“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Lafayette in Contra Costa County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

Geils Building

Geils Building Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, November 26, 2009
1. Geils Building Marker
Inscription. Fred Geils erected this saloon in 1880. It has housed various businesses through the years, including dressmaking, butcher, shoe repair and barber shops.

Dedicated by
Soroptimist Club of Lafayette-Orinda
June 29, 1971

Erected 1971 by Soroptimist Club of Lafayette-Orinda.
Location. 37° 53.499′ N, 122° 7.085′ W. Marker is in Lafayette, California, in Contra Costa County. Marker is on Plaza Drive east of Moraga Road, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. The Geils Building is located on Plaza Drive, a short stretch of road that connects Moraga Road to Golden Gate Way, running along the south side of Lafayette Plaza Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3531 Plaza Drive, Lafayette CA 94549, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Dedicated to the Pony Express (within shouting distance of this marker); Lafayette House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lafayette Town Hall (approx. mile away); Tres Ranchos Del Sur (approx. 2.7 miles away); St. Paul's Episcopal Church (Walnut Creek, California)
The Geils Building image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, November 8, 2009
2. The Geils Building
(approx. 2.8 miles away); Oakland, Antioch & Eastern Railway (approx. 3 miles away); Civic Arts Theatre ("Nuthouse") (approx. 3.1 miles away); Walnut Growers; Processing Plant (approx. 3.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lafayette.
More about this marker. The marker is mounted on the front wall of the building in the middle, between the barber shop and restaurant.
Also see . . .  Village Life. The Lafayette Historical Society's telling of the Lafayette's history through pictures and stories. On the Geils Building, ...A tragic note in Lafayette's human history is the story of Geils's attempts to obtain land for a saloon from teetotaler "Grandfather Elam Brown" - only to die within days after achieving success. A local housewife, Emma Hough, related this saga of Geils in a series of letters sent to her husband, Orlando, beginning June 20, 1880: "Geils has got his saloon finished and furnished. Grandfather Brown would not sell him any land to put up a saloon on." Mrs. Hough explains how Geils got around Squire Brown's objections by adding: "He deceived Warren about it." (Elam's son, Warren, had bought the grist mill property and was selling off lots in 1874.) Five days later Mrs. Hough wrote: "Mr. Geils is very bad off. He can't live long (sic) he is trying to sell all the liquor he can while he does live." The last comment on the incident was penned July 4: "Mr. Geils died suddenly last night about four o'clock." (Submitted on December 4, 2009.) 
Categories. Notable Buildings
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 4, 2009, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 994 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 4, 2009, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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