William Heath Davis (1822-1909) was a merchant in San Francisco, a real estate developer in San Diego, and an author. The
collection consists of 2 reels of 35mm. positive microfilm of correspondence and other material related to Davis' business
in Northern California.
William Heath Kanaka Bill Davis was born in Hawaii in 1822, the grandson of a Polynesian princess; accompanied his stepfather
on voyages to Alaska, and when he was ten, to California; learned merchandizing from his uncle Nathan Spear, a wealthy merchant
with stores in San Francisco and Monterey; operated store in San Francisco, served briefly on the town council, and became
a millionaire by age 28; invested in 160 acre waterfront property, now located between Front Street and Broadway in San Diego;
sent for six prefabricated buildings from Portland, Maine in 1849 and built a wharf and warehouse called New Town; however
it did not attract sufficient business, and became known as Davis' Folly; Davis wrote Sixty Years in California (1889) and Seventy-Five Years in California (published posthumously in 1929); he died in 1909.
Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections. Literary rights, including
copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds
the copyright and pursue the
copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.
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