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San Francisco, California letters

previous: Railroads   1883   1886   1888   1890   1896  A July 21, 1898 letter to Albert [on his way to Hawaii as part of the Spanish American War] congratulates him on making "excellent time in reaching San Francisco. I never made any better time in my six journeys across the country.  We know she went in 1883, and four times after that, and according to newspapers she made two other trips --  in 1882 and 1884 with the Union Square Theatre Company. In 1883 she referred to two previous trips, and we think there were seven in all.  Thanks to the Gold Rush, theatre came to California. The first theatrical performance by professional actors was given in San Francisco in 1850."    Sacramento had the first theater in California the  Eagle Theater   The California Theater was built in 1869 and the Baldwin Theatre in 1875, with the Baldwin Hotel opened in 1878.

Union Square companies
 made lucrative tours after 1877.  When company actors were not occupied in New York, "Palmer sent them forth, in the belief they were better at work than lounging around New York, thereby making money for the other managers, for his artists, and for himself.  This system is notable not so much for its sheer magnititude as because it was new.  Palmer's first aim was the perpetuation of the best New York stock company that was possible; his means toward that goal were no longer those of the old-school manager but of a modern producer.  Durham 1986

Baldwin Hotel and Theatre  At the corner of Market and Powell Streets according to hotel stationery.  Built by gambler/ entrepreneur Elias Jackson "Lucky" Baldwin in 1875 (Sumner Bugbee, architect)  Originally called Baldwin's Academy of Music, the theatre emphasized touring stars and attractions.  "In 1878 Baldwin built a magnificent hotel which encompassed the playhouse and occupied the rest of the block.  Virtually all the great touring performers of the day appeared in their best-known vehicles at the house ... Both hotel and theatre were destroyed by fire in 1898." [Oxford]

In the evening, by way of severe contrast [to the Mission Dolores they visited earlier that day], we went to Baldwin's Theatre, attached to the hotel of the same name and just finished. It is really the prettiest to be seen in any part of the world -- a perfect little gem, fitted up like a bonbonniere in crimson satin and gold. The six proscenium boxes on either side, and the row of French boxes at the back are marvelously pretty. Nothing could be more rich and exquisite in refinement of taste. The symmetry of the house is unmarred by rows of pillars, the galleries being suspended from the roof.  California: a pleasure trip from Gotham to the Golden Gate, Chapter 20, April, May, June, 1877. Mrs. Frank Leslie  http://nbc-lumber.com/Leslie/Ch20.htm

   Baldwin Hotel and Theatre EJ “Lucky” Baldwin

EJ Phillips' San Francisco Google Map    Cliff House    Telegraph Hill    Sacramento   San Rafel and the deYoungs    Stockton
Mary Glen's planned transcontinental train trip Chicago to San Francisco via Denver and Salt Lake City. I've done the northern trek from Portland, Seattle and Vancouver  [to San Jose] and south from [San Diego]  Los Angeles to Emeryville/San Francisco. 

On my first trip to San Francisco  in September 1993 I was taken by Marj and Max Mathews to the Cliff House and Seal Rocks as they were taking me from San Francisco to their house in Palo Alto.  My hotel room in the Sir Francis Drake on Powell Street had a print of the second (1896-1907) Cliff House and was located only a few blocks from the site of the Baldwin Hotel and Theatre.  It was several years before I learned the significance of these places in the EJ Phillips story.  Dick Pallowick took me to Chinatown, Golden Gate Park, Telegraph Hill, the Presidio and the Civil War Fort Point. The current Ferry Building was not built until 1898 but replaced a building in the same location. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Francisco_Ferry_Building 

EJ Phillips first trip to California seems to have been in August 1882 when she appeared in Sacramento and San Francisco in the Banker's Daughter, False Friend, Lights o' London and Daniel Rochat.

THE STAGE. The Musical Dramatic and Arenic Attractions for the Present Week— General Notes Eastern Stage. CALIFORNIA THEATRE. "Daniel Rochat" was an unequivocal artistic success during the past week, which was almost wholly due to the magnificent acting of the various members of the Union Square Company. Tomorrow night Edgar Fawcett's powerful drama of "A False Friend " will be presented for the first time In San Francisco. It is up for a run of one week only, and will be followed by the great melodrama of "The Lights o' London." The cast of the "False Friend " will be at follows : Characters in the prologue— Lucian Gleyre. F. DeBelleville ; Cuthbert Fielding, Joseph E. Whiting. Characters in the play Lucian Gleyre, F. DeBelleville ; Cuthbert Fielding, Joseph E. Whiting ; Andrew, J. H. Stoddart ; General Santley, John Parselle ; Abercrombie Courtweil Owen Fawcett ; Cyril Gerland, Walden Ramsey ; John An. Charles M. Collins; Thomas Bayard, Julian Magnus ; William Meadows, A. Jacques ; Bob, Alfred Becks ; Edith Fielding. Miss Eleanor Carey ; Lady Ogden, Mrs. E. J. Phillips ; Rebecca Santley, Miss Maud Harrison ; Eugenia Malilind, Miss E. Willis ; Marguerite Maitland. Miss Nellie Wetherill ; Mrs. Nina Chauncey, Miss Netta Gunion. Daily Alta California, Volume 34, Number 11814, 27 August 1882 Sunday California Digital Newspaper Collection, Center for Bibliographic Studies and Research, University of California, Riverside, http://cdnc.ucr.edu

The August 1883 letter describing the ascent of Pike's Peak  was written from the Baldwin Hotel, San Francisco. San Francisco's  Daily Alta newspaper listed the play at the Baldwin Theatre that August as Led Astray, one of Palmer's hits,  Sept 6 issue listed the Lights o' London. 


EJ Phillips Our Society review

Baldwin's Hotel
San F'co Cal  July 31st 1886
My dear Son,
The journey was long and tedious.  We should have been here yesterday morning & did not get here until nearly seven. The train ahead of us, which was the regular train, our being an extra, had the two engines thrown for the track yesterday morning Blue Ridge Mountains. [in the West?]  We passed the wreck about 2 PM.  No cars were upset but the two Engines were turned right over.  They said no one was hurt - but I think the Engineer and his companion must have received injuries - but were not killed.
It is very strange in these accidents how very reticent the RR officials are.  The Engineer of the 1st Engine was in a house near the accident, and we could not find anyone who could tell us anything about him.  New Engines had been procured and the train had gone on before we arrived, so that nothing remained but the two overturned Engines and the "wrecking Derrick train".  Of course it detained us at the previous station where we dined.
I found out last night that it cost only one dollar to telegraph to NY or Phila, so I telegraphed you both, but I dare say that Hattie will telegraph you too as I told her to do so - as I thought a telegraph would cost 2 dollars, so I sent two on learning it would only cost the same for two as one.  Owen Fawcett called this AM.  He is playing with [Helena] Modjeska.  They close tonight and leave tomorrow for Los Angeles.  Love and Kisses from your loving Mother  No letters yet from anyone but a bouquet from Mr. Ungers.  One week since I heard from you or Hattie

Baldwin Hotel, San F'co Cal
August 1st 1886
My dear Son,
Yesterday Matinee went to see [Helena] Modjeska in As You Like It. I did not like the star or her company - a very weak performance all through.  Owen Fawcett was the Touchstone - [Maurice] Barrymore the Orlando.  I did not know any of the others but they were all pretty queer. After Matinee, took a walk towards California Theatre and met McKee Rankin.  He closed his season of 56 weeks last night. His wife and daughters left for the East three weeks ago.  He asked after you and Hattie, and was pleased to hear you had started in life on your own account.  I promised him to go and see his performance last night, but I was too tired and so went to bed early.
AM Palmer was to arrive from Oregon this morning.  We open tomorrow night in Our Society - next week Jim the Penman, 3rd week Saints and Sinners - 4th week Love's Martyr.  Whether we play here or not on the 5th week is not certain - but we go to Los Angeles on closing here.  It is 500 miles South over a hot desert road - but it is said to be "lovely" when we get there.  Modjeska & Co leave today for Los Angeles.
The City is full of strangers, the G.A.R., badges are very conspicuous on Men and women.  This is Sunday, but every few minutes a band passes playing Yankee Doodle or Hail Columbia.  The City is ornamented with arches, flags, portraits of the War Generals and in many places Grant & Lee hang side by side!  Tuesday is the day when the grand procession takes place. After that the City will soon be quiet again, and I shall be able to get a good room in the hotel.  I am now in the Mansard room, comfortable little room which, under the circumstances, is better than I expected.  We have the New York division's [G.A.R.] headquarters in this hotel, also Wisconsin and Kansas, and I think Missouri. 

   GAR Market St Triumphal Arch 1886         Grand Parade of the 20th National Encampment G.A.R., San Francisco Cal[ifornia], August 3, 1886.

Wish I could find an image of Grant and Lee hanging side by side.

It seems months since I heard from you.  With this Grand Army business it seems all the trains are late.  I am all alone today, the girls Maud [Harrison] & Marie [Greenwald] having gone across the bay with Mr. Palmer & Mr. Unger.  I have not yet learned our route after leaving Los Angeles for it is not definitely settled.  All will depend upon the business here - if it is good, we may put in more time here and not go to so many places.  I hope we shall pack the house & stay here, instead of having so much travel.  Love and Kisses from your loving  Mother

Helena Modjeska as Rosalind in As you like it https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/asset/helena-modjeska-as-rosalind-as-you-like-it-william-shakespeare/_AHsd6g9OWwRaw

This was Modjeska's favorite role, and admired by many, though some ciritized her "foreign" accent.  She first appeared as Rosalind in New York in  1882 with Maurice Barrymore playing Orlando "one of the few men ever to have made much of Orlando" Edward Tomarken, As You Like it: Critical Essays 2014 https://books.google.com/books?id=Iol9AwAAQBAJ&dq=as+you+like+it+barrymore+charles&source=gbs_navlinks_s

GAR  The Grand Army of the Republic was made up of Union veterans of the Civil War.  They held encampments from 1869 through 1949.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Army_of_the_Republic
GAR Twentieth Encampment Directory San Francisco 1886
http://www.scgsgenealogy.com/free/GAR%20Encampment%20Directory%20Title.html  Aug 2-11 1886
GAR San Francisco August 1886 Program, Roster of Posts and ads http://www.archive.org/stream/registerofdepart00gran#page/n57/mode/2up

Baldwin Hotel 
San F'co Cal
August 4th/86
My dear Son,
I was awfully afraid I should make a terrible failure on Monday night  but I didn't!  AM Palmer came behind the scene and I asked him if my voice sounded weak and he said no - I was all right - so that encouraged me.  I have had good notices.  I shall enclose you one from this Morning Call, and will send you some of yesterday if I can get the papers. I sent you yesterday's Call containing nothing but GAR news.  Saw [General] Logan in the hall this morning - they are making a great fuss over him here, I should imagine by the look of things that he will be the next Republican choice for President.
Received my bill for Storage last night - had been sent to Madison Square Theatre and forwarded from there to here.  The bill is $15 for storage (3 months), cartage $6, labor $1.50 - $22.00.  I shall send it as soon as possible.

The business is not yet settled as to route after we leave here - and I hear we stay here for five weeks.  Mr. Palmer who with his wife & sons [Palmer's stepsons had taken his name] and Mrs. [Jennie June] Croly is still here, wants to send us back by way of Portland Oregon to play in Portland, St Paul, Minneapolis &c instead of Los Angeles - Virginia City, Denver, Salt Lake &c.  I hope he will be able to carry out his wishes.  He came that way, and was so pleased with the trip that he wants us to go back that way.  It would be new.  500 miles to Los Angeles, at this season a very hot ride, over the Mohave [Mojave] desert - Me no like anymore desert in mine this summer!   If we go to Oregon we shall be two days on steamer going to Portland from here - guess that will make me cast up accounts and turn over a new leaf.

The girls want me to go for a walk and the morning is the time for walking here - the wind in the afternoon being very unpleasant.  So now I will close with love & Kisses to my dear Son from his loving far away Mother

General John A. Logan (1826-1886)  had been the Republican nominee for Vice President in 1884, running with James G. Blaine against Grover Cleveland and Thomas Hardwick.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_A._Logan  Republican Benjamin Harrison defeated Grover Cleveland in the 1888 election. John A Logan died in December 1886. Logan Circle in Washington DC is named after him.

File:JaneCroly.JPGJennie June Croly [1829-1904] Journalist

Baldwin Hotel San F'co  Cal
 August 9th 1886

My dear Son,

Glad you have been so busy.  How much did your new type cost you?  How can you afford to join the Volunteer Fire Co?  When you are yet so deeply in debt?  Your loss of time is running to fires will cost you a great deal more than the $40.  Besides where is that $40 to come from?  Your sanguine disposition runs far ahead of your discretion.  As for clearing you of jury duty you would get paid for that, instead of paying for the wear and tear of health and clothes.  This is the way I look upon it. I would have no objection to your joining any good society of men, if you had the means to do so, and be able to pay your dues &c.  But there is Aunty to be paid - I have nothing!!  I borrowed money I sent you this morning, as salary is not to be paid until Wednesday, and as it takes a week to reach you.  You must remember my salary is very small when divided into three parts. I cannot under present circumstances save a cent.  I have received eleven weeks and 2 nights salary since I left  New York - and I am in debt for storage, $22.50 and borrowed $20 from Miss Greenwald.  

Now you know how peasantly I am situated, you can easily find excuses for not joining anything for at least the next six months by telling them your business will not yet warrant you in joining, as you do not know whether it will pay &c.  My experience in the past days of fire volunteer departments warrants me in saying I never knew any man who reaped any benefit from them - but I have known them to be the cause of breaking up many happy homes.   But we have no home!  And they cannot hurt us I suppose.  Do the best you can, but remember I have no money to help you any further.  And if you run into extravagances you will have to bear the results whatever they may be.  You may think me very unkind in writing all this. 

But my dear Son, I am getting old - my health will not stand the wear and tear it did.  Today I had to go to the doctor again.  Bronchial trouble, and Catarrh is my ailment - and therefore you see you cannot depend upon me.  If I am spared I will help you pay Aunty - but please do not expect me to do much more.  I would if I could - and will if I can! -  but do not build anything upon it. Nearly all the Company are ailing.  Mr. & Mrs. Kelcey, Miss Greenwald and Annie Russell and AMP[almer] himself are all under doctor's care.  I am very grateful I do not have to play this week.  Jim the Penman lets me off.  I hope you are in good health.  Give all your attention to keeping so.  No happiness with poor health.  Love and Kisses from your ever loving.  Mother   


Baldwin Hotel San F'co 
August 10th 1886

My dear Son 

Too bad Mr. Townsend is on the dead beat list.  The Volunteer Fire Co has not done him much good, it would seem.  Perhaps if he had paid as much attention to his business as he did to that, he ought not now be considered a dead beat.  I hope he may be able to lift himself out of the odium attached to him.  I should not like my son to be called a deadbeat!  And if he has a Mother, it must be very painful to her, poor woman!  Of course this year must have been dull in Middletown as it has been dull over the entire country - every thing is counted very dull here - no business of any kind up to the standard of a few years ago.  They seem to think we shall not do much after all the visitors leave. 

Jim the Penman drew a large house last night - but it is the uncertainty of business that makes the managers so undecided about the fifth week of our stay.  You know my two previous visits here, we played seven weeks and six weeks.  Now they are afraid to risk five - with a larger and I think better Co than we had before. 

You must not complain of want of success.  The thing to do now is to keep on your way quietly, do your work diligently, and leave all companies and societies alone for another six months, or until you can see your way out of debt, and have money at your own disposal to help you to these great honors. I know you so well that I can see your business would be neglected through the excitement of being head of the heap in your fire company.  Your Mother has lived longer than you and has seen and suffered through these companies, and she now beseeches you to beware.   Love and Kisses from your loving Mother

San Francisco,  Cal
August 14th/86

My dear Son,

Hope your wedding cards job was an omen of good luck and that other work follows to keep you employed and to dispel the "blues".  Well, it is now decided that we do not go to Los Angeles.  We play here five weeks, that is three more after this which ends tonight, a week in Sacramento, and then Salt Lake and Denver and Omaha. That ends our engagement under the management of Al Hayman.  Then I believe Palmer takes us to St Paul and Minneapolis .  Thence to  New York.  This is the programme as far as I can learn it at present.  Love and Kisses from your loving Mother

Baldwin Hotel
San F'co Cal
August 21st/86
My dear Son,
I went to one new place this week called "Telegraph Hill".  It is a very high point and commands a splendid view of the bay and surrounding country.  There is a large building that is called Telegraph Hill Observatory at the top which you are supplied with field glasses - the lower parts of the building are devoted to restaurants, or rather Dutch beer saloons - at one end of the largest room is a stage devoted to concert and theatrical performances - and wrestling matches on Sunday nights!!
Business has been very large this week for Saints & Sinners.  Every seat is taken for today's Matinee.  Next week Sealed Instructions.  Last week Broken Hearts & Old Love Letters but these will be played only a portion of the week.  Our Society, Jim the Penman and Saints & Sinners will each have a night's representation.  Then to Sacramento.  Leaving here Sunday 5th of Septr, and opening there on the 6th for one week only.  Salt Lake 13th.  Oh! we leave Sacramento on Saturday night, closing our performances at the Matinee.  Direct [your letters] to Theatre A M Palmer Dramatic Co at every place - for I do not know until I get to the different towns, at what hotel I shall stop.  Sacramento has a State Fair going on and Races during the week we shall be there, so I suppose Hotels will be crowded and terms high.  I expect in a week from now to hear all about Hattie's visit to you &c &c.  What a long time to wait for news! that you want to hear right away.  It is nearly 1 and I have to go to Matinee where I  shall perhaps find a letter.                   

Telegraph Hill History Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telegraph_Hill,_San_Francisco#History  Coit Tower wasn't built until 1933.
1890 photo Observatory and Signal Station http://www.sfimages.com/history/TelegraphHill.html

Telegraph Hill

Frederick Layman's legendary Old German castle sits atop Telegraph Hill... In 1906, fires destroyed everything seen here except the castle, which had burned in 1903. Built in 1882, "Layman's Folly" was intended to be a fashionable resort, but after a fatal wreck on Layman's private cable car line, business went downhill. San Francisco Then and Now, Bill Yenne, Thunder Bay Press 1998

Baldwin Hotel
San F'co, Cal
August 26th/86

My dear Son
Your letter of the 17th rec'd, one from Hattie yesterday containing tintype.  Likeness very good of all.  Was glad to receive it.  I suppose you are alone again.  I hope you enjoyed their visit.  Was too bad Hattie was not well when she left Phila. I hope the change of air did her good.  You both look thin if the tintype tells the truth.

"Sealed Instructions" this week easy for me. Next week we change the bill every night, beginning on Monday with "Broken Hearts", Tues. & Friday, "Our Society" Wed a& Sat night, "Saints & Sinners" Thus., "Jim the Penman". Matinee not yet decided upon, but I think it will be "Broken Hearts". Six weeks from to-day we hope to arrive in New York, unless the business is changed from what it is now.  Now we are to go direct from Omaha (where we close on the 2nd of Octr.) to New York. Allow 5 or six days for letters to reach me at Salt Lake where we open on the 13th for two nights only.  Four days to Denver where we open on the 20th for one week.  Last week we go to Kansas City, St. Jo and Omaha.

Sacramento is said to be very warm, so I imagine we shall suffer from the heat there during the week we shall be there.  We also expect difficulty in obtaining good quarters at the hotels -- the State Fair being in progress -- and the Legislature being in Session.  I do not so much mind poor accommodations as I do high prices. Do not know where I shall hang out on my arrival in New York.  Having been at the Ashland [Hotel] I may stop there again until I can make other arrangements. Have nothing more to tell you so will close as mail time is very near.  With love and kisses for my son from his loving Mother

Baldwin Hotel
Septr 1st 1886

My dear Son,
I see by this mornings news that an Earthquake visited the East yesterday.  Felt in New York, Indianapolis, Memphis, St Louis and the Carolinas & Georgia.  No telegraph communication from Charleston which causes great alarm.  Phila and Middletown are not mentioned.  Plainfield NY is and Meadville Pa.  I hope it has not been so bad as the papers here make it, and that you have not felt it in Middletown.  I am pleased to hear you are getting the work from 486 B'way.  If you could get two or three business houses like that it would give you an idea of what your income would be.

We close here on Sat night, open in Sacramento on the 6th.  It is four or five hours ride from here.  If we left by the Overland train 3 PM on Sunday we should arrive at hotels about 8 o'clock and we might not be able to secure accommodation.  So I think it is decided to go by 7 AM train on Monday. After Denver we play "S[aints] & S[inners]" only!  So quite a number of the Co will go through to New York from Denver.  Mr. & Mrs. Robinson, Mr. & Mrs. Kelcey, Mr. & Mrs. Presbrey, Misses Brookyn, [May] Robson & [Maud] Harrison.  Nine people!  That will still leave us 15 to travel to Kansas City, St Jo and Omaha!  I have only four performances this week and one of those is over, I having played Mrs. Spencer [Our Society] last night.  We shall be two nights on the road between Sacramento & Salt Lake.  I think that will be the longest time on the cars until we leave Omaha for New York.  Love and Kisses from Your loving  Mother

1886 Aug 31 earthquake http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1886_Charleston_earthquake
486 Broadway
not clear what was at this address.  The New York Songlines says the building dates from 1882. http://www.nysonglines.com/broadway.htm

Baldwin Hotel
San F'co Cal
Sept 2nd

My dear Son,
Isn't this Earthquake a fearful affair?  It is dreadful to think of the poor suffering homeless souls.  Deprived of life, and those who remain are stripped of all earthly possessions in one brief moment.  "So runs the world away".  There must be great excitement in the East.  I was in hopes yesterday's news was exaggerated, but it is confirmed this morning.  Terrible! Terrible!  We are to leave on Monday 7:30 AM for Sacramento.   No more this morning.  Love and Kisses from your loving  Mother

Golden Eagle Hotel
Sacramento, Cal
Sept. 7th, 1886

My dear Son
As you surmised, your letter of the first rec'd on this my birthday.  I thank you for your kind wishes and wish for your sake, not mine, that your circumstances were such as to be able to send me something, for then you would have something for yourself. I hope a change may soon come to you to better your condition. You have had a hard struggle but we all have to buy experience.  God bless you and give you strength to struggle on, manfully and honestly and the reward will yet come.

Received 2 letters from Hattie and one from Aunty. Mr. Holland on learning this was my [56th] birthday, it being his also, he sent me a lovely bouquet and I gave him my photograph.  Had Kisses from Maud & Marie. 

We opened a new theatre last night.  I send you papers with notice by this mail. Nothing to see here. Everything seems stale, flat and uninteresting. Do not think our bus. will be very large this week.  Hattie tells me you are looking well which pleases me very much to hear.  She enjoyed her visit very much, the only drawback being Aunty's eccentricities about poor Uncle! And of course Aunty succeeded in having all sympathy taken from her and given to Uncle.  God bless you my dear, 56 Kisses to you and the best wishes of your loving Mother.

EJ Phillips didn't think much of Sacramento.  See her comments to Albert in 1898 below.   next: Los Angeles Sept. 1886

San Francisco 1888  Heart of Hearts   Partners

    San Francisco, Cal
                August 10th 1888

My dear Son 

Telegraphed you last Evening announcing our arrival at 6:30 PM.  We were almost six hours late, as a freight train had been wrecked eight miles ahead of us.  Our journey but for the sudden demise of Mr. Davidge [in Wyoming] was a pleasant one.  

Have just received a telegram from [son-in-law] John [Dolman] telling me this, "Moved safe & comfortable to Wissinoming.  All well". Had a letter from Hattie this morning telling me John had been looking at the place.  It is 30 minutes ride from Broad Street on the  Pennsylvania road.  House has 9 rooms, heater & range and a large lot of ground, 42 by 100 ft.  Rent $17 per month. 

We open with Partners on Monday night.  Mrs. LeMoyne, nee Sarah Cowell, called on me last night.  Saw Mr. LeMoyne this morning.  Met Joe Polk this morning.  Did not know him.  He has changed so much, was very ill a year ago and not expected to live.  He is just as lively as ever though.  Met H.B.Phillips also.  I think it is likely he may be engaged for Mr. Davidge's parts.  I hope so.  He is a very gentlemanly man.  Love and Kisses for yourself from your loving Mother 

HB Phillips was the manager of Ford's Theatre until it was closed after the assassination of Lincoln.  Also seemed to be a member of Palmer Theatre companies.

JH Stoddart's memoirs give an account of Davidge's death.  Although he had not been well, he was anxious to make the trip.  "Davidge had been engaged during the day in a heated, political discussion with some of the gentlemen, and had become much excited.  In the evening, to please him, -- for he believed so implicitly in everything that was English -- the members of the company had been singing "God Save the Queen" and Davidge had joined in the chorus...and retired in high spirits.  His berth was next to mine and at about one o'clock in the morning I was awakened by his heavy and labored breathing...He looked around saying "Oh my God, surely I am not going to die here [in Cheyenne Wyoming] away from them all!".  [Alessandro] Salvini picked him up like a child and carried him into the smoker, where we poured brandy down his throat ,.. His last words were "Boys good-bye".  

Davidge NY Clipper obituary  Aug 25, 1888  "Another old actor has passed away...He was on the special palace car containing the Madison Square Company, of which he was a member"

Partners Review The Madison Square Company were given a royal welcome back to the city after an absence of two years....Everyone came in an amiable frame of mind, because they wanted to be pleased and had implicit faith in the company, and if there was any disappointment or letting down of expectations it was either the fault of the play or the players themselves, certainly not to be traced to the audience...There were a number of new faces in the cast, but they were not coldly received.  The stimulus of Mr. A.M. Palmer's presence was missed and many friends will regret to learn that it was because of the ill health on the part of Mrs. Palmer that both did not visit the Coast again. ... Mrs. Phillips who had the inexplicable good fairy to do, was charming, as Mrs. Phillips always is. ...Partners is worth seeing because of the company.  It only goes a week."

Players included Gertie Homan, Kate Moloney, Mrs. EJ Phillips and May Brookyn.  A lengthy description of "First Nighters" and their clothes is followed by

The Palmer Company met a warm and generous reception from the San Francisco public.  As each member made his or her entree applause followed, more or less earnest as the favorites of the previous season of Mr. Palmer's people were remembered.  Mr. JH Stoddart, Miss Marie Burroughs, Mrs. E. J. Phillips and Miss Annie Russell were decided objects of attention in this respect...Other members of the cast were comparatively subdued in their action but some of the points made were exquisite in their fineness. Nothing could be more incisive and finished than the manner in which Mrs. E. J. Phillips personated the Lady Silverdale, wise and ladylike and a sort of female Mentor to the subjects of the temptations surrounding the Borgfeldt household.  

Partners  Boston 1888

 San Francisco, Cal
       August 14th/88 

My dear Son 

Well, last night we opened to a fine house.  Mr. Stoddart & self received the most enthusiastic receptions.  I will enclose you notices from the three morning papers. JB. Polk paid me a long visit on Sunday.  He is interested in three silver mines.  Is likely to become a very rich man.  He is soon going East. We play Jim the Penman next week and we hope it will be so successful that we will be able to finish the season with it.  I hope you will get this next Monday, but it may be Tuesday.  That is the tiresome part of coming so far.  Telegraphing is expensive. I paid $1.15 for the telegram I sent you.   Love and Kisses from your loving Mother 

Baldwin Hotel S. F'co 
August 17th 1888 

My dear Son 

Partners has not caught on very well.  Jim [the Penman] on Monday and I hope it will have a winning card and play three weeks -- that will save us trouble.  Elaine is announced to follow Jim.  I suppose the New York  papers were full of accounts of Mr. Davidge's death, but I have not yet seen any of them.  

By this morning's papers I see there have been a cloud burst on the "Central Pacific" and the tracks are under water, so mails will be late today, if they get here at all.  The storm we had on the Tuesday of the journey, the day after Mr. D[avidge] died, was a grand sight.  The "Prairies" all around us and the lightning flashing was a scene not to be forgotten.  The forked lightning seemed to come from the Earth and run through the clouds. 

I have not been to China Town.  I did not have money enough to get your shirts in New York, so you will have to wait a little longer for them.  Too bad to be poor, but everybody around seems to be wealthier than we are.  Love and Kisses to my dear son from his loving  Mother 

In July 1898 she wrote to Albert "You are sensible in your dislike of Chinatown. 16 years ago [1888] their goods and stores were new but now that you can buy better on B'way, 6th Ave or any place in our big cities they are no longer a desire or curiosity and the sales are no longer what they were and the whole place has run down. Keep out of it at night. It is a dangerous locality.

Chinatown history http://www.sanfranciscochinatown.com/history/   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinatown,_San_Francisco#History

Baldwin Hotel San F'co Cal
August 19th/88 

My dear Son, 

One week over to good but not great business.  I think Jim [the Penman] will pull the business up.  All seats sold for tomorrow night.  Have not had my salary yet, but had to get an advance of $48 to buy a dress for Jim for tomorrow night, $20 to be taken out of last week's salary and $20 out of this week's.  First time I have had an advance from AMP[almer] during the eight seasons I have been with him.  Perhaps he will think more of me now. Well, dear Son, good night.  Love and Kisses from your loving  Mother   

Baldwin Hotel    
[Undated but, Elaine did not play until the 1887-1888 NY season]
San F'co Cal                                                   
August 23rd [probably 1888]   

My dear Son, 

My first impulse on reading your letter was to telegraph you my congratulations, but M'[iddle]town being a small place, I thought it might get abroad, and any amt of conjectures and constructions put thereon, the secrecy of the Telegraph to the contrary notwithstanding. Let me know what you are to do in your new office, whether it is bookkeeping alone, or anything to do with the printing of the paper.  The salary is fair to begin with, and I hope it will not be long before you will be able to ask for an increase. You say it is worth $20 in New York.  My dear child it is worth $30.  The room & board you have, you could not get under $15 per week.  And you would not have that lovely garden and shade trees to look at when you get up in the morning.  You are most delightfully situated, and until the "Happy Day" [wedding] arrives I hope you will be able to remain where you are, for I am sure you could not better yourself.  

I wanted to send you a V this week, but at the box office they stopped $40 out of my salary that I had to draw for new dress for Jim [the Penman].  I had asked Mr. Palmer to take $20 out last week and $20 out this week, but he does not look after things as he ought, the $40 was deducted out of my 1st weeks salary.  I would not ask again and shall not get this week's salary until Monday next.  But I am out of debt. Jim [the Penman] is drawing well, but I believe they intended changing the bill to Elaine next week.  I shall have a rest.  Our trip down from Los Angeles to Salt Lake will be very tiresome.  Leaving  Los Angeles  Sunday morning, we do not reach Salt Lake until Wednesday noon.  Three nights on the train.  We are to open in Los Angeles on the 17th [crossed out] well! 17th there now!  Will now close for I have exhausted my news budget.  Love to Neppie, her aunts and cousins.  With love and Kisses to my dear son from his loving Mother 

Baldwin Hotel
San Francisco Cal
August 29th/88 

My dear Son 

Glad matters are still progressing favorable with you.  Should prefer you not being so thoroughly mixed up with politics, but perhaps I am wrong.  Wish you success, that is all I can do.  If I had five in paper I would put it in this letter, but I cannot get one.  All is gold and silver, so when I send, it will have to be an order.   Love and Kisses from your loving  Mother

The San Francisco Argonaut's review of Heart of Hearts (Sept 17, 1888) singles out JH Stoddart and Mrs. Phillips who "carry the play on their shoulders...In the scenes with Wilhelmina both husband and wife were inimitable.  The expression of the lady's countenance was alone exquisitely laughable.  Her sickening suddenly awakened fears, her tremulous apprehension of discovery, her desperation with her irritating husband, and her coy pleasure in Mr. Latimer's wooing were rendered to the life, and testified to the powers of an actress who can so lighten, intensify and irradiate a part in which the humor is of the more ponderous variety.  The review begins "Heart of Hearts is the least interesting of the plays produced by the Palmer company.  The troupe is above the piece.  It is farce, comedy and melodrama combined.... Even such artists as Mrs. Phillips, Mr. Stoddart and Mr. Holland cannot rescue the last act from insipidity"

next: Los Angeles

San Francisco 1890
San Francisco, Cal. 
July 8th, 1890

My dear Son 

Many many oh! so many! happy returns of this your birthday is the loving wish of your far away Mother, but who is with you in my thoughts and spirit.  We had a splendid house last night, and rec'd very fine receptions, mine being second to none in warmth and enthusiasm.  The papers today speak highly of the performances, but do not seem to care for the play.  We play it all week, and next week Jim [the Penman] - following week Aunt Jack, 4th week S & S[aints and sinners] and the 5th week a repetition of each I suppose.  This is a dull month here.  Everybody who can goes to the Country this month. 

Had two letters from Hattie this Morning from Cape May.  She, John and Jack went there on the 1st.  Previous to going Hattie had been quite ill, and had had a doctor from Tacony attending her.  The trouble was a slight miscarriage.  [Hattie] has been weighed at Cape May and only weighs 116 pounds.  Poor child, she does not seen to gain her girlhood strength at all.  My love and Kisses to [Neppie] and Love and Kisses to you dear son, from your loving far away Mother 

AMUSEMENTS  Captain Swift," by E. Haddon Chambers, the play selected for the opening of the season, is one of the best-constructed- plays ever produced here by the Palmer Company…. Maud Harrison shone in the comedy scenes. Miss Ada Dyas and Mrs. Phillips commanded the admiration of the house by their mature dramatic art, which should put to the blush a class of women who nowadays appear on the stage as leading ladies,, and even "stars," after a few months' experience behind the footlights. . The pleasure in store for people who take their brains with them when they go to the theatre during the next four weeks at the Baldwin can hardly be overestimated.. Thai season is sure to be one of unbounded success to the management and all concerned.  Daily Alta California, Volume 83, Number 8, 8 July 1890 California Digital Newspaper Collection, Center for Bibliographic Studies and Research, University of California, Riverside, http://cdnc.ucr.edu

San Francisco,  Cal. 
July 10th 1890

My dear daughter Neppie. 

I was very much pleased at receiving such a nice kind letter from you.  I feel very lonesome when my letters do not come.  Yesterday I did not receive any, and as yet none have come this Morning, and I am getting quite impatient.  

In Hattie's letter of the 2nd she surprised me very much by the news it contained.  She had not told me of her condition. though she suspected it while I was there, but was taken sick soon after I left and had to send for a doctor from Tacony who gave her some quieting medicine, but a thunderstorm coming up during the night she became very nervous, and in the Morning was delivered.  Of course it was only a matter of five or perhaps four weeks, but it made her sick and nervous.  She writes that she feels all right, but the doctor told her not to go in bathing for two weeks for fear of catching cold.  That will seem a long time for her, for she is so fond of sea bathing.  I am very glad her mishap was all over before she left home. 

Yesterday I took lunch with Mrs. Noble [who had previously lived in Boston, and week after next am going to spend a week with her, Aunt Jack being played that week and I do not have to work.  Mr. & Mrs. Noble are living in a flat near Golden Gate Park, delightful situation and are so cosily settled that I should think they would not care to move again, but he thinks of going North to Tacoma or Seattle, business being rather dull in this City at present.  

I never before saw a City so quiet, but we have never been here before August until now, and I think that accounts for some of the dullness, the people being away in the Country for this month.  We have had three very fine houses this week notwithstanding.  Whether we shall be able to draw them in, or not for another four weeks remains to be found out. By newspaper accounts I see the heat has been intense in the East.  I sleep under a pair of blankets every night here, and now while writing with a thick dress on, feel quite chilly.  After leaving here, we shall feel the heat.  Will be very warm until we reach Denver the last of August.   

We passed through some grand scenery coming here from Portland,  the Railroad being built over very high mountains and the curves of the road are wonderful, going over high bridges, through tunnels.  At times you can see the road you have come over two or three times, in curves crossing above and below each other, like a true lover's knot.  The road runs with the Sacramento River, a beautiful stream and a great place for fancy fishing.  Mr. [Frederic] Robinson was wild with delight over the prospect of throwing out his lines there.  He travels with fishing tackle worth a $1000 & goes fishing whenever & where ever he gets an opportunity.  It is a great hobby with him, and I felt sorry he could not stop and have a days sport.  He is in every "bill" however, and will not get much chance to fish this trip. 

My reception on Monday night was very flattering and agreeable.  Makes me feel sorry that I have not a part more prominent and worthy of the approval of a San F'co audience.  I hope, dear child, you are keeping in good health and that by this time "Mama" does know.  If there is anything you want to know, write me and I will give you all the advice I can in any way.  Do not hesitate to tell me your wants and your wishes,  I will do what I can to gratify them.  My love and Kisses to my dear children, Albert and Neppie, hoping that all is progressing well for the great event in Octr from their loving Mother 

Golden Gate Park History, Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Gate_Park#History  Plans began in the 1860s and William Hammond Hall appointed Park Commissioner in 1871. accessed Jan 18, 2011

Horse racing & Driving
San Francisco, Cal.
July 12th [1890]

My dear Son,
Just a line before going to Matinee. I had a delightful drive to the seashore yesterday morning with Mrs. E.J Baldwin and Maud [Harrison]. The team would have delighted you -- one of the horses being brother to the celebrated racer -- Volante. And all that troubled Volante's brother yesterday was that the coachman would not let him go as fast as he wanted to. I drove the team for a little while in the Park but the horses pulled too hard for me to hold the reins very long.

Mrs. Baldwin is going to take us again someday during next week. How nice it would be to own such horses and have enough money to buy oats for them. Mrs. Baldwin has nine of them in her private stable. I suppose her husband has hundreds of them on his different ranches. He owns one ranch near Los  Angeles of 66,000 acres (sixty-six thousand), I put it in writing for fear you might think my figures were at fault. Mr. Baldwin is now visiting some of his ranches, having just arrived from the East where they return in four weeks.  They have a house in California and do not live in this hotel, but he keeps a suite of apartments here. I have not yet seen him.

Business this week has been very good. Next week, "Jim" [the Penman], following week "Aunt Jack". [I] do not play and will spend the week with Mrs. Noble. Continue to send your letters to the theatre. Love and Kisses to my dear children, Albert and Neppie from their loving Mother

Mrs. EJ Baldwin  This is Lillie Bennett Baldwin, EJ Baldwin's fourth wife.  
"To continue Along Arboretum Paths ... from the Tropical Forest about 50 yards further down Circle road, to the right, across Baldwin Lake, is the Queen Anne Cottage, the most famous and recognized building on the grounds. The cottage was built in 1885 by Elias Jackson `Lucky' Baldwin as a honeymoon cottage for his fourth wife Lillie Bennett. After their divorce, Lucky dedicated the Queen Anne Cottage to the memory of his third wife Jennie. Self guided walking tour Los Angeles Arboretum & Botanic garden 

E. J. and Lillie separated sometime in 1885 and, though never divorced, they maintained separate residences thereafter. Furniture and bric-a-brac had been brought from the proprietor's rooms at the Baldwin Hotel in San Francisco.  Along Arboretum Paths, Los Angeles County Arboretum  & Botanic Garden [from a earlier Arboretum webpage]
Baldwin  was sued by four women for breach of promise of marriage.

Baldwin horses Until his death in 1909, Baldwin bred and raced some of the best horses in the country and won nearly every major stakes race of that era. He won the American Derby at Washington Park -- then the most prestigious three- year- old race in the country -- four times: Volante (1885) [and in 1886,1888 and 1894] Ron Hale, EJ "Lucky" Baldwin and Santa Anita, About horseracing.  http://horseracing.about.com/library/blbaldwin.htm 

Horses were generally treated well by Baldwin, since they generally treated him well. Volante, Los Angeles, and the bay Emperor of Norfolk were darlings of the Saratoga fans, above all Volante, until Royal Arch, a 10-1 long shot, outran the field. Volante, the 1-12 favorite, came in a few seconds later and even the wisenheimer bookies believed it was an accident and Volante would take the California Stakes the following year. He was the 1-20 favorite, Royal Arch again a long shot at 20-1. It was practically impossible to find bookmakers sucker enough to take money on Volante, and Mike Dwyer, gambler and horse owner, laughed for glee when he managed to put $40,000 on Volante against $2000. Nobody so much as smiled when Royal Arch beat Volante again. It was one of the few times when Lady Luck deserted Lucky Baldwin.  The Big Fishes and the Sharks, Antiques Auction &  Marketplace http://www.oldandsold.com/articles01/article923.shtml

The Arboretum is in Arcadia CA, east of Los Angeles  Lucky Baldwin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucky_Baldwin

San Francisco,  Cal
July 28th 1890

My darling Son 

The exercise of catering and looking after the family would do [Neppie] good, so long as she did not lift heavy weights.  Tell her for me to keep up her courage.  All will be well. [Edward Phillips Nickinson was due in Oct. 1890.] Have you bought the bed yet for the little room, in case Hattie should be well enough to visit you in August?  I had a letter from her today in which she says she feels no worse - thinks she feels better so you may yet see her in August.  How would it do to get a large sofa bed for your parlor, and make the little room into a dressing room?  Then when Neppie is sick the sofa bed would do for her. 

It is six and I must go to dinner and then to Shop, S[aints] & S[inners] tonight.  I went to San Rafael yesterday to visit the DeYoung family - that is Mrs. DeYoung's Mother, sister & brother and her children.  Had a delightful day and was most royally entertained.  With love and Kisses to my dear children, Neppie & Albert, I remain their loving Mother

San Francisco, Cal. 
July 29th 1890

My dear daughter Neppie,

Your Papa and Mama did not come far enough to appreciate the West for a residence.  I think they would like it here for a few months in Summer, and in Washington and Oregon in the Winter.  On Sunday I went to San Rafael [about 20 north of San Francisco] to visit the family of H.M. DeYoung.  Had a nice boat ride down the Bay, and a fifteen minute ride on the cars.  Was met by Mrs. Deane, the Mother of Mrs. DeYoung, who had two carriages ready to carry our party to the DeYoung residence, a very pretty Elizabethan cottage situated in a pretty valley surrounded by big mountains.   

The day was warm, and for the first time since leaving Portland I realized we had Summer with us.  There were 14 sat down to dinner.  Left about half past five for our return to the city, arriving here at 7:45. 

We are all regretting that we cannot remain here instead of going South to Los Angeles where we expect to meet very hot oppressive weather.  And shall have to endure it in Sacramento and on the road to Salt Lake, but after that we hope the excessive heat will be over. 

I imagine your Papa had a very hot journey to and from Iowa to Nebraska.  The alkali on the plains would make it very disagreeable and dusty.  

Our business continues good.  We play Saints & Sinners this week.  Next week, our fifth and last, we begin with Aunt Jack and One Touch of Nature for two nights.  Jim the Penman for 2 nights, Capt Swift two and Saints & Sinners for the Matinee.  Leave here on Sunday August 10th, 9 AM for Los Angeles.  Due there on Monday Morning August 11th.  One week there and then we begin to turn our faces homeward. 

Yesterday I sent my photographs taken here.  I think they are very good.  Hope they will reach you in good condition.  I had 27 of them and have only two left.  

Nellie [Dolman Law] keeps pretty well.  She is in the City and her Mother called on her last week.  Said she was getting tired of waiting and wished it [pregnancy] was over.  She had been having a little backache.  She has everything ready and the event is expected before the 15th of Sept.   Albert must be working pretty hard but so long as he is not too tired to go fishing he will get on all right.  My love and Kisses to you both dear children from your ever loving Mother   

134 Years of the [San Francisco] Chronicle, Carl Nolte 1999 http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/1999/06/16/noltehistory.DTL
Michael DeYoung Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._H._de_Young Founder of the San Francisco Chronicle. 
Meadowlands Hall, now part of Dominican University, was built in  1888 and has "leaded glass windows, murals,
a sweeping front porch facing the sprawling Meadowlands lawn and a view of Mt. Tamalpais."  https://www.wrightcontracting.com/portfolio/dominican-university-meadowlands-mansion-renovation/     https://libguides.dominican.edu/walking-tour?p=1972

ファイル:Dominican U Meadowlands 3606.jpg
Meadowlands Hall, Dominican University, San Rafael CA

The  Hotel 
San Francisco Cal
July 31, 1890 

My dear Son, 

Glad to hear you are all well and have such nice weather in your "glorious climate".  I am very happy that you have cool nights for that that enables you to bear the heat in the day.  I am glad you have discussed a nurse, and the doctor approves of her. 

I asked [Maurice] Barrymore about the 5 A's which he was one of the founders, but has not taken an active part lately.  Mr. [EM] Holland is very sick.  Has not played for two nights -- was better last evening but this morning was worse, is threatened with Pneumonia -- his "parts" are being understudied.  Mr. [Edward M] Bell studying "Gardner" in Capt Swift and Mr. [FH] Tyler is studying "Capt Redwood" in Jim [the Penman] -- all the plays are to be done next week. Love and Kisses to my darling "Kids" Neppie and yourself from your loving Mother 

5 A's American Actors Amateur Athletic Association, founded by Maurice Barrymore, Steel MacKaye and London comedian Jimmie Powers.  The club met at Browne's chophouse.  "The members seldom exercised more than their tongues, although the drinking arm was occasionally tested with some Indian wrestling." Kotsilibas-Davis  Kings New York City [1893] says the club "usually called the Five A's" was organized in 1889 and incorporated in 1890 "for the encouragement of athletic sports among actors and for social purposes".  The initiation fee was $25 and annual dues were $12.  The club was at 43 West 29th Street.

We also have the following card issued to Albert. 

                              43 West 28th Street  
                                                 New York  July 10 1890 
                               At the request of  
                                 Mr. Win Andres 

The Actors Amateur Athletic Association of America 
tender to  A.E Nickerson [sic] 
       the privileges of their Club House 
       for a period of Two weeks 
           Geo W June 
            House Committee  

The  Hotel
San Francisco Cal 
August 4 1890

My dear son, 

Enclosed find order for (20) to help you in preparing for your sister's visit -- which I hope she will make you this month.  Tell [Neppie] not to think for a moment of making a fuss for Hattie's reception -- Hattie knows "how it is herself".  I hope they will have a real pleasant time together and do plenty of outing.  That is the best medicine for both of them. Wish I could join you and have a real happy time with my "kids".  Anyway it will be a pleasure to me to know that you are all together and having a happy time.  I know Jack [Dolman, age two] will make it lively. 

Today begins our last week in S'F co.  Tonight One Touch of Nature to Aunt Jack.  Tomorrow Capt Swift.  Tonight's bill repeated on Wed'day --  and Jim [the Penman] for last three performances.  We leave for Los Angeles on Sunday 9 am.  Due there Monday 10 am -- one week there & return to Stockton -- Sacramento to Salt Lake for the week -- to Denver on 25th of August for two weeks. Always allow at least five nights and days for a letter to reach me -- not less -- and six nights are safer.  With love and kisses to my dear daughter Neppie and my dear Son Albert.  I remain your loving Mother                                                              

San Francisco maps, David Rumsey https://www.davidrumsey.com/publications/mapping-san-francisco

next: Los Angeles

San Francisco 1896
Railroads 1896
                                                  Baldwin hotel stationery 1896

The Baldwin
San Francisco Cal
August 16th Sunday 1896

My dear children,

Well here I am once more in San Francisco, after an absence of six years. New people are running the hotel and all are strange to me, but I have a nice pretty room on the 3rd floor with sunny outlook, bathroom and large closet  all for $2.50 per day. I used to pay $3.50 for the same accommodation, only room was about 2 feet wider.  I have stood the journey splendidly. Look forward to going to bed tonight at 9 with much pleasure. For 13 Sundays I could not do that but I hope to tonight.

I am told, by the porter that the Eastern mail closes at  3:30PM so I must close this. This Morning had to put on my heavy cloak to cross the bay. Quite enchanting after the ten days of extreme heat we endured before leaving Chicago. Love and Kisses to my dear children individually and collectively from their loving Mother who loves them dearly and I am their Mother

The Baldwin
San Francisco Cal.
August 21st 1896

My dear Son.

Yesterday took a ride to the "Cliff House". Saw the ocean and found many changes and improvements (not in the ocean -- but on the land). New bath houses (there was no old one). A new Cliff House on the same site as the old one -- very much larger -- but looks too new in its white and red paint to belong to the picture. The ocean and Seal Rocks and the seals themselves look just the same -- but no doubt the latter have been changed many times in six years. But the present occupants of the rocks go through the same aquatic sports and jump on and off the rocks -- same as their ancestors. Barking is exactly the same. 

Our routes I sent to you have changed a little. We are here this week and next -- and on the 31st play in  San Jose 1 night. Then to Oakland  just opposite here on the 1st - 2nd and 3rd of September.  4th  Stockton . 5th Fresno.  On the 7th 8th and 9th  Los Angeles.  Then back to Sacramento for the 11th. 12th Marysville. 14th 15 & 16th Portland  Ore, 17  Tacoma Wash. 18th  Victoria B.C. 19  Vancouver B.C. 21 & 22nd Seattle Wash. 25th 26th  Salt Lake City . 28th - Oct 3rd Kansas City Mo. Oct 5th - 10th  St. Louis Mo. We are doing a good business.

Met Rose Coghlan here on Monday night. She has been playing in a stock company here.  This week she is playing in the adjacent towns & with the same Co.  Sorry you did not like [the pictures]. I may sit for some more here. Have had invitations from two galleries to do so -- but it is such a trouble!  Hattie wrote me your corn was delicious. I have only had one delicious ear this Season and that was on the train Thursday after leaving Chicago. Love and kisses from your loving Mother

EJ Phillips 1896

Note 1894 shield bottom center. 688 Market St. San Francisco

Albert came to San Francisco in 1898 during the Spanish American War.  As well as being a soldier, he reported on the war for the Middletown Argus.  The (underinsured) Baldwin Hotel burned on Nov. 23, 1898. Albert Nickinson took this photograph of the ruins in Dec. 1898, upon his return from Honolulu and the Spanish American War. more on the fire at the Baldwin

Baldwin Hotel ruins December 1898
Blanche Whiffen (the original Buttercup of HMS Pinafore) writes in her autobiography of being in San Francisco with the Madison Square stock company in 1881 with Esmerelda playing the old mother to Annie Russell in the title role and being "put up at   the Baldwin Hotel, but hotel fires were so numerous that Mr. Whiffen would not stay in that large wooden fire-trap. He became so nervous the first night that he got up and walked the room and the lobby until morning, and then hustled me out of there, to an apartment on Bush Street. ... San Francisco in the early eighties was a fascinating city. It was the little Paris of America,. Its color, its sophistication, and its wonderful cooking made it world-famous. Tom and I used to eat the old Poodle Dog, a quaint place with a sanded floor. ... Alas those days are gone now, and the old Poodle Dog is one of those cherished memories that went up in flame and smoke in 1906."  Mrs. Thomas Whiffen, Keeping off the Shelf, New York EP Dutton & Co, 1928

It was several years after going to the Cliff House and Seal Rocks on my first trip to San Francisco in 1993 that I saw this letter and was excited to  think how I'd unwittingly retraced EJP's steps. Marj and Max were sailing in New England for the summer. I saw them a few days later and excitedly told them of my discovery. EJ Phillips' Cliff House

1887 Seal Rocks in Trust http://www.sfmuseum.org/hist/srocks.html

We have a photograph album, showing Albert at the Presidio, and his photograph of the Cliff House.  
San Francisco Cliff House 1898   
Albert during the Spanish American War

His mother wrote to him in July 1898 "Be sure to go to Cliff House and see the Seals on the rocks. Their roars may disturb your slumbers at night while you are Presidio. I know you will enjoy everything around the view of the Ocean from Sutro Heights is Grand." July 25th she wrote "I hope your visited the baths at the Cliff House, said to be the finest in the world." They are new, were not opened until after my visit in 1890 and on my last visit I did not go in to see them, promising myself to go when I had more time but I did not have time to go out to he Cliff again and shall never have another chance to visit them.

and "So you are not in love with San Franco'co. I was afraid you would suffer from the fogs and winds at this time.  This is the most disagreeable season of the year there  so "the oldest inhabitant" will tell you and is the season the Aristocrats will leave the City for their Country homes at San Rafael, Santa Cruz &c. Sacramento you will not like. it is flat and hot, as flat as F'cisco is hilly. Alameda is across the bay -- flat and damp.  There the sea bathing is considered very fine.  It is fenced in and did not look like sea bathing to me. Oakland is a very pretty place. The flowers, plants and trees are beautiful but you want to get u town.  It is not pretty about the ferry. ... Sacramento is six hours from "Frisco and is not worth spending money to see.  At this season it is disagreeably hot and damp.  Will be more pleasant there on your return from Honolulu when you perhaps may have a chance to stop there for an hour or two."

"I hope you are made comfortable at the Presidio. I have been there.  I hope you are in the cultivated part of the land or the sand hills were both you there and you will get wind & fog more than you desire." A July letter from Albert "Well, we're still here on the government reservation known as the Presidio. Camp Merritt is located near the Lone Mountain Cross near Golden Gate Park. The place was formerly a race course and is covered with fine white sand, or rather it was white once.  There is no drainage or sewerage about the place and men have camped on the ground since May 1.  Instead of burning or carrying refuse away, much of it has just been buried beneath the surface of the ground and it has decayed and is no doubt the cause of much of the sickness there... I have done considerable sightseeing about the city, taken in the Sutro baths, Cliff House, Surfline baths, the hotels, theatre and public halls, but have not yet had an opportunity of getting outside the city. The people here tell of the fine views to be had from the summit of neighboring hills but the fog is so persistent that it is almost impossible to strike a clear day. The hills there are something terrific and that accidents are not frequent on the cable road is simply wonderful.

Cliff House
, San Francisco  The Cliff House Project http://www.cliffhouseproject.com/index.html has a wonderful collection of pictures, postcards, blueprints, and documents.
EJ Phillips letter with her first hand account of seeing the new Cliff House  http://www.cliffhouseproject.com/documents/phillips.htm 

EJP obviously had seen the previous Cliff house, but no letter survives to record that day.  The first Cliff House had been built in 1863, was sold to Adolph Sutro in 1881. He built a railroad to it in 1888. It burned on Christmas Day 1894.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cliff_House,_San_Francisco  

Beach and Cliff House, Library of Congress c. 1903 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkYo8jR2csA

Cliff House History  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miNvgfOpBzg

Cliff House Movie

Story of Sutro Baths http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzDshHSC28w  The Sutro Railway ran to the Cliff House.

Transportation: EJ Phillips doesn't seem to mention how she got around San Francisco, except by walking, but the cable car system started in 1873 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Francisco_cable_car_system and was expanded in 1877-1878.  A steam railway to the Cliff House was completed in 1883.

Baldwin Hotel and Theatr At the corner of Market and Powell Streets according to hotel stationery.  Built by gambler/ entrepreneur Elias Jackson "Lucky" Baldwin in 1875 (Sumner Bugbee, architect)  Originally called Baldwin's Academy of Music, the theatre emphasized touring stars and attractions.  "In 1878 Baldwin built a magnificent hotel which encompassed the playhouse and occupied the rest of the block.  Virtually all the great touring performers of the day appeared in their best-known vehicles at the house ... Both hotel and theatre were destroyed by fire in 1898." [Oxford]

Location: 430 Bush St between Kearny and Grant, San Francisco  California State Historical Landmarks San Francisco County    On this site on January 18, 1869, the California Theatre, built by William C. Ralston, opened with the following stock company: John McCullough, Lawrence Barrett, Harry Edwards, Willie Edouin, E. B. Holmes, William Mastayer, John T. Raymond, W. F. Burroughs, W. H. Sadley Smith, John Wilson, Edward J. Buckley, Mrs. Judah Emelie Melville, Elizabeth Saunders, Annette Ince, Marie E. Gordon, Sophie Edwin, Minnie Walton, and Julia Buckley. Among artists who played here were Charles W. Couldock, Edwin Adams, John Broughan, Edwin Booth, Barton Hill, Walter Montgomery, Mrs. D. P. Bowers, Adelaide Neilson, and Lotta Crabtree. This theater remained a brilliant center of drama until August 11, 1888.   https://www.californiahistoricallandmarks.com/landmarks/chl-86

next: Los Angeles

About the Cliff House  http://www.sanfranciscomemories.com/cliff/about.html
Adolph Sutro http://www.sfmuseum.org/bio/adolph.html
Brechin, Gray, Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin, University of California Press, 1999.
California as I saw it, National Digital Library Program, Library of Congress, Spring, 1997.  http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/cbhtml/cbhome.html 
Cole, Tom, A Short History of San Francisco, San Francisco: Lexikos, 1981 http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0938530003/qid=1077080991/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/002-7351289-1775216?v=glance&s=books
Evanosky, Dennis, Lost San Francisco, 2011
Further readings about California's early years, Library of Congress http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/cbhtml/cbfurth.html
Gagey, Edmond M., The San Francisco Stage: A History, New York : Columbia University Press, 1950.
Kotsilibas-Davis, James, Great Times Good Times: The Odyssey of Maurice Barrymore, Garden City NY: Doubleday 1977.
Lewis, Oscar, Bay Window Bohemia: An Account of the Brilliant, Artistic World of Gaslit San Francisco, Garden City NY: Doubleday & CO. Inc.
Muscatine, Doris, Old San Francisco: The Biography of a city from Early Days to the Earthquake, New York: GP Putnam's Sons, 1975 
Museum of the City of San Francisco http://www.sfmuseum.org/hist1/index3.html 1865-1900
Neville, Amelia Ransome, The Fantastic City: Memoirs of the Social and Romantic Life of Old San Francisco, Edited and revised by Virginia Brastow, Cambridge MA: Houghton Mifflin Co., The Riverside Press, 1932 
Oscar Wilde visits San Francisco, 1882, Museum of the City of San Francisco http://www.sfmuseum.org/hist5/wilde.html
San Francisco history and photographs http://www.pdxhistory.com/html/san_francisco.html
San Francisco Performing Arts Library & Museum, On a Gilded Stage, Petaluma: Pomegranate Calendars and Books, 1993
Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_San_Francisco#Paris_of_the_West 1860s-1906
Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_San_Francisco_Designated_Landmarks
Wilkman, Jon, EJ "Lucky" Baldwin", Historical Society of Southern California 1999
Wollenberg, Charles, Golden Gate Metropolis: Perspectives on Bay Area History, Univ. of California, Berkeley, Institute of Governmental Studies, 1985

Mrs. Frank Leslie, California: a pleasure trip from Gotham to the Golden Gate, April, May, June, 1877 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.gdc/calbk.115  
Chapter XI The Palace Hotel
Chapter XIV Broker's Board and the City Prison
Chapter XV ChinaTown
Chapter XVI Opium Den 
Chapter XIX Woodward's Garden, Golden gate Park Cliff House
Chapter XX Mission Dolores, Baldwin Theatre
Chapter XXI San Rafael
XXIV Chinatown, Oaklands
XXV Merced
XXVI Yosemite     
more on Frank Leslie publications

California Digital Newspaper Collection, Center for Bibliographic Studies and Research, University of California, Riverside, http://cdnc.ucr.edu has Daily Alta (1849-=1891) and the San Francisco Call (1890-1913_
San Francisco Bulletin, Readex 1855-1891
San Francisco Chronicle, Proquest 1865-1922

Last revised August 25,  2020

1882 8 20   San Francisco CA California Theatre Bankers Daughter     Fanny Holcombe 1st of EJP's 7 west trips
1882 8 27 1 week San Francisco CA California Theatre False Friend   Lady Ogden  
1882 9 3   San Francisco CA California Theatre Lights O London Mrs Jarvis  
1882 9 10   San Francisco CA California Theatre Daniel Rochat   MacBeth sleep walking scene
1883 8 10 6 weeks? San Francisco CA Baldwin Theatre Led Astray and Lights o London    
1884 9 3 7 weeks? San Francisco CA Baldwin Theatre Lights o London Mrs Jarvis  
1886 7 30 31 to play San Francisco CA Baldwin Theatre As you like it with Helena Modjeska and owen Fawcett
1886 8 2 6 or 7wks San Francisco CA Baldwin Theatre Our Society Jim the Penman Saints & sinners Sealed Instructions Broken Hearts
1886 8 3   San Francisco CA   GAR Grand procession arches flags portraits Grant and Lee hang side by side
1886 8 14 5 weeks San Francisco CA Baldwin Theatre Saints & SinnersDo not go to Los Angeles  
1886 8 16 1 week San Francisco CA Baldwin Theatre Saints & Sinners then Sealed Instructions last week bill changes every night AMP famiily to Yosemite Valley
1886 8 21   San Francisco CA   Telegraph Hill Telegraph Hill Observatory beer gardens saloons
1886 9 5   San Francisco CA Baldwin Theatre closed to very fine house engagement a grand success professionally financially
1888 8 10 1 wk each San Francisco CA Baldwin Theatre Partners Jim the Penman Heart of hearts Our Society
1888 8 14   San Francisco CA Baldwin Theatre Partners opened to fine house JH Stoddart & self most enthuysiastic receptions
1888 8 17   San Francisco CA Baldwin Theatre Partners not caught on well hope Jim willl play 3 weeks  haven't been toChina Town
1888 8 19   San Francisco CA Baldwin Theatre good but not great business all seats sold for Mon Aug 20
1888 9 7   San Francisco CA   Birthday presents included fruit flowers and a carrige drive from oakland to Piedmont Springs [3 miles away]
1888 9 13   San Francisco CA   Oakland and Alameda to visit Nobles roses blooming in everybody;s garden good view of the Basy
1890 7 12   San Francisco CA   Drive to seashore yesterday with Mrs EJ Baldwin She has 9 horses in private stable EJ has 66K acres LA ranch
1890 7 27 ?check? San Francisco CA Baldwin Theatre Saints & Sinners      
1890 7 28   San Francisco CA Baldwin Theatre Saints * sinners to San Rafael yesterday to visit DeYoungs  week with Nobles near Golden Gate Park
1890 8 8 5 weeks San Francisco CA Baldwin Theatre Jim the Penman Saints & Sinners  splendid house very fine receptions
1890 8 9   San Francisco CA   San rafael another trip to visit Mrs DeYoung  
1890 8 10   San Francisco CA Baldwin Theatre business dull but never in SF in August before  
1896 8 17 2 wks San Francisco CA Baldwin Theatre Gay Parisians  leave Chicago Aug 12 for SF also letter Sept 21
1896 8 21   San Francisco CA   ride to the new Cliff House saw new bath houses seals rocks and ocean the same    
1898 12 8   San Francisco CA   Albert mustered in and stationed at Presidio      
1993 9     San Francisco CA .trip Cliff House Seal Beach w/ Marj & Max Mathews Telegraph Hill Chinatown Dick Pallowick

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