Guide to the Blake Family Papers, 1881-1962

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History --History, California --History, Bay Area Biological and Medical Sciences --Agriculture --Plant Culture Biological and Medical Sciences --Biological Sciences --Plant Biology Social Sciences --Area and Interdisciplinary Studies --Women's Studies

Guide to the Blake Family Papers, 1881-1962

Collection number: BANC MSS C-B 903

The Bancroft Library



University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California

Contact Information:

Processed by:
The Bancroft Library staff
Date Completed:
ca. 1965
Encoded by:
Xiuzhi Zhou
© 1997 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Blake Family Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1881-1962
Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 903
Extent: Number of containers: 4 boxes, 1 carton, and 1 portfolio
Repository: The Bancroft Library
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Abstract: Mainly correspondence of Anita Day (Symmes) Blake relating to the family ranch in Napa County and to her interest in horticulture. A few letters, mss. of writings, notebooks and clippings also concern Anson S. Blake, her husband, Edwin T. Blake and other members of the Blake, Stiles and Symmes families.
Languages Represented: English

Information for Researchers

Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Blake Family papers, BANC MSS C-B 903, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Brief Family History

Anson Blake was born in San Francisco in 1870. In 1891 he was graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and became secretary of the Oakland Paving Company owned by his father Charles T. Blake. From 1897, the year of his father's death, to 1913 he was president of the company and from 1904 until his retirement, he also served as president of Blake Brothers Company. In 1894 he married Anita Day Symmes, daughter of a prominent San Francisco merchant and a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, class of 1894. Their first home, located on Piedmont near Bancroft, was razed in the early 1920's in order to build the California Memorial Stadium. They then built a home on Rincon Road which they deeded to the University of California in 1957 and which is now the residence of the University president. The Blakes were interested in the University all of their lives. Mr. Blake's association with Stiles Hall (a gift from his grandmother) spanned more than fifty years. He received an honorary LL.D. degree in 1958, the year before his death. Anita Blake died in 1962.

Scope and Content

The Blake Family papers were a gift to The Bancroft Library in 1963 and 1964 from the Blake estate with additions in 1965 from Sherman D. Thacher. They relate mainly to Mrs. Blake and to her interest in horticulture. Some concern Anson Blake and other members of the Blake, Stiles and Symmes families. Anson Blake's Papers were given to the California Historical Society. Photographs have been removed to the library's pictorial collection.
A key to arrangement and partial list of correspondents follows.

Key to Arrangement

Boxes 1-2

Letters written by Anita Blake, 1881-1962 and n.d.

Scope and Content Note

Originals, arranged chronologically, written mainly to her husband, relating to family activities. Letters, 1911-1920 and n.d., were written from their ranch on Howell Mountain near St. Helena (Napa County).
Boxes 2-4

Letters written to Anita Blake

Scope and Content Note

Arranged alphabetically by name of person or organization preceded by a miscellany of unlisted letters. A few are written to Anson Blake and others. A partial list of correspondents follows the key to arrangement.
 

Congratulatory letters re marriage of Anita Symmes and Anson Blake, May 17, 1894.

Arrangement

Unarranged
 

Miscellaneous family correspondence, primarily from unidentified relatives.

Arrangement

Unarranged
Ctn. 1

Manuscript of article about Henry Correvon by Anita Blake

 

Diary kept by Anita Blake, Dec. 7-29, 1941

 

Personalia - Anita Blake

Scope and Content Note

Membership cards; award from Berkeley Floral Society, 1898; Poems written about her
 

Miscellany - Anita Blake

Scope and Content Note

Certificate of cattle brand registration, results of a phrenologist examination, records of summer session courses taken, 1917, etc.
 

Personalia - Anson Blake

Scope and Content Note

Membership card, resolution by Society of California Pioneers upon his death, etc.
 

Notebook kept by Edwin T. Blake, [brother] 1903-1905.

Scope and Content Note

Notes re engineering projects in Mariposa and Calaveras counties (Calif.); notes re paving contracts in Oakland, Berkeley and Alameda
 

Diary kept by Edwin T. Blake, 1917-1919.

Scope and Content Note

Written while serving in the engineer corps in France. A few entries are dated 1920-1927.
 

Diary kept by Charles H. Richardson, Feb.-Apr., 1853.

Scope and Content Note

Written while in Boston, Kingston and Cape Cod. Includes also: poetry and letter (copy) to C. H. Richardson, Oct. 2, 1855. Many pages torn out.
 

Genealogy

Scope and Content Note

Symmes, Stiles and Blake families
 

Invoices, receipts, etc.

Scope and Content Note

Many are for purchase of plants for the Blake garden
 

Photographs

Scope and Content Note

Relatives and unidentified
 

Invitations, announcements, etc.

 

Address books

See also address book in portfolio

 

Miscellany

Scope and Content Note

Typescript of a play written by a relative, miscellaneous data about gardens, plants, etc., several items written in Welsh.
 

Clippings

Scope and Content Note

Relating to the Blake and Symmes families (2 folders) and California history (5 folders)
portfolio Portfolio

Manuscripts (typescripts) of articles [by Anson Blake?]

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically
 

David Douglas, A Pioneer Botanist in Action

 

Edward Fitzgerald Beale, A Pioneer in the Path of Empire

 

The Great Frontier

 

The Land on Which You Live

 

Salt Water Barriers For San Francisco Bay

 

The Water Problem in California

 

Address book kept by Anita Blake, 1898-

See also Carton 1

Partial List of Correspondents

 

Altrocchi, Julia (Cooley), 1893-1972

 

4 letters, 1939-1959 & n.d.

 

American Friends of Vietnam

 

Letter, Oct. 2, 1959.

Additional Note

Written by John W. O'Daniel, Chairman.
 

American Humane Association

 

Letter (copy), Nov. 10, 1961.

Additional Note

Written to the City Council of Palo Alto, Calif.
 

Arboretum Foundation

 

5 letters, 1940-1962.

 

Bartlett, Louis, 1872-1960

 

Letter, Aug. 19, 1959.

 

Biggs, Donald C.

See California Historical Society

 

Blake, Charles Thompson, 1826-1897

 

6 letters, 1875-1897 & n.d.

Additional Note

Written mainly to Anson Blake and others. Letter, Aug. 8, 1875, contains account of journey from San Francisco to Lake County.
 

Blake, Edwin Tyler, 1875-1948

 

3 letters, 1886 & n.d.

Additional Note

Written to Anson Blake.
 

Blake, Harriet Waters (Stiles), 1840-

 

7 letters, 1887 & n.d.

Additional Note

Written mainly to Anson Blake.
 

Blake, Robert Pierpont, 1886-1950

 

Letter, Apr. 16, 1909.

 

Bracelin, Nina Floy

 

2 letters, 1959-1962.

 

Bray, Absalom Francis, 1889-

 

Letter, Aug. 21, 1959.

 

California. Legislature. Senate

See Miller, George

 

California. University. Agricultural Extension Service

 

2 letters, 1916.

 

California. University. College of Agriculture. Division of Agricultural Education

 

3 letters, 1914-1918.

 

California. University, Berkeley. Robert H. Lowie Museum of Anthropology

 

Letter, May 3, 1961.

 

California Academy of Sciences. San Francisco

 

5 letters, 1934-1959 & n.d.

Additional Note

Letter, Feb. 28, 1934, written by Alice Eastwood. Letters, July 11, 1944 & Sept. 24, 1959, written by R. C. Miller, Director.
 

California Historical Society

 

4 letters, 1959-1962.

Additional Note

Written mainly by Donald C. Biggs, Director.
 

California Horticultural Society

 

7 letters, 1941-1959 & n.d.

 

California Palace of the Legion of Honor

 

Letter, Oct. 12, 1959.

 

Carmelite Monastery, Berkeley, Calif.

 

7 letters, 1950-1962.

 

Chaney, Ralph Works, 1890-

 

2 letters, 1959-1962.

Additional Note

Included also: 3 letters, 1959-1961, from Mrs. Chaney.
 

Colman, Jesse C.

 

Letter, Nov. 20, 1961.

Additional Note

Written while member of a sponsoring committee to help finance lobbying activities of Harry and Ruth Kingman.
 

Commonwealth Club of California, San Francisco

See Meyer, Theodore Robert

 

Cornelius Fidelis, Brother, 1877-1962

 

2 letters, 1944.

 

Correvon, Henry, 1854-1939

 

12 letters, 1926-1938.

 

Day, Clive

 

23 letters, 1897-1901 & n.d.

 

Deane, Ruthven, 1851-1934

 

Letter, May 3, 1910.

 

Drury, Newton Bishop, 1889-

See Save-The-Redwoods League

 

Eastwood, Alice, 1859-1953

See California Academy of Sciences. San Francisco

 

Engineers' Club. San Francisco

 

Letter, Aug. 19, 1959.

 

Fischer, Martin Henry, 1879-

 

Letter, June 28, 1922.

 

Giffin, Helen (Smith), 1893-

 

Letter, Aug. 21, 1959.

 

Goodspeed, Thomas Harper, 1887-1966

 

2 letters, 1941.

 

Grant, Charles H.

 

34 letters, 1917-1962 & n.d.

Additional Note

Written mainly from France during World War I.
 

Grosvenor, Gilbert Hovey, 1875-

 

Letter, Oct. 23, 1914.

Additional Note

Written to Anson Blake.
 

Harvard University. Arnold Arboretum

 

5 letters, 1927-1955 & n.d.

Additional Note

Written mainly by Elmer D. Merrill and Richard A. Howard.
 

Howard, Richard Alden, 1917-

See Harvard University. Arnold Arboretum

 

Huggins, Dorothy Harriet

 

Letter, [Nov. 24, 1959].

 

Hutchinson, James Sather, 1868?-1959

 

Letter, Nov. 20, 1946.

Additional Note

Written to Anson Blake.
 

Hyde, Charles Gilman, 1874-

See Young Men's Christian Associations. California. University. Berkeley

 

Jepson, Willis Linn, 1867-1946

 

5 letters, 1926-1941.

 

Kerr, Catherine (Spaulding) [Mrs. Clark Kerr]

 

Letter, Aug. 23, 1959.

 

Kingman, Harry Lees, 1892-

 

3 letters, 1959-1960.

Additional Note

See also Colman, Jesse C.
 

Kingman, Ruth (Winning), 1900-

See Pacific Coast Committee on American Principles and Fair Play

 

League of Women Voters of Richmond (California)

 

Letter, June 22, 1961.

 

Lessing, Ferdinand Diedrich, 1882-1961

 

Letter, Dec. 29, 1945.

Additional Note

Included also: 2 letters, 1959-1962, written by Mrs. Lessing.
 

Livermore, Caroline (Sealy), 1883-

 

Letter, Aug. 28, 1959.

 

Lyman, William Whittingham, 1885-

 

Letter, Oct. 12, 1959.

 

McDuffie, Jean (Howard), 1880-1955

 

Letter, May 12, 1951.

 

McMillan, Elsie Walford (Blumer)

 

Letter, Aug. 25, 1959.

 

Merriam, John Campbell, 1869-1945

See Save-The-Redwoods League

 

Merrill, Elmer Drew, 1876-1956

See Harvard University. Arnold Arboretum

 

Meyer, Theodore Robert, 1902-1973

 

Letter, Aug. 20, 1959.

Additional Note

Written while Secretary, Commonwealth Club of California.
 

Miller, George, 1914-

 

Letter, Sept. 20, 1961.

Additional Note

Written while serving in the California Senate.
 

Miller, Robert Cunningham, 1899-

See California Academy of Sciences. San Francisco

 

Mills College, Oakland

See White, Lynn Townsend

 

Moffitt, James Kennedy, 1866?-1955

 

Letter, May 14, 1940.

 

Moses, Mary Edith (Briggs) [Mrs. Bernard Moses]

 

Letter, Aug. 30, 1902.

Additional Note

Transmits sketch of experiences in Manila. (19 p.)
 

Napa County (Calif.) Farm Bureau

 

Letter, May 18, 1916.

 

Napa County (Calif.) Farm Bureau Fair

 

5 letters, 1916.

 

O'Daniel, John Wilson, 1894-

See American Friends of Vietnam

 

Olney, Mary McLean, 1873-1965

 

2 letters, 1959-1962.

 

Pacific Coast Committee on American Principles and Fair Play

 

Letter, n.d.

Additional Note

Written to Anson Blake by Ruth W. Kingman, Executive Secretary.
 

Parratt, Edna (Martin)

 

3 letters, 1959-1962 & n.d.

 

Parsons, Edward Lambe, 1868-

 

Letter, [Aug. 24, 1959].

 

Phelps, Ralph L., 1880-1957

 

Letter, Jan. 28, 1933.

 

Richardson, Maud (Wilkinson)

 

Letter, [1931].

Additional Note

Written to Mabel Symmes
 

Save-The-Redwoods League

 

3 letters, 1942-1961.

Additional Note

Letter, Feb. 20, 1942, written by John C. Merriam, president. Letter, Feb. 27, 1961, written by Newton B. Drury, Secretary.
 

Seaborg, Glenn Theodore, 1912-

 

Letter, Sept. 1, 1959.

 

Skinner, Cornelia Otis

 

Letter, [Feb. 8, 1950].

 

Society of California Pioneers

 

Letter, Aug. 19, 1959.

 

Sproul, Ida (Wittchen), 1891-

 

2 letters, 1959-1960.

 

Stiles, Ann Jane (Waters), 1813-1897

 

7 letters, 1882-1886 & n.d.

Additional Note

Written mainly to Anson Blake.
 

Stratton, George Malcolm, 1865-1957

 

Note, n.d.

Additional Note

Included also: 2 letters, n.d., by Mrs. Stratton
 

Strybing Arboretum Society of Golden Gate Park

 

3 letters, 1957-1962.

 

Symmes, Frank Jameson, 1847-1916

 

4 letters, 1890-1910.

Additional Note

Letter, Dec. 1, 1890, written to Anson Blake. Included also: 2 letters, n.d., written by Mrs. Symmes.
 

Symmes, Harold Shakspear, 1877-1910

 

16 letters, 1894-1909 & n.d.

Additional Note

Postcard, Aug. 6, 1909, written to Anson Blake.
 

Symmes, Mabel, 1875-1962

 

2 letters, 1895 & n.d.

Additional Note

Written to Anson Blake.
 

Taft, Charles Phelps, 1897-

 

3 letters, 1959-1962.

 

Taft, William Howard, 1857-1930

 

Letter, June 21, 1905.

Additional Note

Written to Hattie W. Blake. Included also: letter, June 17, 1909, from Mrs. Taft, written by her secretary.
 

Thacher, Anson Stiles, 1905-

 

2 letters, 1959-1962.

Additional Note

Included also: letter, Apr. 18, 1960, written by Mrs.Thacher.
 

Thacher, Eliza Seeley (Blake), 1872-

 

11 letters, 1886-1897 & n.d.

Additional Note

Written mainly to Anson Blake.
 

Thacher, Sherman Day, 1861-1931

 

Letter, Sept. 27, 1895.

 

Thomas, Harold Earl, 1900-

 

3 letters, 1938-1941.

 

Towle, Katherine Amelia, 1898-

 

2 letters, 1959-1962.

 

U. S. Bureau of Plant Industry

 

Letter, Apr. 9, 1938.

 

Wheelan, Albertine (Randall)

 

Letter, Nov. 13, 1905.

 

Wheeler, Amey (Webb) [Mrs. Benjamin Ide Wheeler]

 

Postcard, n.d.

 

White, Lynn Townsend, 1907-

 

Letter, June 12, 1951.

Additional Note

Written while President, Mills College.
 

Young Men's Christian Associations. Berkeley, Calif.

 

Letter, Aug. 24, 1959.

 

Young Men's Christian Associations. California. University. Berkeley

 

7 letters, 1959-1961.

Additional Note

Letter, Aug. 19, 1959, written by Charles G. Hyde.