In 1903 Matthew Sylvester O'Brien, age 29, became part-owner of Wunder Brewery in San Francisco, California. In April, 1906, a strong earthquake hit the city, followed by several days of fires. The family of Timothy Griffin and Bridget O'Sullivan needed assistance moving possessions from their house, which was lying in the path of the fire. Matt O'Brien helped load those possessions into his beer wagon. His strong team of horses, accustomed to pulling heavy kegs around the city, hauled the load(s) to the safety of Golden Gate Park. Before they left their house, Bridget Griffin had the family's china buried in the back yard for safety. One of the ten Griffin children was Agnes Margaret, age 20.
On October 3, 1906, Agnes Margaret Griffin and Matt O'Brien married. Matt later became an executive at Ranier Brewery, and Agnes became a local political activist. One of their five children, Aileen, was my wife's mother. Individual pieces of the "earthquake china," which was dug up after the danger had passed, have been passed down to various members of the family.
|Philip Frauenholz & Co. (Jacob Gundlach 1852-1856, Wm. Davidson, 1856-1858)||1852-1858|
|Philip Frauenholz, Bavarian Brewery, aka Scherhold & Frauenholz - 1874-1875 (Vallejo & Green Sts.)||1858-1884|
|Frauenholz Estate, Bavarian Brewery, aka Anna Maria Frauenholz, Bavaria Brewery||1884-1886|
|Frederick Schultz and Son, Bavaria Brewery (Vallejo St. and Montgomery Ave.)||1886-1896|
|Louis Schultz, Bavaria Brewery (Greenwich & Scott Sts.)||1896-1897|
|Bavaria Brewing Co.||1897-1898|
|Wunder Brewing Co.||1898-1909|
The book also lists a much later Wunder Brewing Co., 2119 Linden St., Oakland CA, from 1934 to 1934 (sic). The listing also indicates that this Wunder Brewing Co. had no federal permit, indicating that it probably never actually brewed any beer. Also listed in the book is a Wunder Brewing Company located in Ohio.
In August, 1998, collector Gary Lord purchased a sepia photograph of eight men seated with a Wunder Beer keg. He subsequently transferred the photograph to the webmaster of this site.
San Francisco's WUNDER BREWING COMPANY printed these cards in the late 1890's for the convenience of their customers. This one was purchased from Oakland dealer Ken Katz.
Susan Enoch of Taft, California, has a round metal Wunder Beer sign that is a family heirloom. Its diameter is 18-1/4 inches (46 cm), and it was made by Ingram Richardson of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.
Dr. Tom Jacobs sent more information about the Wunder Brewery and photos, which you can
Later, Chuck F had questions for Tom here.
Dave Parker purchased a metal Wunder Beer sign, and in April 2007 he sent these two photos of it. He reports that it is 16 inches wide, and he isn't certain if it is enamel or porcelain on steel. If you have any information you can contact him at losdave47 -at- netscape -dot- net.:
In October, 2007, the Wunder Brewery name was resurrected. The new company's website was WunderBeer.com. Unfortunately, in June 2008 a reader of Brewpubs said he saw a "For Sale" sign at the Wunder Beer brewpub building. In early July, 2008, the website says "Temporarily CLOSED for Renovations | Keep checking in for more information! | Big News to Follow!"
In February, 2013, William Bradley Gaddy & Nancy Cservak emailed
photographs of a Wunder Beer tray had been in the family for over 50
years. They say the tray is 13 inches in diameter, and note that the
color is greenish, but have no further information about it. You can
right-click on the images below to download the full-size photographs.
If you have any further information, please sent it to webmaster -AT- swopnet.com
Return to the SwopNet Databank