Bill Broderick of Barrel and Box


This morning I found an article about Bill Broderick and the California Barrel Company. What an historic account, that I have sent to the Mayor of San Francisco, and the Board of Supervisors. It’s all here, the elements that made San Francisco, and California – great!

William Frederick Broderick is trying to save a successful business, that due to prohibition, is on the ropes. My mother told me Bill traveled across America selling barrels. Bill has stopped in Chicago where Al Capone is making a fortune as a bootlegger, and arrives in Cleveland Ohio. Bill’s boss, Frederick Koster, must be furious to see organized crime families prospering, while he and his five hardworking bothers are desperate to keep their cooperage business afloat. Frederick is a member of the Bohemian Club, and the Law and Order Club. He may be one of the reasons the Mafia never got a foothold in the Bay Area. Frederick is ahead of his time in how he treated those who worked for him. They were like family. He shortened their work day, and paid good wages. Bill and Fred are promoting California Grapes. They made barrels for this billion dollar industry. They are Pioneers!

“One of the disciples of good barrel and service to meet the conditions of their customers, is William Broderick, sales manager of the California Barrel Company, San Francisco, Calif. Mr. Broderick attended the convention, stopping off at Chicago en route. Mr. Broderick is a natural born salesman, and certainly has the creative idea in salesmanship which is demonstrated by the fact not withstanding from the loss of business from wine and whiskey operations, the cooperage shops in the country and the manufactures supplying the same have kept busy even in maximum capacity during the past year and  half, since prohibition arrived, which leads us all to do the same kind of constructive salesmanship. Malaga grapes have always been shipped in kegs and packed in ground cork, but in the last years, California has a become a great factor in furnishing the world with Malaga grapes packed in redwood sawdust. The California Barrel Company, as well as other cooperage institutions on the coast, are making kegs to deliver these grapes seasoned without moisture, to various markets of the world. Bill Broderick is one of the fellows who made this possible by demonstrating to our merchants the value of California grapes packed in the right way, in the right kind of packaging!”


I have put forth an idea for a Working Museum that preserves very valuable history, and creates jobs by giving new life to the ancient art of cooperage. I follow in my grandfather’s footsteps. It is my ambition to make the people of San Francisco – Big Winners!

John Presco

President: Royal Rosamond Press

Copyright 2019

Dear Mayor and Board;

My great grandfather, William F. Broderick, was a salesman and Director for the California Barrel Company that was located near the Portreo Power Plant that was just purchased for Redevelopment. The CBC got started by shipping Spreckels sugar. Claus Spreckels did business with president, Frederick Jacob Koster, and his four brothers. Their businesses were next to each other.

This morning I found an article about William who was interviewed by a reporter for . He speaks about shipping Malaga Grapes to cities across America – in barrels! Here is a merger with California grapes. Prohibition has just begun, and the cooperage industry is in crisis. Frederick Koster has gone abroad to map ut  market in the Orient. Barrel and sailing ships go hand in hand. What I am proposing is a cooperage museum that would contribute to San Francisco’s tourist trade, and cooper college at the old site. There is a historic building and facade that could be used for this Trade College. The art of barrel making is coming back.

I have seen beautiful Japanese and Chinese packaging in museum. I saw wondrous labels on crates when I worked as lumper in the produce market in Jack London Square. Packaging is an art form, a craft that can give merchants new ideas.

To help fund this college a museum, I suggest quality prints be made of the amazing machinery invented to make barrels. I put a copyright in this book, but, your people may know how to do this. I have found no cooperage college in America.  Meg Whitman purchased the PPP property and founded Qubi. She might want to imitate Alva Spreckels who was give the title ‘The Grandmother of San Francisco. The people around Meg have been selfish with information. Perhaps this is because I copyrighted the CBC name in 2011, and am the owner of

Associate Capital chose this name for a company that is floating around in Business Law World for reasons that are beyond my understanding. I have sent e-mails to several people offering my ideas. I got not response. The way I see it, the People of San Francisco deserve to see their history preserved, and, bring Civic Prosperity – now! Let’s build a dream – today!


John Presco

President: Royal Rosamond Press

Bill Broderick and his wife Alice Stuttmeister.

Bill walked in and out of the Greek archway, many times. There is talk about tearing these structures down. I see the cooperage museum here, or, a restaurant that sits customers around a work area where apprentice learn their trade. The Crate&Barrel would pay homage to the moniker San Francisco owned for many years. The museum would be located at one of the downtown piers.

“This is a working man’s town!”

Here is Melba Broderick, my father’s mother, on the trestle of the California Barrel Company that moved to Arcata.

CBC at Potrero property that is now own by Meg Whitman and others.

The California Barrel Company moved to Arcata California.,_Packaging_%26_Advertising

William Broderick, the husband of Alice Stuttmeister, was the Vice President of the California Barrel Company that was located in the Dogpatch, south of San Francisco, and Arcate in Humbolt County where the photograph of Melba and her grandfather is taken. The photo says it is her father, but, it is her grandfather, William Oltman Stuttmeister. I know this because according the Daryl Bulkley, William was very tall, and William Broderick, was short. That is how I remember him.The President of Cal-Barrel, was Frederick Jacob Koster, who was a member of the Bohemian Club, as was Joaquin Miller, and George Stirling, seen in a traditional tent at the Grove Gathering. When Rosemary would show us the family photos, she would say this about our kin gathered in the redwoods of the Oakland Hills.

“Those are you Bohunk kin.”

Why Rosemary would say this, knowing the Prescos came from Bohemia in 1882, is puzzling. Was she once told they were Bohemian Bohos?

My father and I own the same facial features Will Stuttmeister does, who has a long face.

Jon Presco

Copyright 2011

Bohemian Grove is a 2,700-acre (1,100 ha) campground located at 20601 Bohemian Avenue, in Monte Rio, California, belonging to a private San Francisco-based men’s art club known as the Bohemian Club. In mid-July each year, Bohemian Grove hosts a two-week, three-weekend encampment of some of the most powerful men in the world.[1][2

Socially he has connection with the Pacific Union, Bohemian, Olympic, San Francisco Commercial Commonwealth and Woodside Country Clubs and the Meadow Club of Tamalpais. Through his own exertions Mr. Koster has risen to the top, winning gratifying success as well as the high esteem and good-will of his fellowmen. Prompted by humanitarian instincts, he has steadily broadened his field of usefulness and his far-reaching labors have been productive of much good.

LOCAL HISTORIAN JERRY ROHDE IS planning to use a dozen or so of Shuster’s old aerials in the geographical history he’s writing of Humboldt County, including one of California Barrel Company’s operations. Cal-Barrel, cutting mostly spruce, was the biggest employer in Arcata back in the 1940s

Bohemian GroveFrom Wikipedia
Bohemian Grove is a 2,700-acre (1,100 ha) campground located at 20601 Bohemian Avenue, in Monte Rio, California, belonging to a private San Francisco-based men’s art club known as the Bohemian Club. In mid-July each year, Bohemian Grove hosts a two-week, three-weekend encampment of some of the most powerful men in the world.[1][2]

Summer, 1967 at Owls Nest Camp with two future U.S. presidents. Around the table, left to right: Preston Hotchkis, Ronald Reagan, Harvey Hancock (standing), Richard M. Nixon, Glenn Seaborg, Jack Sparks, (unidentified individual), (unidentified individual), and Edwin W. Pauley. Retrieved July 15, 2009.Contents [hide]

The Bohemian Club’s all-male membership includes artists, particularly musicians, as well as many prominent business leaders, government officials (including many former U.S. presidents), senior media executives, and people of power.[3][4] Members may invite guests to the Grove although those guests are subject to a screening procedure. A guest’s first glimpse of the Grove typically is during the “Spring Jinks” in June, preceding the main July encampment. Bohemian club members can schedule private day-use events at the Grove any time it is not being used for Club-wide purposes, and are allowed at these times to bring spouses, family and friends, though female and minor guests must be off the property by 9 or 10 p.m.[5]

After 40 years of membership the men earn “Old Guard” status, giving them reserved seating at the Grove’s daily talks, as well as other perquisites.

The Club motto is “Weaving Spiders Come Not Here,” which implies that outside concerns and business deals are to be left outside. When gathered in groups, Bohemians usually adhere to the injunction, though discussion of business often occurs between pairs of members.[2] Important political and business deals have been developed at the Grove.[5] The Grove is particularly famous for a Manhattan Project planning meeting that took place there in September 1942, which subsequently led to the atomic bomb. Those attending this meeting, apart from Ernest Lawrence and military officials, included the president of Harvard and representatives of Standard Oil and General Electric. Grove members take particular pride in this event and often relate the story to new attendees.[2]

[edit] History
In the 1870s, Henry “Harry” Edwards was an actor with the California Theatre Stock Company, a founding Bohemian and the head entomologist at the California Academy of Sciences.The tradition of a summer encampment was established six years after the Bohemian Club was formed in 1872.[2] Henry “Harry” Edwards, a well-loved founding member, announced that he was relocating to New York City to further his career. On June 29, 1878, somewhat fewer than 100 Bohemians gathered in the Redwoods in Marin County near Taylorville (present-day Samuel P. Taylor State Park) for an evening sendoff party in Edwards’ honor.[6] Freely flowing liquor and some Japanese lanterns put a glow on the festivities, and club members retired at a late hour to the modest comfort of blankets laid on the dense mat of Redwood needles. This festive gathering was repeated the next year without Edwards, and became the club’s yearly encampment.[7] By 1882 the members of the Club camped together at various locations in both Marin and Sonoma County, including the present-day Muir Woods and a redwood grove that once stood near Duncans Mills, several miles down the Russian River from the current location. From 1893 Bohemians rented the current location, and in 1899 purchased it from Melvin Cyrus Meeker who had developed a successful logging operation in the area.[2] Gradually over the next decades, members of the Club purchased land surrounding the original location to the perimeter of the basin in which it resides.[2]

Writer and journalist William Henry Irwin said of the Grove,

You come upon it suddenly. One step and its glory is over you. There is no perspective; you cannot get far enough away from one of the trees to see it as a whole. There they stand, a world of height above you, their pinnacles hidden by their topmost fringes of branches or lost in the sky.[8]
Not long after the Club’s establishment by newspaper journalists, it was commandeered by prominent San Francisco-based businessmen, who provided the financial resources necessary to acquire further land and facilities at the Grove. However, they still retained the “bohemians”—the artists and musicians—who continued to entertain international members and guests.[2]

[edit] Membership and operationThe Bohemian Club is a private club; only active members of the Club (known as “Bohos” or “Grovers”[9]) and their guests may visit the Grove. These guests have been known to include politicians and notable figures from countries outside the U.S.[2] Particularly during the midsummer encampment, the number of guests is strictly limited due to the small size of the facilities. Nevertheless, up to 2,900 members and guests have been reported as attending some of the annual encampments.[citation needed]

The membership list has included every Republican and some Democratic U.S. presidents since 1923, many cabinet officials, directors and CEOs of large corporations including major financial institutions. Major military contractors, oil companies, banks (including the Federal Reserve), utilities (including nuclear power) and national media (broadcast and print) have high-ranking officials as club members or guests.[10]

[edit] Camp valetsCamp valets are responsible for the operation of the individual camps. The “head” valets are akin to a general manager’s position at a resort, club, restaurant, or hotel. Service staff include female workers whose presence at the Grove is limited to daylight hours and to central areas close to the main gate. Male workers may be housed at the Grove within the boundaries of the camp to which they are assigned or in peripheral service areas. High-status workers stay in small private quarters but most workers are housed in rustic bunkhouses.[2]

[edit] FacilitiesThe main encampment area consists of 160 acres (0.65 km2) of old-growth redwood trees over 1,000 years old, with some trees exceeding 300 feet (90 m) in height.[11]

The primary activities taking place at the Grove are varied and expansive entertainment, such as a grand main stage and a smaller, more intimate stage. Thus, the majority of common facilities are entertainment venues, interspersed among the giant redwoods.

A Bohemian tent in the 1900s, sheltering Porter Garnett, George Sterling and Jack LondonThere are also sleeping quarters, or “camps” scattered throughout the grove, of which it is reported there were a total of 118 as of 2007. These camps, which are frequently patrilineal, are the principal means through which high-level business and political contacts and friendships are formed.[2]

The pre-eminent camps are:[2][12]

Hill Billies (Big Business/Banking/Politics/Universities/Media/Texas Business);
Mandalay (Big Business/Defense Contractors/Politics/U.S. Presidents);
Cave Man (Think Tanks/Oil Companies/Banking/Defense Contractors/Universities/Media);
Stowaway (Rockefeller Family Members/Oil Companies/Banking/Think Tanks);
Uplifters (Corporate Executives/Big Business);
Owls Nest (U.S. Presidents/Military/Defense Contractors);
Hideaway (Foundations/Military/Defense Contractors);
Isle of Aves (Military/Defense Contractors);
Lost Angels (Banking/Defense Contractors/Media);
Silverado squatters (Big Business/Defense Contractors);
Sempervirens (California-based Corporations);
Hillside (Military—Joint Chiefs of Staff);
Members of the Bohemian Club were titled ‘Bohos’ and ‘Grovers’.

Melba Charlotte Broderick

Above is a photo of my father’s mother, Melba, and her childhood friend, Violet (Vie), near Joaquin Miller’s house. I heard they were into Isadora Duncan. Did they meet Miller and his daughter at this age?Joaquin Miller lived in the Oakland Hills above the Stuttmeister farm and orchard located in the city of Fruitvale that would later be incorporated into the city of Oakland. Miller was titled the `Poet of
the Sierras’. His farm was called `The Heights’ and was a Mecca for California artists and poets. This eccentric Bohemian was friends of William Broderick and would accompany Melba Charlotte Broderick, the mother of Victor Presco, to San Francisco where Melba met her husband, Hugo Presco, a professional gambler in the Barbary Coast.

Miller carried the infant father of Rosamond on these adventures that proved too much for Melba who divorced Hugo when Victor, Melba’s only child, was three years of age. Joaquin Miller was invited to England by the Pre-Raphaelite poet and artist, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and had dinner at his house with most of the Brotherhood present. The four Presco children would converse with Miller’s daughter on the phone, she calling herself `The White Witch’..

The boy in the two photos is Melba’s brother, Frederick Broderick, with his cow, Daisy. This had to be taken on the farm in Fruit Vale.

Jon Presco


Angela Isadora Duncan was born in San Francisco, California on May 27, 1877. She was the youngest of four siblings: Augustin Duncan, Raymond Duncan, and Elizabeth Duncan. Their parents were Joseph Charles Duncan (1819–1898), a banker, mining engineer and connoisseur of the arts, and Mary Isadora Gray (1849–1922). Soon after Isadora’s birth, her father lost the bank and he was publicly disgraced. Her parents were divorced by 1880 (the papers were lost in the San Francisco earthquake), and her mother Dora moved with her family to Oakland. She worked there as a pianist and music teacher. In her early years, Duncan did attend school but, finding it to be constricting to her individuality, she dropped out. As her family was very poor, both she and her sister gave dance classes to local children to earn extra money.[citation needed]

Will Bohemia Arise In Oakland?

Lake Temescal in Oakland became a Mecca for Poets and Plein Air Artists. The poet, George Sterling met Ambrose Bierce at a campsite on the lake where the Presco children used to go swimming. These two men would found the Bohemian Club where some of the richest men in the world would come to camp out. There is something to be said for living a frugal existence, a Bohemian life around a campfire, in the good company of creative men and women. These early Bohemian campers would prepare the way for the Hippies that were born in San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley. The ideal was to live in a little shack, pay next to no rent so one could concentrate on what truly matters.One could say my grandfather was a Plein Air Poet. He must have taken the photo above of his wife camping on Santa Cruz Island that was also made into a post card. Did Royal try to become a photographer in order to earn monies to support his craft and family?

I did three Plein Air paintings in the course of my life, and have plans to make it a big part of my life. This is why I purchased my classic Ford truck.

Jon Presco

Copyright 2011

In 1892, Sterling met the dominant literary figure on the west coast, Ambrose Bierce, at Lake Temescal and immediately fell under his spell. Bierce — to whom Sterling referred as “the Master” — guided the young poet in his writing as well as in his reading, pointing to the classics as model and inspiration. Bierce also published Sterling’s first poems in his “Prattle” column in the San Francisco Examiner.
Sterling also met adventure and science fiction writer Jack London, and his first wife Bess at their rented villa on Lake Merritt, and in time they became best of friends. In 1902 Sterling helped the Londons find a home closer to his own in Piedmont, near Oakland. In his letters London addressed Sterling as “Greek” owing to his aquiline nose and classical profile, and signed them as “Wolf.” London was later to depict Sterling as Russ Brissenden in his autobiographical novel Martin Eden (1908) and as Mark Hall in The Valley of the Moon (1913).

The Society of Six was intensely devoted to a self-imposed set of rough-and-tumble attitudes that they found necessary for the maintenance of the visual purity in their works. They sensed that they were not making new art merely for the sake of newness, but with an exhilaration that was born from an overthrowing of subservient visual posturing over various sanctified art modes. Although they were a part of the San Francisco Bay Area modernist art scene in the 1920s, they had an allegiance primarily to themselves, and they were forced to be their own best audience. Influences upon them ranged from nineteenth century Impressionism to European Abstractionism. Although it is fairly easy to trace the more obvious influences, “The Six nonetheless, managed individually to fashion their own painting styles into fresh and ingenuous outdoor paintings which appear generally American and specifically Californian. They were regional painters in the best sense of the word.
“Will Bohemia arise in Oakland,” was the question asked in an article in the Oakland Tribune on April 22, 1917. The reporter told of the formation of an artist’s club of the East Bay with a membership of more than 30 painters, sculptors and art students including Selden Gile, William H. Clapp and William A. Gaw (1891-1973). Many of the things that made the area seem so desirable to “The Six” were mentioned in that review, such as the picturesque waterfront and the sunny rolling hills above the Bay. Oakland was depicted as “…a Bohemia where kindred spirits meet with art and the great adventures that stimulate art to color its atmosphere.”
For almost 10 years, 1917 to 1927, until Selden Gile moved to Belvedere,[2] his cabin on Chabot Road in Oakland was the weekly meeting place for “The Six.” The “Chow House,” as it was called, had electricity but no toilet or bath.[3] What the accommodations lacked in convenience was more than made up for by the heated art discussions and garlic-laced meals that Gile, the generous host, provided. He frequently offered a formidable home-brewed beer to wash down his famous meals and, occasionally, the proceedings were enlivened by the bottles exploding. In addition to the beer, they fortified their meetings with at least two gallons of “dago red” wine which were delivered to Gile every week by an Italian bootlegger friend.[4] Occasionally, von Eichman showed up with his “San Jose Cheer,” a prune whiskey that helped to lubricate their discussions.[5] Clapp, the sedate curator, was dubbed “Ho-Ho-Ho” by Gile because that was Clapp’s usual exclamation when he arrived at their meetings. He was considered to be the gentleman of the crowd.[6] As Siegriest recalls, “Clapp was a very quiet sort of fellow, polite and quiet.” He also remembers with discomfort, “the way these guys would talk in front of him…he looked embarrassed but he would join in.”[7] “The Six” friends rarely missed a Saturday or Sunday evening get-together at Selden Gile’s place..[8]
William Clapp was the only member of the group who had received formal instruction in France.[9] Born in Canada, in 1879, but reared in Oakland, Clapp returned to Canada, in 1900. He studied there and at the Académie Julian in Paris under Jean-Paul Laurens, as well as the Académie Colarossi and at the Ecole de la Grande Chaumière. Before returning permanently to live in Oakland, about 1917, Clapp had been considered a radical painter in Montreal. In fact his studies in Europe and Paris, and his later familiarity with the modernist Canadian “Group of Seven” who showed for the first time together in Toronto in 1920, contributed immensely to “The Six’s” cohesiveness. Not coincidentally, “The Six” had initially been called “The Group of Six,” undoubtedly prompted by Clapp’s knowledge of the Canadian painters.[10] His previous studies in Paris and Montreal had acquainted him with an attitude that considered manifestos and closely-knit groups to be essentially supportive of art. An Oakland Tribune critic finally named the Oakland-based group of artists “The Society of Six,” perhaps cribbing the title from a contemporary group of vanguard French musicians led by Eric Satie, “Les Six,” who had been in the news as musical innovators.[11] In 1923, Clapp initiated a policy of annual shows for “The Society of Six” as part of a progressive exhibition program in the Oakland Art Gallery.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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1 Response to Bill Broderick of Barrel and Box

  1. Reblogged this on Rosamond Press and commented:

    I think I own…….The Bay!

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