1926 Residence

1938 Cloverdale Creamery

1940 Dairy

1935 Newark Grocery


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 with his father 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.

A. O. Rix

Timothy Rix

He was preceded by his father, Timothy, who in 1849 sailed around the Horn to the goldfields, but soon recognized the future in the land, purchased property, sold provisions to miners, and became the first postmaster in the area.

Timothy Rix and his ship, The Edward Everett

Francis Griffin

Francis Griffin arrived from Virginia City in 1878, trained in A. 0. Rix’s shops married his daughter and set out on his own building barns and schools. In 1913 he was joined by sons Lee and Randolph and the company name changed to Frank Griffin and Sons.

1912 MSJ School

Alfred Griffin

The oldest son, Alfred, an architect, designed the Mission San Jose School, (still standing) that his father built in 1912. Alfred went on to build the Essanay Movie Studios in Niles, exiting in 1915 with Charlie Chaplain to Los Angeles, designing and constructing stage sets on location for early Hollywood movie studios.

In 1917, Lee and Randolph Griffin went to war in France, Randy building barracks and Lee, a prisoner of war camps at the front, where Lee was killed. After the war Randolph returned home and as R. A. Giffin, General Contractor, designed and built homes.

Alfred Griffin and the Essannay Studios

Randolph (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.

1940 Hansen & Orloff Dairy and R. A. Griffin

Jim Griffin

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, now deceased, was an Architect in the noted office of Wurster, Bernardi, and Emmons.

James Griffin

Randy Griffin

Jim’s son, Randy joined the firm in 1991 after obtaining a degree in engineering from UCLA. Broadening his experience working in the field and gaining estimating and management skills, Randy is now president of the company and a leader in the industry.

Randy served as chairperson of the industries Construction Employers’ Association (CEA) Safety Committee during the initial stages of the recent pandemic and now is a member of the Board of Directors.

Randy Griffin

President of James R. Griffin, Inc.

Long term employees

Success over the years is based upon the strength and purpose of long-term company employees setting standards for quality, responsibility, and economy in a constantly changing workplace. Leadership includes long-term employees, Vice Presidents David Martin, David Blair, and Controller Tammi Souza.

David Martin, David Blair, and Tammi Souza