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Revised: July 9, 2017

Meet our Relatives - Stoneson Branch

Henry Stoneson

Henry Stonson was born 17 May 1895 in Victoria. His residence in 1941 was 100 Stonecrest Drive, San Francisco, one of the houses he built for himself. Basically across the street from Stonestown. Sadly, he passed away from heart attack in 30 Dec 1958, probably in San Francisco, California. .


Roy believes left front row is possibly Henry Stoneson
Photo Courtesy of The Sig & Hank Christopherson Collection

Henry & Ellis Stoneson, who built Stonestown in San Francisco back in the 50's and helped fund a retirement home, The Stafholt Good Samaritan Center still operating in British Columbia. Stafholt, was named after Henry and Ellis's mother Ingibjörg Einarsdóttir's place of birth; Stafholt, Borgafjordur, Iceland. Article regarding Stafholt here.
Excerpt from it; "The group - then called “Aldan” - quickly raised more than $7,000 in donations from the Blaine, Point Roberts and Bellingham communities, but that amount was far from enough. A few years later, Aldan acquired the financial support of Stoneson Bros. Builders of San Francisco, the owners of which were originally from Blaine. Stoneson Bros. donated $10,000 along with the services of their architect, which helped get the project off the ground. Blaine Journal newspaper" They were the Brothers of Gudrun Christopherson and Emma Oddstad.

Stafholt Good Samaritan Center
Here is a photo of Stafholt and the daughter of Ingibjorg, and sister of Henry and Ellis Stoneson awaiting her husband, Kjartan Christopherson,
who is taking the photo. Posting this so the Stafholt Good Samaritan Center remember the Stonesons.


Posted a report done by my cousin, Caroline Cartwright. written about 1980 after having interviewed Donald Stoneson. SEE page on Ellis Stoneson for more info and Stoneson Clan page.

Henry's two daughters were; Eloise STONESON Preston, and Helen Claire STONESON Schumacher [Deanne Powell's grandmother].
Eloise STONESON Preston

Henry registered with the WWI Civilian Draft Registration in Ketchikan.
Source Information: Banks, Ray, comp.. WWI Civilian Draft Registrations [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2000.

Since there is almost nothing on the Stonestons on the Internet considering their importance to San Francisco, I am adding this page to bring more information and photos online.

Henry Stoneson, born 17 May 1895 in Victoria, British Columbia, died 30 Dec 1958. Residence was Blaine Washington, then Ketchikan, First Judicial District, Alaska, then San Francisco (see photo-right). Married to Hazel Chresson, of Norwegian descent. Henry Stoneson is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery (Colma). Not even mentioned here or at Woodlawns page, which are only current people. Roy will work on visiting all of the families graves.

Roy found online a registration card for Henry at Nakat Inlet, Alaska, Age 22, Home: Crescent, BC, Birth: May 17th, 1895, An Alien (not bon there),
Born: Victoria, BC, Citizen of Great Britain, Carpenter, Employed: G.W. Huane? Company, Employed at: Nakat Inlet, Alaska, Single, Tall,
Build: Medium, Eyes: Blue, Hair: Light Brown, County: 1st Division, 8/31?/17

Source: TMP898 file


"Henry Stoneson was married to Hazel Stoneson until she passed away. Her parents were Harry Chrisson, born in Norway in 1864, settled in Seattle, King, Washington, and Hannah Matilda Chrisson, also born in Norway in 1874. Henry remarried a woman by the name of Willett. Hazel was my Great Grandmother."
Deanne Powell [Roy aded dates and places]

Their leisure time was spent in Clear Lake, California.

Ellis Stoneson
Henry Stoneson and his wife, Hazel Chresson
Photo Courtesy of The Sig & Hank Christopherson Collection

One of the best pages on them by the Westside Observer

Also see photo 12 at

Google Photos of Stonestown

L-Right: Unknown, Hazel, then Henry in the cap and tie, then unknown (partially hidden),
then Bertha Stoneson. Developed APR 1, 1930
Photo Courtesy of The Sig & Hank Christopherson Collection

IMG_SCAN_2169a_Stoneson_No 2070 To2974
Hazel Chresson and Henry Stoneson
Photo Courtesy of The Sig & Hank Christopherson Collection

Stoney Stoneson to the left, Joe Stoneson's three children

Photo Courtesy of The Sig & Hank Christopherson Collection

Click to enlarge
Possibly Henry
Child: Doug Stoneson
- Also see Joe's page
Photo Courtesy of The Sig & Hank Christopherson Collection

"attached a picture from your website that is incorrect, except for naming Stoney Stoneson.
The adults are my grandparents Joe and Jeannie Stoneson and their children from left to right are Eunice Stoneson, Stephanie Stoneson (my mom) and Douglas Stoneson.
Update by Sue (Pashley) Mom was Stephanie (Stoneson) Pashley, the daughter of Joe, aka Johann Stoneson, son of Stoney Stoneson. I just read in your News section that my cousins daughter Leanna had written to you to clarify that Joe and Johann are the same man! Leanna is Leslee Stoneson's daughter, not Stephens..who are both children of Doug Stoneson, son of Joe. Doug also has two other sons...Doug and John."

Roy still thinks the above is Hazel and Henry behind the children. Joe passed away about age 34. Notice the hair which resembles Hazel's and the glasses on far right man. Comparing the house to newly identified photos, it should be the Stoneson house in Blaine, WA.
Photo Courtesy of The Sig & Hank Christopherson Collection


Stoneson Brothers

Henry Stoneson's obituary captures the legacy of these two brothers: "Mr. Stoneson was given credit for a new concept in buildings---the city within a city."

Henry (1895-1958) and Ellis (1893-1952) Stoneson created major housing and shopping near San Francisco's Lake Merced. The Stoneson Development Corporation built close to 25,000 homes in the Bay Area and became one of the nation's largest home building companies.

Born in Victoria, Canada (the sons of immigrant Icelanders) the Stoneson Brothers arrived in San Francisco in 1920 and started building houses on a small scale. Business increased during the Depression with the liberal lending policies of the Federal Housing Administration, and later the Stonesons benefited greatly from government funding to create wartime housing during World War II.

In the late 1930s they started work on the Lakeside development, a strip of immaculate homes served by a small commercial section (Lakeside Village). In Lakeside, both brothers constructed personal mansions: Ellis at 30 Stonecrest Drive and Henry just down the street at 100 Stonecrest Drive.

In 1949, the brothers took the ideas of Lakeside a giant step further. Across 19th Avenue they broke ground on Stonestown. Featuring over 700 apartments next to a major shopping center of some 75 businesses, a medical building, grocery store, and eventually a theater, Stonestown attempted to be a self-contained community within a major city.

Both served as presidents and directors of various local and national home builder and contractor associations. On the cusp of their greatest success, the opening of Stonestown in 1952, Ellis died of a heart attack at only 59 years of age. Younger brother Henry passed away just a few years later.

Because of their proclivity for sneaking derivatives of "Stone" into their street names and developments, the Stoneson brothers made sure San Francisco couldn't forget their work.

Sources: San Francisco Chronicle, August 24, 1952, December 31, 1958.

Stonestown Galleria
Google Map view of Stonestown Galleria, Stonestown, San Francisco

AUG 12, 2012 Conversation with Hank Christopherson: Hank said that Henry moved to the corner house anfter his first wife died, as Roy commented "that Henry could look across or cross the street and be at work (his job-site). Roy asked why they did not live side by side and Ellis' house was smaller. Hank said both were large homes at the time, and they developed all those houses near Stonecrest. [the give away are streets with Stone in the name]. Henry was there in 1943 or 45 when the four nephews, Lorne, Ted, Sig and Henry were in the service abroad. Roy wished he could have a whole wall of this family website for Hank to look at, as he has no Internet.

They DID NOT build ParkMerced

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Stonestown Galleria
Location San Francisco, California, United States
Opening date 1952
Developer Stoneson Development Corporation
Management General Growth Properties
Owner General Growth Properties
No. of stores and services 130 [1]
No. of anchor tenants 3
Total retail floor area 862,000 Square Feet
Parking 3700 spaces
No. of floors 2

Stonestown Galleria is a 862,000-square-foot (80,100 m2) shopping mall in San Francisco, California anchored by Nordstrom, Macy's, and Borders Books & Music. The original Stonestown Mall was developed by Stoneson Development Corporation, but the complex is now owned and managed by General Growth Properties, and is located immediately north of San Francisco State University.

add Canadian Icelandic magazine scans

Early years
Stonestown Galleria, originally Stonestown Shopping Center, was built in 1952, by the Stoneson brothers. It was built in the Lake Merced neighborhood along with apartments that could house 3,000-3,500 people. [2] The major tenant, the Emporium department store, opened on July 16, 1952. Other early businesses included Walgreens, Butler Brothers, Gallenkamp Shoes, the Red Chimney restaurant and Woolworth's. There were also stores for local residents, including a grocery store, a bakery, and movie theaters. The Stoneson brothers' development firm was also responsible for the later Stoneridge Shopping Center (located in east suburban Pleasanton) and Lakeside Village.

Redevelopment and Recent Changes
The Stoneston brothers aged and the mall was sold to a pension fund. Stonestown went through a demolition and major redevelopment in 1987, spearheaded by architect John Field. Field's plan added a story of stores, including a food court, a glass ceiling and marble floors, plus 350 new underground parking spaces.[3] These changes led to the Stonestown Shopping Center being renamed Stonestown Galleria. The Emporium anchor store was converted to Macy's in 1995 when Macy's bought The Emporium. In December 2003, Heitman Financial, the manager, abandoned efforts to construct nearly 300 new residential units and a grocery store on a parcel next to the mall's 42 acre site. Neighborhood groups complained that the project would worsen traffic congestion in the area and create safety and environmental problems. In 2004, General Growth Properties bought the mall from Pacific Acquisition Corp. for $312 million.[4] Today, Stonestown's 160 in-line shops are fully occupied and generate sales of about $460 per square foot.

Celebrity appearances
On November 10, 2008, the Twilight star Robert Pattinson made a scheduled appearance to sign autographs and attend a brief Q&A session at the Hot Topic Store. After an alarmingly high number of fans flooded the mall, (an estimated 3,000 instead of the expected 500) some who had flown from as far as Hawaii and Arizona, around four o'clock in the morning, causing many injuries, and a confirmed broken nose as well as stolen belongings. The S.F. Police cancelled the event, due to the general unsafety of the event's setup, so they notified the fans the actor was not going to come. Yet, Robert Pattison decided to show despite warnings, and signed autographs for the first 500 customers as promised, electing not to engage in a Q&A session.

Layout and Design
Stonestown has two stories and 160 total stores. The anchors are two stories, but most in-line stores are one story. The hallways form a plus, with Macy's on the west side, and Nordstrom, Trader Joe's and Borders Books and Music on the east side. There are four wings, two on level one and two on level two. A food court is located on the second story. [5]There are some skylights in the mall. Marble columns adorn the center court. As mentioned earlier, the renovation in 1995 added many architectural features seen today. [6]

Stoneridge Shopping Center is an upscale regional shopping center located in Pleasanton, California. The center is managed and co-owned by Simon Property Group, and is anchored by Nordstrom, Macy's in two separate locations, J. C. Penney, and Sears.

The mall opened in 1980 and is part of the larger Stoneridge master planned neighborhood originally developed by Stoneson Development Corporation, whose founders also developed Lakeside Village and Stonestown Galleria in nearby San Francisco after World War II....

Lakeside is a long, narrow neighborhood between 19th Avenue (Highway 1) and Junipero Serra Boulevard to the south of Sloat Boulevard. San Francisco State University and the Stonestown Galleria shopping mall are both located opposite the neighborhood on 19th Avenue, and the Merced Library is located in the Lakeside on Stonecrest Drive at Winston Drive.
Source (wikipedia)

Stoneson Development Corporation
Nothing, so Roy created and account to add data already on the web.
"...The Greatest Achievement of the Stoneson Brothers was the immensely valuable Stoneson apartment, home and shopping center--one of the first, best and biggest of its kind in the counrty..."

DONALD STONESON and IMG_WEB_0120_DonaldHStoneson1989Deceased

Photo Courtesy of The Sig & Hank Christopherson Collection

Photo Courtesy of The Sig & Hank Christopherson Collection

Henry Stoneson
Son of Stoney Stoneson
and Ingibjorg Einarsdottir

Henry Stoneson
Image: Courtesy of
Marsha Hawkins and Staff at the
 Good Samaritan Center BLAINEWA

Marriage 1: Hazel Chresson
Marriage 2: Willett
1. Ingibjorg Leopoldina Thorsteinsson
2. Stephania Ingibjorg Maria Emma Stoneson Oddstad b. 1889
3. Joe Stoneson b. 17 Mar 1892
4. Ellis Stoneson, b. 1893, d. 1952
5. Henry Stoneson b. 17 May 1895
6. Guðrún 'Runa'/'Roonie' STONESON Christopherson b. Feb 1897
7. Baldwin Stoneson b. Jan 18988

1. Eloise 'Lois' A Preston
2. Helen Claire STONESON Schumacher

For more photos see Stoneson Clan page

Andy Oddstad Page
Andy Oddstad Photos
Vern Austman Photos

Stoneson Report by Caroline Cartwright
1960 Icelandic Canadian Article

View Stoneson Buildings on Ellis' page and here

Partial Google Book: Broadmoor Village By Dave Crimmen

TO DO: Insert Blaine House photo

Stonestown, SF
Henry & Ellis Stoneson's
Stonestown (Map), where I worked for 4.5 yrs at Bullocks.
Gudrun Rooney Thorsteinsson's brothers

Lakeside Medical Building in 2009
Built by Henry & Ellis Stoneson,
Bldg. in 1956
Photo by Roy E. Christopherson

Laseside Close Up
Lakeside Close Up
Photo by Roy E. Christopherson

100 Stonecrest, SF
100 Stonecrest Drive
Home of Henry Stoneson
Photo by Roy E. Christopherson

Stoneson Office
Stonesons office which stands to this day.

Hanks Wedding 0681
Image 681
Wedding of Hank and Thelma
Thelma with Henry Stoneson toasting them
Courtesy of Sig & Hank Christopherson Collection

Stoneson Bros
stoneson bros_compilation

Compare Image 3450 to ones of henry bottom left
Possibly Henry at school

Courtesy - Sig & Hank Christopherson Collection
Roy was unaware that the Stoneson Development Corporation was still in business after the passing of Donald Stoneson. However, below research says it is no more.
Article - Pleasanton, Stoneridge Shopping Center
, In 2004 General Growth Properties bought Stonestown from Pacific Acquisition Corp for $312 million. Each store is occupied.
Here Saratoga Oaks is mentioned.
Cousin Karl
"The Lake Merced District has an eclectic mix of real estate. The Stoneson Development Company and the Standard Building Company, operated by Carl and Fred Gellert, were instrumental in the mid-century development of District 3." source
Roy knew of this landslide in Millbrae at the time of its occurance in 2000. He went to school with Steve, Carl's son. Decades ago the hillside had drains (troughs?) built. The hillside was above Meadows school and seen by Roy many times. He used to climb the hill north of Meadows school. The top was fenced off for horse trail. Over the years the hill eroded at one spot to the point where we would hang on to the fence to cross the missing terrain all the way up to the Meadows pool. Update

No, this monument does NOT exist, except in the imagination of Roy Christopherson. As mentioned elsewhere, I am sure, Roy worked for 5 years at Stonestown. Went over the the Developement office in the front center, but was not allowed to get in touch with Don. Perhaps passed away before then. Roy described this idea for statue, after visiting the mall some 20 yrs later. Absolutely no plaque or mention of The Stoneson Bros. at the mall!
Maybe someone in the family will push for this?


Could a statue ever be errected (simulated here) of the Stoneson brothers in bronze?
With Henry on right gesturing a vision with his brother Ellis, with nothing but hilly countryside before them?
Plaque in front or under them, standing on a hammer
Or perhaps inside the center of the mall, away from little hooligans?
Idea shared with Nonni in 2014 then Jackie. A few years ago, there was "nothing" on Henry & Ellie on the web. Hope these few pages remind the world of their great achivements.
Photos and stories always welcome and added within if given pernission. I believe all the photos were Gudrun's (their sister/our GM), and passed down to aunt Lil, and saved by Hank and Bill, then Sig/Hank.