Fireside Meeting with Richard Schwartz

Monday Nov 04 2019   7:30 PM
Hillside Club  2286 Cedar St, Berkeley, CA  map

Historian Richard Schwartz will tell the fascinating story of the numerous philanthropic and significant deeds of immigrant Maurice Curtis, once a famed but later largely forgotten actor, for the city of Berkeley that still have an effect on us today. Schwartz will also discuss the never-before-shared history of Curtis’s Berkeley-based Peralta Park Hotel, the tallest hotel in the Bay Area at the time (now the site of the Saint Mary’s College High School). As Curtis catapulted to fame and fortune, he was thrilled to help the town he loved and its people thrive.

This presentation will include Berkeley-specific stories not included in Schwartz’s book, The Man Who Lit Lady Liberty: The Extraordinary Rise and Fall of Actor M.B. Curtis, recently released in paperback.

This will be a Hillside Club member benefit. Open to the public, with a requested $10 admission charge to benefit our speaker fund.

Cosponsored by the Hillside Club and the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association (BAHA).

More info here.

Richard SchwartzRichard Schwartz is a historian and the author of Eccentrics, Heroes, and Cutthroats of Old Berkeley; Earthquake Exodus, 1906; Berkeley 1900; and The Circle of Stones. An outdoor enthusiast and animal lover, he worked on a Pennsylvania Dutch farm before heading west to find higher mountains. He now lives in Berkeley, California, where he works as a building contractor and documents early Native American sites in the Bay Area. Visit his website at