South San Francisco, CA November 5, 2015 Submitted by Julie Chimenti, Historical Society SSF
The Plymire-Schwarz House at 519 Grand Avenue has an interesting history and many of us probably walk or drive by without giving it a second thought.
Did you know this 1905 Colonial Revival house originally sat at the northwest corner of Grand and Spruce Avenues? It was built by Dr. Harry (aka Henry) Garriston Plymire, one of the City’s first physicians as well as the area’s coroner. It was the first hospital between San Francisco and San Mateo. This was a big deal back in 1905 and they boasted: “sparing residents of San Bruno, Daly City and Colma the cost and inconvenience of having to go to San Francisco or San Mateo for treatment.” The practice lasted until 1915 when Dr. Harry succumbed to pneumonia at the young age of 38. His practice and house were sold to Dr. Frank Dolley who had the house moved to its current location so the new “South San Francisco General Hospital” could be built in its place.
Since then it has undergone many changes, the last of which was a private residence of Ernst and Marguerite Schwarz. In 1994, the house was deeded to the South San Francisco Historical Society by the Estate of Mrs. Schwarz – with the condition that, along with maintaining the house, her husband’s paintings be cared for.
The Steering Committee of the SSF Historical Society now opens the house to schools, businesses, and the general public as an example of an early 20th century home. We hope to capture the essence of what life was like in the early 1900’s and also to preserve examples of furniture, photographs, local culture and history in a unique, educational and enjoyable manner.
At its prime, South San Francisco was a thriving industrial center and a desirable community. We hope to help preserve that memory through The Plymire-Schwarz House and Museum.
This Saturday, November 7th (1pm -4pm) they are holding a Holiday Champagne Reception & Boutique. If you’ve never seen the inside of this historic house, why not take this opportunity to support local history, share a glass of bubbly and tour the beautifully restored home (dressed to the nines for holidays). Tickets are $20 at the door.
Facebook link for Historical Society of South San Francisco CLICK HERE and enjoy the tidbits of history of our City that is shared weekly.
Facebook link for The Plymire-Schwartz House CLICK HERE and check out the great photos and history
Website for the The Plymire-Schwartz House CLICK HERE
More on the Historical Society of South San Francisco from the City of South San Francisco
Historical Society of South San Francisco, Inc.
February 25, 1975
The first community meeting to discuss historic preservation was held in 1971 in an effort to save the Martin Home at Grand and Eucalyptus Avenues, built in 1893 by our town’s founder, W. J. Martin. Their effort failed. In 1974, Mr. Paul Tracy asked the city to acquire the Martin Home for preservation purposes, but a disastrous fire destroyed the home before it could happen. This group of concerned citizens, spearheaded by Mr. Tracy and Michael Nomellini, filed the necessary papers with the State of California for the incorporation which was approved on February 25, 1975. The Society’s first organizational meeting was held October 29, 1980, at Orange Avenue Library. In 1981, another group, sponsored by St. Paul’s Methodist Church, and supported by the Historical Society, urged the enactment of legislation to protect historic properties. It was a coordinated effort with the City of South San Francisco and Parks and Recreation Department that we now have the Historic Preservation Ordinance, which protects historic resources from needless destruction, including the Sidewalk of Names, the Magnolia Plaza Community Room, and approximately 25 historic homes. The Plymire-Schwarz Home is a fine example of how and why we should preserve our city’s unique character.
The purpose of the South San Francisco Historical Society is to bring together those people interested in the history of our community. Understanding the history of our community is basic to our democratic way of life, gives us a better understanding of our state and nation, and helps us better appreciate our American heritage.
Become a Member
Our membership is open to all who are interested. Members receive a membership card, a quarterly newsletter, and elect officers annually. Membership meetings are held on the 3rd Monday of March, June, September and December at Magnolia Senior Center, 601 Grand Avenue. Board meetings are held on the 3rd Monday of the other eight months and are open meetings which any member is welcome to attend (dates in January and February may change due to holiday schedule).
- Individual $15
- Family $20