The Riverside Neighborhood Before 1945
The Barsons, the Hotel, and Its Gardens & Orchards
The newspaper stories on this page were collected by Helen Susko as a final project for Sandy Lydon's local history class at Cabrillo College. Mrs. Dorothy Barson allowed me to use her copy of the compilation and supplied other photos and memoralibilia. Mrs. Barson's husband, Art, was a grandson of Alfred Barson, the hotel's founder.
I used Ms. Susko's collection of stories as a place to jump off and explore other topics.
Click on the small pictures to see larger ones, and read more information
on the Barson years of the neighborhood. Unless otherwise noted,
the photos were provided to me for this project by the Barson family,
or else are reproductions of postcards.
Unless otherwise noted, the photos were provided to me for this project by the Barson family, or else are reproductions of postcards.
The Record Broken
Miss Barson of the Riverside House sends 78 varieties of choice flowers
At a late hour last evening there came a beautiful floral reply to the Surf's appeal for Santa Cruz "to do her best" to keep up her reputation in the face of records from East Oakland, San Francisco, and Temescal.
Miss Sadie Barson, of the Riverside House, had been "out among the roses" and sent to the Surf office a basket of beauties numbering seventies-eight varieties of choice flowers, nearly all from shrubs and vines of choice kinds. Very few annuals are included in the collection.
Click to read more about palm trees
Click to read more about the Barson Family
Santa Cruz Surf, 1889
Fine Grounds, Rural Seclusion, Nearness to Town, Comfort
Crossing from the business part of Santa Cruz, the covered bridge, which spans the San Lorenzo and gives picturesque views up and down the river, one is easily tempted to walk down pretty Riverside Avenue, with its fine asphaltum sidewalk and its handsome homes on either side.
Across the foot of the avenue one comes, somewhat unexpectedly upon the large and elegantly laid-out and improved grounds which surround the Riverside Hotel and cottages, owned and managed by Mr. F. Barson, an experienced and genial hotel man. Here are thirty acres of lawn, shrubberies, flower partierres, orchards, broad walks and shady paths, with the pretty little river, the San Lorenzo, curving around the south and west borders on its way to the not distant bay, with the broad bathing beach stretching westward from its mouth.
Just beyond the wide entrance from Riverside Avenue, stands the hotel, a large, square, three-story structure with its plentiful sunny windows, broad porches, having a large and roomy extension on the rear, which contains the pleasant office, dining room, and many other apartments.
The house, always known as a remarkably comfortable and pleasant one, has received substantial improvements and additions this spring. It has been raised three feet and a broad stone foundation placed underneath, leaving a roomy and thoroughly ventilated cellar. The whole main portion of the house has been re-carpeted and re-papered. From the main hall one passes through an archway into the office, a charming apartment, looking out in three directions upon the grounds and opening upon the porches. It is arched, handsomely papered, furnished with all office conveniences, and will be a cheery resort for boarders. Several new and sunny bedrooms have been added on the ground floor.
Scattered through the grounds are eight cozy and comfortable cottages, while one of the chief attractions of the place is the handsome octagonal club house, which contains the largest and finest dancing hall in Santa Cruz, with billiard rooms, bowling alley, dressing rooms, etc.
Click to see the old photo showing the club house.
But the most material improvement, the one which adds immeasurably to the beauty of the Riverside grounds and to the comfort and pleasure of sojourners at the hotel, is the opening and grading of a wide extension of Riverside Avenue, directly through the orchards of the place to the river, where it forms the approach to the new bridge built the past year by the city, and familiarly known as the "cut-bias" bridge. This opens up a short and delightful walk or drive to the beach and bathing houses, a finely graded road bordered all the way by a broad side-walk leading through a newly opened addition to the Beach Hill.
Another addition to the advantages of the place is a fine large stable, built this spring, with accommodations for fifteen horses and carriages in proportion. the carriages and horses already belonging to the hotel, which meet all trains and steamers, will be housed here, and several other fine equipages will be kept for hire, while those boarders who wish to bring their own horses and carriages will find accommodation for them in this stable. Mr. Barson will immediately have placed an engine and pump by means of which he will supply water to the house and grounds independent of outside sources. The power of this engine will also be used to run an electric plant which will give ample illumination to the entire establishment. This last improvement will render the "Riverside" a little kingdom in itself, quite independent of outside supplies.
Click to see this invitation to
the "Grand Opening"
Click to see this invitation to the "Grand Opening"
Guests at the Riverside Hotel
At the Riverside:
Cottage #1 is occupied by Mrs. J. H. Frank and family and Mesrs Sanford Feigenbaum and Julius Lang. Cottage #2 is occupied by Mrs. M. Weil and family, Mrs. J. Manheim and family. These cottages are charmingly situated in the eastern portion of the garden and from the broad piazza one may command a fine view of the surrounding grounds. Cottage #3 is occupied by Mrs. herman Liebes and Mrs. J. M. Rothchild with their families, is situation at the lower end of the grounds amid the cherry trees and close to the respberry and blackberry patches. Cottage #4 commands a fine view ofthe San Lorenzo river, and is occupied by Mrs. F. J. Burge and her daughter, Miss Nia Burge, Messes Sophie and Etta Jacods, Mrs. Altmark, Mrs. M. Resenthal and Mrs. C. Meyer with their families. Cottage #5 is entirely given up to six yound gentlement, who ar ein great demand and make themselves extremely agreeable among the young ladies of the hotel. The young gentlement are as follows, JOs. L. Eqquinger and his brother Ike, better known at the Riverside as "Peck's Bad Boy," Burt A. Rosenthal, Sylvan Rosenthal, I. Ettinger and Wm. A. Williams. At Mrs. Shermans's cottage, on Riverside Ave, are domiciled Mr. and Mrs. H. Behrendt and their neice, Miss Lillie Behrendt of Los Angeles. Mr. Healey's cottage will be taken today by Mrs. Herman Eppinger of Dixon with her family.
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