Who Was Daniel W. Carmichael?

Daniel Webster Carmichael was born in 1867 in Atlanta, Georgia and came to California in 1885. On January 12, 1892 he married Myrtle Roena Robb, who was born in Nevada.

In 1909 Carmichael purchased 2,000 acres of “land composed of hills and dales dotted with noble oaks.” It was part of the 20,000 acre Rancho San Juan Mexican grant made to Joel P. Dedmond in 1844. The colony’s boundaries were Lincoln Avenue to the north, San Juan Avenue to the east, The American River and Deterting Ranch to the south and Fair Oaks Boulevard to the west. He called it Carmichael Colony No. 1.

Later he bought another 1,000 acres that he called Carmichael Colony No. 2. It bordered the first colony to the east and Walnut Avenue to the west; the southern boundary was Arden Way with Sutter Avenue to the north. This new territory was previously part of the 44,000 acre Del Paso Rancho Mexican grant made to Eliab Grimes, in 1844.

Carmichael laid out the two colonies into 10 acre tracts and offered them for $1,500 each, promoting them as excellent agriculture land

The 1930 Census shows that Daniel and Myrtle had moved to San Francisco where on October 31, 1936, Daniel passed away. The Carmichaels appear to be childless.

Carmichael the Town

The first new settlers of Carmichael were Charles W. and Mary A. Deterding. In 1907 they purchased a 425 acre site, adjoining Carmichael’s colonies, along the north bank of the American River. The Deterding Ranch is now Ancil Hoffman Park.

By 1927, there were about 300 families living in Carmichael and the 1930 population was listed at 700. Nearly 2,000 people lived in the area by 1940 and the population was 4,499 in 1950 according to U.S. Census Bureau figures.

Prior to 1940, the community had no central business district. The Red & White Store supplied meat and groceries at the corner of California and Fair Oaks Boulevard and there was a gas station at the triangle a Fair Oaks and Manzanita. Another grocery store, Arrowhead, was on the southeast corner at Fair Oaks Boulevard and Palm Avenue and Dan Donovan operated a bar, restaurant and grocery store at Fair Oaks and Garfield.

As Carmichael grew, businesses clustered around Palm Avenue and Marconi Avenue. Bob Marchal built the Carmichael Shopping Center on the southwest corner. One business, the Rose Tree remains in Carmichael today.

Carmichael’s first bank – The Suburban Bank – opened In the 1940’s after Marchal drove to Washington, D.C. to obtain a bank charter. Crocker Bank took over the service in the 1950’s. Carmichael’s first large shopping complex-Crestview Center built In 1963 by Richard and Dea Holesapple.

Carmichael residents had telephone service beginning in 1915 with a I0 party line through Fair Oaks. There was a toll charged to call Sacramento. A direct line was installed in 1933.

Today, Carmichael, having grown to a population of 72,000, is a community immersed in a still expanding unincorporated suburban area of 550,000 people Today, Carmichael, having grown to a population of 72,000, is a community immersed in a still expanding unincorporated suburban
area of 550,000 people

Thanks to the Carmichael Chamber of Commerce (https://www.carmichaelchamber.com/carmichael-history.html)for most of this information.

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