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Guide to the Spreckels Companies Records MS 258
MS 258  
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Collection Details
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  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • Arrangement
  • Scope and Content
  • Biographical / Historical Notes

  • Title: Spreckels Companies Records
    Identifier/Call Number: MS 258
    Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 0.5 Linear feet (1 box)
    Date (inclusive): 1910-1958
    Abstract: The collection contains information related to specific properties owned by J.D. and A.B. Spreckels Company and other Spreckels-owned companies.
    creator: J.D. and A.B. Spreckels Company.

    Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is open for research.

    Conditions Governing Use

    The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

    Preferred Citation

    J. D. and A. B. Spreckels Company Records, MS 258, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Sandra Kirkwood on October 8, 2012.
    Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.


    The collection is arranged numerically by land booklet number. Original order is retained within each booklet.

    Scope and Content

    The collection contains "land booklets" for property held and managed by the Spreckels Companies, including the J.D. and A.B. Spreckels Company, San Diego Electric Railway Company, Mission Beach Company, Spreckels Brothers Commercial Company, and Cabrillo Land Company. The booklets generally contain the same type of information for each business venture—an index summary sheet, finances, lease and rental information, taxes, appraisals, valuations, correspondence, maps, and photographs. Specifically, the index summary sheet includes information on location, size, date of purchase and improvements, the property’s function or utility, and a list of current lease and/or rental agreements. The finance sheets cover yearly totals of expenses, investments, and revenue.

    Biographical / Historical Notes

    John D. Spreckels visited San Diego in the mid-1880s and became interested in the development boom. Adolph B. Spreckels, his brother, joined forces with John in many business ventures. The Spreckels Brothers Commerical Company, established in 1886, built a brick warehouse and a wharf near Pacific Highway and G Street to process bulk commodities such as coal, cement, and railroad iron. The Spreckels’ empire expanded to various companies, utilities, and buildings in the San Diego and other locations. John Spreckels worked with several other local businessmen, such as E. S. Babcock, Charles T. Hinde, and D. C. Collier. Businesses included the Mission Beach Company, First National Bank of San Diego, Savage Tire Company, and the J.D. and A.B. Spreckels Company. Utilities included the Coronado Water Company, Southern California Water Company, and the Hercules Oil Company. In addition, John D. Spreckels was part owner of the San Diego & Coronado Ferry Company and the San Diego Electric Railway Company, and he was a key player in the expansion of the railway system for the Panama-California Exposition in 1915. The Spreckels brothers built the Spreckels Theater Building, the Union Building, and the San Diego Hotel, among others.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Babcock, Elisha S.
    Cabrillo Land Company.
    Hinde, Charles T.
    J.D. and A.B. Spreckels Company.
    J.D. and A.B. Spreckels Securities Company.
    J.D. Spreckels & Bros..
    Kemmer, Julius
    Mission Beach Company.
    San Diego Electric Railway.
    Spreckels Brothers Commercial Company.
    Spreckels Theatre.
    Spreckels, Adolph B.
    Spreckels, John Diedrich, b. 1853
    Commercial real estate
    Coronado (Calif.)
    Horton's Addition (San Diego, Calif.)
    La Jolla (San Diego, Calif.)
    Middletown (San Diego, Calif.)
    Mission Beach (San Diego, Calif.)
    Pueblo Lands
    Real property
    San Diego (Calif.)
    Sherman's Addition (San Diego, Calif.)