As It Was: Early Trading Post Occupies Key Jacksonville Street Corner
One of the oldest known business sites in Jacksonville is located at the corner of California and Oregon Streets, occupied today by the Scheffel’s Toys store.
In 1852, after word of the discovery of gold spread, Kenny and Appler from Yreka started Jacksonville’s first business, a tent trading post offering tools, clothing and other mining essentials, including “blackstrap molasses” tobacco.
By 1860, Abraham and Newman Fisher opened a general merchandise store at the location. After fires in 1868 and 1874 destroyed the store, the Fisher brothers built a brick building still standing today. The Marble Arch Saloon occupied the space from 1890 to 1934.
The present-day toy store is owned by Linda and Bill Graham.
Linda’s grandparents started Scheffel’s Antiques at the location. When Linda was 10 years old, her parents took over the store. Tiring of selling only antiques, they expanded the inventory after a visit to New York by selling high-end toys. Linda and Bill took over the business when her parents retired in the 1990s.
Linda says when parents revisit the store with their kids, they often revert to their childhood, too.
Sources: “Historic Jacksonville, Inc., 29 Sept. 2015, www.historicjacksonville.org/; Block Erdmann, Paula, and Terry Erdmann. "Scheffel's Toys and More." Jacksonville Review Online, 29 Nov. 2017, jacksonvillereview.com/scheffels-toys-more/.