Redwood City in San Mateo County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Diller-Chamberlain Gen. Store/American Hotel-American House/Sequoia Hotel/Bank of San Mateo County
Redwood City - Path of History
(Four markers are mounted on this pedestal.)
726 Main Street
The building’s rear entrance faced Redwood Creek, which was the waterway in use to float redwood logs to San Francisco during the Gold Rush – which is why a town began here. The store resembles the simple, classical, false-fronted commercial buildings built in the Mother Lode. Original details are still evident, such as the cast-iron shutters. P.P. Chamberlain, the second owner who operated here until 1916 as San Mateo County Treasurer, kept the county’s funds in the store safe.
From 1875 to 1911, the store also served as the Wells Fargo Express Office. In 1938, it was remodeled
726 Main Street
Land adjacent to Redwood Creek was purchased from Simon Mezes by John V. Diller in the 1850’s to build a one-story wooden structure for his general store. By 1859, Diller added a brick building fronting Main Street, as shown in the picture above.
From 1875 to 1911, the building also housed the Wells Fargo Express Office (note sign at far left).
P.P. Chamberlain, the second store owner, was the San Mateo County treasurer from 1882 to 1926.
In 1938, the building was remodeled to become Quong Lee Laundry.
After the 1989 earthquake, the building was seismically retrofitted and the façade was restored to the 1859 appearance.
This building is San Mateo County’s oldest continually operating commercial brick structure.
Main Street and Broadway
Edward Hancock was the owner in 1856 when ballots in San Mateo County’s first election were counted “in parlors” of the hotel. During the canvass, out-of-town politicians who had brazenly directed ballot stuffing in hopes of controlling the new county, resorted to gun threats and grappling for ballots as they were being counted. But the townspeople took their case to court, winning the right to name their own officials and to claim Redwood City as the county seat.
The first Board of Supervisors meeting took place here when it was decided to rent county office space in Diller’s Store (across the street, by the creek) until a new courthouse could be built.
The American Hotel burned down in 1864. Sidney Merrill, local druggist, postmaster, and Redwood City’s first tax collector, purchased the site for a new three-story hotel completed in 1867, calling it the American House. This hotel burned in 1878, replaced by the Wahl Building, which was torn down in 1931 when Broadway was extended east from Main Street.
800 Main Street
In 1928, President Herbert Hoover stayed here when he visited Redwood City and rode in the 4th of July Parade. This building has a number of classical features typical of its 1912 construction; two Ionic pilasters flank the two wooden front doors; above the third floor series of windows is a large cornice supported by thick brackets ornamented with a large “egg and dart” band.
800 Main Street
This prime corner lot in the heart of downtown was purchased by a group of local investors. The town had needed a first-class hotel for many years; the best one was demolished by the 1906 earthquake. The hotel cost more than $100,000 – quite an expenditure at that time. The three-story brick building was massive (100 ft. by 100 ft.) and elegantly and expensively decorated and furnished. Every two rooms had a bath and hot and cold water. Public restrooms were on
This building has a number of classical features typical of its 1912 construction; two Ionic pilasters flank the two wooden front doors; above the third floor series of windows is a large cornice supported by thick brackets ornamented with a large “egg and dart” band.
NE Corner of Main Street
For more than 40 years, the law office of Ross & Ross occupied the second floor. The attorney’s brother, Dr. J.L. Ross, was the first bank president. Dr. Ross had purchased the adjacent lot in 1899 and built a two-story brick building with a cast-iron front.
After the 1906 earthquake, the bank purchased the Ross building, and Coffey was hired to design a 55 ft. facade that
Erected by Redwood Historic Resources Advisory Committee.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Buildings. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #31 Herbert Hoover series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1859.
Location. 37° 29.205′ N, 122° 13.571′ W. Marker is in Redwood City, California, in San Mateo County. Marker is on Broadway near Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1998 Broadway, Redwood City CA 94063, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Path of History (a few steps from this marker); Eureka Corner (within shouting distance of this marker); The Pioneer Store (within shouting distance of this marker); Alhambra Theater (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Embarcadero Turning Basin Site (about 400 feet away); First Fire House (about 400 feet away); Redwood City Fire Department (about 500 feet away); Former Site of Sequoia High School (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Redwood City.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 30, 2022. It was originally submitted on January 15, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 657 times since then and 56 times this year. Last updated on July 25, 2022, by Joseph Alvarado of Livermore, California. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 15, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. 5, 6. submitted on July 26, 2022, by Joseph Alvarado of Livermore, California. 7. submitted on January 15, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. 8. submitted on July 26, 2022, by Joseph Alvarado of Livermore, California. 9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on January 15, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.