HISTORY OF THE MCNEAR BUILDING
Born in 1832 in Maine, John A. McNear relocated to Petaluma in 1856. John's arrival was the start of a dynasty. The McNear name is among the best known in this county's history. McNear's business started with a simple livery stable and then Gold Rush money started flooding in and Petaluma quickly grew. The McNears raised horses, made bricks and were also involved in milling, shipping, real estate, and the railroads, to name just a few investments. By 1910 John's son, George, was recognized as the largest landowner in Sonoma County!
In 1886 the McNears constructed their dream, a 20,000 square-foot shop and office building now known as the 1886 McNear Building. They sent for a patented iron-front facade from New York and it was, and still is, incredibly beautiful. In 1911 they added another 30,000 square foot building, which adjoins the 1886 McNear Building, which we call the 1911 McNear Building.
These buildings were Sonoma County's finest and Petaluma's pride! Sadly, by the 1950's, the McNear's family operations in Petaluma dwindled and the McNear Buildings sat nearly vacant and neglected until the mid-1970's when two developers had a vision to restore these grand old buildings back to their original splendor. Still owned and operated by the Harriman Family, the McNear Buildings are once again a perfect example of restored historic California Victorian commercial buildings. The renovated McNear Buildings are, without a doubt, a true gift to Petaluma. One that enables us all to continue its legacy of providing thriving businesses in downtown Petaluma.
A few thousand years ago the Coast Miwoks resided in southern Sonoma County, and Péta Lúuma was originally the name of a Miwok village east of the Petaluma River which translates as "flat back" from the language of native Americans and interpreted to mean mesas or hills within the "Valley of the Little Hills".
The Petaluma area was part of a 66,000 acre 1834 Mexican land grant called Rancho Petaluma. Pioneers flocked into Petaluma from the eastern United States during the Gold Rush in the 1800's. The town's position on the Petaluma River in the heart of productive farmland was critical to its growth during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Petaluma soon became known for its grain milling and chicken processing industries, which continue to the present as a smaller fraction of its commerce. At one time, Petaluma was known as the "Egg Capital of the World," sparking such nicknames as "Chickaluma".
SOME OF OUR TENANTS
Some of our long-term tenants include the McNear's Saloon and Dining House plus the Mystic Theatre. The McNear Building is located in downtown Petaluma, close to public transit, parking, and all the popular shops and attractions of this thriving downtown location.
7 Fourth Street, Suite 35
Petaluma, CA 94952
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