MS 42 Hazel Wood Waterman Papers

Summary Information

San Diego History Center Document Collection
Waterman, Hazel Wood
Hazel Wood Waterman Papers
MS 42
Date [inclusive]
0.75 Linear feet (2 boxes)
This collection contains materials on Hazel Wood Waterman’s architectural career and personal life in San Diego in the first half of the twentieth century, as well as some family papers going back to the late nineteenth century.

Preferred Citation

Hazel Wood Waterman Papers, MS 42, San Diego History Center Document Archives, San Diego, CA.

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Biographical / Historical Notes

Hazel Wood Waterman was born May 5, 1865 in Tuskegee, Alabama. She arrived in California in the early 1880’s when her father, Reverend Jesse Wood, migrated to Oroville. Hazel attended the University of California Berkley from 1882-1883, as an art student. There she met her future husband, Waldo Sprague Waterman, son of California Governor Robert Waterman. Following her marriage on April 11, 1889, Hazel moved with her husband to Cuyamaca where Waldo supervised his father’s mining operations at Stonewall Mine and Hazel became a mother. In 1891, the couple moved to San Diego. They had three children: Robert Wood, Helen Gardner, and Waldo Dean. Hazel’s husband, Waldo Sprague, died on February 24, 1903. Following his death, Hazel enrolled in correspondence courses, studying architectural drafting which marked the beginning of her famed career as an architect.

Around 1905, Hazel began working with the firm of Hebbard and Gill. Irving Gill, who had designed the Watermans’ home when they first arrived in San Diego, began mentoring and training Hazel, allowing her to design the Alice Lee home. In 1906, Hazel left Hebbard and Gill to start her own practice, although she maintained close ties to Gill. Hazel designed a number of homes and gardens in the San Diego area, but is most famed for the restoration of Casa de Estudillo in Old Town, also known as Ramona’s Marriage Place. A few other notable career achievements are the Children’s Home and the Wangenheim garden. Waterman continued her architectural practice through 1929, when her work appears to have stopped. She died in Berkeley, California on January 22, 1946.

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Scope and Content

This collection contains materials on Hazel Wood Waterman’s architectural career and personal life in San Diego in the first half of the twentieth century, as well as some family papers going back to the late nineteenth century. Architectural materials include notes, drawings, articles written by her, photographs, and correspondence. In particular, there are materials specific to her work on the San Diego Children’s Home and the renovation of the Estudillo House. Her personal papers and family papers include marriage and education records, autobiographical notebooks, correspondence, military certificates of her husband Waldo, and histories of the Wood and Waterman families.

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This collection is arranged in two series:

Series I: Architectural Career;

Series II: Personal and Family Papers.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

San Diego History Center Document Collection February 8, 2017

1649 El Prado, Suite 3
San Diego, CA, 92101

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession #681029B.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Lindsay Banuelos in January 2007 and Samantha Mills in 2017.

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Related Materials

Separated Materials

All photos were transferred to the photo department on 8/24/2005.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • American Architectural Foundation.
  • American Institute of Architects.
  • San Diego Children’s Home Association.
  • Wednesday Club of San Diego .

Family Name(s)

  • Waterman Family
  • Wood Family

Personal Name(s)

  • Waterman, Waldo S.


  • Architecture — California — San Diego
  • Women architects

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All photographs in collection are copies. Originals are located in photo department.

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Collection Inventory

 Series I: Architectural Career

Articles, 1902-1941


Articles written by Waterman and correspondence pertaining to her articles. Publications include The House Beautiful, The Federation, Sunset magazine, House and Garden magazine, The American Home, The Western Architect, and The Lost Angeles Times, as well the California Federation of Women’s Clubs.

Correspondence, 1913-1914


Letters to or about Waterman, from Evelyn N. Lawson (president of Children’s Home), Caroline N. Darling, Anna L. Marston (regarding Wednesday Club), William Clayton, and the California State Board of Architecture.

Clients, 1906-1929 and undated


Handwritten lists of Waterman’s clients and projects, and letters from clients including A.A. Ackerman, Walton J. Wood, William Clayton, Alice C. Pratt, Charles F. Lummis, and Julius Wangenheim.

Newspaper clippings, 1907-1945 1:4
Notebooks, undated 1:5
Loose notes and drawings, undated 1:6
Photographs (copies), 1907-1929


Cottage for Mrs. George Baoney (1907), alterations for Dr. and Mrs. H.G. Leisediring (no date), Clayton residence (1907), Miss Freeze residence (1908), Captain A.A. Ackerman residence (1912), Wednesday Club (1909), Mrs. Church cottage (1915), Judge Walter J. Weed residence (1928-1929), Julius Wangenheim garden (1917).

Children’s Home, 1912-1927 and undated


Correspondence, notes, manuscripts by Matilda Hunt, an artist’s rendering, and photographs (copies).

Estudillo House: Historical Background, 1909 and undated


Notes, correspondence, and a history booklet.

Estudillo House: Specifications and Notes, 1908-1909 and undated 1:10
Estudillo House: Articles and Plaques, 1910-1911 and undated 1:11
Estudillo House: Photographs and Clippings (copies), 1909-1910 1:12
Miscellanea, 1933-1988


An award from the San Diego chapter of the American Institute of Architects and a booklet from “That Exceptional One: Women in American Architecture 1888-1988” exhibition produced by the American Architectural Foundation.


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 Series II: Personal and Family Papers

Correspondence, 1883-1906 and undated


Letters between Hazel, Waldo, Frank A. Peachy, Ernest E. Wood, Aunt Charlotte, and Hazel’s mother and children.

Correspondence (copies), 1891-1931 2:2
Notebooks, 1865-1937


Four spiral-bound notebooks and transcription consolidated from three smaller books. Entries are autobiographical.

Marriage Papers and Passport, 1889-1926 2:4
Education: Hazel and Waldo S. Waterman, 1885-1944 and undated


Dance card, Berkeley Women’s City Club yearbook, Berkeley program, and Waldo’s graduating class ribbon. Grammar School diploma of Mrs. Waldo S. Waterman (1902), University of California diploma of Waldo S. Waterman (1886), and University of California certificate of Helen Gardner Waterman (undated) in Oversize Collections D9.

Military Service: Waldo S. Waterman, 1886-1898

Scope and Content:

Contents of entire file in Oversize Collections D9: Company G. San Diego Minute Men Certificate (1898), commission as first lieutenant in Battalion of University Cadets (1886), and commission as captain in San Diego regiment of Minute Men (1898).

Wood Family Genealogy, 1730-1987 2:6
Waterman Family Genealogy and Cemetery Plots, 1592-1977 2:7
Photographs (copies), 1870-1954 2:8
Newspaper Articles and Obituaries, 1883-1976 2:9

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