Former McMahan's. Photo by Gene Wright

Downtown Lodi Now and Then

Downtown Lodi

In 1902 Lodi was a thriving town of 1600 inhabitants. Located on the Southern Pacific Railroad fourteen miles north of Stockton. It was the second town in size and business in San Joaquin County. There were two wineries and a cannery, enabling the farmers to find a ready market for their fruits and Vegetables. There were five churches, public and high schools, bank, wells Fargo Express office and telegraph and telephone offices.

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The photos on this page are a collection of past and present.

Central Avenue
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Cherokee Lane
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Church Street
N. Church - Mr. Bond Bail Bonds

114 N. Church - Cornerstone Church

118 N. Church - Quality Property Services

122 N. Church - Schaffer Co Realtors

125 N. Church - Lodi News Sentinel
Click to Enlarge 17 S. Church St. - Guild Cleaners - Guild Cleaners opened by Dwight Alquist at 115 W. Pine street in 1947. They moved to this 17 S. Church location in 1959. The business was purchased by Jack Alquist in 1989. Photo courtesy of Jack Alquist. Still there
Church & Walnut - St Anne's Hall -
Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge 220 S. Church - De Vinci's Restaurant / Former Heilig-Meyers when it closed in 2000 / Former McMahon's Furniture Store
Hill House, 826 S. Church St. Built in 1901, the Hill House was the home of George Washington and Mary Lewis Hill and their two children.

Hill was one of Lodi’s earliest pioneers who opened a jewelry store in 1870. He and his wife, Mary, had a daughter, Nellie, and a son, Maurice. In 1901, they built their grand, two-story Victorian home at 115 S. School St., across from the Post Office. George hired twin brothers Ed and Fred Cary, the finest builders of the time.

The Hills and Mary’s sister, Daisy Pleas, moved into the home. Pleas worked as a watchmaker at Hill’s store and was believed to be California’s first female watchmaker. The home was the scene of many social functions for the United Methodist Church and other groups. Both children were talented pianists, songwriters, and artists. By the late 1930s, Maurice was the only family member left living in the house.

In 1948, Lodi’s Downtown had grown, and it was uncomfortable to live in the residence. So Maurice had the house moved. That year the house was cut in half and moved to its present location, about six blocks away at 826 S. Church St.

In 1984, Maurice Hill died. In his will, Hill left the house and its original contents in a trust with the stipulation that the collection be turned into a museum so the people of Lodi could see how people lived in the early years.

Today, the Lodi Historical Society and its volunteers open the house and lead tours every Sunday afternoon.

Click to Enlarge 1413 S. Church St. Mar Y Tierra Restaurant Taqueria
Click to Enlarge Daisy between Sacramento and School Streets - The neon is gone, but the sign lives on - September 28, 2013
East Elm Street
5 E. Elm - Isle of Capri Restaurant (68)

17 E. Elm - Earle Co Fruit Packers (68)

Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Toasted Toad Cellars - 21 E. Elm - Amazing family owned boutique winery in downtown Lodi. Jeff (father) and Laura (daughter) make an awesome team when it comes to making wines. Whether you're looking for a crisp refreshing white, a full body complex red or a "Totally Lickable" sweet dessert wine Toasted Toad is the place! / Former Priest & Stubbs Auto Body Repair
108 - Grace's Beauty Shop - Joe's Barber Shop
Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge 112 E. Elm St - Lodi Family Billiard Lounge (68) Former Sell Rite Market - late 1940s . The Busy Bee Laundry was later located in this building.
114 E. Elm - Anne's Place Tavern
116 E. Elm - Nippon Drug Co (1940)
123 E. Elm - Former Valley Lumber Company (68)
Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge 209 E. Elm - Hale Park - Lodi's first park in 1876. It was called Wardrobe Grove and later named for Frank Hale, Lodi's 2nd mayor. It featured municipal baths with a hot artesian well in 1916.
Click to Enlarge 210 E. Elm - Lodi Japanese Community Hall / Former Carpenter's Hall (68)
West Elm Street
Click to Enlarge 1930 Weihe's Drug Store. Corner Elm & Sacramento. - Karen Brown Anderson
Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge 5 W. Elm St - Saigon Grill Fresh, great service and delicious describes Saigon Grill perfectly! All fresh ingredients... and the fish sauce is amazing! The atmosphere is really pleasant and the restaurant is clean. It's family friendly and the waitress will gladly help you if you have questions about the menu or what to order. Lodi Flower Shop (68)
7 W. Elm - The Showcase Gift Shop (68)
Click to Enlarge 14 W. Elm - James Leong (68)
16 W. Elm - Credit Bureau of Lodi (68)
18 W. Elm - Jan's Sweet Treasures / Former East Bay Municipal Utility (68)
17 W. Elm - Rendevous Club Tavern (68)
Click to Enlarge 20 W. Elm - Riaza Wine - / FM Uribe Income Tax (68) / Former Lodi Hardware Co (1920s)
21 W. Elm - OK Barber Shop(68)
Click to Enlarge 20 W. Elm - Riaza Wine - / FM Uribe Income Tax (68) / Former Lodi Hardware Co (1920s)
22 W. Elm -
Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge 23 W. Elm - Merlot: Venues & Event Spaces / Former State Theatre reportedly opened in 1912. It was a long, narrow theater with a tall, brick stage house. For many years it was operated by T&D Theatres, but in the early 1950’s was run by Fox West Coast Theatres, who closed the house in August, 1954.

Various independent operators attempted to revive the State Theatre over the next couple of years, but it was finally converted into a night club. In 1999, extensive remodeling was done to convert it to its current use, a banquet and reception hall called the Merlot. The Merlot banquet facility was formerly the state theater built in 1912 and owned by Paramount Pictures. In 1965, it was converted into a night club. Another remodel in 1999, resulted in the current banquet facility.
Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge 27-29 W. Elm - Take 27 / Former Lodi Feed & Fuel / Former Farmers' & Merchants' Bank - When you walk into Take 27, your attention may be captured by the Tyrannosaurus rex over the bar, the Mr. Spock costume from the "Star Trek" movies, or the John Wayne movie posters on the back wall. Take 27 is owned and operated by Georgia Steiger of Linden, her husband Choya of Lodi, and her daughter Alicia Schmidt of Linden.
123 W. Elm Street - Shep's Sports Bar & Grill / Former Scooters California Grill
Click to Enlarge 210 W. Elm - Lodi Fire Department
Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge 215-217 W. Elm - Lodi Police Department
Click to Enlarge 975 S. Fairmont - Lodi Memorial Hospital Under Construction in 1950
Ham Lane
Click to Enlarge Ham & Lockeford - Lakewood Mall
306 N. Ham Lane - Bel Air Beauty Salon (68)

308 N. Ham Lane - Mays One Hour Martenizing

310 N. Ham Lane - Lakewood Drugs (68)

314 N. Ham Lane - Chicken Delight (68)

Click to Enlarge 315 N. Ham Lane - Foster's Old Fashioned Freeze
316 N. Ham Lane - Lakewood Meats & Sausages (68)

401 N. Ham Lane - Lodi Nursery (68)

1100 N. Ham Lane - Lakewood School

105 S. Ham Lane - Zion Reformed Church

600 S. Ham Lane - Church of Christ
Hutchins Street
Click to Enlarge 11 N. Hutchins - In 1904 the Salem school was more than crowded with pupils and as more school room was necessary the trustees called for a bond issue of $25,000 for the purpose of purchasing land and erecting a large wooden building.

The bonds were voted and the trustees purchased a block of land just four blocks from Sacramento street between Elm and Pine streets. They named it Emerson after the famous essayist, and it was dedicated in 1907, it was the last of the fire-trap school buildings. Emerson School opened as part of Salem School District located on Hutchins and Elm Streets.

The school was destroyed in 1954 because it was considered unsafe; the City purchased the property in July 1955 and later created a park in its place.

155 S. Hutchins - Lodi Union High School
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Hutchins Street Square, Hutchins Street between Oak and Walnut streets. Hutchins Street Square originally was Lodi Union High School, built in 1913. It opened for classes on Oct. 6 that year. After some additions in the 1920s, the school facility included a second-story pool that bridged between the boys and girls gyms and separate buildings for science, music, auto shop and home economics.

Lodi grew and another high school was built further west in the 1950s. Despite the aging buildings, this old campus continued to be used for high school classes until the spring of 1974.

On March 17, 1974, arsonists, reportedly students trying to burn up records in the office, set fire to the school. Much of the school was destroyed. As fate would have it, an already scheduled school bond election was held a few weeks later, and voters overwhelmingly saw the need to approve $13.7 million in bonds. This site was abandoned and became an eyesore while a new Tokay High School was built on the southwest edge of the city.

In 1980, the city of Lodi bought the old high school site for $475,000, and fundraising began to build the facility today known as Hutchins Street Square. In the 1980s, condemned buildings were demolished, and the gyms and music building were renovated. In 1990 the gyms were reborn as a modern Senior Center that operates a day care center for the elderly and big hall available to rent for private functions. In 1998, the Square’s final project — the Performing Arts and Conference Center — was completed. Hutchins Street Square today is the busy venue for band concerts, plays, high school proms, weddings, class reunions, daily senior activities and recreation classes taught in the upstairs swimming pool.

240 S. Hutchins - Giant Frosty Frozen Desert (68)
Click to Enlarge 305 S. Hutchins - Former Mr. Pickles Sandwich Shop Originally Pioneer Chicken back in the day. Togo's opened soon after Pioneer Chicken closed up. And Mr Pickle's replaced Togo's in this location. George's Music Center, was here, approximately 1957-1964. it was later sold and became the Music Box until it moved a bit later.
Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge 321 S. Hutchins - Java Stop / Former Milk Stop (68)
815 S. Hutchins St - American Legion Park
Click to Enlarge 1030 S. Hutchins St - Kiley's Diner Theatre / This was also known as Helwig's Corner. Herb Helwig had the Helwig's restaurant from 1962-1973 (and it was a German Smorgy), and his daughter Phyllis (Lehr) ran a beauty parlor in one of the suites on the right. It was the Three Bears restaurant after that and then Mountain Mike's Pizza.
Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge 1340 S. Hutchins St - Save Mart / Former Mar-Val Food Store
Kettleman Lane
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Click to Enlarge Lodi Grape Bowl - 221 Lawrence St - The Lodi District Chamber of Commerce and a citywide committee determined a stadium was needed in the community. City Engineer Clinton Henning drew up the plans, and the City Council submitted the application for WPA funding. The June 8, 1939 Lodi News-Sentinel carried the front-page news that President Roosevelt approved the application and designated $113,296 to build a stadium. The Stadium was completed in 1940. The Lodi stadium hosted two bowl games. The games were held in 1947 and 1948 and were called the Grape Bowl. The name stuck with the stadium even though there were only two Grape Bowl games held and it is still called the Grape Bowl to this day
East Lockeford
Many streets and roads in San Joaquin County towns have been given the name of the town to which they lead.
Click to Enlarge 2 E. Lockford and Sacramento Street - Mason Fruit Company – 1915 – Founded by Wilton, Herschel & Lewis Mason – The building included an ice cream parlor. Dr. Wilton was the first Dr. in Lodi. Photo courtesy of Theodore Mason
Click to Enlarge Lockeford & Sacramento looking West
Click to Enlarge 8 E. Lockeford - Tokay Liquors
Click to Enlarge 1931 3 window Plymouth Coupe east bound on Lockeford St. at the Southern Pacific Railroad Tracks
Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge 413 E. Lockeford - The Lodi Grape Festival & National Wine Show Association, Inc. is a non-profit organization contracted by San Joaquin County to produce the annual Lodi Grape Festival and Harvest Fair and Lodi Spring Wine Show, and manage the fairgrounds on a year-around basis.

As a part of the fair system of the State of California, overseen by the California Department of Agriculture, Division of Fairs and Expositions, the Festival Association receives NO tax dollars for support – revenues generated from activities on the fairgrounds are used to maintain the grounds and service programs during fair time and throughout the year.

West Lockeford
Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge 2 W. Lockeford St. - Estate Crush Winery & Tasting Room / Former Weil Motors - Dodge/Plymouth Dealer / Greyhound Bus Depot
Click to Enlarge NW Corner of Lockeford & Sacramento St. S&A Auto Sales / Former Weil Motors - Dodge/Plymouth used car lot
Click to Enlarge Lockeford Street and the Southern Pacific Railroad crossing at Sacramento Street
17 W. Lockeford - One Eighty Teen Center / Former U.S. Post Office Annex (68)
Click to Enlarge 25 W. Lockeford - Duncan Press / Former Greyhound Bus Depot (68)
20 W. Lockeford - Lockeford Street Car Wash

205 W. Lockeford - Douglas Gas Station (68)

222 W. Lockeford - Former Piazza Hotel

300 W. Lockeford - Coin Opp Car Wash (68)

321 W. Lockeford - Lodi Siding & Roofing (68)
Click to Enlarge 325 W. Lockeford - Lodi Veterinary Hospital
Click to Enlarge 401 W. Lockeford - Buy 4 Less Groceries / Lodi Lawnmower Center (68)
Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge 429 W. Lockeford St. - Fitness Works - Aloha Cafe / Former Mar-Val Food Stores
504 W. Lockeford - Cigarette Store / Former Payless Gas Station (68)

525 W. Lockeford - Mitchell & Koenig Autos (68)

601 W. Lockeford - Bruce Blair Richfield (68)

606 W. Lockeford - Swanson's Cleaners (68)

815 W. Lockeford - Lodi Public Schools (68)

1213 W. Lockeford - The Dairy Milk Stop (68)

1225 W. Lockeford - Gino's Phillips 66 (68)
Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge 1320 W. Lockeford - Former Apple Marketplace / Former Landucci's / Former Sell-Rite / Apple Market opened in 1999 and was one of the few grocery stores in northern Lodi. I believe it closed in December of 2012 and being replaced by an In-Shape Health Club
20 E. Locust - Earl Fruit Company (68)
Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge 27 E. Locust - Jessie's Grove Winery Ice House / Former Union Ice House (68)
Click to Enlarge 101 E. Locust - Former Allied Machinery Dealers (68)
208 E. Locust - Boy Scouts of America Club House (68)
Click to Enlarge 9 W. Locust - Former Loewen Auto Co - Buick, Chevrolet / Corner of Sacramento
10 W. Locust - Former Loewen Auto Used Car Lot

15 W. Locust - Pacific Greyhound Lines

19 W. Locust - Former Loewen Auto Co Display Lot

115 W. Locust - St Peters Lutheran Church Office

201 W. Locust - St Peters Lutheran School
Lodi Avenue
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Click to Enlarge Lower Sacramento Rd. The original 1913–1927 Central Valley Route of Lincoln Highway departed Sacramento southbound on Stockton Blvd to Rt 99, then southbound on 99 to Galt, then south on Lower Sacramento Rd through Woodbridge to Pacific Ave and El Dorado St into downtown Stockton
Main Street
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East Oak Street
Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge 33 E. Oak - California Cherry Industries
Click to Enlarge 100 E. Oak Street - Cosmopolitan Hotel - Demolished
Click to Enlarge 115 E. Oak & Main - Jenner & Haut Nash
200 E. Oak Street - Arteagas Food Center / Former State Department of Employment
West Oak Street
3 W. Oak St. - Allied Discount House (68)
Click to Enlarge 7 W. Oak St. - Reo's Appliance Center
Click to Enlarge 5-9 W. Oak St. - The Imperial Hotel was located at 5 West Oak St. from 1912 until its closure in 1989. Among the early proprietors of the Hotel were Mrs. Henrietta Monroe (1915-1916) and Mrs. Margaret Walker (1917). The Imperial had about forty-five rooms and catered to salesmen and middle class travelers.
Click to Enlarge 15 W. Oak - The Antique Group / Former Giegner Linoleum / Baumback Furniture Exchange / Lodi Cash Market (1920s)
Click to Enlarge 2 W. Oak St. - Devine Home & Garden & 105 S. Sacramento - Railroad Junction

6 W. Oak St. - Kundert & Bauer Electric Appliances (68)

Click to Enlarge 10 W. Oak St. - King's Restaurant (68)
10b W. Oak - Economy Shoe Service (68)
10 W. Oak St. - Alebrijes Mexican Bistro / Former Beneficial Finance (68)
12 W. Oak St. - Bill's Barber Shop
16 W. Oak St. - La Fleurette Garden Decor / Former Baumbacks Furniture(68)
20 W. Oak St. - Madison Building
Click to Enlarge The mural was painted on a building that used to house the hobby shop, Roger's RR Junction Hobbies at 20 W. Oak Street.
Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge 21 W. Oak St.- Minerva's Furniture / Former Western Auto Supply
108 W. Oak - Leary's Office Supplies

200 W. Oak - Lodi Methodist Church

Pine Street
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Sacramento Street
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School Street
Click to Enlarge Click here for Lodi School Street
Click to Enlarge 21 N. Stockton St - Brackett's by Tino
Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge 23 N. Stockton St - Directly to the east of Japantown’s commercial core, the Buddhist Church on Stockton Street was the only formal religious organization for Lodi’s Nikkei. Beginning in 1906, small groups of Japanese men traveled to Buddhist services in Sacramento and then Stockton.

In 1929, the Buddhist Church of Lodi was formed and raised $3,000 to purchase and remodel a former lumber mill at 23 Stockton Street. Attorney George Steele, Mayor of Lodi at the time of evacuation, oversaw the Church property during WWII, and the church served as hostel in post-war period.

The former lumber mill was replaced with a new building in 1955,which was extensively renovated in 1993, and stands today next to the 1964 Annex Building.

The Buddhist Church of Lodi, and the JACL Hall across Stockton Street, remains as a treasured gathering place for Japanese Americans and host to the entire community at the annual spaghetti feed and Obon festival.

“Japantown Memories” mural, 23 N. Stockton St. Annex Building. By Tony Segale. Dedicated June 2009

Over the years, the Lodi Arts Commission has striven to incorporate art into the city’s landscape. The Art in Public Places budget is directly funded through the Lodi City Council, Lodi Arts Commissioner Ben Burgess said, and has been allocated in part by construction and renovation impact fees. There are a series of 12 photos in this mural called “Japantown Memories” mural, 23 N. Stockton St. By Tony Segale. Dedicated June 2009.

“Celebrate the Harvest,” corner of Oak and Stockton streets. By Rowland Cheney. Dedicated October 2009.
Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge 200 S. Stockton Street - Former Salem School - Today the parking lot of Smart & Final. The bell is at Lodi Lake
Turner Road
Click to Enlarge Turner Rd. Southern Pacific Underpass - 1950s
321 W. Turner Road - Lodi Steam Laundry
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Turner Rd - Lodi Lake

Click to Enlarge 1210 W Turner Rd - SnowWhite Drive-In - / Former Charlie's
1216 W Turner Rd - Lakeside Service Station
Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge General Mills 2000 W Turner Rd
Click to Enlarge Railroad Tracks on W Turner Rd across from General Mills
Click to Enlarge 2505 W. Turner Rd - Wine & Roses
Click to Enlarge 2545 W. Turner Rd - The Wine & Visitor Center is a great introduction to the delicious wines of the Lodi Appellation. Expert staff will lead guests through a guided tasting of some of the region’s finest wines. The Visitor Center features hundreds of Lodi wines from the nearly 80 local vintners offering guests a truly unique experience. Eight wines are served on a daily basis, and the wines are rotated weekly.
Victor Road  / Highway 12
Click to Enlarge 610-614-616 E. Victor Rd
Click to Enlarge 700 E. Victor Road - The Omlet House / former UJ's restaurant / Former Sambo's Restaurant
Click to Enlarge 1024 Victor Rd. - Habanero Hots
Click to Enlarge 1150 Victor Rd. - Robinson's Feed Company / Previously Furrow's, a farm supply owned by Lumberjack Hardware chain.
Click to Enlarge 6100 E. Victor Rd. The tiny Roma winery was already in existence in 1915 when brothers John Battista and Lorenzo Cella bought the winery, then located in Lodi. In 1933 the company bought the Santa Lucia Winery, and the entire operation was moved to Fresno. By the late 1930s Roma had become the world's largest wine producer. In 1942, the Cella family bowed out and sold to Schenley Industries (the first corporate wine takeover?) and that company broadened Roma's scope even further.
Click to Enlarge 9035 E. Highway 12 - Victor Market
Click to Enlarge 9040 E. Highway 12 - Victor Brand Meats
Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge 9150 E. Highway 12 - Regional Youth Services - North Valley School / Former Victor School - Middle photo 1912
Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge 1305 E. Vine St - James Areida Education Support Center - Lodi Unified School District - Corner of Guild
Click to Enlarge Vine & Guild - Sign Repair Shop - Valero Sign - December 7, 2013
Walnut Street
106 W. Walnut - Former Lodi Bowling Alley - Now a parking lot

120 W. Walnut - Bank of Stockton / Former Mid-Cal Bank

Washington Street
Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge 320 N. Washington St. - The American Legion Memorial building under construction in the 40s
Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge 333 N. Washington St. - Lodi Armory - Originally built and used as an armory for the National Guard, the building was an assembly point for the first wave of eight hundred Lodians of Japanese descent on May 18, 1943, who gathered here for the bus trip to the Stockton Fairgrounds Assembly Center before being relocated to Rohwer War Camp in Arkansas. During and after World War II, the National Guard used the Armory for training and storing equipment. In 2002, the City of Lodi leased it for five years, with the intention of using it for recreation. In 2009, an adult women's dodgeball league began to play there while the National Guard was not using the building for training. When the Iraq War began, National Guard units shipped out from the Armory.
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