My grandparents got married at Ralston Hall in the city of Belmont (beautiful mountain) that this family founded.
Daily Alta California, Volume 42, Number 14175, 24 June 1888
One of the most enjoyable weddings of the past week took place at
Belmont, Wednesday morning last, the contracting parties being Miss
Augusta Janke, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. August Janke of Belmont,
and Dr. Wm. Stuttmeister of San Francisco. The house was
handsomely decorated with a rich profusion of ferns and flowers, and
at the appointed hour was filled with the relatives and intimate friends
of the contracting parties. At 11 o’clock the wedding march was played
and the bridal party entered the parlor. The bride was attended by Miss
Alice Stuttmeister, a sister of the groom, and Miss Minnie Janke, a
sister of the bride, as bridesmaids, and Dr. Muldownado and Wm.
Janke, a cousin of the bride, were groomsmen. The Rev. A. L. Brewer
of San Mateo performed the beautiful and impressive ceremony under
an arch composed of flowers and greens very prettily arranged, after
which the guests pressed forward and offered their congratulations.
The bride was attired in a very pretty and becoming costume of the
crushed strawberry shade, and wore a corsage bouquet of orange
blossoms. She carried a handsome bouquet of white flowers. After the
guests had paid their compliments the bride and groom led the way to
the dining-room, where the wedding dinner was served and the health
of the newly married pair was pledged. The feast over, the guests
joined in the dance, and the hours sped right merrily, interspersed with
music singing and recitations, until the bride and groom took their
departure amid a shower of rice and good wishes. Many beautiful
presents were received. Dr. and Mrs. Stuttmeister left Thursday
morning for Santa Cruz and Monterey, where they will spend the
honeymoon. On their return they will make their home in Belmont.
I have talked to Anne Farmer-Fermor, and Patrick Sharon the second, about the renewal of the Sharon Family reunions at the Palace Hotel, that William Ralston built, that his partner, William Sharon, came to own. Anne was communicated in person with members of the Hesketh family in Britain, and is friendly with Baron Revelstoke whom she was hoping to get an invite through to William Windsor’s wedding. The Baron is kin to the founder of Baring & Brothers Co. a British banking company.
William Ralston appears to be the Grand Master of the Oddfellows, and may have invited the Oddfellows of Lodge 17 in San Francisco to come celebrate with the new Oddfellows of Belmont, in Belmont. Did he build the Palace Hotel in order to accommodate Oddfellows from all over America – and the world?
Jon Presco Copyright 2011
From: Anne Farmer email@example.com> Subject: Re: SHARON To: “John Ambrose” Date: Thursday, December 23, 2010, 3:34 AM Hi John- I will call Patrick Sharon after Christmas when I return to Seattle. Today I take mother to Portland on Amtrak for Chrustmas to see some friends. Please send me your mailing address as I am sending out my New Year’s cards- thank you. Have a great Holiday and a very Happy New Year. Kindest Regards- Anne —
On Sun, 12/5/10, John Ambrose wrote: From: John Ambrose Subject: SHARON To: @yahoo.com Date: Sunday, December 5, 2010, 5:03 PM Anne; Here is the number John, Thanks for all of your information. I am still trying to find the list of the California Sharon Family Reuniun. This will help me establish family connections for all of us. As I mentioned my Great grandparents were the last of our family who received the invite.Their names are Samuel and Stella Sharon of Kansas City. Lets stay in contact. Patrick Sharon II
From: Anne Farmer firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: Withersppon To: “John Ambrose” Date: Saturday, March 6, 2010, 1:41 PM Hi Jon- These I know- the Heskeths married into my side- the Fermors so they are distant cousins of mine. The Quakers, Methodists were the Fermor side- they never owned slaves like Witherspoon did.I had heard about the Presbyterian strong influence- and how the Calvinists were more fighters. On my side we have the lovers, not fighters. Anne PS- I was just connected via a mutual friend to look up Theresa-Mary Morton while in London, who is Queen’s librarian.
What is truly astounding, is that Sir Thomas Hesketh married Florence Sharon at Ralston Hall, and Florence Breckenridge married their son. Florence descends from John Witherspoon,and thus is kin to the Jessie Benton Fremont, thus the Presco family, when Christine Rosamond Presco married Garth Benton.
Ralston Hall Mansion is situated on the campus of Notre Dame de Namur University, on the San Francisco Peninsula. The mansion has been built around the villa of Count Leonetto Cipriani, former owner of the estate. Taking three years to build, it was completed in 1867, when San Francisco’s leaders and first citizens had large summer homes on the Peninsula, an integral part of San Francisco high society. Architect John Painter Gaynor, who later worked with Ralston on the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, is thought to have worked on it. Several of the design elements of Ralston Hall Mansion were copied in the design of the Palace.
A history of San Francisco speaks of the palatial grandeur of Ralston Hall: “In a domed wing was the oval ballroom. Its walls were mirrored, and from the frescoed ceiling hung a great crystal chandelier whose reflected lights and sparkle filled the room. I have never seen a more effective setting for a ball.”
The Hall is a four-floor, 55,000 square foot (5,000 m²) mansion, with a stately dining room, a mirrored ballroom in the Versailles tradition, an opera box modelled after the Opéra Garnier in Paris, a grand staircase, 23 crystal chandeliers, and inlaid wood floors. Ralston greatly admired the Palace of Versailles, and incorporated several of the palace’s elements in his design of the mansion. The mansion has a number of elegant sitting rooms and parlours. The Oriental Music Room has a set of Chinese high-tea chairs and buffets. Ralston Hall houses a collection of antiques accumulated by Ralston, including some valuable Thomas Hill paintings.
Uses of the mansion
After Ralston’s death, the estate passed to his former business partner, United States Senator from Nevada William Sharon, whose family lived in the house. Sharon’s daughter Flora’s wedding to Englishman Sir Thomas George Fermor-Hesketh, 7th Baronet, of Rufford was one of the last elaborate social events of the time, taking place in the mansion’s ballroom. After Senator Sharon’s death in 1885, the mansion became Radcliffe Hall, a girls’ finishing school. From 1900 to 1922, it was the Gardner Sanitarium.