For some locals, it might be difficult to imagine a full-fledged brewery operating in the Land Park area. But long before there were such destination places as William Land Park and the Sacramento Zoo, this then-rural area was home to the Sutterville Brewery.
This brewery, which was established just south of today’s zoo in a two-story, brick building with a basement in 1861, was originally owned by the Prussia-born Martin P. Arenz (1826-1949).
The brewery structure, which was constructed 160 years ago in what was then the town of Sutterville, was initially occupied by a grocery store owned Robert H. Vance of San Francisco.
Arenz purchased both the building and its property from Vance for $1,500 in August 1861.
According to The Sacramento Union, in its June 15, 1872 edition, the brewery building measured 62 feet by 62 feet and stood on a 160-foot by 180-foot lot.
Among the improvements made to the premises during Arenz’s ownership of the brewery was an addition of a new roof.
On May 28, 1867, the Sutterville Brewery was among several local breweries that had their lager beer delivery wagons seized by revenue officers during their deliveries.
According to the following day’s edition of The Union, it was charged that these breweries “did not properly cancel the stamps in the manner required by the revenue law, but so contrived matters as to make one (revenue) stamp answer the purpose of many, thereby depriving Uncle Sam of his just and lawful dues.”
Arenz remained the brewery’s proprietor until September 1868, when he sold the business to Patrick H. Lyman for about $8,000.
A biography regarding Captain Frank Ruhstaller in the 1890 book, “An Illustrated History of Sacramento County, California,” recognizes Ruhstaller and Joseph Bechler as having owned interests in the brewery.
And in following the sequence of events presented in the book, Ruhstaller purchased an interest in the brewery in mid-October 1869.
The book also notes that Ruhstaller “was in a partnership there (at the Sutterville Brewery) with Bechler for seven or eight months.”
Another biography about Ruhstaller in the 1913 book, “History of Sacramento County, California,” mentions the following: “(Ruhstaller) bought an interest in the Sutterville Brewery, where he carried on a partnership with Joseph Bechler for seven months until the high water forced all work to cease.”
Both biographies mention that Ruhstaller continued working with local breweries before returning to his Swiss homeland for a short period of time in 1873.
No other historic accounts regarding Ruhstaller and Bechler holding interests in the Sutterville Brewery were discovered during research for this article, and there is no firm indication, based on research for this article, that Lyman was not involved in the ownership of the business from 1868 until the sale of the business in 1873.
A fire occurred at the brewery on Jan. 27, 1871. Flames were spotted on the roof of the drying room in the malt house.
The Union, in its Jan. 30, 1871 edition, noted: “Part of the Sutterville Brewery was discovered on fire, but which, by dint of strenuous efforts of the proprietor, Patrick Lyman, and his neighbors, was extinguished before much damage had occurred.”
In 1873, Fritz Futterer and Nicholas “Nick” Thielen became the new proprietors of the brewery.
In regard to this new ownership, The Union, on July 12, 1873, ran the following advertisement: “READ THIS! SUTTERVILLE BREWERY. This well-known brewery was purchased a few months ago by the undersigned, two experienced German brewers, and many improvements added thereto, and they are now able to supply the old customers, as well as new ones, and their friends generally, with the very best of beer in this market, in quantities to suit. THIELEN & FUTTERER.”
This partnership continued until February 1877, when Futterer sold his interest in the brewery to Thielen.
But well before this business change, half of the ownership of the brewery was offered for sale through an advertisement in editions of The Union in April and May 1876.
In part, the advertisement read: “One-half interest in the SUTTERVILLE BREWERY, finely improved and a well established business. Will be sold cheap. For full information, inquire of NICK THIELEN.”
Various non-brewery meetings were held at the brewery, including an April 25, 1878 meeting of residents of Swamp Land District No. 1. The purpose of the meeting was to make nominations for levee commissioner.
In being that a portion of Sacramento, including part of that district, experienced a major flood in 1878, several other very timely, levee-related meetings were held at the brewery around that time.
The 1880 book, History of Sacramento County, California, refers to the brewery, as follows: “This brewery is eighty-two feet long by forty-two feet wide (which are different dimensions than those given in the aforementioned 1872 Union article); employs four men, and has a capacity of fifteen barrels per day. Nicholas Thielen is the proprietor.”
The Union, in its Oct. 17, 1883 edition, reported the following: “Saturday evening (Oct. 13, 1883), a large party of ladies and gentlemen from Sacramento gave a surprise party to Nicholas Thielen, proprietor of the Sutterville Brewery. They were finely entertained. There was dancing and feasting until near morning.”
The operation of the Sutterville Brewery was only about a 22-year venture.
From Nov. 12 through Dec. 31, 1883, The Union ran the following advertisement: “FOR SALE – ON ACCOUNT OF THE removal of the brewery business of the Sutterville Brewery, the buildings and property of same are offered for sale on reasonable terms. Inquire of N. THIELEN, proprietor, or of CADWALADER & PARSONS.”
Nearly four months later, The Union, reported details regarding an auction, as follows: “REAL ESTATE AT AUCTION – Bell & Co. will sell at auction Tuesday, March 18, (1884), on the premises, at 11 a.m., the property of N. Thielen, known as the Sutterville Brewery, and about five acres of good land connected therewith. It includes the brick and frame buildings, barns, sheds, windmill, pump, tank with capacity of 4,500 gallons; underground pipes connecting with frame and brick buildings; large lot of fruit trees and shrubbery, etc. Sale positive. Terms, 10 percent on day of sale; balance when deed is made. Buildings open for inspection until the day of sale.”
The brewery auction, which The Union noted “should receive more than ordinary attention,” was postponed until the following Saturday.
However, for some reason, the auction did not occur until July 19, 1884, when Sheriff Alfred H. Estell sold at auction the brewery property and its buildings to the Germania Building and Loan Association of 1011 4th St. for $2,200. The brewery’s machinery was not included in the sale.
A grand opening for a new business, the Sutterville Garden, owned by William Emerson at the old brewery site, was held on Saturday evening, July 14, 1884. The event, which was free to the public, included music and dancing.
The property changed hands once again in 1890 and was reopened as the Mount View House. Owned by J. P. Melchior, who had previously owned a saloon at the southeast corner of 10th and S streets at the present day site of the Old Ironsides bar, the business advertised itself as featuring “the finest wines, liquors and cigars.”
In the Jan. 27, 1899 edition of The Union, it was noted that George Gray, who resided on Riverside Road (today’s Riverside Boulevard) “is now proprietor of the old Sutterville Brewery on the lane between Sutterville and Freeport Road.”
The two-story, brick Sutterville Brewery building was demolished in 1952, and occupying the site today is the Land Park Business Center at 1250 Sutterville Road.
For some locals, it might be difficult to imagine a full-fledged brewery operating in the Land Park area. But long before there were such destination places as William Land Park and the Sacramento Zoo, this then-rural area was home to the Sutterville Brewery.
Ferries, as explained in the first part of this article, which appeared in the May 5 edition of The Pocket News (visit www.valcomnews.com to read it online), provided transportation across the Sacramento River back in the pre-bridge days for residents in the Pocket and surrounding areas.
Ferries along the Sacramento River have a rich history, which began in 1850 and continued through most of the 1920s. The area from Colusa, south and including the Delta area, was once recognized as having the largest concentration of ferries in North America.
Among the ferries south of Sacramento was the Glide Ferry, which provided service to Pocket residents from the late 1800s through the 1920s.
The ferry was located next to the southwestern border of the Tony Dutra property – which was known as Dutra Bend – which extended to the river. This property was located on a well-defined road, about a half-mile west of the present Dutra House – located at the modern address, 8144 Pocket Road – which was the home of Tony’s father.
To provide access to the ferry landing, a gravel road extended from Riverside Road – today’s Riverside Boulevard – along the side of Tony’s property to the levee.
The ferry’s other landing – the Freeport landing – was located on the Lizzie Glide property.
A very detailed, c. 1895 survey map, which is on file with the Portuguese Historical and Cultural Society, shows that the Glide family properties extended from Lake Washington – which became part of the Port of Sacramento in West Sacramento – to the Courtland area.
From Babel Slough in the Freeport farming area, the map shows three large parcels, to the east and succeeding each other, that belonged to Lizzie H. Glide. The first Babel Slough, Glide parcel is opposite Garcia Bend Park in the Pocket area.
As clearly shown on the map, the third Glide property’s eastern boundary was the location of the ferry landing on the Yolo side of the river.
Prior to the Glides’ ownership of the property, the ferry was originally owned by a Mr. Dubois.
Dubois owned the ferry from 1893 to 1894, at which time, the ownership of the ferry was transferred to early day Pocket pioneer, George Peters and a Mr. Hadley.
Joseph Henry Glide, who resided at 910 H St. and operated the ferry for personal use and as a means to move his livestock to his other properties, became the ferry’s third owner in 1897.
During Joseph Henry Glide’s ownership of the ferry, as a very generous gesture, he operated it as a free ferry for use by Pocket and Freeport farmers and their families.
The ferrymen for the Glide Ferry included John “Captao” (“Captain” in Portuguese) Perry, Mr. Serpa, John Joseph and Manuel Silvey King.
Additionally, another ferryman was Manuel Ferreira Dutra, who was the Pocket’s carpenter and was known by his nickname, “Shopinha.”
In a retrospective article about the old ferry days that appeared in the Feb. 28, 1932 edition of The Sacramento Union, Mike Hunt, a Freeport dairy owner who had resided along the river since 1868, related a unique story about the Glide Ferry.
Hunt recalled how an effort to transport six of the Glides’ prize Durham bulls on the ferry went awry.
“It would have been all right if the bulls behaved, but in midstream they got to fighting,” Hunt told The Union.
After explaining that the bulls busted the ferry’s gate and one of the bulls was knocked into the river, Hunt added, “The (bull) who’d gone overboard, they thought was a goner. They watched him swim downstream for about five miles when he finally made shore. That was a lucky break, because he was worth plenty of money.”
Pocket historian Dolores (Silva) Greenslate, 86, vividly remembers the anxious anticipation she felt before riding the Glide Ferry in the late 1920s.
Greenslate, who resided on Riverside Road, would travel with her parents to the gravel road on the Tony Dutra ranch. Her father would soon drive his 1928 Chevrolet sedan onto the ferry en route to visit her mother’s aunt and uncle, Carrie and John Azevedo, on their Freeport ranch.
In recalling her memories of riding the Glide Ferry, Greenslate said, “Whenever I was asked by my parents if I wanted to go visit Aunt Carrie, I would be in the car before they were even ready. During the ferry ride, I loved to look at all the scenery along the levees and be able to almost reach out and touch the water.”
Diane Dutra, Tony Dutra’s daughter, said that when the family property was sold for redevelopment she requested of the developers that in addition to having her family’s name memorialized through a Pocket street, that the Glide family also be recognized through the name of a street. As a result, the Pocket area features the streets, Dutra Bend Drive and Glide Ferry Way.
A more recent ferry was the Clarksburg Ferry, which in a similar manner to naming ships with feminine names, was known as Mary Ann.
This ferry operated on the Sacramento River between Clarksburg and the river road to the east from 1920 to 1929.
This dual-paddle wheeler ferry was constructed by the Portuguese family-owned business, Nunes Brothers Boat and Ways Co. of Clarksburg.
The ferrymen for the Clarksburg Ferry, which was advertised by the county as “the largest, best and fastest (ferry) on the river,” were: Mike Silva and Charlie Butler.
The ferry’s landing on the Yolo side was located near the southern boundary of the town of Clarksburg.
In 1928, the Clarksburg Ferry was involved in an accident, when a large shipment of hardwood floor lumber, which was being transported and intended for the new Clarksburg High School, caused the ferry to tilt and overturn.
Although the ferry continued to operate for another year, damage resulting from the accident required major repairs to the ferry.
The Clarksburg Ferry was discontinued due to the 1929 opening of the Freeport Bridge, which eliminated the need for the ferry.
Although this featured portion of the river also included two additional ferries, these ferries were only created for temporary use, primarily because of the 1907 flood, which isolated the Freeport (later Clarksburg) area from the Sacramento side of the river.
One of these ferries was located just south of Portuguese Hall on Riverside Road on a road that extended to the levee.
This temporary ferry was located nearby Shopinha’s home, thus making it a possibility that he may have also worked as a ferryman on this ferry.
The other temporary ferry was located opposite of the landmark building, Oak Hall, a historic watering hole on Riverside Road in the Riverside area, adjoining the Pocket to the north.
Greenslate said that although the local ferries are no longer in operation, the memories about these ferries remain strong for those who remember them.
“The adventure and excitement of riding the platform ferries in this vicinity is sadly gone forever, but they still shine bright in the memories of the older folks,” Greenslate said.
The Riverside-Pocket area has undoubtedly changed since its early years when the area was predominantly home to Portuguese immigrants. Among the many developments of the area during its history was the establishment of several marinas along the Pocket side of the Sacramento River.
The first people to establish a marina in the area were descendents of Manuel Da Rosa Garcia, an early pioneer of the area. Originally his surname was spelled, “Gracia,” and evolved into the spelling, “Garcia,” which is correctly pronounced, “Gar-sha.”
Manuel, who was born in 1846 and emigrated from the Azores Islands, settling in the Pocket in the late 1850s, married Ana Leonora Silveira in 1878.
When he was 43, Manuel died as a result of a farming accident on Nov. 12, 1889.
Manuel and Leonora had five children, including their two sons, Manuel, Jr. and Joseph Garcia, who inherited the family’s property following their father’s death.
Shortly after the death of Manuel, Sr., Ana Leonora hired Antone Pimentel as a ranch hand.
Antone later became Ana Leonora’s second husband and their only child, Antone, Jr., was born to them. Antone, Jr. was eventually one of the owners of the Ingleside Café, which is today known as The Trap, a bar at the present day corner of Riverside Boulevard and 43rd Avenue.
While with his stepson, Manuel, Jr., Antone, Sr. was tragically killed in a duck hunting accident, once again leaving Ana Leonora a widow.
As time passed, Manuel, Sr.’s sons split their inherited property lengthwise and individually farmed each side of this property, which at the time also included the levee.
In the early 1950s, Joseph had the Garcia Bend Marina built on his portion of the levee; however, he personally never operated it.
Joseph first leased his marina to Bill Wheeler, who also operated the Da Rosa Marina, which was located near today’s 35th Avenue in the Riverside area.
The Garcia Bend Marina dock measured about 200 feet in length and featured two berthing for rowboats.
The primary purpose of the marina, which was located at the first bend of the river on Riverside Road (now Riverside Boulevard), after Portuguese Hall, was to dock boats for fishing purposes. However, no boats at the marina were available for renting.
The cost of berthing at the marina was $5 per foot, measured by the length of each boat.
Another feature of the marina was a small bar with beer, soft drinks and sandwiches.
Following Wheeler’s leasing of the marina, a subsequent owner took over the marina’s operation.
During the 1960s, ownership reverted back to Garcia family members, including Joseph’s daughter, Rosaline, and the spouses of Joseph’s daughters, Mabel and Ethel.
It was at this time that Rosaline, along with Mabel and Ethel’s husbands, Frank “Babe” Wittpen and Monte Dorman, respectively, decided to refurbish the dock and operate it themselves. This trio of owners was later joined by William Garcia, the son of Manuel, Jr.
Following the death of Wittpen, Mabel was found operating the business by herself. She therefore hired a man to assist her in keeping the marina business running.
In 1997, the Department of Water Resources requested that Mabel remodel and reinforce the wooden pilings with concrete pilings at a cost of $40,000.
Since Mabel was unable to financially meet this request, she decided to close the marina.
While operating Wheeler’s Landing – the original name of the Da Rosa Marina – Wheeler was assisted by a man, named Jim, whose last name is unknown.
The dock at this marina included a drink and sandwich concessions area, which was much smaller than the similar operation at the Garcia Bend Marina.
Also included at the dock were a few rowboats that were rented for the purpose of fishing.
About the time that Wheeler left the Garcia Bend Marina, he also left the Da Rosa’s marina and consequently the name of the marina was changed to the Da Rosa Marina.
During the operation of these two aforementioned marinas, Manuel farmed on his half of the inherited land and although he did not own a dock, he owned about 15 rowboats, which he rented for fishing purposes.
Since he did not own a dock, the boats were tied to poles that were secured to the shore. The poles were used to keep the boats from hitting the levee with the wake from passing boats.
Adding to the Garcia family’s history along the river, Ethel also joined the family’s boat rental business during the 1950s, while still residing on her father’s ranch.
Ethel’s five or six rowboats, which were rented to fisherman, provided a small revenue for her living expenses.
Another generation of the Garcia family, Irving “Irvin” Garcia, the son of Manuel Garcia, Jr., resided and worked on his father’s ranch until it was sold for subdivision.
During the time that Irvin was farming on his father’s ranch, he decided to construct his own personal dock for fishing.
The dock measured about 40 or 50 feet long and included a place for Manuel to tie up his boat.
The fishing area became known to outsiders, who would drive up to the levee to fish from his dock.
The number of fishermen arriving at the dock became overbearing to Irvin and out of desperation to maintain his privacy, he began to charge a fee to fish from his dock.
Initially, Irvin charged 50 cents per visit, then later 75 cents and finally $1. These increases proved to not be a deterrent, as the fisherman continued to arrive and pay these increased fees.
Eventually, Irvin, who passed away on July 23, 1999, fenced off the area leading to the entrance of his dock.
Another farmer who owned fishing boats for rent in the area was George Rogers, whose father – who was born Albert Mendes (later Rogers) in the Azores Islands – was a member of a pioneering Portuguese family in the Pocket.
The Rogers ranch, which was located at the present day intersection of Riverside Boulevard and Pocket Road, included acreage for the residences of Albert’s children.
George, who owned about a dozen boats, operated his fishing boat rental business on his father’s property next to the levee.
Eventually, George (1896–1984), who had a twin brother named Frank, sold part of his property and gave his business to his sister, Margaret.
Margaret, however, became ill shortly after acquiring the boat rental operation and thus terminated the business.
Another part of the Garcia history in the area occurred on the site of today’s Garcia Bend Park. This park is part of the historic McGee Ranch, about 100 acres of which was acquired by Anna Leonora Pimentel and farmed by her son, Manuel Garcia, Jr.
Anna Leonora later sold the ranch to Joe Sarmento and Frank “Capitao” (“Captain”) Perry, and Manuel, Jr. returned to farming on the original Garcia ranch.
Frank Rogers eventually purchased the historic McGee Ranch from Sarmento and Perry and farmed the ranch until he sold the property to a real estate firm in the late 1960s.
The real estate firm later sold a portion of this acreage to the city of Sacramento for the purpose of creating Garcia Bend Park and its boat launch ramp. The park, which also includes tennis courts, soccer fields and a children’s playground, received its name as a tribute to Manuel Garcia, Sr.
The park has become a major attraction for the Pocket community and continues the area’s historic usage of the river for boating and fishing.
Buildings such as the Memorial Auditorium, the Elks Building at 11th and J streets, the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, a portion of the state Capitol and various structures in Old Sacramento, for instance, have a commonality that link them together for an obvious local trivia question.
These local landmarks were all constructed with bricks that were made at the Sacramento Brick Co., which opened on Riverside Road (today’s Riverside Boulevard) in 1881.
Additionally, the company, which was originally owned by Thomas Dwyer, also supplied bricks for reconstructing part of San Francisco following the great 1906 earthquake and fire.
By this time in the company’s history, the brickyard was already quite notable, as is evident by a reference in the 1890 History of Sacramento County, which reads: “(The brickyard has) in operation four Quaker brick machines with a capacity of (manufacturing) 140,000 (bricks) daily.”
During summer months, the brick-making plant utilized clay-like soil for its production that was dug from the “clay pit” in the area of today’s Lake Greenhaven, near John F. Kennedy High School.
Brick by brick
The preliminary process of creating the bricks began in the winter, as the clay was dredged and placed on the south bank of the pit for the purpose of having it dry until summer.
Once dry, the clay was loaded into the plant’s ore car-sized locomotives and delivered to the brickyard, which was located about a half-mile away, across Riverside Road. The plant, which was situated on about 250 acres, extended southward from the levee area to near modern-day Gloria Drive.
Overall, about eight cars were used for this process in a rotating sequence along the tracks, which were moved according to the locations of each dredging project.
Once at the brickyard, the clay was loaded onto a large conveyer belt and transported to a hopper before being transferred into what was known as the “pug mill.”
It was at this mill that the clay was mixed with a precise amount of water, so that the bricks would not be too soft or too dry.
After being stacked on pallets for the curing process, the bricks were then transferred to kilns for the firing process.
During the plant’s earlier years, 20-foot-wide by 40-foot-long, outdoor kilns, which were made of brick, utilized coal – a heating source that was later replaced by crude oil and for a period of time, gas.
Originally, bricks created at the brickyard were transported by horse-drawn wagons to local construction sites.
Pocket historian Dolores (Silva) Greenslate said that she recalls seeing a brick delivery wagon with a team of horses led by brickyard worker, Joe Prady pass by her childhood home on Riverside Road on various occasions during the late 1920s.
Eventually, the brick delivery wagons were altogether replaced by brick delivery trucks.
In addition to seeing the brick delivery wagons, Greenslate, as well as other children residing in the area at the time, was continuously entertained by the sight of the brickyard’s locomotives crossing Riverside Road.
“It looked as though it was a toy train, which we longed to ride,” Greenslate recalled.
Being that the area was a Portuguese settlement, Greenslate said that the brickyard provided a lot of employment for the local Portuguese people.
Greenslate added that Antone Perry, the son of her great-grandfather, 1850s Pocket pioneer Antonio Pereira Rodrigues, worked at the brickyard for many years.
Antone Perry, whose sons, Alfred and Bill Perry, also worked at the plant, was employed as a brick setter and was known among his co-workers as “Squirrel,” due to his ability to work in small, narrow tunnels, where he stacked bricks to be fired.
Although the Perrys resided within a close vicinity of the brickyard, many others lived in houses located on the brickyard’s grounds.
Four-room, two-story, wood-frame houses, which included upstairs living quarters and kitchen and eating areas, were rented on the grounds for $7 per month.
These homes were not the only houses located on the property, as the site also included the large house of the brickyard’s supervisor, a boarding house for single men and about 20 single-room cabin-like structures.
“Thing of the past”
Although the brickyard is certainly a thing of the past, having been closed on Jan. 3, 1971 due to development in the area, its history remains strong through a variety of elements such as many structures built with Sacramento Brick Co.-manufactured bricks, Lake Greenhaven and even Brickyard Drive, a Riverside-Pocket area street named in tribute to this famous, local landmark.
E-mail Lance Armstrong at email@example.com.
The Riverside-Pocket area is certainly rich with history and among the earlier stories of this area is the history of the Frank Enos Service Station.
In its early years, the service station was essential to many people in the area who had transitioned from horse and buggies and surreys to Model Ts and other early automobiles.
Like many people in the area at the time, Frank Enos was of Portuguese heritage, as his father, also Frank Enos, was born in Pico, Azores Islands, Portugal.
From slough to service station
Frank Enos, Jr. (who for the remainder of this story will simply be referred to as Frank) was born in 1872 on his father’s 27-acre ranch, adjacent to Babel Slough in Freeport in the area that is now known as Clarksburg.
Following the death of his father, Frank, along with his brother Joe, inherited his family’s ranch.
In about 1890, Joe purchased his brother’s portion of the ranch and the two brothers opened Enos Bros. Grocery on the northwest corner of 10th and O streets.
With this move, a bar was added to the business, which was renamed Frank Enos Grocery Store and Bar.
Occasionally during this era, other bars were also connected to grocery stores, including the Portuguese businesses, the Da Rosa grocery store on Riverside Road and the Souza grocery store on Freeport Road in the town of Freeport.
While operating his grocery store and bar in 1897, Frank married Philomena “Minnie” Brown, the daughter of prominent Freeport resident John Joaquim “King” Brown, who also had two sons – John, who was a guard at the Bank of Italy (later Bank of America) at 6th and K streets, and Manuel, who was the captain of the dredger, Argyle.
The newlyweds moved into their newly purchased home at 2419 L St., where they resided until they moved to Riverside in 1913.
It was in this year that Frank purchased the property where the service station was built and opened about eight years later.
The property also included the family’s new home – a small, white, two-story, c. 1910, wood-frame house.
The service station, which was referred to by many local residents as “Frank Enos’ gas station,” originally included three pumps, which provided regular and ethyl gasoline. The station was later downsized to include only two pumps.
In addition to offering gasoline, the station included large scales, which were used to weigh horse-drawn wagons and small trucks with loads of hay and produce that were shipped out on boxcars on Front Street, near today’s Sacramento History Museum in Old Sacramento.
People, property and petrol
Pocket native Dolores (Silva) Greenslate recalled a very early story relating to the Frank Enos Service Station.
“In about 1923, my father (Victor Silva), who at the time worked in dredging around Sutter Bypass raising the levels of the existing Sacramento River levees, upon leaving for work in the Riverside area, discovered his Model T Ford truck was low on gas,” Greenslate said. “Frank Enos’ gas station was not yet opened for morning business, so he pushed his little truck up Riverside Road to Y Street in order to buy gas from Ed Fortado’s gas station, which was the next closest station. It is hard to believe that he had the strength to push the truck over the Sutterville Road hill and still had strength enough to push it about another mile to Y Street. I knew he was very strong, but I didn’t know he was that strong.”
Greenslate said that Frank was a very kind man who would have gladly been awoken to assist her father to accommodate him on his way to work.
She added that her father, however, would not have wanted to inconvenience Frank at that predawn hour.
“My father was a very polite and classy man,” Greenslate said.
Eventually, two of Frank’s three sons, Alfred and Louis “Louie” Enos, regularly assisted him with various service station duties, including pumping gas, changing oil and changing tubes in tires.
Louie later worked as a junior high school teacher, including his time at California Junior High School at 2991 Land Park Drive at Vallejo Way, where he was a substitute English teacher during the 1930s.
Ironically, Greenslate, who attended California Junior High School from 1935 to 1937, was one of Louie’s students.
Although the Frank Enos Service Station was closed in 1940 and Frank and Minnie passed away in the early 1960s, the Enos presence in the area continued after this time, as Alfred, who was a lifelong bachelor, had a house built on his property at 5720 Riverside Blvd. Alfred resided in this small, stucco, single-story house, which still stands today, until at least 1982.
Greenslate said that the site of the old service station, which is located near Interstate 5, represents one of the historic landmarks of a much changed Riverside-Pocket area.
“I experienced the last of the horse-drawn wagons and surreys going up and down Riverside Road and then we had Frank Enos’ gas station, which was the beginning of automobiles commonly traveling along Riverside Road. (The station) is part of my many memorable childhood recollections, as we always stopped by (the station) before we went any place and my parents would talk to Frank while getting their gas. It was just one of the notable places that I remember being in the area, which also included my grandmother’s house and other farmhouses and farmlands. Those were very special times, but the area has changed drastically since these days and is obviously a much different place today.”
E-mail Lance Armstrong at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Among the many historic sites of the Pocket area, the St. Maria Church on Pocket Road is a very important part of Portuguese heritage.
Constructing the church
Constructed in the Carmichael area in 1897 for the Associacao Azoreana do Divini Espirito Santo (Azorean Association of the Divine Holy Spirit) – AADES, Grant – the organization utilized the building for its meeting hall.
The structure was also used for the storage of religious artifacts such as flags, banners and the crown for the Portuguese Holy Ghost Festa – a religious festival in honor of Portugal’s 13th century queen, Isabela, who later became a saint.
The decline of the Portuguese population in the Grant area resulted in the relocation of the Portuguese lodge to the Riverside area, which had developed into a Portuguese settlement.
The move was prompted by Francisco J. Luiz (later Frank J. Lewis, Sr.), who with his neighbor, Antonio Pereira Rodrigues (later Antone Rodrigues Perry), traveled from the Pocket area to the Grant area to attend the AADES lodge meetings.
In order to persuade the AADES, Grant members to relocate, Luiz proposed that two acres of his land be used for a move and expansion in the Riverside area.
Additionally, Luiz offered to move the lodge building to his property.
AADES members voted and agreed that Luiz’s offer was best for the future of the lodge.
In 1909, the building was cut in half, transported via large wagons and teams of horses and reassembled on the land that Luiz had offered.
The relocation of the structure proved to be a profitable endeavor for the lodge in that it attracted many Portuguese from the Pocket and city areas.
As a result, the AADES treasury increased to an extent that the lodge was able to construct a two-story hall adjacent to the clubhouse.
With the building of the hall, which was completed in 1913, the clubhouse was converted and remodeled into a church, which was necessary for the establishment of the Holy Ghost Festa.
Around this time, the AADES, Grant ceased to exist and instead became AADES, Riverside and the church was established as the Igreja de Santa Maria (later known as St. Maria Church).
In the will of Frank J. Lewis, Sr., who passed away on Sept. 13, 1918 at the age of 61, the land, which he deeded to AADES, was required to be used specifically for the lodge’s hall and church and the holding of the Holy Ghost Festa. If this agreement was not fulfilled, the property, according to the will, would revert back to the Lewis heirs.
Celebrations and ceremonies
With the hall and church in place, the first Riverside Holy Ghost Festa was held in conjunction with the church’s dedication on May 31, 1914.
Through the establishment and dedication of the church, it became a parish of St. Joseph Church in Freeport in the historic postal area of today’s Clarksburg in Yolo County. The St. Joseph Church was founded by the Portuguese in 1893.
The Portuguese priests from St. Joseph Church in Freeport would cross the Sacramento River via a platform, cable ferry to Riverside to celebrate Mass at the newly dedicated church.
To carry on the Portuguese customs and traditions in their own language, Portuguese priests from St. Joseph Church, until 1922, continued to baptize and perform communion at the Riverside church and in the homes of people who were unable to attend Mass due to health reasons.
Following this time, Portuguese-speaking priests were mostly unavailable, so the church resorted to priests of other nationalities. But on occasions when a Portuguese-speaking priest was needed to perform baptisms, the Portuguese priest from St. Elizabeth Portuguese National Church on 12th and S streets came to St. Maria Church.
Also during the early years of the Riverside church, young Portuguese men from the Riverside-Pocket area, including Frank J. Lewis, Sr.’s grandson, John Lewis, and the sons of Manuel and Mary (Dutra) Rosa, Martin and Michael Rosa, became alter boys.
Additionally, Portuguese women from the area performed maintenance duties in care of the altar.
Mary Florence, the daughter of Frank J. Lewis, Sr., was the first to perform these duties, which included crocheting altar doilies.
Many marriages were also performed in the church, including the marriages of Manuel and Mary (Dutra) Rosa and King and Beatrice (Mauricio) Silva. King was a member of one of the prominent Silva families of the Pocket area.
Remaking and rebuilding
The church had various remodels throughout the years, including the addition of a bell tower, a widening of the building to accommodate side aisles, additional small sections of pews, the construction of a double-door entry and the revision of the altar, so that the pastor faced the congregation.
The construction of Interstate 80, necessitated the move of the Portuguese association, the Ordem do Divino Espirito Santo, Sacramento, located at 5th and W streets.
In the early 1960s, the Portuguese organization merged with AADES, Riverside and the new name of the organization became Sacramento Portuguese Holy Spirit Society.
Jack Lewis, the grandson and heir in the will of Frank J. Lewis, Sr., instigated the signing of a release, along with the other heirs, for SPHSS to receive clear title to the acreage.
Although the old church still stands, the original hall was demolished and a new hall was built in the exact location. The new hall was dedicated on Oct. 21, 1967.
St. Joseph Church administered to St. Maria Church until 1974 and Father Brenden O’Sullivan, pastor of St. Joseph Church, was the last pastor to celebrate Sunday Mass on a regular basis at St. Maria Church.
Since St. Joseph Church no longer administered to St. Maria Church, pastors from St. Elizabeth Portuguese National Church celebrated Mass at St. Maria Church.
Pastors during this time included: Valdemiro Fagundes, Jose Rebeiro and Eduino Silveira.
The church now
Today, the church building, which comfortably seats 300 parishioners and is hardly recognizable as the wooden, rectangular building of the days of old, is owned by SPHSS. The release in ownership was designed to avoid any future challenge of ownership of the land, which included the St. Maria Church.
The festa continues at St. Maria Church each year under the direction of Antonio Luiz Dos Santos Medeiros, one of the Congregation of the Sacred Stigmata with contract to assist St. Elizabeth Portuguese National Church.
It is unknown if Medeiros will continue to perform this service following this year’s festa in May, since the contract for this assistance will expire in mid-July 2010.
Pocket native Dolores Greenslate said that as a person of Portuguese heritage, she is proud of the history of St. Maria Church and its accompanying hall.
“It is an important part of Portuguese history in the area,” Greenslate said. “So much has changed in the Riverside-Pocket area, but the church and the hall remain and it gives me great happiness to see them.”
E-mail Lance Armstrong at email@example.com.