White House dept. store

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I am interested to know anything about the White House as follows: 1) Years of operation. 2) Location 3) Type of merchandise 4) Architecural style of building 5) Is it still standing

I recently found English dishes that "Were Made fore the White House"

-- bill maroni (bmaroni@mfire.com), January 25, 2005


Bill-- You are in luck.

Just ran across this link yesterday.

Raphael Weill was founder of the White House Department Store. RAPHAEL WEILL & COMPANY have one of the largest dry-goods emporiums in the State of California, now most widely and favorably known as the “White House,” and has the distinction of being the first dry- goods house in the city of San Francisco. It was opened June 19, 1854, at 137 Sacramento street, under the firm name of Davidson & Lane, Messrs. John W. Davidson and Rieno Lane comprising the firm. The following year Mr. Raphael Weill connected himself with the establishment and in 1858, when Mr. Lane retired from the business, became a partner. The name was then changed to J.W. Davidson & Company. In 1860 Mr. George H. Huntsman became a partner, and remained such until his death in 1881. The business was successfully conducted on Sacramento street until 1863 when the quarters became too small for their rapidly increasing trade. They then removed to the Lick House block, Montgomery street, and in a few years their business outgrew their spacious quarters there also. In 1870 it was proposed by the firm to erect a new building of its own to accommodate the vast business, and December 7, 1870, their handsome new block at the northeast corner of Post and Kearny street was completed, and the “White House,” as it has ever since been know, was occupied by them. It contains an area of 33,000 square feet, and is the largest retail dry-goods house in the city. They deal in everything that pertains to the dry-goods business in all its various branches. The third floor of their immense building is devoted to an art gallery for the sale of bronzes, fine porcelains, enamels and bric-a-brac. The firm name of Davidson & Company continued until 1885, when Mr. Davidson retired and Raphael Weill became senior partner, his brother, Henry Weill, Eugene Gallvis and Albert Roullier comprising the other members of the firm, and it is now known as Raphael Weill & Company. They are all natives of France, gentlemen of culture, and thoroughly informed in every detail connected with their extensive business. Mr. Roullier is their resident buyer in Paris and devotes his entire time to importing for the firm. This house has attained a most enviable reputation, not only for the quality of its goods and the liberal and courteous treatment of its customers, but for its considerate methods with employ’es. It was among the first to adopt the six o’clock closing feature. It also closes on holidays. Besides these favors every employ’e is allowed an annual vacation on pay, and never is anything deducted while one is absent on account of sickness. Each clerk is allowed a percentage on his sales in connection with his salary. Such methods are deserving of and have resulted in the great success of the firm. Raphael Weill, the senior member of the firm, came to San Francisco in 1853, and since that time has been thoroughly identified with California and its interests. He is a prominent member of the Bohemian Club, and also of other French clubs in this city. He lends his earnest support to any movement intended to promote the welfare of San Francisco, the city of his choice. Transcribed by Terry Smith. http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~npmelton/sfbweil.htm

Good luck in your researc.

-- kurt iversen (iversenk@aol.com), February 01, 2005.

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