Fire reveals history of Casa de Vallejo

August 15, 2008 8:03:55 AM PDT
The hotel has a storied history - from its humble roots, popularity in the 1930s and 1940s and its connection to the Zodiac Killer.

In 1928, Harry Handlery was running a haberdashery store in Vallejo, California, when two friends and business partners approached him with a hotel investment opportunity.

The three men purchased Casa de Vallejo and hired a general manager to oversee the operations. Unfortunately, the hotel didn't do well during the first six months and therefore the partnership fired the general manager.

Harry, without any hotel experience other than that of a guest, offered to temporarily oversee the facility. From the housekeeper to the chef, he spent the next few months learning the business from the bottom up by asking staff how they did their jobs. Harry elected to stay on and manage the property and eventually bought out the other two partners. Harry owned his first hotel.

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Most of the big name national bands played at the channel club in the Casa de Vallejo in the 30's and 40's. =======================================================

When Vallejo police and firefighters held a five-day strike in 1969 it came right at the height of the Zodiac Killer scare. That created such a crisis that the state had to come in and provide police and fire protection for the terrified people of Vallejo.

Police officers and firefighters moved their union headquarters to the Casa de Vallejo Hotel where a deal was hammered out in a cocktail lounge to end the strike quickly.

  • Click here to read more about the hotel's connection to the Zodiac.


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