Fremont in Alameda County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Essanay Film Studio
The Essanay company of 52 people led by movie star cowboy Gilbert M. “Broncho Billy” Anderson arrived in Niles in April 1912, attracted to this community by its favorable weather and Niles Canyon scenery.
Over 100 films were made from their headquarters in a barn on Second Street by the time the studio building was ready for occupancy the next year. In the next three years Essanay produced two hundred and fifty films here: Broncho Billy westerns, Snakeville Comedies, contemporary dramas and five by Charlie Chaplin, including The Tramp (1915).
The studio closed in 1916 due to a change in ownership and consolidation of production facilities at the main studio in Chicago. Nevertheless, the Niles studio was the most successful movie company in the San Francisco Bay Area during the silent era.
Location. 37° 34.648′ N, 121° 58.883′ W. Marker is in Fremont Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 37299 Niles Boulevard, Fremont CA 94536, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Essanay Studio Site (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); “The Bankers Building” (approx. 0.2 miles away); Vallejo Flour Mill (approx. ¼ mile away); Completion of the Transcontinental Railroad (approx. ¼ mile away); Site of First Post Office (approx. 0.3 miles away); Pioneer Schoolhouse & Chapel (approx. one mile away); Mormon Pioneers / Mormon Pioneer Adobes (approx. 1.4 miles away); The Chadbourne Carriage House (approx. 2.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fremont.
Also see . . .
1. Essanay Studios. In April 1912, Anderson and a crew of 52 Essanay members arrived in Niles to film, as well as to search for a location for a new branch of the studio. Three Niles locals, saloon owner Billy Moore, Niles State Bank president August May and newspaper editor Luther Rood immediately saw the Essanay company as a potential money-earner for the town and offered to lease the company barn to use as a makeshift studio. (Submitted on March 18, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.)
2. Alkali Ike's Auto (1911). A silent film featuring "Broncho Billy" Anderson. (Submitted on March 18, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.)
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Credits. This page was last revised on July 26, 2018. This page originally submitted on March 18, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 544 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on March 18, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.