Benicia’s Historical Assets

Stumm Building, 626 First Street, July 1913

What is currently the home of Bookshop Benicia was once Stumm’s Jewelry Store, owned by F. J. Stumm, a pioneer from Germany. The store sold luxury goods of the day from 1880 to 1935. The clock in the photo was installed by the Stumm’s, to bring attention to the store. The original clock disappeared without a trace. The Benicia Historical Society hopes to someday learn something of its whereabouts. The clock was replaced in 2006 by a custom built, reimagined landmark, donated “to the citizens of Benicia” by the Benicia Historical Society and Western Dominicans.

F. J. Stumm’s son Frank, worked in the store but indulged his passion for photography and publishing postcards of local scenery from Benicia to San Francisco. The postcards are being commemorated in the exhibit “Stumm’s Vintage Postcards—Views of Benicia and Beyond” at the Benicia Historical Museum, 2060 Camel Road, until July.