Posted in Early Montclair, History, People

Shepherd Canyon …a bit of history

Have you ever wondered about why it is called Shepherd Canyon?

Oakland Tribune 1927

It named after the Shepherd Family who owned about 200 acres and lived there from about 1875 to the early 1900s.

You can view the location of the Shepherd’s land in a Map of the City of Oakland, Berkeley, Oakland & Brooklyn Townships and Alameda dated 1889 Published by E.P. Vandercook & Co. Real estate agents. 

View map here Georeferencer.com

William J Shepherd (1844-1921) emigrated from England in about 1865 with his parents Thomas and Ellen Shepherd, brothers John and Thomas and sisters Mary Ann and Elizabeth.

Oakland Tribune Nov 04, 1876
Wm. J. Shepherd granted citizenship

In 1878 William married Mary Rogers (1842-1907) they had six children, William, James, Mary, Ellen, Louise and Robert. They attended the Hays School.

Oakland Tribune 1875
LARGE LAND OWNERS OF 1876-BUSINESS DIRECTORY OF OAKLAND TOWNSHIP-OF ALAMEDA TOWNSHIP-
Oakland Tribune 1878
From the 1895 Directory

Hays School Graduation – 1901

William Shepherd died in San Jose in 1921

Oakland Tribune June 1921

Shepherd Pass Road –

A few articles discussing building a road that would run through the Canyon to connect to Skyline using County Road 2457 (now Shepherd Canyon Road).

Oakland Tribune Jun 15, 1896
Oakland Tribune Sep 18, 1897

Oakland Tribune Daily Knave 1953. Settling a moot point in Oakland nomenclature from William’s nephew.

Oakland Tribune 1953

Links

Author:

I have been an Oakland history buff since going on an Oakland Heritage Alliance Tour of the Fernwood Neighborhood in the Montclair District of Oakland, in the mid-80's. On that tour, I learned that there use to be a train (Sacramento Northern) that ran through Montclair, in the early 1900's and that people lived the area as early as 1860's. I have been hooked ever since. Since then I have spent a lot of time looking into the history of Montclair and I have learned a lot. I feel this will be the best way to get it out of my head and onto paper.

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