Heritage Hall 2020

Heritage Hall in Heritage Square between Beech and Ash St is one of the oldest buildings in downtown Fallbrook.  Built before 1910, it has been physically moved three times around town.  Its tenants have included several historic Fallbrook businesses.  It was initially located on the SE corner of Main & Hawthorne[1], Arthur Martin and his silent partner P.C. Ridgley purchased the building and opened the Ridgley & Martin general store in 1911.  Joseph Arthur Martin, the managing partner, was a grandson of pioneer Vital Reche[2]

1st move. In June 1913 Just a couple of years after opening, the Ridgley & Martin building was picked up and rolled one block south[3] to be closer the center of the shopping district.  Still on Main Avenue, the Ridgley and Martin building now sat next to the Fallbrook Hardware Company, which since 1885 had anchored the SE corner of Alvarado and Main.  The two neighboring stores put one of Fallbrook’s first cement sidewalks in front of their buildings.[4] Despite the improvements, the Ridgley and Martin store continued in business here for only two more years.  Arthur Martin closed his store in September 1915, moving the business to Los Angeles.[5]

Jess Hardy the proprietor of a drug store across the street since 1912, immediately purchased the vacant building. The larger store had the space he wanted to install more shelves.  Hardy transformed his pharmacy into a modern drug store stocked with a wide variety of household items.  In October 1915, the Ridgley & Martin building became the Hardy Drug Store[6]  which was popular and successful.  Everything went well until the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic when Jess Hardy became very ill.  Hardy survived, but decided to retire. Soon afterwards, Hardy sold his store in 1919.  By December 1922, the Hardy Building had become Keller’s Rexall Pharmacy.

Main Avenue was changing in the 1920s.  In 1927-28 the dirt road of Main Avenue was paved and cement sidewalks were put in on both sides of the road.[7]  Rex Reader constructed a new building north of Alvarado and leased space to Safeway.  Keller decided to move his Rexall Pharmacy into Reader’s modern new building to be next door to Safeway.  Victor Westfall immediately purchased the now vacant Keller building next to his hardware store.

2nd move.  Vic Westfall decided to move the empty Keller building around the corner to sit behind his Hardware store so that it faced Alvarado Street.  On July 18, 1928 the Keller Pharmacy became Westfall’s used furniture store.[8]  The building sat where today (in 2020) a small parking area divides the Fallbrook Wellness Center and the rear of Vince Ross Village Square.   The old building would remain here for the next 52 years as a 2nd hand store of some kind or other.  The Angel Shop would be the last tenant before the building would be moved one more time.[9]

3rd move.   The old and vacant 2nd hand store was purchased by Heritage Square developer Richard Griset.  In 1982 he moved it from 115 E Alvarado to today’s Heritage Square between Beech and Ash Streets.  In March 1982 the old Ridgley & Martin/Hardy Drug Store/Keller Rexall Pharmacy/Westfall used furniture/Angel Shop became Heritage Hall.[10]

Written by Tom Frew,
FHS Historian


    [1] Village News April 1, 1999, also published in Fallbrook In Review vol 1, page 69 as Los Osos or Grizzley Bear. Written by August Fredy, this is the telling of a grizzly bear once killed in the 1800s near Main and Hawthorne where the Ridgley Martin General Store would later be located.  Fallbrook streets were surveyed and named in 1885.  Also, Fallbrook In Review vol 2 pg 65 gives locations of Heritage Hall.

    [2] Village News March 4, 1999, also published in Fallbrook in Review vol 4 pg 53-54. Arthur’s father was Joseph George Martin an early Fallbrook pioneer who married Vital Reche’s daughter Amelia in 1881.  Arthur was born in 1883. 

    [3]  Fallbrook Enterprise news reports June 28 and July 4, 1913.

    [4]  Fallbrook Enterprise August 29, 1913.

    [5] Fallbrook Enterprise September 17, 1915.  Arthur Martin’s silent partner P.C. Ridgley had been managing a dry goods store in Los Angeles for several years.  Martin decided to close the Fallbrook shop to join his partner in Los Angeles.  Perhaps the Fallbrook Ridgley & Martin store was hurt by too much competition from the Charles Lamb store directly across Main Avenue and Rex Reader’s Fallbrook Mercantile just across Alvarado Street.  All 3 stores carried similar merchandise.

      [6] Fallbrook Enterprise October 22, 1915

      [7] Fallbrook Enterprise February 17, 1928

      [8] Fallbrook Enterprise July 20, 1928

      [9] Falbrook Enterprise April 1, 1982

      [10] ibid