It has been awhile since I have published a new post. I have been dealing with an major medical issue in my family. It is still ongoing. This is something I put together a while back.
A bungalow court is a group of small bungalows or workers cottages built around a court or central yard. An apartment court is a group of buildings built around or have a central courtyard.
Bungalow Court, a New Apartment Site
In 1921 a new kind of building known as a Bungalow Court opened, the first in Oakland. The building is located at Hill Lane and Euclid Avenue.
Euclid Court consists of ten three-room bungalow apartments, grouped around a central courtyard. Each unit has separate front and back entrances.
Euclid Court was built for Dr. J.L. Hobbs at the cost of $75,000 and was designed by W.E. Schirmer.
432-450 Euclid Avenue
W.E. Schirmer – Architect
Virginia Court Apartments – Filbert Street
Virginia Court is a colorful Spanish type apartment building, with twelve apartments of two rooms each.
Each unit came with the following:
Spark gas ranges
Marshall and Stearns wall-bed
1430 Filbert Avenue
Court Pueblo Apartments – On Foothill Blvd.
The Court Pueblo Apartments opened in February 1930 and is located at 6114 and 6120 Foothill Blvd.
There are twelve units of two or three rooms. Each apartment had the following:
Spark Gas Range
Marshall & Stearns Beds
Completely furnished for $45 to $52.50 in 1930
Court Pueblo is Spanish in Style.
6114-6120 Foothill Blvd
Apartment Court on Seminary
“The five-room apartments are practically complete homes.”
Oakland Tribune 1928
Apartment Court opened in January 1928 and is located at 1725 and 1729 Seminary Avenue.
It is four buildings of eight apartments, each attractively arranged in a park-like* setting with a central thoroughfare.
No longer a park-like setting
Four five-room Apartments.
Twenty-Two two-room Apartments
Brookdale Court is located at 3760 Brookdale Ave near 38th Ave.
Located at 3745 Brookdale Avenue near 38th Avenue. There are 2 and 3 room units available. They rented for $40 and $45 a month in 1928.
“Seville” Spanish-Type Apartments
Reminiscent of the early history of California the Seville was built by Barr and Sons.
“The exterior of lime white stucco in monk finish with wrought iron balconies and, rails, the Spanish court effect with landscaped slopes, broken stepping stones and green shrubbery, the tiles roof of handmade Spanish tiles laid as the early day padres would lay them”
20 apartments of 2,3, and 4 rooms furnished from $57.50 up in 1927.
On Facebook, I have been sharing photos of holiday-themed AC Transit Coaches (Bus). In researching the tradition, I learned that Nickolas P. Alevizos played Santa Claus for more than 40 years. A bit of history here.
Santa Claus – St Nick
In December of 1960, AC Transit’s new streamlined “Transit Liners” went into service on Christmas Day.
A colorful parade called the “Travelcade of Progress” was held on the streets of downtown Oakland to introduce the new buses. The parade included all forms of East Bay public transportation since the horse and cable cars.
Alevizos led the parade as Santa Claus .
Alevizos became a legend by dressing as Santa Claus at wheeling through the East Bay in an AC-Transit holiday-themed decorated bus.
He started playing Santa Claus in 1933 for the Shrine, Richmond Kiwanis Club, and at the Division 3 Christmas parties.
He also played the roles of Abraham Lincoln, Christopher Columbus, and Uncle Sam on the year’s appropriate dates. But Santa Claus remained his most extended running role, beginning in 1933.
Oakland’s Early ‘Jitney King’
A transportation pioneer in the East Bay, Nichols P. Alevizos, in 1921 started a jitney bus service. The major Oakland Jitney route was 7th Street from Pine Street to Clay Street. There were 16 jitneys and 16 drivers on the run, with 15 in use each day and the 16th taking the day off.
Alevizos organized a jitney association in 1924 and became its first and only president. In 1928 the association bought 8 Model A Ford buses. The association was named West Oakland Motor Bus Lines.
In 1935 Alevizos sold the company to the Key System. Part of the deal made by Alfred J. Lundberg, Key System president, was for Alevizos to have a lifetime supervisor job with the company.
He served as superintendent of the Key System and later AC Transits Richmond Division. His career spanned 56 years.
Alevizos retired at the end of 1977, his career spanned over 56 years. He continued as Santa for 2 more years . He passed away in April of 2000.
History of the Holiday Bus
In 1963, AC Transit launched its first holiday-themed bus. The “Candy Cane Express” was painted white and tied with big red bows.
In the years that followed, the Holiday Bus became more elaborate, with the vehicles being custom-painted and decorated with handmade wooden ornaments. By the mid-1960s, a full-size sleigh was installed on the roof, in which “Santa” would ride.
There have been many versions of the Holiday Bus throughout the years. Decals and full custom vinyl wrap have replaced the custom paint jobs and bolted on decorations.
This year’s (2020) theme is “Holidays Always Keep Their Sparkle.”
Postcards been an important tool in advertising the city of Oakland for a long time. I have collected postcards of Oakland for years. I recently came across a small ad published in the Oakland Tribune reminding people that “Postcard Day” was coming up. This piqued my interest.
I tried to find the exact postcards but I didn’t have a whole lot luck, except for one or two. I have shared what I think might be them. If I get lucky and find them I will update this.
Here is what I found.
OAKLAND IN PICTURES
First off I found this about postcard advertising.
In 1905 W.J. Laymance of the Laymance Real Estate Company suggested a unique way of advertising Oakland in which every citizen, even the humblest, could take part. They could send illuminated postal cards of this city to friends in other sections of the county, and thus calling attention to the beauty and resources of Oakland.
The subjects of some of the cards were as follows: “Oakland Water Front.” “Residence District,” “Lake Merritt,” “Court House,” “Club House,” “Piedmont Springs,” “Among the Flowers, Piedmont Park,” “East from Fourteenth and Franklin Streets,” “North from San Pablo and Fourteenth Streets” ” University of California,” “Injured Football Player,” and “Greek Theater.”
There were about 20 illuminated postal cards illustrating beauties of the city. They sold the cards at the rate of two for five cents, ten for twenty-five cents. The postal cards were sold at drug and stationery stores. They hoped 10,000 people of Oakland would participate.
Oakland’s PostCard Day 1910
February 12, 1910, was designated “Oakland’s Post Card Day.”
The chamber of commerce undertook the extensive campaign of publicity. Every man and woman in Oakland and most of the children were expected to send one or more cards advertising the city.
The card was a double booster card with the decorative scheme of dark green and orange on both cards, but the views of Oakland will be different.
The first half of the double card was to be retained by the recipient. The second half was detachable and was to be sent to the Chamber of Commerce requesting a brochure.
Picturesque residences on the shore of Lake Merritt, seen through the overhanging branches of beautiful old oak, the orange in the glowing sunset was a striking contrast to the deep green of the tree.
Postcard Day 1912
Views of Oakland and other cities to be furnished by Southern Pacific.
Postcard Day 1913
Southern Pacific plans to help advertise Oakland with postcards to be mailed by the citizens of Oakland.
There have been many discussions and articles about the name “Uptown” for an area in downtown Oakland. Most people hate it, except for the new people who just moved here, who call it “hip” or “trendy” (this is just my opinion I did not conduct a poll).
Most recently on one of the Facebook groups, I belong to. Just about everybody who commented hates the use of word uptown. Only two people actually read my comment about the history of the name. One still didn’t buy my explanation, and the other thanked me.
No as a native oaklander we have never used the word uptown it was always downtown”
Gentrification definitely gentrification”
We went Downtown
Growing up in Oakland, we always went downtown and never uptown because we went home.
It still is downtown to us and will always be! I will not argue that!
People are assuming the name “Uptown” comes from newcomers or “gentrifiers” that are taking over the area.
I know I questioned it, thinking they (the developers) were trying to make it sound like New York.
“The use of “Uptown” to refer to what is really part of downtown Oakland is relatively new and followed the city’s massive gentrification project to renovate the Fox Theater and build 10,000 new units of housing around Grand Avenue and Telegraph in the early 2000s.”
A couple of years ago, I decided to research the name a little more. I was reading an old report from the redevelopment agency from the 1980s and I saw a reference to the “Uptown District”. That got me to thinking and the rest is history.
A bit of history follows.
During the first fifty years of Oakland, the primary business activity centered around 9th and Broadway. The first map of Oakland, drawn in 1853, marked 14th street as the northern boundary of the city.
Businesses initially were built near the waterfront at 1st and Broadway. As transportation improved and the population increased, buildings moved further up Broadway.
A prominent sign of upward commercial advance was the completion of the First National Bank in 1908 at Broadway and San Pablo, along with the Cathedral Building and City Hall.
Uptown Historic District
The Uptown Historic District runs from 18th Street to 21st Street along Broadway at the north end of Oakland’s central business district. It includes three blocks of the triangular gore between Broadway and Telegraph Avenue, plus the Fox Theater on the west side of Telegraph and portions on the eastern side of Broadway at the 19th Street intersection.
The district represents a phase of the expansion of the central business district, in the 1920s and 30s. The new shopping and entertainment center was at the north end of the turn of the century downtown, anchored by the new Capwell department store and developed by Capwell’s 20th and Broadway Realty Company.
The district is an essential collection of small to medium scale commercial buildings of the 1920s and 30s, historic brownstone and terra cotta buildings from the 1920 and colorful Art Deco Terra Cotta from the 1930s.
Capwell’s, I. Magnin buildings, the Fox and Paramount Theaters, and the Flora Depot building are excellent examples of each of the styles.
Uptown the Beginning
In 1895 the Tribune’s new was located “Uptown.”
In the early 1900s as Oakland grew from the waterfront people started calling the area past 14th Street “Uptown.” By 1903 the area just below 14th Street was called getting crowded and the large mercantile businesses were reaching out for more space. They could only go uptown.
The real expansion uptown began in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Capwell’s was built in 1928.
Pioneers in “Uptown Oakland”
Smith Brothers new “Beautiful Uptown Store”
It was reported in the Oakland Tribune on March 24, 1936 that 19 new leases were signed in Oakland’s uptown business district.
In 1944 the new Hibernia Bank was built in “Uptown.”
After 17 years on 14th Street Walson’s moved “Uptown” to 2000 Franklin in 1968.
I could go on and on but I won’t.
There have been walking tours of the “Uptown District” since the early 1980s.
I like that the “old” name was used and not changed to something awful like the following:
“NOBE” is possibly the baldest and most obnoxious attempt to rename part of Oakland. Devised by realtors, the name is an acronym referring to North Oakland-Berkeley-Emeryville.”
East Bay Express
“Baja Dimond” This is a ridiculous name that some realtors have tried foisting on the part of the Fruitvale just below the Interstate 580 freeway across from the actual Dimond neighborhood. It’s the Fruitvale, not the Dimond.
East Bay Express
Just remember that Uptown is a part of Oakland’s History.
The 1918 Flu Pandemic (aka the ‘Spanish Flu’) infected and killed millions of people globally, including killing more than 1,400 in Oakland, California. (The population at that time was about 216,000.)
There were two major outbreaks in Oakland, one in the fall of 1918, and another in January 1919.
In one particularly grim 24 hour period in November 1918, 39 deaths were recorded. 2 Schools were closed, and citizens were required to wear masks to help prevent the spread of the disease. (https://oaklandwiki.org/1918_Flu_Pandemic)
S.O.S! Need Ten!
Wear you mask whenever you on the street”
The police arrested 488 overnight on November 03, 1918. Every arrest was held over for $10.00 bail. Many stay overnight because they couldn’t raise the bail. Oakland Tribune – Nov 03, 1918
No wonder there was another outbreak in November 1918 and January 1919.!
On January 11, 1919, 312 new cases and 17 deaths were reported in the 24 hours ending at 9 am that morning. By 11 am, that same day, another 112 new cases and three additional deaths were reported. Oakland Tribune January 11, 1919
War work in the Oakland Public Schools during 1918 was considered one of the most essential items in the curriculum by both the school administration and the teachers.
They felt the first duty of the schools was to aid the national government in winning the war to the best of their ability.
Service became the keynote of all work. Oakland’s boys and girls realized that they had a particular part to play in making the world a safe place to live in.
Sewing and Knitting Classes
During the summer vacation, thousands of garments for refugees were made by the children as part of their regular classwork.
Boys and girls of all ages learned to knit, and tireless little hands were busy every spare moment making garments for sailors, soldiers, and people of stricken countries.
School and Home Garden Army
The urgent need for higher food production led to the organization of the School and Home Garden Army in Oakland. Fifteen thousand children enlisted, and 6,00 brought their gardens to successful harvests.
Jackson Furniture Companyoffered two silver loving cups as prizes, one for the school having the best school garden, and one for the best home garden.
Luther Burbank visited Oakland and personally inspected many of the war gardens.
Jefferson School won the School Garden Cup, and Lakeview School won the Home Garden School Cup.
The Art Department devoted its time propaganda of publicity of the was needs through posters.
The Manual Training shops worked closely with the Red Cross. They created items needed for hospitals.
When Oakland became a city in 1852, there was no free public school. There was a private school at the corner of 2nd and Broadway run by Mrs. Monroe.
The town trustees saw the need for a school, so they rented a room at the rear of a dance hall called a Fandango House at 2nd and Washington. The room furnished with half a dozen wooden benches, a table for the teacher, a blackboard, a map of the world, and a rawhide whip. 12 to 15 children attended this school.
For control of the area around the harbor, Horace W. Carpentier donated a school building to the city. Oxen teams from the hills brought redwood lumber, and a small structure was erected at 4th and Clay Streets. It was 30 x 20 feet with a 12-foot ceiling and a shingled roof. A belfry with a little bell. Carpentier called the building, “substantial, elegant, and commodious.”
In June of 1853, when the school opened, the citizens held a parade, and 16 students carried a banner that read, “Our Duty to Our Country, First, Last, and Always.”
The first teacher of the school was Miss Hannah Jayne. She taught until 1856 when she resigned to marry Edson Adams, one of Oakland’s pioneers.
In 1853, the First Presbyterian Church used the building for services. The current sanctuary of the church (built-in 1914) memorializes the schoolhouse in one of its stained glass windows showing church history.
By 1855 there were 155 children of school age in Oakland. The little schoolhouse could not house them all.
The old Carpentier school was replaced by a slightly larger building between Jefferson and Grove ( now Martin Luther King) 11th and 12th Streets.
The city continued to grow, and so did the need for schools. By 1873 there were 13 buildings with more than 2000 children receiving instruction. By 1875 there were 3,225 attending school an increase of 1000 in 2 years.
First A.M.E. Church
The First A.M.E. Church of Oakland began in 1858 by a small group of Oakland residents and is the oldest African American church in Oakland. The church founders purchased the Carpenter School House in 1863, which became the first church building.
According to the article below the building was still there in 1921
In 1943 the school district celebrated its 90th Anniversary with nearly 2000 teachers, 75 schools with almost 45,000 students.
I don’t know what became of the house after these photos were taken. I will let you know if I find out anything.
So, I started looking into Thomas Mahoney (sometimes spelled Mahony) Wow, I was amazed to find a Thomas Mahoney living at 669 Eight Street in 1871. In the 1880 census, he lives there with his wife and four children. I then locate in an obituary from Jan of 1900. In the obituary, I notice his daughter Laura’s married name is Bassett
Mahoney came to California in the 1850s. He mined for awhile in Tuolumne county before retiring on his ranch in Hills of Oakland. In 1863 he sold his ranch and moved to the home on Eighth Street next the St. John’s Episcopal He was married in 1863 and raised four children in the home. His wife died in 1891 and he died in 1900.
Oakland Tribune Jan 29 1900
Thomas Mahoney a well known pioneer of this city, died at his home, 660 Eighth Street, last evening, in the 71st year of his age.
The deceased was a native of Ireland and came to this State many years ago, where he engaged in ranching. He owned a large quantity of land to the north of the present city limits, from which the sites now comprising Mountain View, St. Mary’s and the Jewish Cemeteries was purposed by the managers of those several burial places.
The deceased was a widower, his wife having died a number of years ago. He was the father of Mrs. Laura J. Bassett, Louise H., Emma E. and George Mahoney.
The funeral services will be held next Wednesday in St. John’s Episcopal Church. Interment will take place in St. Mary’s Cemetery
Family members continued to live in the home until around 1913.
St. Mary’s Cemetery
In 1863 Archbishop Alemany purchased 36 acres of land known as the ” Mahoney Ranch” from Thomas Mahoney. The land is now known as St. Mary’s Cemetery next to Mountain View Cemetery. Thomas Mahoney was buried there in 1900.
Laura Mahoney Bassett was well known for her reminiscences in the Sunday Knave in the Oakland Tribune. She was the oldest daughter of Thomas Mahoney and she was born in Oakland in 1866 where she lived most of her 80 years. She died in 1950.