Photos by Hemet Area Museum Association
J.C. Penney first came to Hemet in 1929, leasing this building on south Florida Avenue between Carmalita and Juanita streets. When it opened in July, new dresses with long sleeves or sleeveless dresses were on sale for 98 cents. In 1939, J.C. Penney leased the lower floor of the two-story Brudin building on the southeast corner of Florida Avenue and Carmalita Street. J.C. Penney is now housed in the Hemet Valley Mall as an anchor tenant. Source: “Images of America – Hemet”
Designed by Edward L. Mayberry Jr., Hotel Alessandro opened in 1929 on the southwest corner of Florida Avenue and Harvard Street on the site originally occupied by Hotel Hemet. The outside looked like a Hopi Indian cliff structure with flat roofs and log ends projecting from the adobe-looking walls. Sixty guest rooms occupied the upper two floors. In 1954, the Alessandro was razed for a Citizens National Bank. Source: “Images of America – Hemet”
Hayes A. Walker, known as “Happy,” is shown in his auto repair business on Front Street. The Hemet City Council appointed him city marshal in 1913 and later chief of police, after the council instructed him to stop his bounty hunting activities. Walker did, but the council fired him in 1929 when he was found taking money from local bootleggers during the Prohibition era. Source: “Images of America – Hemet”
Two corners on Florida and Juanita Street became quite busy when Ford and Chevrolet dealerships were constructed in 1927. B.C. Bristol and Asa Cox built their new Ford Agency on the southeast corner. The interior shown in this photograph presents wicker furniture, two 1928 Ford Sedans, and a Ford Roadster. The first Model T Ford arrived in Hemet in 1909 when undertaker William Kingham drove his new car from Riverside. Source: “Images of America – Hemet”

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