Guide to the Frank McCarrier Tobacco Shop Journals Collection – History

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History Notes for Francis “Frank” M. McCarrier, proprietor of McCarrier’s Tobacco and Cigar Store, 140 Pacific Ave.

Written by Renata McRee

Francis M. McCarrier, known as “Frank” McCarrier, was born in New York in 1873. Eventually he moved to California around 1906, settling in Santa Cruz where he would remain for twenty-seven years. Twenty-five of those years in Santa Cruz, were spent operating his business, the popular McCarrier Cigar Store at 140 Pacific Avenue (S.C. Evening News 6/1/1933). Open for business in 1916, Frank McCarrier’s store became well known not only for marketing the preferred and trendy La Cruz brand cigars, but also for manufacturing these Havana tobacco cigars as well, in a factory at his store (S.C. Evening News 5/13/1916 and 5/8/1922). McCarrier’s business also became well-liked for its crowd-pleasing soft drinks, such as the “La Cruz Special”, and was in vogue for its trendy club rooms, which became a favorite spot for young gentleman of the time (S.C.Evening News 8/25/1919, 8/5/1930, 1/2/1932).

Frank McCarrier was also a prominent figure in the community of Santa Cruz, active in both Santa Cruz clubs and recreational activities. He was a member of the Santa Cruz Lodge of Elks and the Santa Cruz Aerie of Eagles, making remarks at the twentieth Anniversary Meeting of the Eagles Club in 1924 (S.C. Evening News 3/3/1924). McCarrier was also involved in community recreational activities and charity events, serving as Umpire for the Exchange and Rotary Clubs Charity Baseball Game (S.C. Evening News 6/11/1926).

McCarrier’s cigar and tobacco store was not only a purveyor of in demand brands of cigars, McCarrier’s store also served as an office for other businesses. In 1921, with automobile tours gaining popularity, the Coast Scenic Auto Stage took up residence at Frank McCarrier’s Cigar Store, using space nearby on 142 Pacific Avenue as their office.  This Auto Stage shuttled Packard automobiles between Santa Cruz, Pacific Grove, Seaside, Del Monte and Monterey, among other areas, offering scenic tours throughout these areas (S.C. Evening News 5/28/1921). Eventually McCarrier would be able to take his own automobile trip. In 1925 he took a tour through the San Joaquin Valley with his wife Leona Holst, and daughter Helen. During this trip Frank McCarrier visited his brother Owen McCarrier of Visalia, whom was a Superintendent of the California Edison Company. Frank McCarrier’s trip resulted in great optimism for the prospects of Santa Cruz County as both a center of economic prosperity, and a hub of tourism and business alike (S.C. Evening News 4/13/1925).

McCarrier’s enthusiasm and optimism in Santa Cruz’s growing industry, is perhaps reflected in his involvement with the DeLaveaga Trust Oil Company (S.C. Evening News 9/9/1926). McCarrier was very active with the company, being one of thirty-five stockholders who promoted and sold stock in the company. During his lifetime McCarrier sold a total of $20,000 worth of stock for the Greater Santa Cruz Oil Company who financed the DeLaveaga oil well (S.C. Sentinel 6/1/1933). His involvement with the company was so recognized, that in 1925, Frank McCarrier was elected to a seat on the board of directors for the DeLaveaga Trust Oil Company, which was vacated by Mr. F.M. Garrison after Mr. Garrison became President of the company (S.C. Evening News 6/11/1926). McCarrier’s involvement with the company was so great that he was occasionally referred to as “one of the pioneers of the DeLaveaga oil drilling enterprise” (S.C. Evening News 6/11/1926). McCarrier was also a friend of Sheriff Howard Trafton whom was the first President of the DeLaveaga Oil Company (S.C. Sentinel 6/1/1933).

Eventually, illness and poor health forced Frank McCarrier to retire sometime around 1932. His shop changed hands to a Mr. W.W. Ellis who turned the store into a candy store as well as selling tobacco and cigars (S.C. Sentinel 1/2/1932). Frank McCarrier passed away peacefully at his home on 148 Locust Street, Mission Hill after having battled with heart trouble, during the afternoon of May 31st 1933. He left behind a daughter Helen McCarrier, and his wife Luona Holst, great granddaughter of a pioneering family, the Halls. His brother Owen McCarrier of Visalia, and his sister Mrs. Margaret Barr of Sioux Falls, also survived him (S.C. Sentinel 6/1/1933). McCarrier’s store passed into the hands of Henry Radford who purchased the store from W.W. Ellis in January of 1932 and while maintaining the popular club rooms, Radford added a lunch counter and service for fountain drinks in the most modern and fashionable style (S.C. Sentinel 1/2/1932).