Posted in East Oakland, Elmhurst, History, Parks, Uncategorized

Oakland Zoo in Knowland Park

  • Open Daily: Monday – Friday: 10:00am – 4:00pm, Saturday, Sunday, Select Holidays: 10:00am – 4:00pm
  • Address: 9777 Golf Links Road, Oakland, CA 94605

Covid-19

In accordance with Alameda County’s order for residents to ‘shelter in place’ for the well-being of public and staff related to COVID-19 precautionary measures, Oakland Zoo will be closed Tuesday, March 17 and remain closed until the order is lifted.

Oakland Zoo Closed — Effective Tuesday, March 17

We need your support more now than ever to care for the animals you know and love. Please help sustain Oakland Zoo – your Zoo – during this difficult time.

The Oakland Zoo Animal Care Fund

Oakland Accepts Zoo

Henry A. Snow, a naturalist, collector, and African big game hunter, established the Oakland Zoo in downtown Oakland. The first Zoo was located at 19th and Harrison. The area is now known as Snow Park.

In February of 1923, the city of Oakland accepted Snow’s collection of wild animals. The collection was valued from $30,000 to $80,000.

“On behalf of the city of Oakland, we are delighted to accept this valuable collection.”

Oakland Tribune Feb 1923

Two lion cubs and a boa-constrictor formed the nucleus, with various monkeys, bobcats, a cinnamon bear, a mountain lion, and a badger completed the menagerie.

We’ve Moved!

After many complaints were filed with the city council and the park board from the neighborhood residents around the Zoo, who said the collection of animals were a nuisance.

Oakland Tribune 1925

The new location was in Sequoia Mountain Park (now a part of Joaquin Miller Park.)

In 1926 Henry Snow had a stroke and died in July of 1927. Snow’s son Sidney Snow continued in father’s footsteps.

In 1936, Snow established the nonprofit organization East Bay Zoological Society, which was incorporated as the  Alameda County Botanical and Zoological Society. 

The new Society was seeking to move the animals to the 500-acre Durant Park.

Durant Park

In 1939 the Zoo moved from Joaquin Miller Park to Durant Park.

Miss Effie with Sidney Snow, March 1952
© Oakland Tribune (archives)

Durant Park was once the home to R.C. Durant, the President of Durant Motors. Before that, the land from owned by F.C. Talbot. The park is located at the top of 98th Avenue.

Rosebud Dancing to Shake, Rattle and Roll 1955
Sid Snow with Baby Tigers circa 1950
Oakland Tribune May 22, 1950

Knowland State Arboretum and Park and Zoo

Visitors enter the Oakland Zoo in Knowland Park through the landscape of the Historical Park and Arboretum. The trees throughout this area are the remnants of the Frederick Talbot estate (see Edenvale.)

Trees in the Meadow – Knowland Park 1937

A row of Canary Island Palm marks the park entry. There are Mexican Fan Palms, Chilean Palms, and exotic Bunya Bunya Trees from Australia in the meadow and picnic grounds. These trees were all planted early part of the 1900s.

Knowland Park consists of approximately 443 acres, of which 350 acres are in the undeveloped Upper Knowland Park. The Zoo (in 1996) had 56 acres within the Historical Park, and 37 acres are in the Zoological Park.

Oakland Tribune 1948

Under a contract with the City of Oakland, the East Bay Zoological Society (EBZS) has full responsibility for the operation, maintenance, and development of the 37-acre Zoo and the 443 acres of Knowland Park.

Improvements 1957-1966

Miss Effie – new home

The first significant addition was the construction enclosure for Miss Effie, the elephant, at the cost of $15,000. The move from the lower park to the upper area began. Video of Miss Effie in 1965 can be seen here: website

There was a 60-foot cylindrical gibbon tower at the entrance to the Zoo. The baby zoo was located in the lower area of the new Zoo.

Oakland Zoo 1963

“The Zoo, when completed, will be the most modern and beautiful one in the country.”

Oakland Tribune 1960
Oakland Tribune 1964

By 1967 the Zoo had relocated entirely to a canyon rising to a mountain overlooking the entire East Bay Area.

The Skyline Daylight a miniature train complete with a “Vista Dome” coach.

Oakland Zoo Circa 1968

The Baby Zoo was completed in 1965 and totally rebuilt in 2005.

Oakland Tribune 1965

When completed, the Zoo would be 100 acres.

Sidney Snow Dies

SF Examiner August 38, 1959

People Came to See

Zoo Under Fire

In 1983 the Zoo was listed as number six of the “The 10 ‘worst’ zoos.’

The Humane Society of the United States said the conditions at the Zoo were so adverse that the elephants might be better off “serving five to ten years in Leavenworth.”

SF Examiner 1983

The Zoo was “a random collection of animals maintained in amateurish fashion and failed to meet even one criterion of an acceptable zoological garden.

They called the Zoo “concrete oasis.”

SF Examiner 1983

The report noted that there were no signs of cruelty to the animals, and they were generally healthy.

The Zoo’s response was, “it will be a first-class zoo in a few years.”

Since 1988, Oakland Zoo has been accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the national organization that sets the highest standards for animal welfare for zoos and aquariums.

New and Improved Zoo

Dr. Joel Parrott – 1983
Oakland Zoo – Youtube Page

In his tenure, Dr. Parrott has turned the Zoo entirely around, making it one of the best in the country.

African Savanna

Many new exhibits have been created, including those for the hamadryas baboons and the chimpanzees. A new, spacious elephant exhibit was built in 1987.

The current sun bear exhibit was finished in 1995 and was featured on Animal Planet “Ultimate Zoos.” The white-handed gibbons now live on a lush island in the heart of the Rainforest. The African Savannah, with camels, lions, elephants, meerkats, hyenas and more, was completed in 1998.

The Zoo Today

In the summer of 2005 the 3-acre Valley Children’s Zoo opened with spacious new animal exhibits along with plenty of interactive play-structures for children. The ring-tailed lemurs, century old Aldabra tortoises, the interactive Goat and Sheep Contact Yard along with the river otters can be found in the Children’s Zoo. The popular American alligators, the bats, the pot-bellied pigs, the Old-World rabbits along with the Bug Room, and the Reptile and Amphibian Discovery Room are also in the Children’s Zoo. 

June 20, 2018 – Almost three years since breaking ground and more than two decades in the making, Oakland Zoo’s highly anticipated California Trail opens. The expansion more than doubles the Zoo’s current size from 45 acres to 100 acres.

Zoo Map – Website
The Zoo is home to two sets of brother grizzly bears, also known as brown bears. At Oakland Zoo the bears are given a wide variety of enrichment, as well as choice. Grizzly Bear Cams

The California Trail also includes the interactive California Conservation Habitarium, Conservation Action Tent, California Wilds! Playground based on California’s diverse eco-zones, and Clorox Overnight Experience ‘safari-style’ campground.

5 Fascinating Facts about the Oakland Zoo Gondola
Oakland Zoo
October 18, 2018
3-story Kaiser Permanente Visitor Center, which houses The Landing Café.
Ring-Tailed Lemur
Children’s Zoo
Our Bats Are Hungry For a Bite…of FRUIT!
Oakland Zoo

November 1, 2019
Enjoy the Sun Bears at Oakland Zoo

Timeline of the Zoo

  •  1936– Snow established the nonprofit organization East Bay Zoological Society, which was incorporated as the  Alameda County Botanical and Zoological Society. 
  • 1939-moved from Joaquin Miller Park to Durant Park.
  • 1948 – Became a State Park
  • 1949: State Park property is leased to the City of Oakland for 50 years, and the City of Oakland subleased the zoo property to the East Bay Zoological Society.
  • 1950: -The zoo property changed its name Joseph Knowland State Arboretum and Park.
  • 1964 –City Parks Dept and Society run zoo
  • 1965 – The baby Zoo opened
  • 1975 Knowland State Park was conveyed to the City of Oakland
  • 1982 –East Bay Zoological Society took over the maintenance, operation, and development of the city-run Zoo. The 10-year lease agreement saved the city almost $315,880 a year. The Society signed a ten-year contract.
  • 1985 – Joel Parrott was appointed the Executive Director. A 20-year renovation plan was put in place,
  • 1994- Renews 10-year lease.

Timeline of Major Developments

  • Hamadryas Baboon Exhibit 1982
  • Chimpanzee Exhibit – 1988
  • African Elephant Exhibit – 1989
  • African Lion Exhibit – 1992
  • Siamang Island Exhibit – 1993
  • Malayan Sun Bear Exhibit – 1996
  • African Savanna – 1998
  • Maddie’s Center – 1999
  • Warthog Exhibit -2000
  • Mahali Pa Tembo – Elephant Exhibit 2004
  • Wayne & Gladys Valley Children Zoo Opened 2005
  • Baboon Cliffs – 2009
  • Wild Australia – 20110
  • Veterinary Hospital – 2012

More Info:

The East Bay Zoological Society has operated and managed the Zoo for the City of Oakland from 1982 until August 2017, when it was renamed the Conservation Society of California to reflect better Zoo’s evolving purpose mission in its commitment to conservation.

  • Open Daily: Monday – Friday: 10:00am – 4:00pm, Saturday, Sunday, Select Holidays: 10:00am – 4:00pmMore 
  • Address: 9777 Golf Links Road, Oakland, CA 94605

Please note this not a complete history of the Oakland Zoo. Please let me know about any errors or additions. Thanks

The End

Posted in Districts/Neighborhoods, Elmhurst, Homes

Sweat-Equity Down Payment

Owner-Built Housing 

SF Examiner April 1980

In 1980 the Mckinley family of Oakland was one of seven Oakland families that were approved for a construction loan of $45,000 to participate in the Owner-Built Housing Program of Oakland Neighborhood Housing Services (ONHS).

The homes are located on 73rd Avenue between International Blvd and Holly Street.

Building Training

SF Examiner

The families were trained in construction techniques and were supervised by professional construction personnel. They took classes at the Owner Builder Center in Berkeley. The highly technical and most finish work was subcontracted out.

SF Examiner

Each family was obligated to provide 40 hours of labor week on the construction of their home.  

SF Examiner

 The couples had to have incomes of between $21,000 and $31,000. They had to be Oakland residents for a year and be first-time homeowners.

Sf Examiner

Project Design

Architects at the University of California, Berkeley, contributed to the beginning design stages of the project and made the model used in the presentation to the City of Oakland.

“Elmhurst Community Design Center,” Environmental Design Archives Exhibitions, accessed June 19, 2020, http://exhibits.ced.berkeley.edu/items/show/3213.

The three-bedroom, two-bath homes were designed by Architect Richard McCarty of Morro Bay.

The project took about a year to develop, arrange for the money, and purchase the lots. 

The City of Oakland purchased the lots for $3000 each.

The first seven homes took about ten months to build. In all I believe there were 14 homes built.

The Families:

  • Charles and Yolanda Bird – 1808 73rd Ave
  • James Davis
  • Jake and Pauline Evans
  • Bariwynn and Mary Jane Howard – 1616 73rd Ave
  • Stanley and Mary Mckinley – 1468 73rd Ave
  • Tony Stevens
  • Willie and Denise Sumtter
Yolanda Bird
1808 73rd Avenue
1606 73rd Avenue

More Info:

Building a Dream – PBS 

Posted in Buildings, East Oakland, Elmhurst

Lockwood Gardens

The name Lockwood has been a part Oakland for a long time. I am still looking into where the name came from. In 1875 the Lockwood School District reported the following. Lockwood was (is) considered a part of the Elmhurst District.

Oakland Tribune June 28, 1875

The site of Lockwood Gardens was once the extensive estate of William Cluff Jr. a wholesale grocer of some prominence in the early days.

The Site

Lockwood Gardens is located between 64th and 66th Avenues on the southside of East 14th Street on 2 1/2 acres of land that was occupied by a golf practice range and one house.

project plans by Carl Warnecke, OHR 

Planning Stages

The proposed housing development that would become Lockwood Gardens was met with protest. The major complaints were as follows.

Oakland Tribune April 10, 1941

One the provisions in the funding of government housing the city was to carry out “equilievant demolition” program. Under the provision for every new housing unit built a substandard dwelling not with in the project area must be demolished. The city had not met the requirements the projects that were built in West Oakland. Lockwood was 372 housing units. Over 500 hundred homes would have to be demolished.

Oakland Tribune Mar 06, 1941
Newly constructed Lockwood Gardens public housing development in the Havenscourt district of Oakland,

The cost of building the projects was about $1,175,525. Lockwood was ready for occupancy in 1942.

The Early Years

Lockwood opened in August of 1942. Originally designed for low-income families regardless of employment, they were converted for the use of families the defense industry only.

this metropolitan area’s answer to Govenment housing officials prayers”

Oakland Tribune 1944

In the 1944 the Lockwood had a population of 1600, which included 372 family units and a total of 800 children. An all volunteer Community Council. A very active Improvement Club, with the purpose to promote unity among the residents and to expand social and sports programs for adults and children.

Oakland Tribune Feb 03, 1944

There were two newspapers, two orchestras which provided music for the semi-monthly adult dances and the weekly teen dances. There was a community victory garden.

Oakland Tribune Feb 03, 1944

Organized girls’ and boys’ clubs carried out a full program of social and sports activities under the direction of volunteers.

There was an auxiliary police force of 40 members who provided their own uniforms served under Chief of Police James Rouse.

Oakland Tribune Feb 03, 1944

Race and Housing

In a letter to the editor of the Oakland Tribune Mrs. Mollie Thorner wrote the following:

Editor: Only recently has our whole neighborhood become fully aware of the shocking policies at Lockwood Gardens Federal Housing Projects. (65th Avenue). The neighborhood surrounding Lockwood Gardens is a fine democratic community where all peoples, regardless of race, creed, or color, live side by side and to the enrichment of all. The policy of Lockwood Gardens, however, is: No admittance to any minority groups. Please note that this is a Federal Housing Project for GI families of low income. All Americans are asked to fight on the battlefield, regardless of race, creed, or color. What do the good people of Oakland think of a policy where, if the GI lives to come home, he finds a Federal Project closed to him because of the color of his skin? These projects are partly paid for by the Federal. Government, but the policy is left in the hands of each city. And since one poison always breeds another, it has now been learned that hundreds of families live in Lockwood Gardens whose income is was above the maximum ser for Federal Housing tenents. We believe that the housing authorities shut their eyes to this to keep up the discrimination policy.
We say with great pride, now that our community did at last find all these things out, it will leave no stone unturned to have these policies changed. The citizens of all Oakland have a duty in this.

Neighborhood Tenants Committees
Mrs. Mollie Thorner, Secretary

The Later Years

Oakland Tribune Jul 16, 1968
Oakland Tribune Jul 16, 1968
Oakland Tribune Dec 25, 1970

Even Later

Lockwood is also known as the “6-5 Vill” (Village), and is one half of the “Vill.” The other half of the “Vill” is the recently torn down 69th San Antonio Villas housing project, where infamous drug kingpin Felix Mitchell is from. The 69th San Antonio Villas has since been remodeled into condominiums. Once an extremely unattractive housing project, the Oakland housing authority also remodeled Lockwood Gardens. However, unlike the 69th Vill, whose crime rate dropped after remodeling, these efforts have done little to thwart the crime that still plagues the 65th Vill.

Rappers such as G-Stack, Tuffy, Yukmouth and the late Rap-A-Lot Records artist Seagram Miller all claim The Vill home. World Heritage Encyclopedia

Demolish or Rehabilitation

The Oakland Housing Authority received five federal HOPE VI grants totaling $83 million, enabling it to revitalize four large public housing sites and four small scattered sites. OHA’s first HOPE grant was used to renovate one of OHA’s original “war housing” developments, the 372-unit Lockwood Gardens, constructed in 1943. This was in 1994, 1998, 1999 and 2000

Lockwood Gardens was rehabilitated in the early 2000s.

Lockwood Gardens Today
Lockwood Gardens – Google Maps

More Info:


The End

Posted in Business, Elmhurst, Fruitvale, Uncategorized

Ostrich Farm in Oakland

Ostrich farming was promoted as a sound investment over a century ago.
The farms, well documented on postcards, and were tourist attractions.

Ostriches were brought to the United States in the early 1880s from Africa. In the wild, they lived in warm, dry climates. Southern California seemed to have conditions similar to their natural African environment. By the late 1890s, there were eight locations in Los Angeles, Orange, and San Deigo counties.

The popularity of feathers in women’s fashion made raising the birds an attractive investment.

Farm in Oakland 

In the fall of 1907, San Francisco newspapers ran an ad campaign for stock investment in an ostrich farm in Oakland. 

In July of 1908, W.H.” Harvey” Bentley of the Bentley Ostrich Farm in San Diego County announced the opening of a branch in the Elmhurst District (sometimes Fruitvale) of Oakland at East 14th and High Street.

Bentley Ostrich Farm East 14th (now International Blvd) and High Streets Oakland, California
Photographer: Cheney Photo Advertising Company c 1913

It opened on August 30th of 1908. It featured birds named Mr. and Mrs “George Dewey” (Admiral at the battle of Manila Bay) and the other Spanish American War hero from the Cuba campaign, “Fighting Bob” Evans commander of the Great White Fleet.

Forty-six birds compromised the original herd.

Could this be George or Bob?

In 1910 it was announced that the addition of a factory to their local salesroom and yards. Which meant the hats were made in Oakland and not San Diego. For the years 1907 to 1911, ostrich plumage on women’s hats was at its peak and all the rage.

Bentley Ostrich Farm East 14th (now International Blvd) and High Streets Oakland, California
Photographer: Cheney Photo Advertising Company c 1911

New Name

In January of 1912, the owner of the Bently Ostrich Farm, was killed in an auto accident near the San Diego farm.

Oakland Tribune Sep 21, 1913

His son sold the farm to a group of Oakland investors.

View of main entrance to the Golden State Ostrich Farm;
Souvenir Publishing Co 1915

The name was changed to Golden State Ostrich Farm in 1913.

;

The farm had spacious ground floor offices and salesroom. In the sales there was a magnificent display of plumes in all sizes, prices and colors.

Title: Salesroom and office [picture] : Golden State Ostrich Farm, East 14th and High streets 1910
Collection: Selections from the Collections of the Oakland History Room and the Maps Division of the Oakland Public Library
Date of access: May 31 2020 10:32
Permalink: https://calisphere.org/item/ark:/13030/kt0p3022h1/

With the coming of World War I, as American and European women entered the workforce, utilitarian clothing replaced the flamboyant fashions of the early 1900s. Broader hats were pinned up with a broach or artificial flower.

Oakland Tribune 1909

Plucking is Painless”

Oakland Tribune May 01, 1952

The bird is shoved into a corner by several men. A hood is placed over the birds head. The plume is cut leaving about an inch of quill in the flesh. The quill would soon fall out.

Bankruptcy

Golden State Ostrich Farm in Oakland filed for bankruptcy in early 1915. 

“Whole Ostrich for the Price of a Feather”

 The press announcement said it was now cheaper to buy the entire ostrich than the amount once paid for the feathers to adorn a hat.

The ostrich farms in northern California had all but failed by 1915. The “industry” had a brief heyday, and in the end, defeat by war and a significant fashion change in hats.

The End

Posted in Buildings, Elmhurst, Schools, Then and Now

Then & Now – Oakland Schools Part 6

In this series of posts, I hope to show Then and Now images Oakland Schools.  Along with a bit of history of each school, I highlight. Some of the photos are in the form of drawings or postcards, or from the pages of history books. 

Note: Piecing together the history of some of the older schools is sometimes tricky. 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.

Elmhurst Middle School

In a June 1893 real estate ad for the Warner Tract in Elmhurst announced that

building will commence soon on a new $15,000 schoolhouse upon the Warner Tract.

Oakland Evening Tribune Jun 26 1893

Elmhurst Grammar School was formally dedicated in July of 1894. The school contained four large classrooms.

New Addition for Elmhurst

The people of Elmhurst are requesting more room at Elmhurst, Below is the proposed addition in 1903

Oakland Tribune Jul 29, 1930

In August of 1904, work had begun on the additions to Elmhurst School.

Oakland Tribune Aug 18, 1904
Elmhurst 1911
Elmhurst School circa 1912

Elmhurst School is now Elmhurst Junior High

With the opening of the Elmhurst Annex School ( E. Morris Cox), there was a need for a junior high school. A new school was built at the site if the Old Elmhurst School at 98th and Cherry and Birch Street. The new school opened in July 1927

Oakland Tribune July 31, 1927

The new school was designed by John J. Donovan. The structure is in classical design and has 21 classrooms and shops in connection with manual training classes. Other features are an auditorium with a balcony and motion picture projection room

Modern Shops were added to Elmhurst.

Oakland Tribune 1926

Fires

In June of 1955, a $35,00 destroyed one woodshop while damaging another.

Oakland Tribune Jun 19, 1955

In May 1967, Elmhurst Junior High suffered $25,000 in a suspected arson fire. It was 7th school fire that year.

Elmhurst Today

Elmhurst is located at 1800 98th Avenue

Elmhurst Today

Elmhurst Community Prep (ECP) is a triumphant middle school located in East Oakland. ECP prepares 6th – 8th-grade students for high school, college, and career by using a host of online and digital tools

Elmhurst United website – OUSD

McChesney Junior High

McChesney started out an elementary school and was built in 1913, at the intersection of 13th Avenue and East 38th Street. The school was named in honor of educator Joseph B. McChesney (1832-1912), Oakland High Schools first Principal, who died the year before this school was finished.

The building was designed by architect John J. Donovan.

In 1989 Oakland Unified School District renamed the school for Edna Brewer (19-1986), who was the principal of the school from 1971 until 1985.

New School Built

Groundbreaking for a new school.

Oakland Tribune Jan 14, 1960

McChesney/Edna Brewer Today

Melrose School

In 1901 property was purchased for $1500 by the Melrose School District, then part of the unincorporated Brooklyn Township.

Bids opened in June of 1901. The entire amount to be used for construction and the purchase of the property was $15,000.

Melrose School was dedicated in November of 1901.

From the 1923 Fremont High School Yearbook

In 1905 Union High School No.4  was established at Melrose, and classes were held on the 2nd floor of the school while plans were being drawn up for the new Fremont High School.

Melrose School circa 1912 OMCA

New School

In 1959 plans were drawn up to replace the 58-year-old Melrose School. The new building would hold 300 students plus faculty with 7 classrooms, one kindergarten, administration offices, a library, and a multipurpose room with a kitchen.

E.D Cerruti designed the school.

Oakland Tribune 1960

Dedication of the new Melrose Elementary was in December of 1960. The new school was built fronting 53rd Avenue, and the old school was fronting 52nd Avenue.

Oakland Tribune Dec 1960

Melrose Elementary School is located at 1325 53rd Avenue

It now Bridges Academy at Melrose

Building bridges from East Oakland to college and careers by breaking barriers to create a more just, equitable, and culturally responsive community.

Melrose School – today
Melrose School Today

Melrose Heights Grammar School

Melrose Heights school was later renamed Horace Mann (please see Part 1)

Melrose Heights grammar school was built in 1909. The building was designed by F.W. Burki, who chose the Renaissance style of architecture. The 3 story building with 12 rooms, including 8 classrooms and a basement.  Cost $30,000

Melrose School later Horace Mann School

Santa Fe School

Oakland Tribune
Oakland Tribune Mar 29, 1914

Santa Fe School was formally dedicated in July of 1914. The school was designed by John J. Donovan.

Oakland Tribune Jul 1914
School Architecture: Principles and Practices
By John Joseph Donovan 1921

New School Built

The new Santa Fe Elementary School was dedicated in February of 1960.

Santa Fe has been the temporary school for the students of Glenview Elementary while a new school is being rebuilt for them. The new school has 18 classrooms, 2 kindergartens, a multipurpose room, a library, and offices. It cost $809,879

The school is located at 915 54th St., Oakland

Santa Fe today

The End

Posted in Buildings, East Oakland, Elmhurst, Schools, Then and Now

Then & Now – Oakland Schools Part 3

 In this series of posts, I hope to show Then and Now images Oakland Schools.  Along with a bit of history of each school, I highlight. Some of the photos are in the form of drawings or postcards, or from the pages of history books. 

Note: Piecing together the history of some of the older schools is sometimes tricky. 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.

Updated Dec 26, 2919

E. Morris Cox School (Elmhurst Annex)

The new Elmhurst Annex Elementary School was completed in Oct 1926. The Italian Renaissance-style building was designed by Howard Schroeder. The new school contained thirteen classrooms, a kindergarten, and an assembly hall. It cost $140,000 to build. The school is located at 98th Avenue and Sunnyside Street.

Oakland Tribune 1926
E Morris Cox School. Graham Photo, Courtesy BAERA, Western Railway Museum Archives

Renamed

The Elmhurst Annex school was renamed to honor of E. Morris Cox who died in 1925. Cox was the Assistant Superintendent of Schools.

In 1960 a new building was added to the school.

Located at 9860 Sunnyside Street

  • E.Morris Cox School Dedicated – Oakland Tribune Nov 10, 1926
  • Cox Academy Website – OUSD

Garfield School

Garfield Grammar School opened in March of 1887 with two classes the seventh and the eighth grades. The teachers will be Miss Murray and Miss Ellen Gibbs.

The school was named for the 20th U.S. President, James A. Garfield, who was assassinated in 1881.

Oakland Daily Evening Tribune Mar 24, 1887

The school was designed by John & T.D. Newsom (Newsom Brothers)

Garfield School 1893

In 1910 Miss Ellen Gibbs retired after 16 years as the principal of Garfield Grammar School.

Garfield School circa 1905
OMCA
Harry Courtright | Commercial Photo View

Fire

In 1926 a suspected arson fire destroyed the original school that was built in the 1890s. The school was a combined elementary and junior high. This was the fourth school to be destroyed by fire in nine months.

Oakland Tribune Sept 11, 1924

New School Built

A new Tudor style building was approved by the school board. The new three-building with 26 classrooms was designed by Miller and Warnecke.

Oakland Tribune Dec 16, 1925

A cornerstone for the new school was laid in Sept of 1926.

Oakland Tribune Sep 28, 1926

1959

Bids were open to build a new school on the present site.

Oakland Tribune 1959

Located at 1640 22nd Avenue, Oakland, CA, 94606

Jefferson School

Jefferson School was designed by John J Donovan and Washington J Miller. The school was built around 1911 to 1913.

School Architecture: Principles and Practices
By John Joseph Donovan 1921
School Architecture: Principles and Practices
By John Joseph Donovan 1921

In 1959 bids were open to build a new school at the same site.

Oakland Tribune May 27, 1959

2035 40th Avenue, Oakland, CA, 94601

Jefferson School – Today

It is now the Global Family Elementary is a TK – 5th grade, dual immersion school located in the East Oakland-Fruitvale corridor near Foothill avenue. Our dedicated staff prepares students to be bilingual and bi-literate to meet the challenges of the 21st century. 

Lazear School

Lazear School originally designated as the Park and Division School was built in 1913-1914. The school cost $75, 595. Fred Voorhees was the Architect.

The school was named after Dr. Jesse Lazear was an American physician and member of the commission that proved that the infectious agent of yellow fever is transmitted by a mosquito.

New School

In 1959 a new school with 12 classrooms, a kindergarten, library, and offices was built to replace the old one. The new school cost $162,456.

824 29th Avenue, Oakland, CA, 94601

Lazear Today

It is now Lazear Charter Academy 

The End

Updated Oct 21, 2019

Posted in East Oakland, Elmhurst, History, Schools, Then and Now

Then & Now – Oakland Schools -Old Lockwood School

Oakland Tribune Oct 10, 1965

In 1858 Miss Julia Aldrich was contracted to run a small private school on Isaac (Issac) Yoakum’s farm. Yoakum had built his house on the site of the present Lockwood School, he later moved that house and replaced it with a small building to be used as a school (see above).

The school was located at the intersection East 14th Street (County Road No. 1525 and now International Blvd) Mary Street, then 68th Avenue, and later 69th Avenue. The schoolhouse remained in use for another 42 years, with a small addition in 1892.

The first year Lockwood had 12 students enrolled.

Map from 1912 – the Redline is East 14th -68th

In February of 1876, there were 28 boys, and 10 girls enrolled in the school. The teacher was Alonzo Crawford.

Oakland Tribune Mar 01, 1876

In August of 1876 (typo in the newspaper), there were 20 boys and 21 girls enrolled.

  • The Damon Family owned a general store at the corner of E.14th & 66th
  • The Kinsell Family lived on 94th Avenue just below E. 14th
  • The A.H. Merritt family lived on 66th Avenue
  • The Moss home was at 82nd and Foothill
  • The Silva’s owned a saloon at 84th and E. 14th

New School – 1902

The new school was built on the corner of East 14th Street and 68th Avenue in 1902. Charles H Greenman was the principal. The school was demolished (need to verify this) in 1936.

Lockwood Public School
Circa 1912
Photographer: Cheney Photo Advertising Company

Oakland Tribune 20, 1902

The Oakland Tribune Collection, the Oakland Museum of California. Gift of ANG Newspapers circa 1917

Greenman died while fighting a fire in the school playground in 1919. In the 1950s, they named the athletic field after Greenman.

Oakland Tribune 1909

Across from the school was the 282-acre dairy belonging to William Machado. The big pasture was later used as the landing field of Weldon Cooke, an early Oakland aviator. In 1910 Wickham Havens subdivided into what we now know as Havenscourt.

Old School is Sold – 1903

Oakland Tribune Feb 05, 1903

Class of 1904

Oakland Tribune May 1948

Lockwood Junior High – 1912

Lockwood School – Havenscourt Area
East 14th Street (now International Blvd) and Mary (now 68th) Avenue
Circa 1912
Photographer: Cheney Photo Advertising Company

Old Timers Reunions

For many years the former students of the school would hold an annual reunion for all graduates of the school.

Class of 1898
Oakland Tribune Feb 16, 1932

Class of 1894
Oakland Tribune May 13, 1959

CLASS of 1898
Oakland Tribune July 16, 1951

The Lockwood Quill

Lockwood School Band

Lockwood Band 1905
Oakland Tribune May 1947

Oakland Tribune November 03, 1905

Oakland Tribune Aug 05, 1909

Traffic Reserve

The first traffic reserve unit was formed at Lockwood in February 1928.

More Info on Lockwood

Also known as Havenscourt Junior High

Now the Coliseum College Prep Academy – OUSD

The present Lockwood School building was built in 1953-54

In 2007 Futures Elementary School opened as a small school on historic Lockwood campus, which has been home to students for more than 100 years.

  • Futures Elementary School – OUSD

The End

Posted in East Oakland, Elmhurst, Oakland Tracts, Tract or Subdivisions

Toler Heights

Toler Ranch

William Pinkney Toler (1829-1899) and his wife Maria Antonia (1836-1926) owned 330 (349) acres of land in the foothills of Elmhurst. Maria was the daughter of  Hermenegildo “Ignacio” Peralta. William and Maria were married in 1853.

The Ranch was on the foothills road between Elmhurst and San Leandro, later known as Foothill Blvd, and is now MacArthur Blvd. The ranch was close to both the Talbot Farm and the Dunsmuir Home.

Oakland Tribune Oct 08, 1888

Toler Ranch Sold

After her husband’s death, Mrs. Toler sold the ranch to the Realty Syndicate for $110,000-$120,000. The land was then subdivided and placed on the market.

Oakland Tribune Mar 26, 1906
SF Call July 30, 1906
Oakland Tribune Jan 1906

Map of Toler Heights – 1907

Shows block and lot numbers, measurements, land ownership, etc. Covers area generally bounded by Stanley Rd. [i.e. Ave.], Wise [i.e., 99th] Ave., Foothill [i.e., MacArthur] Blvd., and Hillcrest Ave. [i.e., Seneca St.]. Panel title: Map of Toler Heights, Elmhurst, Oakland. Oriented with north toward left. Cadastral map. c1907
Historical Maps of the Bay Area – Toler Heights

Opening Day 1907

Toler Heights went on sale in 1907. A group of Investors owned the property, and the Southwest Securities Company was handling the sales for them.

SF Examine 1907
SF Examiner Oct 27, 1907
S F Examiner Oct 18, 1907

Change of Ownership

In 1910 the Henderson & Tapscotts Company purchased Toler Heights. The made a lot of improvements to the tract. Opening day in was held on May 22, 1910

Looking towards Thermal Street and 90th Avenue
Cheney Photo Advertising Company c1910
Previously sold on eBay

The photo above might be showing the Silva Ranch on Foothill Blvd

Oakland Tribune Oct 31, 1920

Opening day was one of the most auspicious days in the residential property sold. Oakland Tribune May 24, 1910

Oakland Tribune May 24, 1910
Oakland Tribune May 22, 1910
The corner of MacArthur and 90th Avenue
Cheney Photo Advertising Company c1912
Previously sold on eBay

The Piedmont of East Oakland

SF Examiner

SF Examiner Aug 30, 1914
SF Examiner Aug 30, 1914
Oakland Tribune Mar 19, 1916

Another change in ownership

In 1922, the property was for sale via an auction. “Sales way down.” Oakland Tribune May 28, 1922

Oakland Tribune May 28, 1922
Along Foothill Blvd
Oakland Tribune June 04, 1922
Oakland Tribune June 08, 1922
Oakland Tribune 1923

New School – May 1928 – Now Barack Obama Academy

Oakland Tribune May 23, 1929
Oakland Tribune May 23, 1929
Toler Heights School – Now Barack Obama Academy
9736 Lawlor Street

Location

Toler Heights Google Maps

More Information on Toler Heights


More to come – Toler Heights Homes

The End

Posted in Buildings, East Oakland, Elmhurst, History, People

Edenvale – The Talbot Estate

From Eden of the Pacific, Oakland Tribune 1898

1857 – 1888:  Ellis A Haines  purchased the property from the Peralta’s

In 1888,  Frederick C. Talbot of the San Francisco lumber firm of Pope & Talbot purchased 133- acres from  Ellis A. Haines in Elmhurst near San Leandro and adjacent to the Souhter Farm ( now the Dunsmuir Home) for $15,000.

San Francisco Chronicle Jul 28, 1888

Oakland Tribune Jul 30,1888

Depending on who wrote it or what you read, the total acreage seems to change. Above you will see in one clipping has the entire area as “133- acres “and, in the other, it as “153 -acres.” It has been as high as 453 acres. I have always understood it to be the same land that both the Oakland Zoo and Knowland Park, but who really knows?

Oakland Tribune Aug 08, 1890

Oakland Tribune Sept 14, 1888

Edenvale –

Nestled in the hills surrounded by the choicest fruits and flowers, “Edenvale,” as the name suggests, is a veritable paradise.

The estate was 140-acres (different acreage) of fertile land used for farming and orchards. 60 acres were planted with almonds, cherries, oranges, walnuts, lemons, prunes, apricots, peaches, and olives. 80 acres of choice farming land.

Talbot Home –
Cheney Photo Advertising
C 1915

View of Edenvale from the hillside
Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History 

OutWest
A Magazine – Of The Old Pacific and The New
Page 125 -July 1907

In the picture, you can see the caretaker’s home in the back (the taller one). This house is still standing today.

The garden was laid out with rare trees and a variety of plants and lighted pathways. There was a large pond with a bridge the crossed it. The pond was large enough for a small rowboat.

The main house was a modern elegant colonial structure of 12 rooms, with 4 baths running water and gas throughout. It Burned down in 1921.

There was a large modern stable, a greenhouse, servants quarters. There was a home for the caretaker, which is still standing today. A brooder for chickens and pen for pigs. Oakland Tribune Mar 22, 1902

Unknown Talbot Family Members at EdenVale c 189?
Photo by I.W. Taber
Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History 

Barn Burns –

San Francisco Dec 21, 1901

Oakland Tribune May 18,1900

Talbot Farm for Sale

Oakland Tribune March 10, 1902

Town Talk March 22, 1902
Note it is 140 acres

Meanwhile…

R.C. “Cliff” Durant Purchases Estate

Durant purchases the Talbot estate “Edenvale.” The estate comprised of 470-acres (different acreage) and sold for $200,000.

Oakland Tribune Nov 25, 1919

San Francisco Examiner Feb 08, 1920

The above says  “478-acres” and below says “200-acres”.

Oakland Tribune Nov 23, 1919

Oakland Tribune Dec 21, 1921

A Map showing the location of R.C Durants/F.C. Talbots Mansion

Oakland Tribune 1921

The Estate Becomes A Park

In 1929 the city of Oakland council voted to purchase the former country estate of the late F.C. Talbot from the Park Commission. The 350-acres ( different acreage) would cost the city approximately $662,000. That deal fell through. The whole story is confusing. Durant Park opened to the public in 1932.

Oakland Tribune April 19, 1929

In 1935 Sidney Snow took possession of the 475-acre (different acreage) Durant Park and started building the zoo.  He ran it with some help from the city of Oakland. – From A History as Told by the Founder’s Daughter”

In 1937 Durant Park is now called the Zoological Gardens and Arboretum of Metropolitan Oakland.


Durant Park 1937
Durant Park – Press Photo 1937
Durant Park Talbot estate
Durant Park – Press Photo 1937

Oakland Tribune May 22, 1950
To read the entire article go here: https://www.newspapers.com/clip/54743134/durant-park-in-east-oakland-becomes/

In 1950 Durant park is dedicated as the “East Bay State Park” under the California park system. In a dedication speech, it was noted the there were many trees and plants from F.C Talbot estate, and they were included in the Historical Arboretum, which is a separate park from the Oakland Zoo.


Oakland Tribune Mar 31, 1937

Oakland Tribune 1957
The row of Canary Island Palms

A row of mature Canary Island Date Palms marks the part entry. Stately Mexican Fan Palms, Chilean Palms, and exotic Bunya Bunya trees from Australia dot the formal meadows of the existing picnic grounds. These Arboretum’s specimens were planted at the turn of the last century (I bet before that) as part of the Talbot Estate grounds. There is also a collection of 8 species of palms, native and exotic oaks, redwoods, and many other specimens from North Africa, the Himalayas, Chile, and the Canary Islands. – From the Zoo Master Plan 1996

In 1951 the park was renamed “Joseph Knowland State Arboretum and Park.” Now called Knowland State Arboretum and Park and the Oakland Zoo.

In 1962 a fire destroyed the building that had been home to Effie, the elephant until 1959. The building had been marked unsafe. The building was built in 1890, was part of the Talbot Estate.

The Estate Today

On the map below, the sizeable red square shows where most of the estate was. The smaller green box shows the location of the caretaker home that was apart of the Talbot Estate. When Sidney Snow ran the zoo, he and his family lived there. Now is it used by zoo employees. The meadow by the main gate still has some of the trees planted by Talbot over 100 years ago. They are part of the Knowland State Arboretum and Park. I need to check this out.

From the Zoo Master Plan 1996

Sidney Snow’s Home
Circa 1939

Google Map 2019 showing the caretakers home still standing in Knowland Park

Links :

A couple of things:

I am working on getting copies of the real photos as opposed to copies from a report.

I am also checking on what’s up with the Knowland State Arboretum and Park. Does it still exist?

I know on real crowded days they allow parking on the meadow, where some of the historic trees still stand.

The End