In my curiosity about the street names, I noticed the phrase “gold star streets” come up. With further research, I found that many of the streets of Oakland are named after and in honor of soldiers who lost their lives in World War I and lived in Oakland. The streets were called “gold star streets.” The name came from the custom of families of servicemen hanging a Service Flag in the window of their homes. Living servicemen were represented by a blue star. Those who had lost their lives were represented by a gold star.
In 1919, an article in the Oakland Tribune entitled “170 Names on Oakland Honor Roll” listed all the Oakland men who lost their lives in the World War. See below
Oakland’s street commissioner W.H. Parker was quoted in a 1928 Oakland Tribune article as saying,
“Veterans who died during the World War and whose home had been Oakland are honored in the naming of many streets, and a special street sign has been designed with red, white and blue colors and a gold star for use on streets named for these veterans.” Oakland Tribune May 20, 1928
By 1932 the street department reported that there were “101 gold star streets named in honor of Oakland soldiers who died in France.” A total of 170 soldiers from Oakland were lost in battle. The names of 69 soldiers are still on the list of available street names. Oakland Tribune Feb 15, 1932
Montclair’s Krohn Lane is the only street named for a Korean War casualty; it is named for Second Lt. Jered Krohn, killed in Korea in 1951. Oakland Tribune Nov 23, 1955
This is was just brought to my attention. Pfc Donald R. Colgett died on March 2, 1951, while serving with a machine gun squad with the 3rd Battalion of the 1st Marine Division at Hoensong. This street is a part f the Crestmont Subdivision.
Sample Gold Star Streets Signs
Gold Star Streets Map
In 2016 I created a Google Map of the streets based on a list of 170 that was printed in the Oakland Tribune. From what I have determined, not all the names were used. According to one article, it was left up to the “Street Numberer” in the Department of Streets. The list was given to the department in alphabetical order, but the names were evidently picked at random. Some names were too difficult to spell; whenever possible, a veteran’s name was used.
I also started an Oakland Local Wiki Page – Gold Star Streets