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The Rabbit Hole

I started this blog because I have collected so much information on the history of Oakland that I couldn’t wait to share.  Posting in Facebook groups isn’t the best outlet for me.  I love sharing what I know and reading what others share.  But things get lost on Facebook.

So with the help of my dear friend Phil (setup and how to), I got started and I was off running, well sort of.  This should be easy I say to myself because, in my mind, I had already laid out actual pages and everything I wanted to say.

But it wasn’t.

I tend to get bogged down in the details.  I worry about not getting my facts correct.  It is hard for me to find a happy medium between too much and too little.  So, this is a work in progress, so bear with me.

Down The Hole, I Go

But I have digressed from the topic of this post.  Often when researching one thing you find something else that has nothing to do with what you are looking for, but it piques your interest.  That happens to me a lot.

You might know this as the “Internet rabbit hole”  you know when you try to research one thing, and then accidentally go to Wikipedia, and then you are trying to find out what happened to Jimmy Hoffa?   That is it in a nutshell.

One rabbit hole I get sucked into often is I will see a picture like this one and want to know more about it.

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Apr_2__1911_ (1)
Oakland Tribune Apr. 02, 1911
  1. Location
  2. Is it still there?

Those two things can be very hard as sometimes the location is very vague and wrong.  Sometimes the location is correct in the form of an address right below the picture.  When looking up the location I am also curious as to who the house was being built for, were they famous or rich, maybe both?

I have compiled a lot of these pictures of newly built houses. I decided to create a map using Google Maps.  The map I have created is called  “What was there or still is… Oakland California”.  I have already added lots of the homes that I have found while down in the rabbit hole.

What was there or still is… Oakland California

Description of the Map

Some from long ago and long gone, but some still there.  Based on clippings, newspapers, and photos.  May not be accurate as address numbers have changed and locations were often vague.

Maroon – Still there
Black – Gone
Yellow – Landmark
Green – Berkeley
Purple – Piedmont
Red – Questions – researching

Here is a link to the map.  Click on it to see.  Please feel free to share it.

I still have lots of pages in the works just have to get myself out of this hole.

This might help explain Rabbit Hole.

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The History Bug Strikes

I grew up in the Montclair District in Oakland.  I moved there in early 1972 after my Mom remarried.  We moved into a four-story home that my step-father had built pretty much by himself.

494 Capricorn
Our house in Montclair

In 1983 my ex-husband and I were hired by the Montclair Presbyterian Church (where I went as a young child) as custodians.  We moved into the house the church owned next to the Sanctuary. 

It was at church that I started to get the history bug.  I found out that the church had celebrated its 50th Aniversary in 1980.   I was amazed that the church had been there so long, the same as the house we lived in which was built in about 1927.

In about 1985 or so I went on a walking tour of the Fernwood neighborhood put on by the Oakland Heritage Alliance.  From then on it was my mission to find out more about the history of Montclair and Oakland.

First blog post

Posted in Buildings, Oakland, People, Uncategorized, West Oakland

Thomas Mahoney House

As I take a little break from my series on the schools in Oakland, I thought I would share this little bit of history with you.

These photos have popped up many times over the years and I didn’t give them much thought. They popped up again yesterday. I decided to look into them and see what I could find.

Historic American Buildings Survey, Creator. Thomas Mahoney House, 69 Eighth Street, Oakland, Alameda County, CA
. Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/ca0013/>.
Historic American Buildings Survey, Creator. Thomas Mahoney House, 69 Eighth Street, Oakland, Alameda County, CA
. Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/ca0013/>.

Both photos are online at the Library of Congress. Please note there is a typo in the LOC description the address is 669 Eighth Street.

  • Thomas Mahoney House – LOC

I don’t know what became of the house after these photos were taken. I will let you know if I find out anything.

Early Pioneer

So, I started looking into Thomas Mahoney (sometimes spelled Mahony) Wow, I was amazed to find a Thomas Mahoney living at 669 Eighth Street in 1870 The census reports he lives there with his wife and four children.

!8718 Directory
1888 Directory

Mahoney came to California in the 1850s. He mined for awhile in Tuolumne county before retiring on his ranch in Hills of Oakland. In 1863 he sold his ranch and moved to the home on Eighth Street next the St. John’s Episcopal He was married in 1863 and raised four children in the home. His wife died in 1891 and he died in 1900.

His obituary

Oakland Tribune Jan 29 1900

Thomas Mahoney a well known pioneer of this city, died at his home, 660
Eighth Street, last evening, in the 71st year of his age.

The deceased was a native of Ireland and came to this State many years ago, where he engaged in ranching. He owned a large quantity of land to the north of the present city limits, from which the sites now comprising Mountain View, St. Mary’s and the Jewish Cemeteries was purposed by the managers of those several burial places.

The deceased was a widower, his wife having died a number of years ago. He was the father of Mrs. Laura J. Bassett, Louise H., Emma E. and George Mahoney.

The funeral services will be held next Wednesday in St. John’s Episcopal
Church. Interment will take place in St. Mary’s Cemetery

Oakland Tribune Jan 1900

Family members continued to live in the home until around 1913.

St Mary’s Cemetery

In 1863 Archbishop Alemany purchased 36 acres of land known as the ” Mahoney Ranch” from Thomas Mahoney. The land is now known as St. Mary’s Cemetery next to Mountain View Cemetery. Thomas Mahoney was buried there in 1900.

Find A Grave – St. Mary’s Cemetery – Thomas Mahoney

Past and Present of Alameda County, California
Book by Joseph Eugene Baker
Oakland Tribune May 22, 1922

The Knave

Laura Mahoney Bassett was well known for her reminiscences in the Sunday Knave in the Oakland Tribune. She was the oldest daughter of Thomas Mahoney and she was born in Oakland in 1866 where she lived most of her 80 years. She died in 1950.

Oakland Tribune Jue 23, 1950

Sunday Knave

Some of her “reminiscences” in the Sunday Knave.

Oakland Tribune 1944
Oakland Tribune June 29, 1947
Oakland Tribune July 6, 1947
Oakland Tribune Aug 10, 1947

Go here to read the clip above. Oakland Tribune

The End

Posted in Black History, Oakland, People

OPD – First Black Women Recruit

In 1970 Saundra Brown was the first black women accepted for the Oakland Police Department’s Recruits Academy.

SF Examiner Dec 18. 1970

I ‘m kind of optimistic”

Saundra Brown December 1970

Born and raised in Oakland. She felt she knew the problems of the young here. She said “in a city like Oakland, with its Black Panthers and militant groups there is a special need for minority police officers”. She worked with teens during her college days.

Saundra graduated from Fresno College with a degree in sociology. She always ad her eyes set on working with juveniles and looked into law enforcement as a possible field. She applied at OPD immediately after her June 1969 graduation. No opening existed.

She was working as claims adjuster when she heard that OPD was looking for a “black policewomen”.

Police Academy

Saundra Brown, the first black woman on the Oakland police force, gets instructions on how to shoot a shotgun, 1970.

At that time a MALE recruit needed only a high school diploma or a score of 262 on a GED course. A WOMEN must have a four-year college degree or four years’ experience in law enforcement. She had that.

She attended the same 15 week Police Academy as the 22 males in her class. She was expected to compete with the males.

She took courses in criminal law and report writing, first aid traffic investigation and the Oakland penal code. There were also defensive tactics, involving strenuous activities such as calisthenics, some judo, a little karate.

Oh, I did alright I guess” she laughed. I can throw the biggest guy in the class.

Saundra Brown – December 17, 1970

During the course she learned for the first time in her life, to handle firearms.

I used to be scared of guns,” she laughed,. “but now I feel safer with a gun in possession because I know how to use it”

Oakland Tribune Dec 14, 1970

Graduation

SF Examiner Dec 18, 1970

On December 18, 1970 she accepted her star and the congratulations from Police Chief Charles Gain as the only women in the police academy of 24.

She finished near the top of her class . She hoped to be assigned to the juvenile division. However Chief Gain had other ideas

As the only minority-group policewomen, she joined a slightly larger minority. There were 710 men on the force; only 7 women.

At that time women were not allowed to compete with men for advancement. Fascinated with the legal issues she encountered on the job as a policewoman, Saundra decided to attend law school while continuing to serve her hometown of Oakland as a police officer until 1977.

She served with OPD from 1970-77

Life after the OPD

She then received a Juris Doctor from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 1977.

She was a judicial extern, California Court of Appeals in 1977, and was a deputy district attorney in Alameda County, California from 1978 to 1979 and from 1980 to 1982. From 1979 to 1980, she was a senior consultant to the California Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice.

She was a trial attorney of Public Integrity Section of the United States Department of Justice from 1982 to 1983, and then served as a Commissioner on the Consumer Product Safety Commission from 1983 to 1986, and on the United States Parole Commission from 1986 to 1989.

She was a Judge on the Alameda Superior Court, California from 1989 to 1991.

Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong official portrait art by Scott Johnston, oil on linen, 38×27-inches, collection of the United States District Court of Northern California, Oakland

On April 25, 1991, Armstrong was nominated by President George H. W. Bush to a seat on the United States District Court for the Northern District of California vacated by William Austin Ingram. She was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 14, 1991, and received her commission on June 18, 1991.

She earned a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from the Pacific School of Religion in 2012 and she assumed senior status on March 23, 2012

https://blackthen.com/the-real-cleopatra-jones-saundra-brown-1970-look-at-her-now/

More on Saundra Brown

The End

Posted in Buildings, Montclair Tracts, Schools, Then and Now, Uncategorized

Then & Now – Oakland Schools Part 9

This is the ninth in a series of posts on Oakland Schools. I intend to show Then and Now pictures of the schools, along with a bit of history of each school. Some of the pictures are in the form of drawings, postcards or from pages in historical books.

Not all schools will be included in this series. Sometimes I might just post a picture of the school.

Montclair Grammar School

Oakland Tribune Sep 20, 1925

The Montclair District held formal dedication ceremonies their first school on March 14, 1926. The ceremony under the direction of A.R. Romer the principal and Mrs. J.D. Bishop the teacher in charge of the 71 students already registered to attend the the school.

Oakland Tribune Mar 15, 1926

The four room school house was built with funds from the building program funded by a $9,000,000 bond issues voted by the people of Oakland in 1924.

In attendance were Mrs. Stanton Lore representing the Montclair Women’s Club and Mrs. E.T. Jepsen of the Piedmont Avenue PTA

Oakland Tribune 1926
Montclair School 1927
Montclair School 1927
Montclair School 1927

The original building of brick with tile roof was later considered an earthquake risk and razed in 1936. They used portables for many years.

Oakland Tribune Oct 1936

The new school building was dedicated in 1942, with nine classrooms, an administrative suite, an arts and crafts room, a PTA room and a Library, was created. In 1947, a Cafeteria and Assembly Hall were added.

Auditorium
Montclair in the 1950s

Montclair is located 1757 Mountain Blvd., Oakland.

Montclair Today

2013, a new building was added to the campus which houses a new Multipurpose Room, new classrooms, a faculty lounge, and a living roof. A new learning garden and play structure was also added to the campus.

  • Montclair Website – OUSD

Thornhill Elementary School

Plans for a new school in the Montclair District were drawn up by local Montclair residents Robert “Bob” Goetz and Jens Hansen in association with Confer and Willis.

Drawing of Thornhill 1956

The site on Thornhill Drive at Alhambra was acquired through condemnation proceedings. The court awarded $48,000 to the land owner, Alice Taylor

Oakland Tribune July 4, 1956
Oakland Tribune July 4 1956
Oakland Tribune Aug 28, 1957
Montclarion 1957

The school was to be ready in September 1958 and will have an administration office s, multipurpose room, library, 11 classrooms and a kindergarten room.

Montclarion Oct 23, 1957
Oakland Tribune june 22, 1958
Thornhill 1959-60

Dedication – November 12, 1958

November 12, 1958
November 12, 1958

Bus Service

The school bus was approved by the district earlier in the year, stopping at both Thornhill and Montclair schools. The kids were picked up throughout the hills on the roads that were designated ‘safe’. The bus service continued until 1959 when the service was going to be pulled, but continued a little longer after the parents rallied to raise money to maintain the service.
Menu 1959
Jan 1959
Jan 1959
Thornhill 1963-64

The school is located at  5880 Thornhill Dr, Oakland

Thornhill Today

Thornhill Elementary – website
  • Thornhill Website – OUSD
  • Thornhill 50th Anniversary –blog

Joaquin Miller Elementary School

Bid were taken in November 1949 for the New Joaquin Miller Elementary School on Ascot Drive in the Montclair.

Oakland Tribune November 1950
Oakland Tribune November 1950 Tribune

The school is located at 5525 Ascot Drive.

Joaquin Miller Today

Joaquin Miller today
  • Joaquin Miller website – OUSD

The End

Updated Nov 6, 2019

Updated Nov 12, 2019

Posted in Montclair, People

Grateful Dead House – Oakland

The Grateful Dead once partied at a home on 6024 Ascot Drive in the Piedmont Pines section of Oakland.

6024 Ascot Drive
Oakland Tribune May9, 1948

In 1948 house at 6024 Ascot Drive was advertised as a ‘ A Little Bit of Mexico” in beautiful Piedmont Hills ( Piedmont Pines), nestled in a glorious 2 1/4 acres: balconies overlooking a beautiful swimming pool. All the tiles in the bathrooms came from the Muresque Tile Co. of Oakland, one of the premier West Coast tilemakers in the 1920’s and 30’s. Property highlights include a log cabin family room.

In 1968 Michael Leibert his wife Alexa and their 5 dogs lived at 6024 Ascot. Leibert was the founder of the Berkeley Repertory Theater.

The house had an normal existence until sometime during the late sixties, the house was rented by Owsley “Bear” Stanley (1935-2011) was an American audio engineer and chemist.

Stanley was the first known private individual to manufacture mass quantities of LSD. By his own account, between 1965 and 1967, Stanley produced no less than 500 grams of LSD, amounting to a little more than five million doses.

Owsley was a key figure in the San Francisco Bay Area hippie movement during the 1960s and played a pivotal role in the decade’s counterculture. Under the professional name Bear, he was the soundman for the rock band the Grateful Dead, whom he met when Ken Kesey invited them to an Acid Test party. As their sound engineer, Stanley frequently recorded live tapes behind his mixing board and developed their Wall of Sound sound system, one of the largest mobile public address systems ever constructed.

Bear: The Life and Times of Augustus Owsley Stanley III
By Robert Greenfield
Google Books

Bear: The Life and Times of Augustus Owsley Stanley III
By Robert Greenfield
Oakland Tribune Jul 16, 1970

In 1972 the house was advertised a true Spanish “Villa”. Back on the market.

Oakland Tribune May 21, 1972
SF Examiner 1998

The house on was sold in 2012 for $1.2 million dollars.   A September 2012 article, “Rest Your Head Where the Grateful Dead Once Partied” was posted on the  Curbed San Francisco website.

More Info –

The End

Posted in Allendale, Buildings, East Oakland, Laurel District, Schools, Then and Now

Then & Now – Oakland Schools Part 8

This is eighth in a series of posts on Oakland Schools. I hope to show Then and Now pictures of most of the schools, along with a bit of history of each school I show. Some of the pictures are in the form of drawings, postcards or from the pages in history books.

Not all schools will be included in this series. Sometimes I might just post a picture of the school.

Fruit vale Public School” Fruitvale No. 1

The Fruit vale (as it was sometime spelled) School district was formed in 1889 with the intention to build a new schoolhouse.

Fruit Vale Public School
Fruitvale School, early 1880s situated on ‘the field
 Standing in front of the school are the female teachers and the children 
OMCA Collection
San Francisco Examiner Jun 04, 1989
Oakland Tribune Jan 07, 1889
Oakland Tribune July 26, 1889

From what I can tell is the school was in the same general location of where Fruitvale Elementary school is today, at the corner of Boston Street and School Street.

New Life as Church

In 1896 after the Fruitvale No. 1 was built the old school was moved and remodeled for use as a church. It was dedicated as the Higgins Methodist Episcopal Church in Mar of 1896.

SF Call Mar 09, 1896
SF Examiner Mar 1896

Fruitvale No. 1 – Fruitvale School Elementary

SF Call – Aug 27 1895

In 1894 Fruitvale School district the trustees were force to meet the demand and take the steps to build a larger school. The new school replaced the old Fruitvale School building from the 1880s.

The present quarters a ramshackle shanty, will be moved and a new building will be erected in its place.

SF Examiner Mar 29, 1895

The pastures of the Empire Dairy surrounded the school from 1880-1901

Oakland Tribune 1970

Back in 1885 the site at Boston and School Streets overlooked the city of Oakland and the bay of San Francisco.

Fruitvale School circa 1901

The style of the new building was Italian Renaissance. The architects were Cunningham Bros. of Oakland.

The plans called for a $13,000 2-story building with a concrete basement. Each floor was to have four large classrooms and lunch rooms for the teachers. The principal’s office was on the first floor and space was reserved for a library. In the basement there were separate playrooms for the boys and girls, janitor rooms and a heating apparatus.

In 1913 Fruitvale School No. 1 was changed to just Fruitvale School.

New School Built

Oakland Tribune Nov 1949

The new Fruitvale School was dedicated on December 1, 1950. The new school has 14 classroom, a library , a cafeteria, a kindergarten and an auditorium. The school was designed by Ponsford and Price Architects and cost $497,700. The school has room for 569 students.

The dedication was attended by William Taylor a long time resident of the Fruitvale District, He attended the “old Fruitvale School “in 1880s . Oakland Tribune June 1962

  • Fruitvale School website – OUSD

More on Fruitvale Elementary

Fruitvale School No. 2 Hawthorne School

Oakland Tribune July 1903

In 1905 an addition to the school added 9 more rooms.

In 1913 Fruitvale School No. 2 name was changed to Hawthorne School. The school was on Fruitvale at East 17th (Tallant Street)

In 1923 a concrete culvert was build and Sausal Creek was filled in.

School Destroyed by Fire in 1923

New School Built

The district purchased the property fronting on East 17th Street adjoining the playground. The new school was built away from the noise and traffic of Fruitvale Ave.

Oakland Tribune Sept 1924

In September of 1924 they laid the cornerstone of the new school building. The school was designed by John J Donovan.

The new school is located at 28th Avenue at East 17th Street across the street from where the old Fruitvale School No 2 was located. The old school building was destroyed by fire the year before.

Oakland Tribune Sept 1924

The following items were put into the sealed cornerstone:

  • Minutes of Board of Education May 1924
  • Minutes of Board of Education June 1924
  • Outline of the school plans
  • Program from Cornerstone ceremony
  • History of the PTA
  • Names of all the pupils enrolled
  • Group photos of all the classes.
  • School Directory

The new school opened in January of 1925.

Oakland Tribune Jan 1925

The school is located at 1700 28th Ave, Oakland, CA 94601

Hawthorne Now

Today Hawthorne is the home of the Achieve Academy.

Achieve Academy (TK-5) serves students in the Fruitvale neighborhood and is one of the highest performing elementary campuses in Oakland.

Google Maps –
Google Maps –
Google Map – today

Fruitvale No. 3 – Allendale School

Fruitvale School No. 3 was built in the Allendale neighborhood in 1904.

Prior to 1904 children living along High Street had to make the long walk to the Fruitvale School No. 1 on School Street at Boston. Allendale was chosen because of its central location to the children from Laurel Grove District (Laurel DIstrict) to High Street and down to Foothill Blvd then known as Old County Road.

The 1904 school building cost $107,437 to build . The first years enrollment was 809. A four-room addition in 1910 and another four-rooms costing $49,458 were added in 1928.

Oakland Tribune July 1910

Miss Alice V. Baxley was the first principal of Allendale School from 1904-1913.

Fruitvale No 3 –
Renamed Allendale 1913

In 1913 Fruitvale No. 5 was renamed Allendale School.

Oakland Tribune Mar 19113
Oakland Tribune Mar 1914

Dangerous and a Hazard –

The school was deemed unsafe and closed in 1953. At the time is was one of the oldest school building there were 2 others from the pre-1906 era still standing. The old school building withstood the 1906 earthquake.

San Francisco Examiner Dec 1953
SF Examiner Dec 20, 1953

17 portables were placed on the site to house the students until the fall of 1959.

Oakland Tribune 1957

The day of reckoning has come for the old Allendale School building which has been razed”

Oakland Tribune Jul 14, 1957
Oakland Tribune 1957
Oakland Tribune 1957

New School Built –

Plans for a new school were drawn up by architects George E. Ellinger and Roland Gibbs to cost $363,250.

Oakland Tribune June 18, 1958

Bids for a new school with 13 classrooms, library, multipurpose room, one kindergarten and administration offices opened in 1958.

The school was completed in the fall of 1959.

Moving Day June 1959
Oakland Tribune Nov 8, 1959

Allendale Today

  • Allendale School Website – OUSD

Fruitvale – Allendale Junior High

A new Fruitvale School to be built in the Rhoda Tract at Hopkins Blvd ( MacArthur Blvd). The school to cost $100,000.”

Oakland Tribune 1909

The new school was called the Allendale – Fruitvale Junior High and was constructed at the Hopkins (MacArthur Blvd) and Coolidge Avenue.

Oakland Tribune 1928
Oakland Tribune Nov 09 1928

The name of the Allendale – Fruitvale Junior High was changed to Bret Harte Junior High at a school board meeting in 1929, the other name under consideration was DImond Junior High.

The school was named after  Bret Harte, who was an American author and poet, and best known for his somewhat romanticized accounts of pioneer life in California. He lived in Oakland from about 1854 to 1857 at the home of his stepfather, Colonel Andrew F. Williams, who was later Oakland’s fourth mayor.

The new school was the last to new school to be built out of the 1924 Bond issue. It was constructed at a cost of $120,000.

The building contained 22 classrooms and had 699 pupils enrolled on opening day in 1930. The school took graduates from Fruitvale, Allendale, Sequoia and Laurel Schools.

The school opened in 1930.

The school’s auditorium gymnasium building was constructed in 1950.

In 1957 the school district opened bids for a new building at Bret Harte.

The new building was built on the campus in 1959, another major expansion took place in 1979. 

The 1930 time capsule in a copper box found during the 1979 construction was never opened and was since lost.

The school is located at 3700 Coolidge Avenue Oakland, CA 94602

Bret Harte Middle SchoolToday

Google Maps
  • Bret Harte Middle School – website

More on the Fruitvale DIstrict Schools

The End

Posted in Buildings, History, Schools, Then and Now

Then & Now – Oakland Schools Part 7

This is the seventh in a series of posts on Oakland Schools. I intend to show Then and Now pictures of the schools, along with a bit of history of each school. Some of the pictures are in the form of drawings, postcards or from pages in historical books.

Not all schools will be included in this series. Sometimes I might just post a picture of the school.

Manzanita Grammar School

In 1909 the Board of Education annexed the Fruitvale and Melrose School Districts. More on the history of annexation in Oakland.

Oakland Tribune 1909
Oakland Tribune 1910

The first school to open was Manzanita Grammar School located on 26th Street between 24th and 25th.

The 2-story building with 8 classrooms, a principal’s office, teachers’ locker room, library, and a kitchen was designed by F.D. Voorhees and cost $23,000.

Oakland Tribune June 28, 1970

In 1920 there was a gas explosion in the basement of the school.

Manzanita Annex

Oakland Tribune Jan 1926
Best Copy I could Get

In January of 1926 the board of education accepted the plans for an annex to be added to the building already on the site. The new structure will cost $70,000.

In September of 1926, it was determined that the (new) Manzanita Annex that was more than halfway done was unsafe. The concrete work was entirely defective and to make the building safe for occupancy they had to remove the entire structure above the foundation.

Oakland Tribune Sept 1926

The Alameda County Grand Jury was asked to investigate the faulty construction of the $70,000 school building.

New School Dedicated

A dedication ceremony was held in January of 1927 for the new $70,000 Manzanita School Annex at 24th Avenue and E.26th. The Mission style edifice had 8 classrooms and kindergarten and a restroom for teachers.

The new building adjoined the old school building.

Oakland Tribune Jul 4 1956

In 1956 it was proposed that the 46-year-old 3-story building would be replaced with a new school building. 

In 1958 bids were accepted to demolish the old school built-in 1909.

Oakland Tribune Aug 1958

The new building was designed by Donald S. Mackey architect and it contained 15 classrooms, 1 kindergarten, 1 special education room, cafeteria, a library, and offices.

The new building was dedicated in September 1958

Manzanita Today

Manzanita is located at 2409 East 27th Street, Oakland.

Manzanita School Today

Manzanita Community School (MCS) is a small school located in the heart of the Fruitvale neighborhood. Our bilingual program is K-3. We are one of the most diverse schools in OUSD. 

Manzanita Community School – website

More on Manzanita

Maxwell Park School

I am sorry to say I haven’t been to lucky with finding pictures of the first school or older pictures of the present school. Hopefully someone might have some to share.

The School Today

Maxwell Park School was established in August of 1924, in a single portable shack. It was then a part of Horace Mann School.

In April 1925 preliminarily plans for a new Maxwell Park school were approved.

In 1925 it became a separate school, with Miss. Sue Dunbar as principal and a faculty of four teachers.

In January of 1926 a new six-room structure was dedicated.

I haven’t found any picture of the first school.

Oakland Tribune Jan 1926
Oakland Tribune 1928

Additions are added

Oakland Tribune July 1930

New addition was complete and they eliminated the need for the portables, for now.

Oakland Tribune Jan 04, 1931

More construction in 1936

Oakland Tribune Mar 1936

The school is located at 4730 Fleming Avenue, Oakland

Maxwell Park Now

Today

Melrose Leadership Academy now uses the school. It is a dual immersion school in form of bilingual education; Website

Elisabeth Sherman Elementary School

Sherman Elementary School is located in Maxwell Park The site close to Mills College.

In 1931 a new auditorium was dedicated. The auditorium was called “Little Theater” and it consisted of two portables joined together to make one. There was a stage built at one end.

Named After

Sherman Elementary was named after Elizabeth Sherman  (September 5, 1859 – June 27, 1937) was a long-time educator in Oakland in 1931.

In 1887 she was teaching at Lafayette Elementary School By 1907, she was the principal of the school. She retired from teaching in 1928.

New School

Oakland Tribune July 03, 1956

In 1956 architects Foulkes and Dennis drew up the plans for a structure to serve 325 students.

The new unit included admin. office, library, eight classrooms, one kindergarten, one special ed classroom and music room. They continued to use the auditorium built in 1936.

Ground was broken for the new school in May of 1957 and the students moved in February 1958. A formal dedication was in April 1958.

Oakland Tribune Feb 09 1958

The school is located at 5328 Brann St.

Sherman Today

Sherman Today

 Today Melrose Leadership Academy and Urban Montessori share the campuses at Maxwell Park and Sherman.

Urban Montessori Charter School (UMCS) opened in the fall of 2012 and became Oakland’s first public Montessori school.

  • Urban Montessori Charter School – website

Melrose Leadership Academy (MLA) is a public school that emphasizes leadership development and focuses on social justice in partnership with our families

More on Sherman

Webster Elementary School

The Daniel Webster School is located at the large lot bounded by Plymouth, Olive and 81st and 82ns Streets in East Oakland. The school over the years shorten the name to just Webster School.

Oakland Tribune November 27, 1921
Oakland Tribune November 27, 1921

The school opened in 1922 with just 4 classrooms , 200 students ans plenty of room to grow.

The construction of a 14 room addition and an auditorium to the school was to begin in July of 1925.

Below is how the school looked in 1925.

Oakland Tribune Oac 27, 1925

The school is located at 8000 Birch St.

Webster School Today

The Webster Elementary School site hosts the East Oakland PRIDE school program,

More of Webster School

The End

Posted in Buildings, Elmhurst, Schools, Then and Now

Then & Now – Oakland Schools Part 6

This is the sixth in a series of posts on Oakland Schools. I intend to show Then and Now pictures of the schools, along with a bit of history of each school. Some of the pictures are in the form of drawings, postcards or from pages in historical books.

Not all schools will be included in this series. Sometimes I might just post a picture of the school.

Elmhurst Middle School

In a June 1893 real estate ad for the Warner Tract in Elmhurst announced that

building will commence soon on a new $15,000 schoolhouse upon the Warner Tract.

Oakland Evening Tribune Jun 26 1893

Elmhurst Grammar School was formally dedicated in July of 1894. The school contained four large classrooms.

New Addition for Elmhurst

The people of Elmhurst are requesting more room at Elmhurst, Below is the proposed addition in 1903

Oakland Tribune Jul 29, 1930

In August of 1904 worked had begun on the additions to Elmhurst School.

Oakland Tribune Aug 18, 1904
Elmhurst 1911
Elmhurst School circa 1912

Elmhurst School is now Elmhurst Junior High

With the opening of the Elmhurst Annex School ( E. Morris Cox) there was a need for a junior high school. A new school was built at the site if the Old Elmhurst School at 98th and Cherry and Birch Street. The new school opened in July 1927

Oakland Tribune July 31 1927

The new school was designed by John J. Donovan. The structure is in classical design and has 21 classrooms and shops in connection with manual training classes. Other features are an auditorium with a balcony and motion picture projection room

Modern Shops were added to Elmhurst.

Oakland Tribune 1926

Fires

In June of 1955 a $35,00 destroyed one wood shop while damaging another.

Oakland Tribune Jun 19, 1955

In May 1967 Elmhurst Junior High suffered $25,000 in a suspected arson fire. It was 7th school fire that year.

Elmhurst Today

Elmhurst is located at 1800 98th Avenue

Elmhurst Today

Elmhurst Community Prep (ECP) is a triumphant middle school located in East Oakland. ECP prepares 6th – 8th grade students for high school, college, and career by using a host of online and digital tools

Elmhurst United website – OUSD

McChesney Junior High

McChesney started out as a elementary school and was was built in 1913, at the intersection of 13th Avenue and East 38th Street. The school was named in honor of educator Joseph B. McChesney (1832-1912), Oakland High Schools first Principal, who died the year before this school was finished.

The building was designed by architect John J. Donovan.

In 1989 Oakland Unified School District renamed the school for Edna Brewer (19-1986) who was the principal of the school from 1971 until 1985.

New School Built

Groundbreaking for a new school.

Oakland Tribune Jan 14, 1960

McChesney/Edna Brewer Today

Melrose School

In 1901 property was purchased for $1500 by the Melrose School District, then part of the unincorporated Brooklyn Township.

Bids opened in June of 1901. The entire amount to be used for construction and the purchase of the property was $15,000.

Melrose School was dedicated in November of 1901.

From the 1923 Fremont High School Yearbook

In 1905 Union High School No.4  was established at Melrose and classes were held on the 2nd floor of the school while plans were being drawn up for the new Fremont High School.

Melrose School circa 1912 OMCA

New School

In 1959 plans were drawn up to replace the 58-year-old Melrose School. The new building would hold 300 students plus faculty with 7 classrooms, one kindergarten, administration offices, a library and a multipurpose room with a kitchen.

E.D Cerruti designed the school.

Oakland Tribune 1960

Dedication of the new Melrose Elementary was in December of 1960. The new school was built fronting 53rd Avenue and the old school was fronting 52nd Avenue.

Oakland Tribune Dec 1960

Melrose Elementary School is located at 1325 53rd Avenue

It now Bridges Academy at Melrose

Building bridges from East Oakland to college and careers by breaking barriers to create a more just, equitable, and culturally responsive community.

Melrose School – today
Melrose School Today

Melrose Heights

Melrose Heights school was later renamed Horace Mann (please see Part 1)

Melrose Heights grammar school was built in 1909. The building was designed by F.W. Burkl who chose the Renaissance style of architecture. The 3 story building with 12 rooms including 8 classrooms and basement.

Melrose School later Horace Mann School

Santa Fe School

Oakland Tribune
Oakland Tribune Mar 29, 1914

Santa Fe School was formally dedicated in July of 1914. The school was designed by John J. Donovan.

Oakland Tribune Jul 1914
School Architecture: Principles and Practices
By John Joseph Donovan 1921

New School Built

The new Santa Fe Elementary School was dedicated in February of 1960.

Santa Fe has been the temporary school for the students of Glenview Elementary while a new school is being rebuilt for them. The new school has 18 classrooms, 2 kindergartens a multipurpose room, a library and offices. It cost $809,879

The school is located at 915 54th St., Oakland

Santa Fe today

The End