These vintage photographs of the extensive earthquake and fire damage to downtown Santa Rosa once belonged to Henry’s daughter,
Frances H. Gove (d.1993 in Monterey, California). The envelope and its contents were found in a Monterey bookshop by a dealer
in 2002 and obtained by the library in 2005. Henry and Frank Hoyt are presumed to be the photographers.
Henry A. Hoyt was a building contractor in business with his brother Frank L. Hoyt in Santa Rosa, California at the time of
the 1906 earthquake. The Hoyt Brothers were integral to the rebuilding of the city, including the new Sonoma County Courthouse
and the post office which now houses the Sonoma County Museum.
Henry and Frank were born in Galway, Saratoga County, N.Y. in 1877 and 1881, respectively. They trained in architectural design
and engineering in Wisconsin, where the family had moved in 1891. In 1901 the brothers moved to California, and by 1903 were
settled in Santa Rosa. Henry married Ora Mabelle Smith in 1901, and they had one child, Frances Louise, born in 1907. The
family lived in the house he built at 827 Spencer Street in Santa Rosa. (Gregory. History of Sonoma County, bio. sketches