Even as the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair was still underway, excitement was building over the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition that was to be held in Portland, Oregon the following summer. It would be the first expo held west of the Rockies - a part of the country still exotic to most Americans - and also held promise of being a smaller-but-grander successor to the event in St. Louis. President Roosevelt had committed almost a half million dollars (the 12-acre federal exhibit would ultimately cost almost 2x that), the great European nations were planning buildings with opulent displays (Italy's exhibit was valued at over $1 million), and 19 of the 45 states also would welcome the public via their own pavilions at the fair. California alone spent about $100,000 on its state exhibit.
Throughout California, cities, counties, and large industries were making plans for a significant presence at the Portland fair, and Sonoma County was no different; in March 1905, a civic group was formed to "work to advance our Imperial Sonoma" at the fair, with a board of directors elected at a banquet held at the Hotel St. Rose, attended by 160 of the county's movers and shakers. "'Unity' was the slogan sent out from the assemblage," the Press Democrat reported Mar. 10, and it looked like old animosities were to be set aside, even the Petaluma/Santa Rosa feud that went back to the Civil War.
As the October Press Democrat editorial (below) reveals, our newly-unified Sonoma County had no official presence whatsoever at the exposition. Aside from some olive oil sent by the Rincon Heights Olive Co. in Santa Rosa, the only local business representing the county was the Petaluma Incubator Company.
(At right: Views of exhibits in the California Building at the 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition in Portland, taken from the state committee's summary report. TOP: Note that there are bottles and jars on display everywhere, even on the tops of high columns where it would be impossible to read labels. Not counting bottles of finished products such as wine or olive oil, there were over a thousand jars filled with just nuts, seeds, cereals, soils and fruits. MIDDLE: The entrance to the state's forestry hall. Despite the pavilion's sturdy construction, it was only a temporary building erected for the fair and was built in less than three months. BOTTOM: Seen to the right is another column encased in bottles. Why there is a stuffed elephant at the back of this hall in the California pavilion is anyone's guess; there were no taxidermists listed among the exhibitors.)
Unlike Sonoma County, other parts of California weren't sitting out the dance. Besides contributing to their general regional displays (San Joaquin Valley, Bay Area, Coastal Counties, etc.), fourteen counties had their own representatives at the show to pass out literature and sing their glories. Even Glenn County had a rep in the pavilion - a place so middle-of-nowhere that I defy you to describe where it is or name a single town from memory.
Sonoma's absence not only failed to promote the county, but also probably hurt the region's economy. Although hops were the major crop grown here, not a single locally-grown bud was sent the fair. Visitors instead saw an exhibit from a Sacramento grower, which included a tabletop model of a hop farm so impressive that a photo was included in the state's report.
Sans Sonoma County, the exhibition was a major triumph for the state. Visitors from California wore with pride a yellow badge to announce their presence, with an average of 300 attending each day. State exhibitors took home 518 awards from the fair, over half of them gold medals.
So why did Sonoma County utterly fail to make a showing? The Press Democrat editorial doesn't even hint at who's to blame, which is a pretty good clue that the newspaper's good-old-boy clique was probably responsible. But at that blow-out March banquet, one speaker made a prescient observation: "Judge Seawell said that when he looked over the assemblage one thing was conspicuous to him - there was quite an aggregation of wealth and a great many men of recognized intellect of Sonoma County present at the festive board... the success of the new venture depended on a financial backing, the men at the festival board would put their money forth and make it the success which it deserved to be."
Also, the big laugh at the dinner apparently was a remark by a representative from the California Northwestern railway, who "urged the disappearance of the 'knocker' and playfully remarked that a 'knocker' was the kind of a man in following the suggestion of the certain doctor, to 'be chloroformed.'"
My guess is that both speakers made those comments because they feared it wouldn't end well. The Santa Rosa interests probably didn't like the idea of promoting Petaluma egg farmers, and I doubt few outside Santa Rosa supported the town's wildly ambitious goal of doubling its population from 10,000 to 20,000 in the next five years. I'm sure all factions saw nothing wrong with sitting down over dinner and applauding for "unity," but paying for it's another matter.
ANOTHER LOST OPPORTUNITY
Sonoma county lost another good opportunity when it failed to take advantage of the chance offered by the Portland Exposition to advertise its resources and advantages to the world. The Exposition is now a thing of the past and we cannot go back and correct the mistake we made in neglecting to prepare a proper exhibit and arrange for the right kind of representation there, but we can at least make up our minds that we will not be left out of such a thing very soon again.
Every county in the state paid its proportion of the $90,000 appropriated by the last legislature to meet the expense of maintaining a state exhibit at Portland, but it was only such counties as augmented the above by special appropriation and individual effort that received any direct benefit. This is the kind of work that appeals most directly to the people. While a very considerable indirect benefit of course results from a general state exhibit, the counties maintaining exhibits of their own and making individual efforts to secure homeseekers are always the ones that first accomplish the desired results.
One good example of the way in which individual effort can be made to apply in instances of this kind is presented in the case of the illustrated lectures given daily in the assembly hall fitted up for that purpose in the California building. Every half hour a different lecture was given and each was illustrated by colored slides and moving pictures. Appropriately worded placards announced the hours at which the views from the different counties would be shown, and anyone interested could, by dropping in at that time, gain a splendid ida of what the location he had in mind was like, besides hearing its advantages entertainingly and intelligently set forth by the lecturer. Alameda, San Bernardino, Santa Clara, Stanislaus, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Ventura, and the Pajaro valley were all represented here, and these are the locations that will be apt to reap the principal benefit from the state's appropriation. Agents on the ground and kept supplied with good descriptive literature are also important factors in such cases, and in the days to come Sonoma county should remember these things.- Press Democrat, October 18, 1905
"Sonoma County Progressive Association Formed," read the March 10,1905 Press Democrat front page headline. Surprising news, even more so because of the newspaper's approval. Editor Ernest L. Finley's politics were the opposite of progressive -- a few days afterward, he would slam President Teddy Roosevelt for appointing an African-American to a position where he would have some authority over "white people."
Words evolve, and "progressive" had more than one meaning circa 1905. Historians now label the late 19th-early 20th century decades as a progressive era, which saw the emergence of various liberal movements that were, among other things, pro-labor, pro-suffrage, anti-trust, and anti-child labor (good general article here, if you're unfamiliar with this history). By the time Teddy Roosevelt famously created the national "Bull Moose" Progressive Party in 1912, the definition of "progressive" was locked into its current useage.
But in the earlier part of the century, "progressive" also meant something more like, "pro-civic improvement." A progressive citizen demanded sewers and paved streets and new schools and hospitals - and was willing to vote for bonds to pay for the improvements. Municipal bonds were usually enthusiastically promoted by the papers, and when there were no local votes pending, the newspapers praised the merits of bonds passed in neighboring communities. In 1904, the LA Herald congratulated Pasadena and Long Beach on showing progressive spirit for passing bonds that paid for new water works and fire engines; the San Francisco Call possibly beat the drums for the Oakland muni bond campaign more than Oakland's own Tribune.
The Press Democrat was late to play the "progressive" card to win passage of a bond, but when they came to the table, they played to win at all costs. The banner headline above was not just strident, but threatening, and the accompanying article leaned hard on fear. Without a better water system a "menace to health" was possible, not to mention "more parched lawns." The sewer system was inadequate and a lawsuit was threatened against the city over lack of capacity (Santa Rosa was already under injunction for dumping sewage into the creek, foreshadowing modern-era legal actions against the city for treated wastewater in the Russian River).
Voters turned out in large numbers to approve the bond, with 1,094 casting ballots - sizable because although Santa Rosa had a population just over 10,000 and women were not allowed to vote, of course. The Press Democrat reported, "The landslide, however, exceeded the expectations of even the most sanguine of the prophets...carriages were dashing here and there [yet] one would hardly have known that an election of such moment to Santa Rosa's progress was taking place."
That $200,000 bond had passed just months after a failed Dec. 1904 try to win approval for a $75,000 school-only bond because classrooms so overcrowded that chairs were not even available. The new bond set aside $35k for schools -- which seemed generous, until close examination showed that $5 thousand went just to buy two (apparently overpriced) parcels and build modest schoolhouses south of Santa Rosa Creek and in Roseland. Children, I think our word for the day is, "unprogressive."
But promoting local bonds wasn't really the main stated objective of the Sonoma County Progressive Association, although it was formed just a few weeks before the bond vote. Its main goal was to "work to advance our Imperial Sonoma" at the upcoming Lewis & Clark Centennial Exposition in Portland, Oregon that summer. This might be the only example where the meaning of "progressive" was stretched to embrace advertising local commerce or tourism.
Civic leaders from all Sonoma County towns met for a banquet at the Hotel St. Rose that Wednesday night, and listened to speakers urge that the County develop plans for a big presence at the Portland Exposition. Judge Seawell remarked that Sonoma County had allowed its candle to remain too long under the bushel. "'Unity' was the slogan sent out from the assemblage," reported the PD, and as usual at these occasions, poor, put-upon Luther Burbank stood and said a very few words to great acclaim.
But aside from that swell dinner in Railroad Square and passage of Santa Rosa's muni bonds, there was no more mention in the 1905 newspapers of the Sonoma County Progressive Association, or for that matter, participation in the Portland Exposition. Although the fair was considered a great success for the West Coast, Sonoma County just couldn't get its act together, as Press Democrat editor Finley tsk-tsks in the editorial that follows.
Santa Rosa's municipal bond passed in March, 1905, and look who walked in with over $200,000 to buy every single bond: James Wyatt Oates, the prominent lawyer who built the home that would become known as Comstock House.
As reported in the article below, competing financiers were "amazed" by Oates' bid, which came with no strings attached and offered $4,001 over the face value of the bonds.
Oates was well-off, but couldn't have purchased the bonds for himself -they were worth the equivalent of something over $20 million today. That he was representing a consortium was confirmed by a small item in the June 11 paper that noted the bonds were officially "turned over to the purchaser, Colonel James W. Oates, who acted for himself and other local capitalists." The identity of these investors is unknown; Oates kept his business affairs quiet, even while making sure the newspapers were kept apprised about his social doings.
Obl. Believe-it-or-Not factoid: March 28, 1905 must have been a big day for Oates. Not only did Santa Rosa voters approve this bond, but the Santa Rosa Republican also published its announcement that Comstock House was completed, including a remarkable 3-column sketch of the house.
CITY IMPROVEMENT BONDS BRING LARGE PREMIUM
Colonel James W. Oates Is Successful Bidder, Giving a Bonus of $400
The meeting of the City Council last evening was honored by the presence of many men of finance. These were drawn by the opening of bids for the purchase of the bonds for $200,000 recently voted for municipal improvements.
The bonds were purchased by Judge James W. Oates. His bid was a premium of $4001 in addition to the par value of the bond issue. Other financial men present were amazed at the amount of premium offered by Colonel Oates, and one buyer's representative who ventured to inquire into the matter and asked for an interpretation of the high bid, was promptly "sat upon" by the genial Colonel.
The bidders for the bonds were E. H. Rollins & Son, President E. F. Woodward of the Union Trust-Savings Bank, James W. Oates, President J. H. Brush of the Santa Rosa National Bank and A. W. Halsey & Co. of San Francisco.
E. H. Rollins & Son bid par value, accrued interest and a premium of $786, conditioned on the furnishings of a certified copy of the proceedings leading up to the bond issue satisfactory to the firm's attorneys.
President E. F. Woodward's bid was par, secured interest and $107.5 premium. The bidder stated that if the proposal was accepted his bank would be willing that there would be delay in delivering bonds until the money was actually needed by the city, for the period of six months if necessary, without interest being charged. Fifteen days notice to be given when money was required.
Colonel James W. Oates' bid was clear cut and offered $204,001 for the bond issue.
[Details on other bids]
...[T]he bid of Colonel Oates was accepted. In seconding the motion Councilman Brown called attention to the fact that there was no strings on the bid of Colonel Oates, such as furnishing a certified copy of proceedings for an attorney's inspection, and there would be no delay and no excuses found for refusing to take the bonds. He declared the bid was the most businesslike proposition made to the Council.
The motion to accept the bid was unanimous...- Santa Rosa Republican, May 17, 1905
"Nostalgia ain't what it used to be," Stan Kenton famously said, and anyone tempted to wax sentimental about old-time Santa Rosa needs to take a closer look, starting with a peek at the maps.
I've been spending much of my research time recently with the 1904 Santa Rosa Sanborn maps (project TBA). These maps can be found for many communities in the U.S. and were made for fire insurance assessment. They show the precise outline and some basic details for every building (even outhouses, sheds, and chicken coops), the type of roof and chimney, where the fire hydrants are, diameter of the water pipes, and all those other details an insurance company might think important before insuring the property owner. The maps were updated every few years, so through them you can often watch a town grow. But that's only the tip of the proverbial iceberg; ethnic neighborhoods are sometimes indicated (hello, redlining) as well as redlight districts and other details that would be otherwise lost.
Before diving into the maps, first an update to an earlier post, "When we all met Downtown Saturday Night:" The first item below shows that the free Saturday night entertainment in downtown Santa Rosa not only included band concerts from the courthouse balcony, but also moving pictures and slides of illustrated songs. One of the dials on my time machine is now set for a Saturday midsummer night in 1905 when the whole town's in the square singing "Wait 'Till the Sun Shines, Nellie." The sweet little Iowa town in "The Music Man" was never half as charming.
But come the start of horse racing season, we got trouble right here in River City.
As will be shown in a following post, the saloons and hotels along Fourth Street and Main Street were openly running illegal games, including roulette, craps, faro, and klondike, which apparently was similar to six-card stud. The Santa Rosa Republican, which exposed the gambling that local police apparently had been ignoring for decades, compared the nighttime scene in downtown Santa Rosa to a mining camp.
The Republican expose also revealed that young boys were welcomed at the gambling tables alongside adults. And local youth weren't just tempted by cards and dice; a few months before, a pair of kids were found in an opium joint on Second street and taken to the police station for a "severe lecture." Opium wasn't illegal in 1905 (although smoking it was considered a "pernicious practice as far as white people are concerned" - see Press Democrat, above), and doubtless many boys experimented with the drug, which was widely available in California; former U.S. Congressman Duncan E. McKinlay of Santa Rosa proposed in 1912 to tax opium at $5 per pound, believing it was impossible to stop the smuggling trade. Likewise many locals probably had a lifelong gambling addiction that began in their teens. What shocks is that either vice was entrenched in such a rural town with a population just over 10,000 - we're not talking Hell's Kitchen or the Barbary Coast, here. Distances were small; Junior only had to go two short blocks from an opium couch to a barroom poker table, staggering past Courthouse Square, where Ma and Pa enjoyed that Saturday singalong. Was that a scene cut from "The Music Man?"
It's those insurance maps, however, that reveal more about the rough side of early 20th century Santa Rosa. In that era, whorehouses were indicated with the euphemism of "Female Boarding Houses," which is confirmed in a newspaper article in the following post that identifies Santa Rosa's "redlight district." The heart of the district is shown in the map detail of the intersection of 1st and D streets. On the 1904 map, Santa Rosa had eleven brothels in the immediate neighborhood, and many were also large buildings or had two stories. By contrast, Petaluma, which was about two-thirds the size of Santa Rosa, had two cottage-sized bordellos shown on their 1906 map.
Why in the world did Santa Rosa have such a big redlight district? Like the illegal gambling, town officials obviously had an unwritten policy to tolerate prostitution on a large scale. But there also had to be enough demand to support the business. Even though autos were few, all roads and train tracks in Sonoma County eventually led to Santa Rosa, and nights on those remote farms or deep in those dark redwood forests can be famously cold and lonely. Were there enough locals to keep the red lights burning? Probably not, unless business was also supplemented by steady traffic from San Francisco men, who were specifically mentioned as the driving force behind the gambling problems in racing season. The questions beg: How "wide open" was Santa Rosa in this era? Was backroom gambling offered at the saloons year-round, and were the whorehouses as busy in January as August? Was Sonoma County's "River City" really the Bay Area's "Sin City?" (Well, one of them.)
(At right: a gag postcard mailed from Santa Rosa, July 8, 1910. On the back, "Milt" tells Miss Pederson in Napa that he is "feeling blue.")
Unfortunately, there's not much more we can learn about Santa Rosa's redlight district from the insurance maps. The Female Boarding/F.B. nomenclature seems to only have been used for a few years around the turn of the century. The maps were also produced irregularly. The 1904 map was followed by another four years later, which shows two of the 11 bordellos were now residences. But after 1908, the maps were only updated with slips of paper to be pasted over the map. It wasn't until 1936 that an all-new map was created for Santa Rosa, and by then the neighborhood was almost entirely auto and farm equipment repair shops. Only two of the old prostitution houses remained in this pre-WWII Gasoline Alley, and they were the same buildings that the 1908 map had reported as converted to private homes.
However rough the downtown party, Santa Rosa did have a bonafide family-friendly playground in the Grace Brother's Park, as mentioned in the second item below. Then owned by the local brewery, it was known at the turn of the century as City Gardens, and before that, Kroncke's Park (and long before that, Hewitt's Grove). It was about a half-mile from downtown, on the other side of Fourth St. from McDonald Ave, and it wasn't really very big -- deeper than wide, it was only about the total size of an average city block -- but it included a bowling alley (they played ten pin, same as today, except they used a wooden ball), a saloon with a beer garden, a large pavilion with a dance floor, and a concession stand that sold ice cream and other treats. Electric lights were strung overhead. Notices about social and church groups renting the park appeared in the 1905 papers regularly. But still, you wonder; as delightful as biergarten bowling and ice cream surely were, the park was still a trek or trolley ride from the brighter lights of the downtown district, where other allurements were only steps away (or at least, for men and boys) -- the opium rooms tucked away on Second Street, and the door-after-door whorehouses that beckoned on First.
Today, all traces of early Santa Rosa's funland, both naughty and nice, are obliterated. The old Chinese neighborhood on Second St. (shown here in blue) - which the bane of Santa Rosa except when it came to cheap labor, chow mein, and the occasional dalliance with opium pipes and lottery tickets - is now the forlorn, always-shadowed walkway between the parking garage and the back of the movie theatre. Most of the redlight district (colored red) between D and E Street is now replaced by the state office building. Santa Rosa also destroyed the park that dated back to before the Civil War, and which was arguably the true soul of the town; the old Grace Brothers Park/City Gardens is now the Creekside Park apartment complex at 1130 4th Street.
Saturday Night Attractions
One of the biggest crowds that have attended Saturday night band concerts in Santa Rosa in the past listened to the music rendered by the Santa Rosa Band in front of the court house and the other attraction provided by the merchants at the other end of the street. It consisted of moving pictures, illustrated songs and other features of entertainment in the Hopper Block. The pictures were thrown on a large canvass [sic] against a building on one side of the street. The crowd of spectators was a dense one, completely blockading the thoroughfare at times. A more interesting program and a complete change is promised for next Saturday night.
Delightful Afternoon's Diversion
The second concert by Parks' band at Grace Brothers' Park will be given this afternoon beginning at 1 o'clock. The first concert last Sunday was well attended, and was highly enjoyable. The program was a pleasing variety of popular airs, classical music and dance tunes. Many of the concert-goers danced in the pavilion and the rest spent the afternoon up on the lawn under the trees, and listened to the music. Many children were there and all sorts of children's games were in vogue among them. Ice cream, lemonade and similar refreshments will be sold at the park during the concerts. Gentlemen pay an admission of 15 cents. Ladies and children enter free of charge.- Press Democrat, June 11, 1905
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I'm currently reading the Santa Rosa newspapers from early 1906 -- or rather, trying to. The microfilms are so badly scratched and faded that many pages are illegible because of interest in the Great Earthquake that happened in April. It's a loss that saddens because it was unnecessary; there's probably not much about the quake and its aftermath that's not already been hashed and rehashed in a shelf-full of books and articles.
Parachuting directly into a particular event is also a lousy way to learn about history. Yes, the newspaper accounts of such a day will be rich in who-what-when, and there will be a thrilling immediacy in the telling -- but there will be little or no of the why or how behind the event. By analogy: What could be fresh and unique to discover in the Dallas newspapers from the day after Kennedy's assassination, aside from shocked reactions? If you really want to understand the event, better to settle in with a good history book on the Bay of Pigs.
And if you want to learn about Santa Rosa or any other town, better instead to seek out articles like the one below. There's hardly any news value in it, and the piece isn't even well-written -- maybe it was a writeup of a presentation made by one of the women in the Saturday Afternoon Club; it reads better if you think of it as a speech to a civic group. Yet this little item about rambling around Santa Rosa's "South Side" is packed with valuable historic details.
Santa Rosa Creek absolutely defined a north-south boundary for the town in the early 20th century, just as the freeway now creates an east-west barrier. It was like a little river -- particularly west of South Main, where it was joined by Matanzas Creek -- but it wasn't just the body of water (or in sometimes in summer, dry creekbeds) that demarcated the old part of town from the "suburbs." There was also limited access across it; there were only four bridges that a rig or automobile could drive over in 1905. The banks were also abundant with trees and brush, presenting an imposing green wall blocking the view from either side.
(TOP: Bridge over Santa Rosa Creek connecting Sonoma Ave. to S. Main St, c. 1905
MIDDLE: Santa Rosa Creek from the Main St. bridge looking west, 1909
BOTTOM: Crossing the Main St. bridge driving south, c. 1910. Burbank's home on Tupper St. seen to left)
Burbank's home and gardens were right over the bridge at the corner of Sonoma Avenue, but south of that, the only things springing up for the next mile or so were cottages on tiny lots. The east side of South Main was already packed with houses; now builders were filling up the other side of the street. So rapidly was this part of town booming that this 1905 article mentions "Boswell street" (the author must have meant Bosley St.), which didn't even appear on a map from a year earlier.
These were marketed to families "who are not able to buy homes which are very expensive," as the writer (rather indelicately) states. Most were around 1,000 sq. ft. or so; an earlier news article posted here describes the interior of a typical home. Some only had outhouses.
The middle portion of this article may have been rewritten or otherwise punched-up by the newspaper to sell some of those houses. Although he was no longer editor, Santa Rosa Republican owner Allen Lemmon was still pushing lots in his "La Rosa Place" subdivision (available on the installment plan for $10/mo), and used to regularly fill space in the paper with oversized ads. Parts of the writing sound much like the sort of advert he often wrote.
This author was also probably the first to state in print that "the Cotati road...will be the main road between here and Petaluma." Given that there were only 21 automobiles in town and one gas station, it was prescient in 1905 to describe that dirt road south as destined to be anything significant, particularly considering the well-established road south went first through Sebastopol. "Cotati road" eventually became Old Redwood Highway and is now Santa Rosa Ave, but as late as 1918 it was just a dirt road -- and the only stretch of dirt road along the route between Sausalito and Ukiah. Oh, how those early motorists must have looked forward to the Santa Rosa leg of their journey, particularly in the rainy season.
Most significant in this article, however, is that it explicitly mentions Santa Rosa's "redlight district," which was at the intersection of 1st and D. More about the brothels in the following post.
IMPROVEMENTS IN SANTA ROSA
Trip Through South Side Reveals Many Intersting Facts of Growth in Suburbs
That Santa Rosa is soon the be a great city, and that of fine residences as well, is as certain that she is one of the most beautiful spots on the map to-day. A trip Tuesday through the suburbs of the city established this fact, and one has only to take a ride around through the additions on the South Side to conceive this same opinion. The number of new residences that have recently been erected there is an evidence that the people have confidence in that part of the city and are not afraid to put their money into good substantial houses, and attractive ones as well.
Out Sonoma avenue were found many fine new residences and a number of homes that have been remodeled recently, making this one of the finest residence streets in the City of Roses. And the best of it all is that they have not finished there yet, for there are new residences being erected at the present time. The new water main is soon to be laid there, and the pipe is already on the ground for the same. From here a visit was made to Charles street and then to Boswell street, where the improvements were found to be on a little different plan, though carrying out the same idea of enterprise and improvement. In this part of the city the people are buyng their lots and erecting small but comfortable cottages which will make them good homes. This is especially true of some of the property owners there who are erecting the houses and then selling them to families who are coming here, and who are not able to buy homes which are very expensive.
The most interesting feature of all in the south part of town is the opening up of the extension of A street across the creek. The street commences at the corner where the new grammar school is being built and extends from there south to the city limits, and there is a movement on foot now by some of the parties who are interested in the addition to bring the matter before the Board of Supervisors and have them open the street on through to the corner of the Cotati road. This will give an outlet on A street from the corner of Kopf & Donovan's store, on Fourth street, to the Cotati road on the south. The Cotati road, as all know, is destined to be the main road between here and Petaluma, and with this new street opened, and the bridge across the creek, as is proposed, there will be no reason why the people who are living south of the city should not have easy access to the City of Roses for their business center.
A large number of the homes which are being erected on the lots in the subdivisions in the South Side, as it is so well named, are being paid for in the building and loan plan, and the loans are either made by private individuals who are able to assist, and thus make good investments for the capital as well.
Another feature of the South Side which should be pushed, and which is to the advantage of the city, is the transforming of the creek banks from the corner of First street at the E street bridge along the creek to Main street, into a natural park. To do this will be necessary to remove all the redlight district, which is now located there, as well as the sheds and barns, but there could be no place within the boundaries of the City of Roses that would be such a natural park as these rustic banks of old Santa Rosa creek if they were cleaned up and beautified as they should be.- Santa Rosa Republican, November 8, 1905