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Finding aid to the Adolph Sutro Collection, 1873-1906
SFH 57  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Provenance
  • Related Materials
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement

  • Title: Adolph Sutro Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1873-1906
    Date (bulk): 1894-1896
    Collection Identifier: SFH 57
    Creator: Sutro, Adolph, 1830-1898
    Physical Description: 5.0 boxes (5.0 cubic feet)
    Contributing Institution: San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library
    100 Larkin Street
    San Francisco, CA, 94102
    (415) 557-4400
    info@sfpl.org
    Abstract: The collection contains bills, payrolls, receipts, cancelled checks and other records for numerous Sutro enterprises and properties including Cliff House Ranch, Napa County Ranch, Reese Block, San Miguel Ranch, Sutro Baths, Sutro Heights and Sutro Railroad. The most extensive records cover the years 1894 and 1896. In addition, the collection contains a fairly complete set of weekly programs for Sutro Baths from March 1896 through April 1907.
    Physical Location: The collection is stored onsite.
    Language of Materials: Collection materials are in English.

    Access

    The collection is open for research. Please call the San Francisco History Center for hours and information at 415-557-4567.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the City Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Adolph Sutro Collection (SFH 57), San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.

    Provenance

    There is no information on the provenance of this collection. These materials have been in the custody of the San Francisco History Center since before 1996.

    Related Materials

    Researchers are encouraged to see also the SFPL Ephemera Files on: Adolph Sutro; Buildings: Sutro Baths, and Buildings: Cliff House. The SFPL Small Manuscripts collection also contains family letters (with transcripts) to Adolph Sutro. Additional Adolph Sutro business papers are available at the University of California, Berkeley, the Bancroft Library, the Stanford University Library Manuscripts Division, and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University.

    Biographical Note

    Adolph Heinrich Joseph Sutro (1830-1898) was an American financier, philanthropist and public official. He was born at Aix-la-Chapelle, Rhenish Prussia on April 29, 1830.
    Adolph, along with his mother and most of his brothers and sisters, moved to the United States in 1850; he continued on to California the following year. In 1860, he moved to Nevada during the Comstock bonanza. Sutro designed and oversaw the construction of a tunnel (known as "Sutro Tunnel") to alleviate ventilation and flooding problems inherent in mining operations at the Comstock Lode. In 1878 when the tunnel was completed and in operation, Sutro sold his interest in it for about $1,000,000 and returned to San Francisco where he entered the real estate field.
    His business interests in California included: Sutro Baths; Sutro Heights; the Reese block; the Cliff House; San Miguel Ranch; Merrie Way and Railroad; and the Napa County Ranch, Arcadia. He improved these properties and even opened the grounds surrounding his own home to the public. He served as Mayor of San Francisco 1894-1896. His real estate holdings eventually amounted to one-twelfth of the property in San Francisco.
    He was married to Leah Harris (d.1893) and they had six children: Emma Laura Sutro Merritt, Rose Victoria Sutro Morbio, Charles Walter Sutro, Kate Sutro Nussbaum, Edgar Ernest Sutro and Clara Angelina Sutro de Choiseul. Adolph Sutro died in San Francisco, California on August 8, 1898.

    Scope and Contents

    The collection contains bills, payrolls, receipts, cancelled checks and other records for numerous Sutro enterprises and properties including Cliff House Ranch, Napa County Ranch, Reese Block, San Miguel Ranch, Sutro Baths, Sutro Heights and Sutro Railroad. The most extensive records cover the years 1894 and 1896.
    The bills and receipts offer a good example of the household costs for those of the upper class in San Francisco. The payrolls offer examples of the numbers of people employed by Sutro during this time period, the work that they did, and the rate of pay for each type of job. The 1873 receipts and disbursements for the Sutro Tunnel are the earliest materials in the collection; these include some payrolls. Some of the receipts for Sutro Heights and the Merrie Way include the purchase of amusements from the 1894 Midwinter Fair, and the cost to dismantle and move those pieces from Golden Gate Park to Sutro Heights.
    Of particular note are the Sutro Baths programs from March 1896-April 1906. These programs list the entertainment to be presented at the Sutro Baths. The programs were produced weekly for most of the years, and coverage appears to be fairly complete from 1896-1901. Starting in 1902 there are occasionally missing programs, and some months are not covered at all. There is only one program from 1905.

    Arrangement

    Arranged into 13 series: Series 1. Sutro Activities; Series 2. Sutro Personal; Series 3. Cliff House; Series 4. New Cliff House; Series 5. Sutro Heights; Series 6. Napa County Ranch, Arcadia; Series 7. San Miguel Ranch; Series 8. Office--Montgomery Street; Series 9. City Properties; Series 10. Sutro Baths; Series 11. Merrie Way--Amusements; Series 12. Railroad and Power House; Series 13. Miscellaneous checks.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Sutro Baths (San Francisco, Calif.).
    Sutro, Adolph, 1830-1898--Archives
    Cliff House (San Francisco, Calif.)
    San Francisco (Calif.)--Social life and customs
    Sutro Heights (San Francisco, Calif.)