Scope and Content
Title: Northern California Grain Exchange Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1904-1993
Collection number: Mss267
Extent: 4.5 linear ft.
University of the Pacific. Library. Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
Shelf location: For current information on the location of these
materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
Collection is open for research.
[Identification of item], Northern California Grain Exchange Papers, Mss267,
Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library
I. San Francisco
The Merchants' Exchange of San Francisco was incorporated in 1866 for the purpose of
providing a central commercial and maritime exchange for such tenants as the Chamber of
Commerce, the San Francisco Stock Exchange, the Produce and Call Board, and the U.S.
Hydrographic Office. The Association had about two hundred fifty members representing the
principal wholesale merchants, banks, steamship lines, grain dealers, lumber merchants,
and others, including some thirty Chinese mercantile houses.
Initially there were two separate exchange floors in the Merchants' Exchange building (at
the corner of California and Leidesdorff): one for the Commercial Exchange and one for
the Maritime Exchange. The former floor was used for produce and grain trade purposes and
the latter was devoted to lumber and coal trading as well as to maritime purposes such as
ship chartering, registering, and reporting.
By the turn of the century the Exchange building with its separation of functions was
seen as both inadequate and obsolete. In 1905 the old structure was razed and a new
larger building with a single exchange floor was erected at the same location.
In 1911 the Chamber of Commerce--at that time much more a deliberative than an active
civic organization--the Merchants' Association, and the Down-Town Association, which
concerned itself with issues affecting the retail trade in San Francisco, all were
occupants of the building. The leaders of these various organizations decided at that
time that their interests should be consolidated, and, in 1912, the organizations merged
under the name: San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. In 1937, by mutual agreement, the
Grain Exchange again separated from the Chamber of Commerce because the functions and
activities of the two organizations had evolved in quite disparate directions.
After 1946 construction of cereal and animal feed plants in the interior and the decline
of grain production for export lead to a rapid decentralization of the markets. In 1957
grain traders, recognizing the need for an exchange closer to the producing and consuming
areas, established the Stockton Grain Exchange. Within ten years the Stockton Exchange
had so grown in importance that traders merged the San Francisco Exchange with it to form
the Northern California Grain Exchange based at the Port of Stockton. The NCGE membership
was comprised of elevator operators, grain merchants, feed and flour manufacturers,
cattle and poultry feeders, producers, exporters, and cooperative marketing associations.
It was governed by a seven member board elected for two year terms. The NCGE disbanded in
1993 due to a fall-off in dues revenues which resulted from increasing buy-outs and
mergers in the industry. At its zenith the organization had 130 members, but when it
closed there were only seventy-two. The functions of the NCGE were assumed by the
Sacramento-based California Feed & Grain Association.
Scope and Content
The Northern California Grain Exchanges Papers consist of a wide range of director's and
committee minutes (1904-1993), publications (1965-1993), legal and financial papers.
SERIES I: SAN FRANCISCO
Box 1: Early San Francisco Grain Exchanges (1904-1937)
Box 2: Grain Exchange of the San Francisco Merchants' Exchange (1937-1963)
SERIES II: STOCKTON
Box 1: Stockton Grain Exchange (1958-1964)
Box 2: Northern California Grain Exchange (1964-1993)
Box 3: NCGE Review (1965-1972)
Box 4: NCGE Review (1973-1978)
Box 5: NCGE Review (1979-1985)
Box 6: NCGE Review (1986-1993)
SERIES III: RELATED BACKGROUND MATERIALS
Box 1: Misc. Papers & Printed Matter