From the Pacific Brewery to Klander’s
By Claudia East
Today locals (and in-the-know out of town folks) will visit Klander’s Deli at 211 South Oregon Street to enjoy a great lunch! Upon arrival folks will know by simply looking at the building that this property is loaded with history for the city of Yreka. Some information about this location and former businesses that have served the community is lacking, but we do know some very interesting facts.
In 1854-55 a local brewery was established on this site, this would have been just 3 or 4 years after gold was discovered on the Yreka Flats. The original owner is not well documented, but it is believed that a G. Gamble was the founder of this brewery. The building was built of brick as far back as one can tell. There is also the name of John Miller as an owner prior to 1865 located in title records at the Siskiyou County Courthouse, but additional information about him is currently unknown. On June 22, 1864, however, it is noted in the Yreka Journal that Charles Iunker bought out the Pacific Brewery from his former partner John Hessenauer. At the time Iunker owned the Yreka Brewery and the Siskiyou Brewery and these were both consolidated into the established Pacific Brewery. This information is also noted in the History of Siskiyou County, California by Harry L. Wells published in 1881.
Charles Iunker was a long term and successful businessman in Yreka’s history. He not only owned the various breweries, but also was the proprietor of the Bella Union Saloon located on the south side of Miner Street in a location today known as 325 West Miner Street. [Originally this was a one-story building during the Bella Union days.] It was natural for him to be involved as a brew master as he came from Bavaria, Germany and while there he was schooled as an artisan in the brewing and distilling trade. He arrived in Yreka in 1855 and opened his first brewery, in 1858 he purchased the Bella Union property, and in 1861 he built a two story brick residence on Center Street that still stands today. It was reported in 1881 that about 300 barrels of beer were annually made in Yreka at his brewery.
The exact year the brewery next changed ownership is unknown, but sometime between 1897 and 1901 Joseph Steinacher is listed as the proprietor of the Pacific Brewery. Viewing the 1908 Sanborn map one can see that as well as operating a brewery Steinacher also had a saloon in operation at this location and the building was equipped with electric lights. It operated under Steinacher until January 17, 1920 when prohibition began. What transpired during the next seven years is unclear at this time, but by 1927 research shows us that the building was being used as a meat packing and distributing plant. The next void in the history continues until about 1945 or so when Theodore and Marjorie Klander operate the Siskiyou County Distributing Company at this address. For many years Marjorie and her son, Robert Klander, operated the business. It is interesting to view old photos of the building, and although some of the basic parts of the current building may be original it is not known when the building was altered or rebuilt but it is roughly estimated to have undergone major reconstruction or a rebuild between 1930 and 1945 to the configuration we are familiar with today.
It has been noted by long time residents in Yreka that while the Klander’s operated the Siskiyou Distributing Company they gave returning veterans from World War II free lodging in the apartments upstairs as a thank you for their service. In 2002 the current owners, William and Ondia Durovchic, purchased the building and continued with the Deli that is so well loved today. One tidbit of information that is particularly enticing to this author is that in the far corner of the building deep in the basement is an opening that once led to one of the underground mine tunnels once so prevalent in Yreka [It has been closed off and filled and the tunnel is no longer accessible].
Copyright: Claudia East