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Woodward's Gardens collection, 1872-1877.
MANUSCRIPT2842-2846
Collection Overview

Title:

Woodward's Gardens collection, 1872-1877
Woodward's Gardens

Creator/Contributor:

Woodward, Robert B.

Creator/Contributor:

Davidson, George, 1825-1911

Creator/Contributor:

Vasquez, Pablo.

Creator/Contributor:

P.T. Barnum (Firm)

Creator/Contributor:

Harper & Brothers

Creator/Contributor:

Boston Public Library

Creator/Contributor:

Manhattan Life Insurance Company

Creator/Contributor:

Mechanics' Institute of San Francisco

Creator/Contributor:

Paris Zoological Gardens

Creator/Contributor:

Providence Athenaeum

Creator/Contributor:

San Francisco Art Association

Creator/Contributor:

San Francisco Musical Fund Society

Creator/Contributor:

San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Creator/Contributor:

Western Union Telegraph Company

Abstract:

Correspondence to Robert B. Woodward (although some is addressed to others at Woodward's Gardens) mostly about possible donation or sale of items and animals to the Gardens' collections, and file cards on books acquired for the collection. Many of the letters have Woodward's draft replies penciled in.

Date:

1872 (issued)

Contents:

Boxes 2842-2845: correspondence folders; Box 2846: book acquisition cards.

Subject:

n-us-ca
Woodward's Gardens, San Francisco.
Correspondence
Resorts -- California -- San Francisco

Note:

Robert B. Woodward was born in Rhode Island in 1824, came to California in 1849, and four years later opened a hotel called the What Cheer House on Sacramento Street in San Francisco. The success of this hotel enabled Woodward to buy a plot of land on Mission Street for his estate, on which he built a house and filled the property with plants, animals and art. He eventually opened his estate to the public, which he named "Woodward's Gardens," and moved to Napa.
Woodward's Gardens contained a museum, a zoo, an aquarium, a "rotary boat," and a 5000-seat pavilion. It became the site for such events as balloon ascensions, and was popular with San Franciscans because of it's relaxed country setting, its family-oriented entertainment, and its accessibility via the horsecars of R. B. Woodward's City Railroad Company along with the Sutter Street Railroad's fabled "balloon cars."
Following Robert B. Woodward's death in 1879, the Woodward's Gardens property passed to his heirs, who did not maintain it to its previous standards. After his children reached adulthood, Woodward's estate was contested in court, resulting in an even distribution among his heirs meaning that the Gardens would not remain open. By then such locations as Golden Gate Park and the Cliff House had replaced Woodward's as San Franciscans' favored weekend destinations. Woodward's Gardens closed late in 1891. In April 1893 its collections were auctioned, a large percentage of which went to Adolph Sutro. The following year the remaining buildings, except the pavilion, were razed, the land was subdivided, and residences were built on the property. Woodward's Pavilion, however, remained a popular venue for boxing matches and other events until the 1906 disaster.
Woodward's Gardens.
Inventory available in library; folder level control.
Unrestricted. Please credit California State Library.

Physical Description:

print
4 pamphlet boxes; 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 5 in
1 pamphlet box; 7 7/8 x 3 7/8 x 2 1/4 in.

Language:

English

Identifier:

Origin:

California

Copyright Note:

Unrestricted. Please credit California State Library.