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 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, in papers scattered on a table.

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 farm, 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 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


I grew up in the Montclair District of Oakland, CA. I attended Thornhill Elementary School, Montera Junior High, Skyline High School, and spent some time at Merritt College.

6 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

  2. A great collection of a mountain man life. Up over in the Leona Lodge area. A great trail to the top. You can feel the history through the trees there. Thanks for posting.

    Liked by 1 person

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