Riverside Hotel

The Riverside Hotel was a fixture of Alvarado from 1885.

On New Haven Street, just off of Smith Street, is an apartment complex. Originally on this lot was the Riverside Hotel, one of two important hotels in Alvarado.

Farley B. Granger came to Alvarado in 1861 and purchased land west of Alvarado. In 1876, when the South Pacific Coast Railroad was built, the railroad purchased land from Granger for a railroad station and the rail line.

Sometime before 1885, Granger built the Riverside Hotel just across from the Alvarado train station. When passengers disembarked from the train, one of the first things they would see is the Riverside Hotel, giving it an advantage over the Alvarado Hotel.

Next to the hotel was a grove of trees that was popular for locals to use for outings and picnics. The Camellia Club, the Arion Social Club and a local Portuguese group held events at the grove.

In 1899, Granger passed away. Mr. A. Boyson was the next owner, running it from 1900 for the Granger family and then buying it in 1905.

The hotel was used for different local events. The dining room and bar were popular places for locals to enjoy a night out and socialize. When World War I started, the hotel was used as a local registration point for young men eligible for the draft. In 1932, the hotel was used as a polling place for local elections.

In 1944, the Rigmaiden family purchased the hotel and advertized room for $5 and $7 per week. By 1948, the hotel was renamed Rigmaiden Rooming and focused on longer term residents. Even when a rooming house, the former hotel was still used for local events. In 1956, a meeting of locals was held to discuss what was to be done about local flooding. The meeting spokesman said, “We are calling this meeting because the county doesn’t seem to be allowing any money to build levees here. We’re getting tired of having our yards full of water all of the time.”

Sometime in the 1970's the building was abandoned and was known as a place for the homeless and transients. The hotel was burned down and the fire was rumored to have been accidentally set by someone squatting in the building.


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Rita December 19, 2012 at 05:34 PM
I love reading about our history. Now I know why Granger Avenue has that name. Thanks Tim and Patch for sharing.


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