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On November 9, 1982, Bowman B. Brown's Building & Annex was designated Oakland Landmark #LM 82-266.

Not much is known about Bowman B. Brown, but this is probably his grave at Mountain View Cemetery.


727-735 Washington Street, 509-513 - 8th Street
873-879 Washington before 1912 renumbering

from 1896 Illustrated Directory1889 Sanborn excerpt1912 Sanborn excerpt


873 Washington / 729 Washington

One early tenant was Beaudry and McAvoy undertakers (McAvoy and McCarthy for a time). They moved to 873 Washington in 1878, and were still there in 1905 when Mrs. McAvoy took over for her late husband, J.C. McAvoy. 1,2


Later as 729 Washington, it was Berquest Brothers Grocery (Albert and Ninder Berquest, the sons in Berquest & Sons from 877), Schrag Market, Washington Clothing Store, Oakland Department Store, Grutman's Shoes (c.1940), then Grutman's Army-Navy Store.


875 Washington

One of the upstairs rooms at 875 Washington had a series of dentists over the years, including J. Dimmick, E.K. Belfils, and C.L. Bonstell.


877 Washington / 731 Washington

877 Washington had a variety of tenants, including E. Lascombe, who had a "French Bazar" until 1882. Another was Henry J. McAvoy, who was in real estate, who started in 1886 3 (he also had a coal business in the next block up). [ relationship to J.C. McAvoy not yet known ] For a brief time in 1895, it was New Enterprise Store, a clothing store run by M.H. Coffee [ Michael Coffee? ]. Then beginning in the late 1890s, it was a grocery store, first H.L. Conklin, 4 then F. Anderson & Co., then J. Berquest & Sons (John Berquest, and sons Albert and Ninder).


As 731 Washington, the space was often paired with 729 Washington, for example Berquest Brothers Grocery (c.1917), or Washington Clothing Company (1929).

879 Washington / 735 Washington

The corner space at 879 Washington also had a variety of tenants. In 1889 it was home to the Arcade Saloon, run by J. Flanery. From c.1890 to at least 1908, it was the Casino Saloon run first by Joe Simons 5 (who moved it there from 905 ½ Washington), then by Henry Wieking. In 1911 it was Normal Pharmacy, run by A. Forneris & Co.


As 735 Washington, A. Forneris was there until at least 1921. By 1928 it was the MacKee Drug Company, which was there until at least 1969.


Links and References

  1. moving ad Oakland Tribune December 7, 1879
  2. Beaudry & M'Avoy Oakland Tribune February 11, 1905
  3. A New Firm Oakland Tribune September 18, 1886
  4. assignee's auction sale notice Oakland Tribune July 13, 1898
  5. A New Saloon Oakland Tribune March 11, 1890