© Columbia State Historic Park.

Clementine's Diary gives unique insight regarding the life of a merchant in California’s goldrush as well as the perspective and details of a woman of the 1850’s. Her comments about the church leaders and views on community happenings are also interesting. The second Brainard House was located just across the street from the North Methodist church.

See her comments on Churches of Columbia page. B. M. Brainard, as well as two other family members: Rueben and Mary, are buried in the Columbia Cemetery.

1825 October 27 - Benjamin Marcellus Brainard was born in Mommouth, Kennebec, Maine.

1850 August 3 - Benjamin M Brainard is listed in the census as a clerk in East Monmouth, Maine.

1851 September - Benjamin M. Brainard took up two lots on south side of Fulton (2d and 3d lots from Broadway) west lot used as a warehouse and east lot used as their wood frame wholesale grocery house.

1852 January - Benjamin M. Brainard has a grocery & provisions store on Fulton street between Main & Broadway.

1852 Early partnership dissolved and took W.H. Newell as partner. Acquired a house on west side of Broadway four doors south of Jackson Street.

1853 January 8 - Brainard and Company run an ad in the Columbia Gazette.

1853 Juan Dupont sells this lot and wood building on Main Street to Benjamin Marcellus Brainard and William H. Newell. (See also TIBBITS HOUSE.)

1853 August 11th - Clementine Allen Houghton married Benjamin M. Brainard at Anson, Somerset, ME.

1853 October 15th - Clementine A. H. Brainard arrives in San Francisco with her husband, whom she calls Marcellus.

1853 Oct 16th - Benjamin Marcellus Brainard has gone to San Francisco for supplies. (This is among the many trips a merchant did to save in shipping and lower the prices for the Columbia customer.)

1853 Oct 26th - Marcellus returns from Stockton. He bought his wife a bonnet for $13 in S.F.

1853 November 20th, (Sunday) - Marcellus leaves for San Francisco.

1853 December 17th (Sat.) - "Marcellus commenced trading in a store on Main Street: has commenced with the intention of having a Temperance Store, and may be come to the determination soon that by the help of God he will be dealing no intoxicating drinks whatever may be felt that it is not good for his soul if it is for his purse." (From Clementine Brainard's Diary)

1853 December 18th (Sun.)- "Marcellus was obliged to be in the store: I do hope that the merchants will decide soon to close their stores on the Sabbath and then we may hope for reformation in Columbia." (From Clementine Brainard's Diary)

1854 February 16th, Thursday - "Have almost had the blues today at the thoughts of staying alone a fortnight. Marcellus left for San Francisco this evening."(From Clementine Brainard's Diary)

1854 February 27th, Monday - "Marcellus returned from S. F. tonight." (From Clementine Brainard's Diary)

1854 April 6th, Thursday- "Marcellus left tonight for San Francisco." (From Clementine Brainard's Diary)

1854 April 14th, Friday - "Marcellus returned from San Francisco this evening." (From the diary of Clementine Brainard)

1854 May 23rd, Tuesday - "Marcellus left this afternoon for San Francisco, will be gone ten days."

1854 June 5 - Agreement between Benj. M. Brainard and Franklin & Wolfe; Brainard hereby agrees to permit Franklin & Wolfe to build the wall of the building they are about to erect on Main Street, 4" upon his ground. He also agrees to give them a deed to the ground back of their lot, running 19' back and 11' wide, and also will pay them $125 when the wall is completed with the understanding that he is to be half owner of said wall, and to have the privilage of putting his timbers thereon, and to have equal rights thereto with Franklin & Wolfe, he being about to erect a brick building on the south next to theirs. - (Eastman - Volumne 7 - 727 Columbia Deeds & Claims, pg 28)

1854 July 10th - "...a fire broke out about half past two, and before sunrise the entire town with the exception of a few buildings was reduced to ashes, our house and store are both burned; they saved a part of the goods at the store, and most of the things at the house; our house was the last building burnt." (From Clementine Brainard's Diary)

1854 August 10 - Marcellus left for San Francisco.

1854 August 18 - Marcellus returned from San Francisco.

1854 August - a one story brick building is constructed with a common wall of the Franklin & Wolfe Building. For a few months it is the home of the Wells, Fargo office. Brainard also sells groceries and provisions.

1854 August 26th - "Marcellus & Mr. Newell have disolved partnership. Marcellus has bought Mr. Newell out." (From Clementine Brainard's Diary)

1854 September 9 - Marcellus moved into the brick store on Main Street with the common wall of the Franklin & Wolfe building, then rented the old one (the one facing Fulton St.) for a carpenter's shop.

1854 November 7 - Marcellus left for San Francisco this evening.

1854 November 14 - "Marcellus returned from San Francisco this evening had had a very pleasant time, has not had the chills since he left home; he bought me a dress, breast pin, bureau, carpet etc. etc. all very pretty indeed. He has had very good taste in the selection of all the goods he brought to the house." (From Clementine Brainard's Diary)

1854 December 7th - The Brainards move into their newly built house on the site of the burned one; north-west corner of Green & Broadway Streets.

1855 January 14th - Sunday "The Merchants all came to an agreement to close their stores on the Sabbath, but today most of them have opened, it seems too bad. I do hope they will never be guilty of this offence again but am afraid they will." (From Clementine Brainard's Diary)

1855 January 29th - The first child of B. M. Brainard, Charles Marcellus, is born in the house.

1855 April 26th - Marcellus left for San Francisco this morning.

1855 Brainard and O.H. Huntington ran a furniture store in the Fulton Street store.

1855 May 2nd - "Marcellus returned from San Francisco tonight - did not expect him so soon." (From Clementine Brainard's Diary)

1855 June 27th - Marcellus has gone to San Francisco.

1855 August 26th - B. M. Brainard's second child is born; Francis Amelia in the same house as Charles their first son.

1855 August 28th - "Marcellus left this morning for San Francisco." No mention of his return recorded.(From Clementine Brainard's Diary)

1855 October 16th - Marcellus left this morning for San Francisco.

1855 October 22nd - "Marcellus returned from San Francisco tonight, which was quite unexpected." (From Clementine Brainard's Diary)

1855 November 6th - William H. Newell and wife mortgage to B. M. Brainard for $1235.00 for a parcel of land and a brick building on the north side of State St. next east of the two-story brick of Dr. James McChesney. (See also Duchow Building.)

1856 B. M. Brainard runs an ad in the Businessmen's Directory.

1856 David Parker's Shoe, Saddlery and Harness store is in the building.

1856 June 29th - Benjamin Marcellus Brainard dies of a fever at age 30 yrs and 7 months. Buried in Columbia cemetery. His wife Clementine becomes the owner of all his properties.

1857 Clementine Brainard (wife of B.M. Brainard) continues with store with help from family members. (See the property of 1857)

1857 April - C. B. Rendall occupied the building with a Dry Goods business.

1857 October - C. B. Rendall sells.

1858 Fall - was a clothing store.

1861-1862 Harris Levy & Co, Clothiers share the shop with Parker.

1863 S. & H. Levy, clothiers lease the building. At times the business is known as the Three Brothers Store (Abe, S & H).

1867 Mrs. C.A. Weston (the former Mrs. Clementine Brainard) sells the lot to William Shine.

1869 S. & H. Levy own the building.

1871 August - A. Levy has Block 10, Lot 172 - Deputy County Surveyor map by John P. Dart

1878 S. & H. Levy, probably Isaac Levy's sons, (latter Joel's brother) were running an auction house in thre formeer Brainard Building, next south. (of Franklin & Wolfe) - Barbara Eastman in letter to Allen Welts 3 Aug 1959

1889 Not sure when the building collapsed or was dismanteled.

1900 By this time Charles Koch owns the property.

1976 Jeanne Peterson Link is given a one year contract and opens a Portrait Studio in the Brainard ruin. (Park & Concessionaire report 1975-76)

1979 30 June - Jeanne Peterson Link is given a one year contract for her Garden Gate Gallery. (Park & Concessionaire report 1979-80)

© Floyd D. P. Øydegaard.
Jenny Link striking an image of the web master - 1987

1989 Jenny Link closes her art studio, Garden Gate Gallery, in the Brainard ruin.

1997 Kim Kyhl opens her Candle Courtyard for dipping candles.

2007 Kim Kyhl closes her Candle Courtyard for dipping candles while the state repairs the Tibbits House and adjacent garden. Reopened months later.

© Floyd D. P. Øydegaard.

Contact Information:

Seven Sister's Soap & Candle Co.
209 536-9047

This page is created for the benefit of the public by
Floyd D. P. Øydegaard.

Email contact:
fdpoyde3 (at) yahoo (dot) com

created for the visitors to the Columbia State Historic park.
© Columbia State Historic Park & Floyd D. P. Øydegaard.