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.
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.
I grew up in the Montclair District in Oakland. I went to Thornhill Elementary School and Montera Junior High and Skyline High School.
We lived on Capricorn Ave. My parents sold our home in 2001.
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 I started to get the history bug. I found out that the church had celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 1980. I was amazed the church had been there so long.
In about 1985, I went on the Fernwood Walking Tour by the Oakland Heritage Alliance, and from that point on, I was on a mission to find out more about the history of Montclair and Oakland.
Latham sold the home to Horace H. Seaton in 1885, who sold it S. Murray in 1892, who then sold it to Edward G. Lukens in 1897. Lukens son was state Senator George R. Lukens.
In its heyday, the old Mansion was a showplace. The home was a three-story structure with 25 rooms, a billiard room, a glass conservatory, and a bowling alley in the rear. There was also an ornate two-story barn with a hayloft and with horse stalls.
The Lukens family lived there until the death of Mrs. Emma Lukens in 1925.
Sometime after the death of Mrs. Lukens, the mansion was purchased by Edger L. Buttner, a civic leader, and electrical contractor.
In about 1938, Raoul Pause, a leading Oakland ballet teacher, converted part of the old two-story barn into a ballet studio. Many of the Oakland Ballet’s first dancers were students of Raoul Pause., he was the brother of Paul Pause of Montclair Reality.
In October of 1948, the building was damaged in a fire.
In 1952 the same building was destroyed by another fire. At the time of the fire the building was being used by the Hotel Senator (a boarding house) as a garage.
In 1957 the mansion was demolished to make room for an apartment complex.
TheLatham Square Fountain is located at the intersection of Telegraph and Broadway in downtown Oakland. It was erected in 1913 as a memorial for James H. Latham and Henrietta Latham by their children and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).
War work in the Oakland Public Schools during 1918 was considered one of the most important items in the curriculum by both the school administration and the teachers.
They felt the first duty of the schools was to aid the national government in winning the war to the best of their ability.
Service became the keynote of all work. Oakland’s boys and girls realized that they had a particular part to play in making the world a safe place to live in.
Sewing and Knitting Classes
During the summer vacation, thousands of garments for refugees were made by the children as part of their regular classwork.
Boys and girls of all ages learned to knit, and tireless little hands were busy every spare moment making garments for sailors, soldiers, and people of stricken countries.
School and Home Garden Army
The urgent need for higher food production led to the organization of the School and Home Garden Army in Oakland. Fifteen thousand children enlisted, and 6,00 brought their gardens to successful harvests.
Jackson Furniture Companyoffered two silver loving cups as prizes, one for the school having the best school garden, and one for the best home garden.
Luther Burbank visited Oakland and personally inspected many of the war gardens.
Jefferson School won the School Garden Cup, and Lakeview School won the Home Garden School Cup.
The Art Department devoted its time propaganda of publicity of the was needs through posters.
The Manual Training shops worked closely with the Red Cross. They created items needed for hospitals.
Eight charming five-room homes of Spanish and Mission architecture were built by Willis F. Lynn on Nicol Avenue. Five of the homes were sold before they were completed. The last three went on sale June 14, 1925.
Each house has:
Breakfast room or nook
Dining room with built-in buffet
Hardwood floors throughout
Automatic water heaters
Priced at $5950.00 in 1925.
Lynn Homes on Best Avenue
Another group of homes went on sale November 15, 1925. Located on Best Avenue between Brookdale and Trask. The homes have an attractive and varied style of architecture.
Each of homes has six-rooms, garage and laundry room.
When Oakland was organized in 1852 there was no free public school. There was a private school at the corner of 2nd and Broadway run by Mrs. Monroe.
The town trustees saw the need for a school so the rented a room at the rear of a dance hall called a Fandango House at 2nd and Washington. The room was furnished with half a dozen wooden benches, a table for the teacher, a blackboard, a map of the world and a rawhide whip. 12 to 15 children attended this school.
For control of the area around the harbor, Horace W. Carpentier donated a school building to the city. Redwood lumber was brought by oxen teams from the hills and a small structure was built at 4th and Clay Streets. It was 30 x 20 feet with a 12-foot ceiling and a shingled roof. A belfry with a small bell. Carpentier called the building, “substantial, elegant, and commodious”
In June of 1853 when the school opened the citizens held a parade and 16 students carried a banner that read, “Our Duty to Our Country, First, Last, and Always”
The first teacher of the school was Miss Hannah Jayne. She taught until 1856 when she resigned to marry Edson Adams, one of Oakland’s pioneers.
In 1853, the First Presbyterian Church used the building for services. The current sanctuary of the church (built-in 1914) memorializes the schoolhouse in one of its stained glass windows showing church history.
By 1855 there were 155 children of school age in Oakland. The little schoolhouse could not house them all.
The old Carpentier school was replaced by a slightly larger building between Jefferson and Grove ( now Martin Luther King) 11th and 12th Streets.
The city continued to grow and so did the need for schools. By 1873 there were 13 buildings with more than 2000 children receiving instruction. By 1875 there were 3,225 attending school an increase of 1000 in 2 years.
First A.M.E. Church
The First A.M.E. Church of Oakland began in 1858 by a small group of Oakland residents, and is the oldest African American church in Oakland. The church founders purchased the Carpenter School House in 1863, which became the first church building.
According to the article below the building was still there in 1921
In 1943 the school district celebrated their 90th Anniversary with nearly 2000 teachers, 75 schools with nearly 45,000 students.
This is the tenth 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 and sometimes I might just post a picture of the school.
Note: Piecing together the history of some of the older schools is sometimes difficult. I do this all at home and online. A work in progress for some. I have been updating my posts when I find something new. Let me know of any mistakes or additions.
Golden Gate Elementary/Junior HighSchool
Bay Public School was the first school in the Bay School District which is now the Golden Gate neighborhood. The 2-room schoolhouse was built in about 1875.
In 1885 two more rooms were added. In 1892 the school was replaced
I haven’t had much luck with finding any photos of the old Longfellow School.
Longfellow Elementary school was opened in 1907 and was located at 39th and Market Street.
In March of 1907, a couple of the school board members questioned the name of Longfellow for the school. One thought it was too close to the Berkeley school with the same name. The other questioned the school being named after a dead poet who never did anything for the city. The name stayed with only one dissent.
In 1957 plans were drawn up by the firm of Alexander and Mackenzie. The plans call for 16 classrooms, kindergarten, library, special education room, multipurpose room, and administrative offices at a cost of $623, 600.
The new Longfellow Elementary School was formally dedicated in November of 1959. The new school replaced the multi-storied building built after the 1906 earthquake. It Cost $595,000.
Just Say No to Drugs!
First Lady Nancy Reagan met with a group of elementary school students and their parents Wednesday to talk about ways to fight drug abuse, one of the biggest problems facing the city of Oakland. UPI – July 1984
Lowell Junior High that most people will remember opened in January of 1928.
The new building cost between $288,000 and $ 320,000 (depending on what I read). The building fronted on Myrtle Street at 14th Street.
Groundbreaking – 1927
Cornerstone laid – 1927
Dedicated Jan 1928
Howard Schroder noted Oakland architect designed the school.
Prior to Lowell opening in 1928, the school was called Market Street Junior High.
In 1937 when the old McCymonds High School was abandoned, its students joined Lowell and then it was known as Lowell-McClymonds. A year later the name was switched to McClymonds-Lowell. The Lowell students were switched to Prescot Junior High in 1938.
When McClymonds new school was built on Myrtle Street the name was changed back to Lowell Junior High School;
The new building replaced an old historic wood-framed building that had the distinction of being the “most named” school.
Earthquake – 1955
The building was damaged during an earthquake on October 23, 1955.
The formal dedication for the new Lowell Junior High was in November 1959.
The new school located at 1330 Filbert Street cost $1,656,083 and was designed by Warnecke and Warnecke.
The new building had 18 general classrooms, 5 special Ed, 3 Art rooms, 3 homemaking rooms, 2
I don’t know what became of the house after these photos were taken. I will let you know if I find out anything.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.