HISTORY

A_O_rix

A. O. Rix

A. O. Rix arrived in what is now the Irvington District of Fremont in 1852 bringing skills as a pattern maker and millwright from his home in New Hampshire. Soon he was in the business of making wagons and farm implements for the burgeoning agriculture industry, and then milling lumber and making cabinets for the ornamented Victorian homes that were to follow.

Timothy Rix and his ship, The Edward Everett

Timothy Rix and his ship, The Edward Everett

He was preceded by his father, Timothy, who in 1849 sailed around the Horn to the goldfields, but soon recognizing the future in the land, purchased a section of property, sold provisions to miners, and became the first post master in the area.Francis Griffin trained in A. O. Rix’s shops, married his daughter and set out on his own building barns and schools around the state. In 1913 he was joined by his three sons Alfred, Lee, and Randolph.
Alfred Griffin and the Essannay Studios

Alfred Griffin and the Essannay Studios

Alfred went on to build the Essannay Studios in Niles, where the early movies were made. Becoming a set designer and builder, he accompanied Charlie Chaplin in 1916 to Hollywood, where he continued constructing sets for the industry. Lee and Randolph went to France to fight in World War I; Lee dying there, having being struck by artillery fire while building prisoner of war camps.
1940 Hansen & Orloff Dairy and R. A. Griffin

1940 Hansen & Orloff Dairy and R. A. Griffin

Randolph (R. A. Griffin) returned to Irvington, resuming the contracting business, designing and building homes, schools, dairy barns and commercial buildings in the Bay Area until retirement in 1963 when, in turn, his son Jim assumed leadership of the company.
Mission San Jose School Alfred Griffin, Architect - Francis Griffin, Contractor

Mission San Jose School
Alfred Griffin, Architect – Francis Griffin, Contractor

Jim Griffin joined his father after graduating from UC Berkeley and spending a tour with the Navy in Panama, and has guided the company through changes and challenges of the last half of the twentieth century, expanding its operation to include the greater Bay Area, specializing in serving corporate and institutional clients on a repeat basis. Jim’s sister, Helen, is an architect.Jim’s son, Randy, joined the firm in 1991 after obtaining a degree in engineering from UCLA. Broadening his experience by working in the field and as project manager, superintendent and estimator, he is now the president of the company.Success over the years has been based on the strength and purpose of the long term employees setting standards for quality, responsibility and economy in a constantly changing work place.  Leadership today includes 30 year employees David Martin, David Blair, Steve Landon and Tammi Souza, Controller.

For those who wish to view more of the history of the company and the six generations of constructors, please go Here