Secrets & Mysteries of the Beekman Bank

Due to Covid-19, our “Secrets & Mysteries of the Beekman Bank” tours were cut short for 2020 and canceled in 2021, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed that you can again choose to be adventurous in 2022 and that Historic Jacksonville, Inc. will be able to open the oldest financial institution between San Francisco and Portland for evening lantern light tours.  


Established in 1856 as a gold dust office, the current 1863 Beekman Bank building was constructed by Cornelius C. Beekman at 110 W. California Street in Jacksonville when he became the town’s Wells Fargo agent.  Over $40 million in gold crossed Beekman’s counters during Jacksonville’s heyday in the 1800s—equivalent to over $1 billion in today’s currency!

The mint was in San Francisco, yet Beekman was never robbed. How did he safely ship his gold under the noses of the highwaymen?  Fires destroyed all the wooden buildings surrounding the Bank. Why is the building still intact?  Beekman ordered large quantities of opium. Was he a drug dealer?  Beekman was supposedly happily married. Why was there a ring in his safe inscribed “Lois to Beek”?  What was Beekman’s “office” really used for?

We anticipate that regional historian Ben Truwe will be pursuing these and other secrets and mysteries in 45-minute lantern light tours on the 1st Saturday of each month beginning in late spring.   Truwe has used transcriptions of Beekman’s original bank records and his opportunity as a bank docent to explore the building and make discoveries of secrets thought to have been lost with the last Beekman. 

Admission is $10 per person with proceeds benefiting the preservation and maintenance of this regional landmark. Tours are limited to a maximum of 8 people and reservations are required.  Reservations can be made by calling Historic Jacksonville, Inc. at 541-245-3650 or e-mailing“>



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