:: Wallace J. Miller Watercolor and Pen and Ink Drawing Collection


The Wallace J. Miller Watercolor and Pen and Ink Drawing collection consists of two albums containing watercolors and color drawings of early Riverside businesses. Also included are several landscapes of interest to the artist. There are a total of 60 images, with the first album containing 44 and the second album containing 16.

The collection consists of 2 boxes (each measuring 1.83 linear feet)


Wallace J. Miller was born in Ohio on October 27, 1863. He was a sculptor, illustrator, and painter and in 1874 he moved to Southern California and settled in San Diego. In his mid-twenties he married Wilma B. Mayhew and the two settled in Coronado, California with her parents. In 1895 he was accused of counterfeiting money, but he was eventually released as there wasn’t enough evidence to support the allegations. Around this time, his wife had a nervous breakdown and after being invited by Frank A. Miller to work for the Mission Inn, he decided to leave his wife and move to Riverside. Prior to Miller’s return to San Diego in the fall of 1897, he donated a collection of his paintings to the Riverside Public Library. By 1914 he had partnered with William Noonan and was producing statuary, architectural ornamentation, and fountains. He was active in San Diego until his death in Los Angeles on December 20, 1921.

Scope and Content

The Wallace J. Miller collection consists of two albums containing watercolors and pen and ink drawings by the artist, Wallace J. Miller. The majority of the paintings are of early Riverside businesses and include the proprietor’s name, the name of the business and its services, and the address of the business. Most of the businesses were part of the Mile Square, what is now considered Main Riverside. While most of the pages contain individual businesses, some are composed of multiple businesses with images of landscapes interspersed among them. There are also individual paintings of landscapes and activities, such as hunting and yachting.

Each album measures 14” x 17”. The pages seem to be made of a thin paperboard, with the images painted and drawn directly on it. Each image is about 13” x 16”, leaving about a 1” border around each painting. The pages are unnumbered and most of the images do not contain titles or dates, however when they are signed and dated, the years range from 1896-1897. While most of the images represent the exteriors or interiors of the buildings, some of the images simply contain the name of the business and its service and are accompanied by a decorative border.

Series Description

Since most of the paintings do not have titles, the following list is composed of phrases found in the paintings, which have been used to identify them. When noted, the address of the business and the date the painting was signed have been included.

Series 1:

Album 1

(wjm1): Untitled (Fruit) (1897)
(wjm2): Ed. E. Miller, Proprietor – Glenwood Stables (Corner of Main and 6th St.)(1897)
(wjm3): Watson and Miller – Wholesale and Retail Dealers in Fresh and Dried Fruits, Vegetables, etc. (662 7th St.)(1897)
(wjm4): Ottley Papineau, Proprietor – Harness Shop (644 8th St.)
(wjm5): A Mexican Ranch House Miller – The Cash Jeweler and Optician
Findlay and Knight, Proprietors – Magnolia Stable (732-740 Main St.) Pauma Creek
(wjm6): Cypress Point – Monterey (1896)
(wjm7): S.L. Wight – Carpenter and Joiner (851 Orange St.)
(wjm8): Rance and Dolph, Proprietors – The Denver Restaurant (8th St. between Main and Market); Boston Market Meat Co. (923 Main St.); Yachting off Coronado Island; J.B. Patterson – Watch Repair (766 Main St.)
(wjm9): J.S. Baker – Manufacturing, Repairing, Engraving, Diamond Setting Catalina Island (868 Main St.)
(wjm10): G.C. Poore, Proprietor – Gem Bazar (847 Main St.)(1897)
(wjm11): H.L. Miller, Proprietor – “The Ark” House Furnisher (100 F Building, Main Street, corner of 9th)
(wjm12): G.G. Kennard – Store and Window Awnings Made and Repaired
On the Catalina Coast (835 Main St.)
(wjm13): Mrs. L.E. Allen – Ladies’ Art Room and Hair Dressing Parlors
Harbor of San Diego (850 Main St.)
(wjm14): William L. Peters – Carriages and Wagons (616, 624, 630 8th St.)(1897)
(wjm15): A’Fleck and Ormand – Plumbing and Tinning (Southwest corner 8th and Orange Streets)(1897)
(wjm16): Goodwin and Thomas – California Cultivator and Poultry Keeper (110 West 2nd St.); Moonlight on the Coast; Untitled (Hunting); Rouse’s – Undressed Kids
(wjm17): Bayley Bros. – Harness, Whips, Robes, Horse Goods (764 8th St.) J.C. Little – Livery, Feed and Sale Stable (764 8th St.)
W.J. Stapleton, Manager – The Orange Block (Orange St., between 7th and 8th); Untitled (Fishing)
(wjm18): Shiels and Sons - Plumbers, Gas-Fitters, Tin and Metal Workers (Corner of Market and 10th St.; The Corl Studio – Fine Portraits (Corner of 8th and Main); The Opium Smoker
(wjm19): A Chinese Gardener’s Mansion; Riverside Baking Co.
City Bakery (623 Main St.); Riverside Bakery (915 Main St.); East Side Bakery (154 E. 8th St.); B.M. Longfellow – Carriage Painting; “Point of Rocks” Lower Cal. Coast
(wjm20): Mathews – Ladies’ Exchange (749 Main St.)
(wjm21): W.M. Bartee, Proprietor – O.K. Stable (Corner of Market and 7th St.)
(wjm22): G.D. Allen – Sporting Goods (775 Main St.)
Strawberry Valley, San Jacinto Mountains, Riverside County (1897)
(wjm23): Sebrell – The Druggist
(wjm24): Untitled (Garden)
(wjm25): M.L. Stanton – Manufacturing Jeweler and Optician (Boyd Block, Main St.)
(wjm26): Ward and Davis – Undertakers and Embalmers; Artists’ Materials (722 Main St.)
(wjm27): Holstein Cattle ; Hunters’ Camp (Kodak Photo); W.B. Preston, Proprietor – Riverside Stables (8th St. near Orange)
(wjm28): C.E. Weck – Drug Store (Corner of 7th and Main St.)(1897)
(wjm29): S.H. Bulkeley and T.E. Palmer, Proprietors – The Columbia Market (134 East 8th St.)(1897)
(wjm30): Louis Crawford, Proprietor – Willie’s Coffee House (8th St. between Main and Orange); T. Fairchild – Tailor (896 Main St.); California Lions (1897); Mexican Canaries; R.T. Berry – The Whisker Trimmer and Hair Pruner (768 8th St.); Wimperis and Co. – New and Second Hand Goods (574 8th St.)
(wjm31): W.H. Stuhlman, Manager – Riverside Cyclery (890 Main St.)
(wjm32): Scene in San Antonio Cañon (1896)
(wjm33): M.L. Lawrence – Riverside Horse-Shoeing Shop (Corner of 8th and Orange St.)(1897)
(wjm34): Heath and Morrison – Prescription Druggists (781 Main St.)
(wjm35): Mills and Difani – Blacksmiths and Carriage Builders (Corner of 8th and Orange St.)(1896)
(wjm36): J.H. Pratt and A.H. Angell – The Fair (869 Main St.)
(wjm37): Christ Belton, Proprietor – Eighth Street Market (629 8th St.) (1896)
(wjm38): In Pauma Creek Cañon
(wjm39): H.K. Strock and Son – Grocers (720 Main St.)
Miner’s Camp at Alamo, Mexico
(wjm40): W.S. Collins, Proprietors – The Rambler Cyclery (866 Main St.)
(wjm41): J.C. Hardman – City Pharmacist
(wjm42): W. Henderson, Proprietor – Columbia Bakery (132 East 8th St.) (1897)
(wjm43): C. O’Connor – Practical Horseshoer (Corner of 8th and Lemon St.) (1897)
(wjm44): Stephen Squire – Mortician

Album 2

(wjm45): L.W. Zinn, Principal – Riverside Business College (1897)
(wjm46): Reflex Publishing Company
(wjm47): E.F. Binder – Cigar Manufacturer (747 Main St.)
(wjm48): Dr. E.B. Howe – Dentist (Corner of 8th and Main St.)(1897)
(wjm49): Three Brothers. Yosemite
(wjm50): H.D. Noland – Riverside Dairy
(wjm51): General View of the Yosemite Valley
(wjm52): N.P. Benson – Boot and Shoe Maker (Between Main and Orange)
(wjm53): J.M. Drake – Bookseller and Stationer (768 Main St.)
(wjm54): C. McDermont, Proprietor – Fashion Billiard and Pool Parlors (860 Main St.)
(wjm55): Stebbins and Armington – Merchant Tailors (746 Main St.)
(wjm56): Strawberry Valley, San Jacinto Mountains. A Popular Summer Resort
(wjm57): C.H. Davidson – Dealer in Eastern Oil and Gasoline (Corner of 8th and Orange)
(wjm58): W.J. Miller – Artist and Illustrator
(wjm59): J.B. Delagrange, Proprietor – The French Laundry
(wjm60): W. Menzel, Proprietor – Hotel Magnolia

Related Collection

Riverside Chamber of Commerce Records


Hughes, Edan Milton. (2002) Artists in California, 1786-1940. Sacramento, CA: Crocker Art Museum.

San Diego Historical Society

Subject Headings

Miller, Wallace J. (1863-1921)
Riverside (Calif.) -- History
Historic buildings -- California -- Riverside
Stores, Retail -- California -- Riverside
Central business districts -- California -- Riverside
Riverside (Calif.) -- Industries
Artists -- California
Riverside (Calif.) -- Pictorial works
Artists -- California -- Riverside

Local History