Posted in East Oakland, History, People

Old Mountain George

Again while researching something else I came across this and I had to share it. I was looking into the Haines Ranch and found this article about Mountain George.

Old Mountain George Died Where He wanted to Die

On the 15th day of July 1887 Jonathan Murphy was riding over the ridge close to (or on) the Haines Ranch (now the Oakland Zoo) or Mills Seminary (now Mills College) when he decided to to check on ‘Old George” at his cabin. He found George dead in his bed. His old gun and hound dog lay by his side. There was a letter addressed to his sister along with other papers scattered on a table in the middle of the room.

Everybody in East Oakland knew the tall, gaunt man with long grey bread as “Mountain George”. But few knew him as George Clinton Tisdale, a former resident of New York. He was about 63 years old and had lived in the hills for years, killing whatever game he could find.

He used to occupy a cabin on the E.A. Haines ranch, but recently had lived in a hut on Colonel Simpson’s ranch, about four miles back of Mills Seminary on the old Redwood Road.

First Dentist in Oakland?

I will have to research this.

Note on cabin door “Man shot in the Gulch”

Autopsy on “Mountain George”

San Francisco Examiner July 22, 1887

A “suitable burial” in the Potter’s Field.

San Francisco Examiner July 1887
Oakland Tribune July 22, 1887

More on Mountain George

Oakland Daily Evening Tribune July 16, 1887

Mountain George Arrested before for stealing a Cow

Oakland Tribune May 1879

El Sobrante Ranch – Mountain George – Oakland Daily Evening Tribune Aug 30, 1880

1880 Federal Census he lists himself as a hunter.

I will probably be updating this sometime soon.

The End

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.

2 thoughts on “Old Mountain George

  1. This was fascinating reading – to think of Oakland having such “backwoods” areas still in existence, with someone living off the land, at a time when newspapers were up and running. I was sad to read of his dog’s sorrowful howl, and hope someone took on his care. Thanks so much for researching and posting this.

    Liked by 1 person

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