During the first phase of Charles Kendrick’s assignment, he purchased land around Half Moon Bay for the proposed new city of “Balboa”–originally slated to be a principle townsite on the new Ocean Shore Railroad line.
(Balboa apparently incorporated today’s Miramar and El Granada. From what I know the name “Balboa” was used for a short period, referring mainly to Miramar. For example, at one time there were towels & other memorabilia marked “Balboa” at the roadhouse now known as the Miramar Beach Inn).
Kendrick’s good friend Daniel “Clark” Burnham (the noted city planner from Chicago who had been commissioned to develop a beautiful street design for post-1906 earthquake San Francisco that never materialized) was hired to design the new city of Balboa.
A 1912 full-page newspaper ad reveals that Kendrick and his partner Oliver C. Stine were selling land in “Granada, gem of all beach suburbs.”
But it’s not clear if Kendrick was promoting Coastside sales for the railroad or for himself. Stine and Kendrick operated out of their “sumptuously furnished” San Francisco headquarters at 23 Montgomery Street. They specialized in country land but kept an active hand in city real estate as well.
Kendrick’s entrance into the Coastside real estate market seemed to be a case of good timing. In 1912 the Ocean Shore Railroad was running four trains each way daily from San Francisco to Half Moon Bay. On Sundays six trains made round trips. Traffic manager I.N. Randall announced that excursion travel attracted as many as 2,000-3,000 visitors on Sundays alone. Many were picnickers who brought their families to the new beaches called Venice, Napels, Princeton, Granada and Marine View.
A photo taken at the exclusive Bohemian Grove at Russian River in Northern California reveals Charles Kendrick as a tall, slender young man wearing a smart jacket. He was on the brink of becoming the chairman of the Schlage Lock Co., and already a force in San Francisco’s public affairs.
In his memoirs, we get some insight into Kendrick’s philosophy regarding California real estate.
“It was apparent,” he wrote, “that such large land ownership concentrated in the hands of a few persons was holding up the development in California; hence it would be a public service, as well as profitable to me to get at least some of them split up and subdivided into small farms.”
He soon put his philosophy into action.
While recovering from a serious illness in the early 1900s, Charles Kendrick was approached and asked to acquire the right-of-way property for the Ocean Shore Railroad and its land company, the Shore Line Co. Kendrick was well qualified for the position–he had already obtained the right-of-way for the Petaluma/Sebastopol/Santa Rosa Railroad.
When Coastside construction exploded in 1912, some locals claimed that it was a fortuitous marriage between land developers and much improved railroad service. That, they said, accounted for the fresh burst of activity.
After a long, dry spell, new schools and hotels (with a nod toward Spanish-style architecture) began to dot the landscape. Publicists declared the Coastside of the future “as a desirable place for outings and residence”, a beautiful place to live and play.
San Francisco real estate companies glanced hungrily in the Coastside’s direction. Frank Brophy’s Princeton-by-the-Sea resort, Harr Wagner’s Montara Realty Development Co., the Marine View Beach Hotel and Amusement Co., and the partnership of Stine and Kendrick–all were created during the boom.
Charles Kendrick was a developer with a successful track record. Although he had also earned a law degree, he never practiced. Instead, in 1903, at the start of what would be a long, distinguished business career, he opened a real estate office in Petaluma, specializing in subdivisions.
I dont know if this the right forum but I´m looking for on old friend.
I´m writing from Sweden.
We met in greece 1978 and we were writing to each other for 2-3years.He came from el granada.
Yours sincerely Anette [email protected]