51 J. street, Sacramento, occupying 40x 160 feet, with basement for storage 40x 172 feet. Manufactory, old Sacramento Theater building, 30 and 32 Third street, 50x 120 feet. The space occupied by the repository, storage and manufactory aggregates 26,000 square feet. This house was established by Mr. Ames in 1870. The Studebaker wagons, once introduced became a recommendation unto themselves, and from the first year of their introduction there has never been a time when Mr. Ames could supply the demand. The other specialties introduced by him became equally popular; and in the short period of seven years his business has grown from nothing to gigantic proportions. As an item of interest to the public, we mention the fact that the capacity of the McCormick Reaper Works is 25,000 machines annually; of the Avery & Sons Plow Works, 145,000 plows per year; of the Sarven Wheel Works, 85,000 sets of wheels, and that the Studebaker Wagon and Carriage Works are the largest in the world.
California Candy Manufactory.
This establishment was originally opened at 113 K. street, next to be Metropolitan Theater, in the year 1865, by Henry Fisher; there he remained three years, but finding his business steadily increasing, he was of necessity compelled to seek more commodious quarters. In 1868 he moved to 118 J. street, where he remained seven years. In November, 1874, he bought the large and elegant store, 138 J. street, which he now occupies. Mr. Fisher is an extensive manufacturer of all the sweets, and has the large candy manufactory outside of San Francisco, if not in the state. The front store is devoted exclusively to confectionary and fancy cakes, is one of the most attractive to be seen anywhere. Here may be found all the confectioneries in the category of sweets; hearts, mottoes, gum-drops, chocolate creams, lemon drops, marsh mellows, bottled candies, and every design that can be imagined or conceived. Panorama Eggs and Hearts, a new design in candies, are the most unique and beautiful productions of his factory, containing scenes of forests, fields, etc.
E. L. Billings & Co., Liquor Merchants.
This is an old established business house, and is doing an immense wholesale trade. Mr. Billings came to California in 1852, from Canada, and located in Sacramento City, hiring out as an assistant in the Soda Water manufacturing. By rigid economy he gained sufficient money to enter into the liquor business in a small way, and so on, until he has become wealthy in personal and real estate. Mr. Billings owns a large and very valuable farm in Yolo County. He is a first-class business man, always on hand, and has an eye to everything that is going on; kind to strangers, and very strong in his likes and dislikes. The store is situated on K. street, between Fifth and Sixth. Mr. Billings is the pioneer soda water manufacturer of the city, and the firm does a heavy business in that line now. Mr. Woodburn, the traveling agent of the firm, is well and favorably known all over the state, particularly in the northern part, and on the line of Nevada. He is a most genial gentlemen, and is taken by strangers for a clergyman, and perhaps for this reason is unusually successful.
Golden Eagle Hotel
F. A. Hornblower, proprietor, was born in London, England, February 14th, 1828. He came around the Horn from Boston, and arrived in San Francisco January 12th, 1849. Mr. H. formed a partnership with G. F. Simons from Texas, and build the Phoenix Hotel at a cost of $100,000; also, built a theater in this house, and produced the first or dramatic performance on this coast. The big fire burnt the house down. Mr. Hornblower then went to El Dorado County and commenced trading, having stores at Georgetown, Greenwood Valley, Poverty Bar, Yankee Jim's, and Spanish Flat; the main part at Greenwood, and supplying the other stores from there with a train of pack mules. In 1854 his store in Greenwood was destroyed by fire; again by fire he lost everything Mr. H., being educated to the law, commenced practice and was admitted into the Courts. In July, 1856, he was elected to the office of City Attorney of Placerville. In 1867 his eyesight became so much impaired that he had to quit the practice of law, and in 1868 he furnished the Orleans Hotel in Sacramento. In 1874 he sold out to Mr. Thayer; and removed to San Francisco. He furnished and leased the Commercial Hotel, superintending the entire construction and planning of the same. Then small-pox came into the house, having nine cases and two deaths, which absolutely closed the house. In September, 1877, he leased the Golden Eagle Hotel in Sacramento, and now is doing a fine business.
This hotel it is situated on Second street, between J. and K., and is conducted by Thomas Guinean, its present owner. It is considered a first-class house, and, during legislative sessions, is a favorite home with many of the members and their families. It is distinguished as the "Senatorial Headquarters," pending the election of United States Senator, and is therefore liberally patronized by the prominent politicians of every part of the State. It enjoys a reputation for comfort, cleanliness, respectability and home-like advantages that are not excelled by any other hotel in the city. It is eminently adapted to transient custom, as, with its other superior advantages, it combines close proximity to all leading business houses and banks, to Wells, Fargo & Co.'s Express office, and is with in a stones throw of the railroad depot and s teamboat landings. Its landlord is a very popular and well-known gentlemen, having been one of the Sacramento's businessmen since 1855, when he started an oyster stand in the old Alhambra, on the present site of fee arcade Hotel, with a capital of $110. With perseverance, economy and a flat build old manners, he has succeeded from step to step, until he has become the sole owner and proprietor of the hotel. In the year 1866, Mr. Queenan tore down the original buildings, and, in the following year, erected the present hand some structure, supplying it with all the modern appliances for the comfort inconvenience of its guests if.
The Orleans Hotel.
This old well-known Sacramento hotel, situated on Second street, between J. and K., has lately been entirely remodeled, repainted and replenished throughout, and is now one of the best first-class houses in the State. It is conducted by J. M. Staples, Esq., a genial and pleasant landlord, well known for years to the traveling public. This hotel it is now the largest and best conducted in Sacramento. At this time, while the Legislature is in session, it is the "Political Headquarters." The Orleans is three stories high, and has recently been entirely refurbished with new and delicate furniture, and now, with its 136 admirable and comfortable rooms, offers to guests all the comforts of and luxuries that can be found in a first-class well-conducted hotel. The house is in every particular adapted to the traveler, as it is but two blocks from the railroad depots and steamboat landings, next door to Wells, Fargo & Co.'s Express, and in close proximity to all the leading wholesale houses and banks.
In October, 1871, William Land purchased the Western Hotel from the event proprietor, N. D. . Thayer. With the active business energy for which he has always been noted, he commenced at once to improve it, and its business and famed increased wonderfully, when, in January, 1875, it was destroyed by fire. Not discouraged, but rather incited to new energy by this calamity, Mr. Land gave orders at once for its rebuilding, and, in addition, purchased a lot adjoining his all on the east , the securing for his hotel a total furniture of 120 feet with a depth of 160. The work was commenced about the middle of February, and about the middle of July of that year it was completed, and the finest second-class hotel on the Pacific Coast thrown open to the public. It is a model of architectural beauty, three stories in height. On the first floor it is a spacious office elegantly furnished, to the west the saloon, back of the office, on the west side, a commodious dining room which will comfortably seek two hundred guests. Back of this is an excellently arranged culinary department, neat as a pin, and on the southeast side of the court and back of the office, a washroom and spacious baggageroom. The other portions of the first floor, which front on K. street, are leased for a clothing store, a barbershop and a jewelry store. Over the office, on the second floor is the ladies' parlor, elegantly furnished and painted in parti-colors. The single and double rooms are well ventilated and lighted, and furnished with Brussels carpets and the latest style of furniture, as elegant as can be found in any hotel in the State, outside the Palace of San Francisco. Near the center of the second story, are neat baths supplied with all the modern improvements, which the guests are allowed to use free of charge. The third story is nearly the same as the second. There it is a fire hydrant with hose attached in each hall and on the roof a tank capable of holding 3,500 gallons of water and is supplied from the city main. To guard against loss of life in case of a fire, two fire-escaped stairways have been constructed in the rear of the building, giving five distinctive wide means of escape from the upper portions. There are sleeping accommodations for 185 people. In the last year this enterprising caterer to the public has expanded upwards of $10,000 in painting and ornamenting his premises, the front being in mastic. From the basement to the roof everything is in superb order, and the Western has, since its purchased by Mr. Land, maintained and deserve the reputation of being the neatest and best kept house in the State. Everything is thoroughly systemized and the wants of the guests are obeyed like clock-work. It has been a great success, its business is constantly on the increase, and the proprietor may soon find it necessary to still further enlarge and improve.
Source: Pen Portraits, by R. R. Parkison, San Francisco, 1878. Pages 113-142.
Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton.