Davis Historic Bicycle Tour

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hattie-weber1. Old Davis Library (now Hattie Weber Museum) ⋅ 445 C St ⋅ 1911

First library building in Davis. The Bachelor Girls, a social organization, collected $550 to purchase a lot on F Street to construct this building. Hattie Weber, the first librarian, remained in charge for 43 years. When the building was moved to its present site in 1988, it opened as the Hattie Weber Museum in honor of the years of service she dedicated to the citizens of Davis. 

lincoln2. Lincoln Highway Marker ⋅ Central Park near B St ⋅ 1920s

Who could have imagined that the first highway connecting New York to San Francisco would pass through Davis? The Lincoln Highway, also known as U.S. 40, did just that on its final stretch from the Sierra to the Bay Area. The oak-shaded Slater's Court on Olive Drive and the Boy Scout Cabin on First Street are glimpses of history from the 1920s era of the Lincoln Highway. Lincoln Highway markers, originally used to show turns in the road, stand in Central Park on the corner of Fifth and B Streets, and on the south side of Russell Boulevard at Arthur Street.

church3. Davis Community Church ⋅ 412 C St ⋅ 1926

The only large scale Spanish Colonial structure in Davis, a fine example of the best architectural achievements of the 1920s. Cypress trees grown from seeds brought from the Garden of Gethsemane flank the front entrance.

4. Jacobson-Wilson House ⋅ 232 B St ⋅ 1914

John Jacobson, a carpenter employed by the University, built this one-story bungalow, which fuses the Craftsman and Colonial Revival styles, in 1914. He built other houses in the neighborhood, mainly working for professors he met on campus. He lived in this house until 1919 when it was purchased by James Wilson, professor of Animal Husbandry at the University. In 1925, Professor Wilson became the first chair of the Planning Commission and served as chair for 12 years.

5. Clancy House ⋅ 137 C St ⋅ 1913

This structurally impressive residence stands as a symbol of what could be accomplished "starting on a shoestring" by diligent and hard-working immigrants in the early days of California. Mathew Clancy, an Irish immigrant who settled in Davisville in 1862, built this variation of Colonial Revival style house 51 years later in 1913. He worked for various local farmers and in 1873 leased 520 acres where he raised wheat and livestock. By 1896 his savings permitted the purchase of 160 acres in Solano County, and he continued to rent other farms, including the land where the College Park section of Davis is now. He continued to increase his acreage, both owned and leased, and farmed until his death.

6. A.J. Plant Home ⋅ 221 1st St ⋅ 1911

This Colonial Revival house was constructed in 1911 by A.J. Plant, who was very influential in the campaign to locate the University of California's University Farm in Davis. The building is now used as a fraternity house.

7. Barovetto Home and Tank House ⋅ 209 and 209½ 2nd St ⋅ 1915

This Craftsman bungalow was constructed in 1915, and was the home of Giovanni Barovetto, an early employee of the University Viticulture Department.

8. Eggleston Home ⋅ 232 3rd St ⋅ 1870

This one-story Victorian house, built in 1870, is one of two remaining Victorians in the University area. It is one of the earliest houses in this part of the City, and one of the oldest surviving buildings in town. Associated with 19th century agriculture, the house pre-dates the subdivision of lots and development of urban residential dwellings in the area. It also is associated with Lucy Eggleston, an early resident of Davis and the long-time secretary of the Women's Christian Temperance Union in the town

grieveasbill9. Greive-Asbill Home ⋅ 310 A St ⋅ 1909

This 1 ½ story shingled Craftsman bungalow was built of Humboldt County redwood by Albert "Jack" Greive. The Greive family played a significant role in the commercial development of Davisville. The house was moved to its present location in the 1970s from its original site on the northeast corner of 3rd & A Streets.

10. McDonald House ⋅ 337 B St ⋅ 1894

This Victorian cottage with its gable detailing is an example of a simple Queen Anne style. Built in 1894, it pre-dates the establishment of the University Farm and the subdivision of the area into residential lots. Along with the Eggleston home on 3rd St, it is one of two pre-20th century houses in what is now the University area.

hamelhome11. H.J. Hamel Home ⋅ 505 2nd St ⋅ 1920

Built by Henry Jacob, son of Hartman Henry Hamel, a German immigrant, who came to Davis in 1867. A typical example of the fusion of Colonial Revival and craftsman elements.

12. Dresbach-Hunt-Boyer Mansion ⋅ 604 2nd St ⋅ 1875

The Dresbach-Hunt-Boyer Mansion, a two story Italianate house topped by a very shallow hipped roof, is a superb example of the style and one of the few remaining mansions in the downtown area. The 12 room, 3500 square foot main house and 340 square foot water tower were built between 1871 and 1875 by William Dresbach, the original owner and Davisville's first postmaster. Mr. Dresbach is credited with naming the town after rancher Jerome C. Davis. The land on which the mansion sits is likely some of the first residential land purchased in Davisville. Mr. Dresbach, one of Davisville's wealthiest citizens, also owned a livery stable, general store, hotel and saloon, and a grain warehouse.

13. Varsity Theatre ⋅ 616 2nd St ⋅ 1950

The Varsity Theatre is a superb example of a late Streamline Moderne movie palace. The architectural designer, William Bernard Davis (1905-1985), designed many movie houses in Northern California, including the Tower Theatre in Sacramento. Mr. Davis honed his skills as an apprentice to Hollywood architect S. Charles Lee, the most famous West Coast movie palace designer of the Art Deco era. Interior design was by theater decorator Santocono, with structural engineering by L.H. & B.L. Nishikian of San Francisco, a long-established San Francisco family firm specializing in theater design.

Billed in 1950 as the most modern theater in the Sacramento Valley, the Varsity Theatre boasted all the latest amenities. The city of Davis remodeled the Varsity in the 1990s for use as a performing theater and conference center. It was designated a City Landmark in 1998. In 2006, the Varsity reopened under private management as a movie theater featuring independent and art films.

boyscout-ca194414. Boy Scout Cabin ⋅ 1st & F Sts ⋅ 1927

Telephone pole logs donated by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. were used by members of the Davis Rotary Club to build this cabin for use by local Boy Scout troops. This cabin is an example of a continued fondness for the rustic forms and images of pioneer America.
(Photo © Eastman Collection Photos, Department of Special Collections, University of California Library, Davis CA.) The Eastman Collection contains many historic photos of Davis and other Central Valley communities.

subway-ca192015. Davis Subway (Richards Underpass) ⋅ Richards Blvd & 1st St ⋅ 1917

The Davis Subway, better known to the community as Richards Boulevard Underpass, is listed on the prestigious National Register of Historic Places. The subway, built in 1917, is formed by the last remaining I-beam railroad bridge in use in California. It was constructed as part of the first state highway, State Route 6. Once complete, the highway became an alternate route on the coast-to-coast Lincoln Highway, linking Sacramento to the Bay Area

sp-depot16. Southern Pacific Depot ⋅ 2nd & H Sts ⋅ 1913

In 1868, the California Pacific Railroad built a branch north from Davisville to Yuba City off its main line between Vallejo and Sacramento. This "Y Junction" greatly stimulated growth in Davisville. The original frame depot was replaced in 1913 by the present Mission Revival style structure commonly used by the railroad to let people know they had arrived in "exotic" California. The Depot is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

brinleyblock17. Brinley Block ⋅ 714-726 2nd St ⋅ 1926

An attractive example of Commercial architecture of the late 1920's. Ornamentation primarily consists of integral patterns in the brick.

andersonbank18. Anderson Bank Building ⋅ 203 G St ⋅ 1914

Built by J.B. Anderson, first mayor of Davis, to house the newly formed Bank of Davis. The direct simplicity of its style reflect the influences of Louis H. Sullivan, a landmark American architect of the Prairie School.

19. Masonic Lodge ⋅ 221-225 G St ⋅ 1917

This two-story structure was formally dedicated in 1917, although the Masonic Lodge of Davis had been chartered in 1873. This is a typical American building type: a two-story structure housing a fraternal society on the second floor, with the ground floor devoted to income-producing commercial space. The Masons no longer occupy the building. Although not as visible today because of mature trees, the Renaissance Revival building is one of the largest and most imposing of the historic commercial buildings on G Street. It joins with the Brinley Block, the Anderson Bank Building, and the Bank of Yolo as visible remnants of the historic Davis commercial district along "main street.

Old Davis City Hall20. Old Davis City Hall ⋅ 226 F St ⋅ 1938

This Spanish Colonial Revival style building originally housed all city administrative offices and the Police and Fire Departments.
(Photo © Eastman Collection Photos, Department of Special Collections, University of California Library, Davis CA. The Eastman Collection contains many historic photos of Davis and other Central Valley communities.)

bankofyolo21. Bank of Yolo ⋅ 301 G St ⋅ 1910

The building establishes a massive scale through its careful proportion. The Bank of Yolo operated until 1933. Although it did not open its doors after the Crash, depositors were paid in full within a few years.

22. First Presbyterian Manse ⋅ 619 4th St ⋅ 1884

This Classical Revival house was built in 1884 by William H. Hampton, owner of the Davisville Lumber Company and an elder and bookkeeper for the Davisville Prebyterian Church (Davis Community Church). It served as the first manse (pastor's residence) of the church and the first occupant was Rev. J.E. Anderson. It was converted into a community center for students in 1924, but later sold to private owners and returned to residential use. In 1928 it was the home of Rev. Martin Fiske, pastor of the Davis Community Church from 1920 to 1933. Rev. Fiske was responsible for raising funds for the construction of the church building at 4th and C Streets in 1926.

23. Grady Home ⋅ 602 D St ⋅ 1913

This 1913 house is a hip roof, rectangular plan building with a projecting front gable half porch. The gable end eaves turn slightly upward, and both the fascia and the exposed rafter tails are decoratively finished. Heavy, square posts support a wide lintel under the porch gable. This lintel is decoratively treated with a raised dentil motif. Knee brace brackets support the gable overhang. The raised porch has a closed rail, and low balustrades flank the entry stairs. Both the rail and balustrade are clad in the same novelty siding as the house. Fenestration consists of a wide, horizontal front window with a narrow band of muntins at the top, and elsewhere paired and single double-hung windows with divided upper sash. The house is a good example of a single-story bungalow and exemplifies the level of detailing and careful workmanship that were often applied to even simple houses of this period. Additionally, its single front gable form is similar to a number of bungalows within Old North Davis as well as other parts of the city. This type of bungalow form represents a distinctive architectural sub-type common to the area.

24. Liggett Home ⋅ 616 E St ⋅ 1913

This stucco Craftsman bungalow, built in 1913, is one of the oldest houses constructed in the Bower's Addition subdivision (Old North Davis). It remains an excellent example of its architectural type and appears to be unaltered.

25. Montgomery Home ⋅ 923 3rd St ⋅ 1890s

This Victorian residence was constructed in the 1890s. It is associated with the Montgomery family, pioneer farmers in the Putah Creek area.

26. Williams-Drummond Home ⋅ 320 I St ⋅ 1914

Believed to have been built on land purchased from the Jerome C. Davis Ranch. John Drummond, a local rancher, assumed the mortgage in 1880, and in 1918 passed it on to his daughter, Lillian, who was thought by the neighbors to be a witch. The house is of simplified Stick style and balloon frame construction.

schmeiser27. Schmeiser Home ⋅ 334 I St ⋅ 1911

Built by Davis pioneer-inventor Theodore Schmeiser, this Colonial Revival design with Queen Anne style features ornate brick work bordering the front porch. The house's most intriguing artifact is a swastika pattern in the chimney brickwork. Schmeiser, the son of German immigrants, had the brick pattern put in as a good luck charm.

mcbride28. McBride Home ⋅ 405 J St ⋅ 1912

This one story house with its hipped primary roof and gabled porch roofs is an example of Craftsman design. It was built by E.S. McBride, one of Davis' first councilmen.

tuftslongview29. Tufts-Longview Home ⋅ 434 J St ⋅ 1890

Victorian residence built for Joshua and Mary Tufts, pioneers responsible for the first commercial enterprises in the area. The house combines Stick and Eastlake styles. Noteworthy details include the eave brackets, turned porch columns, fishscale shingles and stained glass. The Tufts home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

cityhall30. Anderson-Hamel Home ⋅ 623 7th St ⋅ 1903

A Queen Anne cottage built by Davis' first mayor, John B. Anderson, who came to the Davisville area in 1893 and opened the Davisville Cash Store. The Hamels, another pioneer family, bought the house in 1923 and lived there until 1945. Originally built on the comer of 2nd and F Streets, the house was moved to its present location in 1945.

Old Davis High School31. Old Davis High School (City Hall) ⋅ 23 Russell Blvd ⋅ 1927

A group of citizens encouraged the creation of the school district by raising funds to purchase an entire city block for the site of the future high school. Converted to city office space in the early 1980s. The present gymnasium replaced a framed one that burned in a 1937 fire.

32. College Park ⋅ across from campus near Howard Wy ⋅ 1924

Residential area developed as an inducement in recruiting university facility. Lots sold for $475 to $500. There are 19 "landmark" trees of special interest within the park. Until 1950, this circle of stately homes was separated by a sheep pasture from the city, an indication of the town's rapid growth in the past decades.

Learn more about the City's Landmark Trees and the Street Tree Program.

33. Howard Home ⋅ 445 Russell Blvd ⋅ 1924

Walter L. Howard was Assistant Horticulturalist at the University of Missouri from 1901-1903, instructor from 1903-1904, Assistant Professor from 1905-1908, and Professor of Horticulture from 1908-1915 (refer to Figure 9). Howard worked fourteen years with the University of Missouri with a two year stint as the Secretary of the State Board of Horticulture, and one year as President of the American Society for Horticultural Science. In January 1915, Howard accepted an offer for a position as Associate Professor of Pomology from the University of California, Davis. He was charged with organizing the teaching and Experiment Station work in Pomology. He became Professor in 1918 and head of the Department of Pomology in 1918. From 1924-1925 he was Acting Director of the Branch of the College of Agriculture and Director of the College of Agriculture from 1925-1937. He became professor Emeritus in 1942.

bike-lane-134. First US bike lane ⋅ Sycamore Ln at Russell Blvd ⋅ 1967

A short section of lane extending north from Russell Blvd to the current northernmost driveway of the University Mall.

trees35. Avenue of the Trees ⋅ Russell Blvd west of Highway 113 ⋅ 1874-80

A 1.25 mile section of the transcontinental Lincoln Highway, shaded by majestic black walnut trees planted by H.M. LaRue. The trees were part of an early state and national interest in roadside beautification and improvement in the 1880s.

arlington36. Arlington Farm & LaRue-Romani Home ⋅ 2727 Russell Blvd ⋅ 1887

Built by H.M. LaRue, this Victorian is a typical farm home of the period. It later became the headquarters of a 2060-acre family farm developed between 1867 and 1918. LaRue was a prominent agriculturalist and state legislator. Son Jacob was active in efforts to acquire the University State Farm for Davisville.

37. Davis Cemetery ⋅ 820 Pole Line Rd

Like many small California communities, Davis has one primary cemetery. The earliest grave marker in the cemetery is 1855. There could be, however, earlier unmarked or unknown graves in the older portion of the graveyard. The cemetery is located on lands originally purchased by Col. Joseph B. Chiles.

38. Werner-Hamel Home ⋅ 1140 Los Robles St ⋅ 1859

This structure, built in 1859, is a square two-story house with a hip roof. It exhibits elements of Classical Revival and Italianate styles. Classical elements occur in the porch and dentil courses and symmetry of the building. Italianate elements are the structure's overall form, hip roof, quoined corners and cornices, brackets at the eaves, and porch canopy balustrades. The structure has been moved from its original site, and stands in its new location without the tank house, barn and brick sheds that once formed the farm complex for which it was the focal point. The additions to the rear and the second story were constructed in 1882.


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