The latest exhibit at the Hattie Weber Museum of Davis is a giant 100th birthday card for the historic Old North Davis neighborhood, which was founded in 1913 when the so-called Bowers Addition was built. The neighborhood is bounded by Fifth Street, Seventh Street, B Street and the railroad tracks adjacent to G Street.
The museum’s tribute includes photographs by Dennis Dingemans of the eight 100-year old homes surviving in the Old North Davis neighborhood. Other exhibit photographs sample the visually delightful variety of home styles and sizes constructed in the following 10 decades of continuing infill.
Old North has a few impressive large homes, many modest houses (often in the California bungalow style) that establish its dominant small-house appearance, a score of alley-facing cottages that provide charming hidden purlieus, and a sprinkling of duplex structures that includes a matched set of log cabins.
Unlike with later developments in Davis, bare lots were sold to buyers. Sidewalks were installed, too, at a time when they were less than universal in town.
A more detailed account of the landscape and historical importance is provided in a walking tour book by Davis historian and Old North resident John Lofland. His book, copies of which are available for purchase at the museum, was the first to refer to these 10 blocks by the name “Old North Davis.”
Also on display at the museum are numerous exhibits detailing the history of Davis from the coming of the railroad in 1868 to current places of worship.
The Hattie Weber Museum is at 445 C St. in the northeast corner of Central Park. It is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays. Children are welcome to play in a toy corner while adults view the exhibits.
Admission is free but donations are accepted with gratitude.