Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


Fred C. Carlsen, a building contractor, of Salinas, whose success has been a source of satisfaction to his many friends, is a native of the island of Fyn, Denmark, born November 5, 1869, but now thoroughly American, if we may judge a man by both his ideals and his accomplishments. He served a four-year apprenticeship at the carpenter's trade and for six months he studied architectural drawing, after which he came to America, making his way to California. Arriving at Eureka, June 5, 1891, he worked for a year for the Excelsior Redwood Lumber Company and for a year he was bridge builder for the Flannigan Lumber Company in the logging camps. The following year he was employed by Ben Dixon in ship construction in the shipyards and later he took up carpenter work for the Dixon Construction Company, in the building of the breakwater for the United States government at the entrance to Eureka harbor. Then he returned to Denmark, where he remained for a year and a half, but, like so many who have once come under the spell of California, he again came to the Golden state in the fall of 1897.

Mr. Carlsen settled at Watsonville, Santa Cruz county, and for four months he worked at the trade of a carpenter. Early in the year 1898, however, he located in Salinas, where he has since resided, helping to build up the city. He was first employed on construction at the Spreckels sugar factory, where he worked in the carpenter shop for six years and four months. Later he was foreman for John Bevan, a contractor of Salinas, and subsequently was foreman for W. E. Green, of Salinas, in whose service he superintended the construction of the Salinas city hall, the Salinas public library, the Watsonville grammar school and the Railroad Exchange Hotel at Soledad.

In 1910, having established an enviable reputation for both exceptional experience and absolute dependability, Mr. Carlsen started in business for himself as a contractor, and as such he has continued ever since. He has built the Forrester Hall, the Leader Bakery building, the fourth section of the Lacey Garage, the Highway Garage, the Thrift Garage, Mercantile Implement building and Thompson apartment house. He also built the Salinas Undertaking Parlor and the American Laundry building and he has put in new fronts in the Comilas Hotel, the Austin drug store and the Jeffrey Hotel. In addition, he has erected a large number of fine residences.

Mr. Carisen was married to Miss Kirstine Anderson, a native of Denmark, and to them have been born five children: Axel and Siegrid, twins, the former a farmer of San Juan and the latter the wife of E. L. Martin; Edward and Arthur, who are associated in business with their father; and Clarence, with the Austin Drug Company. Fraternally Mr. Carisen is a member of Alisal Lodge, No. 163, I. 0. O. F.

Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California's history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925, 890 pgs.