The collection consists of two series: correspondence and filecards pertaining to the Woodward's Gardens library. series 1
contains correspondence to Robert B. Woodward (although some are addressed to others at Woodward's Gardens) about possible
donations or sale of items and animals to the Woodward's Gardens' collections. Many of the letters have Woodward's draft
replies penciled on them. series 2 contains handwritten file cards with biblographic information on books acquired by Adolph
Sutro from Woodward's Gardens.
Robert B. Woodward was born in Rhode Island in 1824, came to California in 1849, and four years later opened a hotel called
the What Cheer House on Sacramento Street in San Francisco. The success of this hotel enabled Woodward to buy a plot of land
on Mission Street for his estate, on which he built a house and filled the property with plants, animals and art. He eventually
opened his estate to the public, which he named "Woodward's Gardens" and moved his family to Napa. Woodward opened his four-acre former country estate in 1865 or 1866, and San Franciscans flocked to this botanical gardens/ amusement park.
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