Davisville was founded in 1868. It covered a 119-acre area of the former Jerome C. Davis farm, where the Sacramento branch of the California Pacific Rail Road diverged from the main line, north to Marysville. During the early spring and summer of 1868, ground was broken for the Davis depot, I.N. Knight’s Yolo House, William Dresbach’s store and grain warehouse, plus numerous other businesses and residential structures. Davisville’s first Post Office was moved from Solano County on June 8, 1868, presumably to Dresbach’s store. In the fall of 1868, a small building near the railroad track housed the first public school.
By December 1868, Davisville had a voting population of 400, 200 houses had been built, and a typical boom-town prosperity existed.
The Davisville Post Office dropped the “ville” from its name on November 27, 1907. Incorporation of the city occurred on March 24, 1917, and names of the streets in the original area of Davisville were changed.
Old East Davis is defined as the part of original Davisville located east and north of the railroad tracks. It seems that the first house built in Old East Davis was built by William S. Williams in 1876, located at 320 I Street, referred to as the Drummond House. Many of the early settlers in the Davisville area came to California seeking gold. Some found gold and decided to invest their money in land. Some went prospecting but did not hit gold and decided that farming was a better bet. Among the farming families with ties to Old East Davis are the Montgomerys, Glocklers, Cecils, and Tufts.
Commercial development in early Davisville included two blacksmith shops, a barber shop, restaurant and hotel, several cash stores, a grocery store, two meat markets, three saloons and a billiard hall, horse stables, a boot and shoe repair shop, a physician, a baker, and a plumber. Many prominent businessman and their descendants lived in Old East Davis: E.S. McBride, Joshua Tufts, John C. Drummond, Theodore Schmeiser, and Frederick Roos and the Hoag children. One of the first five city councilmen of Davisville, E.S., McBride lived at 405 J Street.
Upgrades, Infill and Densification in Old East Davis
Old East Davis is not a place that time forgot. A lot has happened in the past 20 years to both conserve and modernize Old East Davis. Vintage homes do need to be upgraded to current living standards and the owners and residents of Old East Davis take pride in their careful upgrades that conserve the character of the neighborhood. You can see recent projects on almost every block.
Old East Davis also has been the place where vintage homes in the core area have been moved, protecting those structures compatibly within the Davis community, and allowing for densification in the Core Area and Old East Davis.