May 2018 - Martinez Historical Society Newsletter
Martinez has always loved a celebration and it’s usually accompanied by a parade. From the kiddie parades to Fiesta Days, from homecoming royalty and the beginning of Little League season to the Fourth of July, the town has participated wholeheartedly, and these events have brought our community together. We always find something to celebrate and that is one of the rituals that make Martinez such a wonderful place to live. May is here, and we hope you enjoy this gentle slide from spring into the summer months.
Local historians place this May Day Parade photograph prior to 1912 because the department store sign belonged to Baer Brothers, a leading mercantile establishment bought out by David Hilson in 1912. This picture is taken looking slightly south and east up Main Street. It includes, just to the left of the Baer Brothers building, one of the few pictures in existence of the original Martinez Public Library, built in 1896 on land donated by Mrs. John Strentzel and her daughter Louisa, or Louie (Mrs. John Muir). The old Bank of America building now occupies that site. In the background can be seen the distinctive dome of the Martinez Hotel at the corner of Ferry and Main Streets. The children are marching on a dirt road; the City’s principal business thoroughfare was not paved until 1918. Many old-timers remembered Main Street’s wooden sidewalks, which drove turn-of-the-century children up to the County Courthouse to roller skate on the town’s only cement sidewalks.
Photo and identification courtesy of Martinez Historical Society.
Martinez Historical Society
1005 Escobar Street - Martinez, CA 94553 (925) 228-8160