Monday, August 25, 2008

The Erickson & James Garage

Photo by Claudia East, 2008

The building above can be seen from Main Street in Yreka, right near the corner of Yama and Main (221 North Main St.); today it serves as the "James Place Annex" and is filled with wonderful antiques as an addition to their lovely mansion that sits directly west of the building. (One can see a tiny portion of the roof and the distinctive blue color scheme.) Many of our local "old-timers" remember this building as the Erickson & James Garage and straight in front was a small service station where one could fill up the tank of their auto as they cruised down Highway 99 in Yreka. Those of you that have access or a copy to our book, Yreka, Images of America can see what this actually looked like in its heyday on page 41.

The garage was originally constructed in 1924 by the former owner of the Fry/James House, Donald Montgomery and within two years he sold it to Daggett & Moore, another historical business that was well known. This was touted as a "fireproof" garage and original dimensions were broadcast in the newspaper as being 125 feet long and 70 feet wide. Large garages of this type were in demand for winter storage of automobiles (as anti-freeze was not readily available) in addition to automobile repair and the like. Having a garage at one's home was not necessarily the norm in the 1920's. In 1939 the building became the Erickson and James Garage. The company provided sales and service for Pontiac, Buick, and GMC automobiles. The garage closed in 1968. Later it reopened as the James Place Annex.

A walk around this building both inside and out one can quickly imagine how it appeared to the weary traveler or the local folks ~ it was well kept and had a good business! It probably didn't hurt that it was nearly right next to the famous Yreka Inn during that time.

Copyright: Claudia A. East, 2008


Don East said...

I especially like this building because it reminds me of the garages that I frequented in San Francisco and the Bay Area when I was small. They were always a bee hive of activity with cars everywhere and mechanics working on the vehicles. These places has a special smell and sound about them. My Grandfather even had a small service station that used the oil had pump storage units. One would go over with a glass container that had a special metal spout top. The container would then be filled by cranking the handle. Next one would take the container to the car and add the oil to the car. These early garages, because so much was hand done in those days, had a symphonic sound all there own.

Kevin Perkins said...

My grandfather James Robinson worked for Erikson and James sometime after he returned from his service in World War II. My brother just today found a matchbook from the company in some of my grandfather's tools.