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Sunday, April 19, 1998

Trade, growth boom in county

Kristin Delaplane

In 1864, Henry Connolly became a hotelier of note when he acquired the Solano White Sulphur Springs resort three miles from Vallejo.
He knew the business well having run Vallejo’s Washington Hotel for some time

Under his lead, the 42-room hotel was furnished with the spring mattress in each room and the restaurant provided the “best edibles of the season.” A bar and elegant billiard room also were provided.

Upon acquiring the Springs, Connolly built a large hotel and landscaped by an orchard and vineyard. The resort was advertised for its healing waters.

Connolly, a native of Ireland, was 38 years old at the time. He arrived in San Francisco in 1853 and in 1857, he moved to Vallejo. He bought the Washington Hotel and was still the owner of this establishment in 1879. In connection with the hotel, he operated a livery stable. In 1875, he expanded his business and opened a wholesale wine and liquor store.

Rio Vista

Joseph Bruning, founder of Rio Vista by the fact that he donated his land for the town, deeded another four lots for a Catholic Church to be built. The cost was estimated at $500.

Maine Prairie and Binghamton

An editorial appeared regarding Maine Prairie. “. . . the town of Maine Prairie has gained an unenviable notary for gambling, intemperance and immorality. I believe there are now three or four whiskey halls in town where liquor damnation at a bit a glass is dealt out.’’ The name of Maine Prairie’s Good Templars Lodge was Prairie Flower.

The Rev. S.B. Dunton made possible the purchase of E.L. Smith’s warehouse for a meeting house. The building, which had originally been constructed at a cost of $2,200, was purchased for $850.

The local provisions’ store in Binghamton, which had been built in 1866 by D.L. (or W.L.) Munson, was operated by Munson and doing a good business.

The Maine Prairie Rifles had 68 members. They had just received new arms, including the Springfield rifle. They had no armory as yet, but plans were in the works to do so. A 2-acre lot had been purchased for that purpose.

Capt. Stull’s steam propeller, the Gypsy Queen was built in Maine Prairie for the purpose of carrying freight to and from the flour mill.

In August, the Maine Prairie Rifles had their first meeting in their new armory, which was to be dedicated with a ball in September.

Bird’s Landing and Denverton

Dr. Nurse built a large, 150 feet long by 60 feet wide, fireproof and rat-proof warehouse to store grain. He was also building a new brick store with a Good Templers Lodge in the upper story.

Samuel Stewart built a residence in the area. (In time, Stewart would become a major landowner with over 3,000 acres.)

In a short time he was producing goods from his farm and it was noted that he made a particularly “good article of butter. It is not always attainable for the reason that few understand the art of making it. The product of Samuel Stewart dairy is clean, fresh and sweet.” E.D. Perkins was carrying it at his store in Suisun City.

Suisun City

David E. Stockman (spelled Stockmon in early advertisements) emigrated to Suisun from Ohio in 1856 where he operated a drugstore. In 1858, D. Merrill Stockmon, D.E.‘s brother, arrived in Suisun

In 1858, the co-partnership of J.H. Marston and J.P Merrill was dissolved. The two were partners in a wholesale and retail mercantile business operating out of a large brick store in Suisun City.

Marston planned to carry on with the business. He carried groceries, provisions, crockery and glass, clothing, dry goods, boots and shoes, hardware, paints and oils and paper hangings.

In 1863, the militia company, The Dragoons, was led by Capt. Marston. That December he received orders from the newly elected Gov. Low to report with his fully armed company to the sheriff of Solano County to round up the people involved in the murder of Manuel Vera. The military detachment of men went to the Suscol Hills, Benicia and Vallejo and returned with 14 people, who were guilty of the crime.

It was also in 1863, that Jerry Marston paid local builder J.D. Perkins $2,900 to build a new residence.

In 1866, Marston & Stockmon had plans to erect a large warehouse, which would occupy the lot between the flour mill and Morris’ sadderly shop. Marston and Stockmon were brothers-in-law. Unfortunately, David E. Stockmon died that April at age 32. He left his two brothers and a sister living in Suisun as well as a wife, Ellen, and two children.

In 1867, J.H. Marston and D. Merrill Stockmon dissolved their partnership in their drugstore business. It appears D. Merrill and Marston were related by marriage.