Marymont and Upright was a dry goods store started at the end of 1915 when Joseph Marymont and Samuel Upright (Aufrichtig) bought out the remaining Abrahamson Brothers. They bought the stock, fixtures, and lease, and took over the Abrahamson Building at 13th and Washington. 1 In 1921. Upright bought out Marymont, and it became Upright's Department Store. 2 It was sold and became Swan's in 1928. 6
Upright continued business for some years, featuring regular sales, and seemed to be doing well. In December 1926, an article said that contrary to rumors, the store was not being sold, and quoted Upright: "We are here to stay and share in the bright prospects of the Eastbay." 4 Indeed, a 1927 article discussed the growth of the store, and had the subhead "Samuel Upright Affirms His Faith In Brilliant Future of City." 5
But less than a year later, Upright's was purchased by W.R. Whitthorne and Sherwood Swan (of Swan's Market) and became Swan's. 6
There's a "ghost sign" for Upright's at 1900 Broadway. 9 The years of ownership suggest the sign was painted between 1921 and 1928. The sign has been visible for many years, but had been obscured by a nearby tree.
Samuel Upright (1870 - December 20, 1937) was born Samuel Aufrichtig, to Moritz Aufrichtig and Bertha Ziener Aufrightig, one of 6 children. "Aufrichtig" is German for sincere or honest, but is a mouthful for many non-German speakers, so at some point the family started using Upright instead.
Samuel Upright was married twice, first to Estelle Cohn (Upright) from 1895 to 1909. He then married Caroline "Carrie" Harris (Upright), and they had a daughter, Bernice Upright (Lowell).
The Uprights lived at 516 Lake Park at the odd intersection between Rand Ave. and Lakeshore. By 1930, they were apparently planning to move, because Upright applied for a permit to build a service station at that corner. The city council denied the permit, and Upright's attorney, Bestor Robinson, took the case to the superior court for judgement, where it was approved because no permit was required. 7 The city quickly moved to close the "loophole", 8 but Upright's station was approved—1950 Sanborn map shows a tire and auto service station along with other businesses where there had formerly been an apartment house and single-family house.
Links and References
- Abrahamson Brother's farewell ad Oakland Tribune December 26, 1915
- Upright's ad Oakland Tribune January 2, 1921
- Oakland Firm Ends First Year in City Oakland Tribune January 24, 1917
- Upright Says Store Not Sold Oakland Tribune December 12, 1926
- Upright's Has Grown With Oakland Oakland Tribune September 27, 1927
- Swan's ad Oakland Tribune June 20, 1928
- Gas Stations Need No Permit Oakland Tribune June 18, 1930
- City Closes Loophole To Gas Stations Oakland Tribune June 18, 1930
- A New, But-Not-So-New, Sign In Downtown Oakland sfghostsigns.com