Born April 3, 1918, in Iowa, Caywood graduated with a BS in Architectural Engineering in 1940 before serving in the United States Air Force as a lieutenant colonel and commander of the 720th Bomber Squadron at Manduria, Italy, flying raids on combat missions. He received, among other decorations, the Silver Star and Purple Heart for his services. After being honorably discharged in 1945, Caywood moved to Sacramento where he worked as an architect before returning to active duty in Europe in 1951, this time to use his architectural skills as chief of design and planning for bases in Germany and France. Upon his return in 1953, he founded his own architectural practice in Sacramento, Caywood & Associates, that grew to five partners. Grant retired in 1986, still active in the community, and passed away in 2008.
(Photographs taken by Pope Studios, Grant D. Caywood papers, MS0064, 2017/046/0001-0006)
The Straine Building, a two-story office structure at 1435 Alhambra Blvd, was designed by Grant Caywood for low-cost maintenance due to its combination of brick, steel, and porcelain panels. On the outside, Caywood designed a brick wall open at the top and ends to protect the west side of the building from afternoon sun. The perforations in the wall help control the level of light entering the building to minimize energy waste and offer privacy to its occupants. Standing about seven feet from the second-floor window, this brick wall also forms a partially enclosed balcony. The building was completed around the end of 1956 by Continental Constructor Company and originally housed the offices of the building’s owners, public accountants Harry M. Straine & Sons, plus the Paul Revere Life Insurance Company, and Caywood himself, with space for three other occupants.
(Sacramento Bee collection, 1983/001/01832-01839)
Yesterday, the Year of the Rabbit was welcomed with celebrations around the world. Here, we see a Chinese New Year parade winding its way through Sacramento’s Chinatown and downtown, ca. 1939. Businesses in the background include Lee Rooms at 4th and I streets, Bell Pharmacy at K and 5th, Ray Rooms and J and 4th, and Kress at K and 8th.
(Sacramento Bee Collection, 1983/001/SBPM01223)
This aerial photo was taken above West Sacramento looking east at approximately 5 pm on September 3, 1966. The Tower Bridge and Capitol Mall can be seen in the center of the photo.
The party-goers are identified on the back of the photo as follows:
Seated L to R: Mrs. Muse, Mr. L.N. Crawford, Mrs. Crawford, Mr. Crawford’s brother, Mrs. George, Unknown Lady, Mrs. Leftridge
Standing: Rev. Muse, Patsy?, Elizabeth Gray, Mrs. Blakey, Mrs. Daniells, Ola Mae Jackson, Marguerite Williams, Clarissa Hundley
Anniversary party, 1936 (Gift of Clarissa Hundley Wildy, 2000/061/008)
In 1936, family and friends gathered to celebrate the 25th wedding anniversary of Lewis N. and Frances Crawford at their home at 2685 26th Street in Sacramento. At the time, Lewis was working as a janitor for the State Bureau of Buildings and Grounds. Frances was serving as a deaconess and president of the missionary society at Shiloh Baptist Church. The preacher at Shiloh, Rev. J. T. Muse is pictured standing at the top left. Both born in Kentucky in 1879 and 1885 respectively, Lewis and Frances moved to Sacramento around 1911. The details of their journeys are unknown to us. Sadly, Frances would pass away in 1938. Louis remarried twice but was widowed once more. He eventually retired from his state job to pursue real estate with the Star Real Estate Company. Lewis passed away in 1965 at age 85 and is buried at Odd Fellows Lawn on Riverside Drive.
(MS0098 Ephemera collection)
The second annual Sacramento ’49 Roundup was held May 27-30, 1927, at the state fairgrounds. It featured standard rodeo events with 70 men and 6 women competitors, plus chariot races and parades. The first day was canceled due to rain, but the rest of the event went off without a hitch. The program for the event featured local business ads, including this one for the Van Voorhies-Phinney Company, which made saddles, tack, and other leather goods. We have many business records and items from Van Voorhies-Phinney in our collection.
(Gift of Edwina Coffing, 1996/048/110)
This postcard from the 1950s gives us a great view down K Street at dusk, aglow with neon signs. The Daniels Jewelers sign and clock take center stage in front. On the same side of the street is the Clunie Hotel. Signs for stores on the opposite side of the street include Berland’s Shoes, Kay Jewelers, Kress department store, Montgomery Wards, and finally Fox Senator Theater in the distance.
The Observer was established in 1962 by Dr. William H. Lee, Gino Gladden, and John W. Cole to cover local, national, and international news with a focus on African American culture, politics, and leadership. It also publishes calendars highlighting African American events, plus special supplements and guides on Black businesses, education, equal opportunity, and entertainment.
(Sacramento Observer records, MS0011, 2011/031/127; 2011/031/240)
The Sacramento Observer has frequently published special memorials to Martin Luther King Jr. in observance of the civil rights leader’s birthday. Here we see the cover and article in a 1984 supplement, plus coverage of a memorial held at Mather Air Force Base in 1985.
(Sacramento Bee Collection, 1983/001/SBPM01220)
Stevedores work on a Sacramento pier with the Tower Bridge in the background, circa 1936.
UAOD stands for the United Ancient Order of Druids. It was founded in London in 1781 by Henry Hule who stated the society was “established to promote harmony and good fellowship.” The United States got its first grove, as their lodges were called, in 1830 in New York. By August 1866, Walhalla Grove #6 was established in Sacramento. The group held their meetings at the Pioneer Hall on 7th Street between J and K and originally spoke German, but after a few years changed to English.
(Edwina Coffing collection, 1996/048/156)
With millions of photos in our collection, we sometimes come across wonderful images that unfortunately have no information, like this one. Charley Peters is written on the back, but that’s the only info we have. Charley here is wearing an interesting assortment of fraternal ribbons and badges, a pistol in a shoulder holster, and a knife in his boot, and he’s holding up a bottle. The ribbons on his shirt give us a little more information. One reads “UAOD.”
As you can see, the face was almost completely destroyed on the left side. You can still make out an eye, ear, and hair on the right side, and part of an ear on the left. The nose had been missing for some time before the decapitation.
Wondering what happened to the head of the Charles Swanston statue that was recently vandalized and decapitated in William Land Park? After spending some time with the Sacramento Police Department during their investigation, it was sent to us until it can be checked out by a conservator to determine the best course of action for restoring the statue. In the meantime, we are confirming the type of stone it is made of, cleaning it, photographing and documenting it for the city's records, and storing it with the rest of the historical items in our storage vault.
Have you ever noticed white lines drawn on photos from our Bee collection? In this shot, you can see a white line around the women’s hair. Lines like these were drawn on using white ink or sometimes a wax crayon to emphasize a particular feature or provide clarity. It’s common to see on photos that were selected to be reproduced in print in the newspaper. Print photos went through a halftone process in which they were reproduced using tiny dots to mimic different shades of grey. We snapped a photo from our bound print volume so you can see the final result.
(Photograph by Skip Shuman, Sacramento Bee Collection, 1983/001/SBPMP02409)
Celebratory butter anyone? For several years on his birthday, Herman Grabow, lobbyist for the California State Grange, celebrated by handing out one-pound packages of butter on the steps of the Capitol. Here he is in January 1978 commemorating his 80th birthday. The amused-looking ladies accepting the butter are identified as Esther Carr (far left) and Ruth Albright (middle) of Fresno. The lady on the right scampered away, butter in hand, before the photographer could get her name.
(Ephemera Collection, MS0098)
Grant Union High School’s new stadium was dedicated October 18, 1940, during a football game against C. K. McClatchy High School, as commemorated by this vibrant souvenir program. According to an August 29, 1940, article in the Bee, the stadium—a WPA project—was modeled after Stanford’s and was constructed of adobe bricks that were made on site by students from the field’s soil.
(Sacramento Bee Collection, 1983/001/SBPMP06667; 1983/001/SBPMP06668)
Born January 9, 1913, Richard Nixon would have been 110 today. Serving as Vice President from 1953 to 1961, Nixon entered the California gubernatorial election in 1962, ultimately losing to Pat Brown. This loss was thought to be the end of his political career, but as we know, he went on to be president from 1969 to 1974. Here we see Nixon speaking at the Young Republicans Conference held at the Sacramento Inn, and chatting with that year’s Miss Sacramento, Julie Van De Vort.