Oakland’s oldest flatiron building resides at the juncture of Peralta, Center, and 17th Streets in West Oakland. Built in 1879 for William Walsh, the two-story redwood structure initially housed the Center Junction Exchange Saloon with apartments above.
A native of Ireland, Mr. Walsh purchased the Peralta Street lot in 1877. Peralta Street was one of the main avenues to Berkeley.
By 1877 the saloon had evolved into the Junction Cash Grocery and Liquor Store. In 1894 Mr. Walsh partnered with Austin O’Brien. The firm of Walsh & O’Brien was described as:
“importers selling direct to families, groceries, wines, cigars, home furnishing goods, hay, feed, and grain.”
Mr. Walsh bought out O’Brien’s share of the company in 1901 and changed the name to Walsh & Co.
In 1906, a branch of the Art and Industrial Club was formed and devoted itself to the arts and to “uplift of the race.”
Deeds Not Words”
Mother’s Charity Club
Founded in 1907
Lift as We Climb”
The Mother’s Charity Club was founded in 1907. They were dedicated to philanthropic endeavors. During its earliest years of activity, the Mother’s Charity Club fed and cared for many children and sick and needy persons.
Elmhurst Progressive Club
The Elmhurst Progressive Club was founded in 1912.
Imperial Art and Literary Club
The Imperial Art and Literary of Oakland was founded in 1912. They provided charity and promoted art and literary work.
Love and Truth“
Self Improvement Club
Self Improvement Club of Oakland was founded in 1916. Their goal was to improve humanity and the surrounding communities.
He who is true to God, is true to Man”
Rhododendron Self Cultured Club of Oakland
The Rhododendron Club was formed in the early 1950s
Like Ivy we Climb–Lifting as we Climb
Fidelis Art and Culture Business Women’s Club of Oakland
The Art Social Club of Oakland
Royal 10 Society Club of Oakland
I only found this photo. I will update if I find more.
Linden Street YWCA
In 1920, a group of African American clubwomen formed The Linden Street branch of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA).
They provided religious training, counseling services, vocational training, art classes, adult education classes, and all types of cultural events.
Located at 828 Linden Street, the branch was housed in a two-story building with four club rooms.
By 1938, the Linden Street “Y” had a membership of over 750.
In 1944 following a new national policy, the board of directors of the central Oakland YWCA integrated the Linden Street YWCA.
“to make its program available to all women and girls irrespective of race, creed, or color.“
It was renamed the West Oakland Center of the YWCA. The two-story building was razed in the early 1960s
Phillip Richard Springer (1874-1952) was the first black man in Oakland to own a taxicab. He was born in Barbados, in the British West Indies and left home at age 16. At first he operated under a jitney permit in Oakland, but he later had the license changed to a taxicab permit. By 1915, Springer’s Cab Company was well established.
Her father was born a slave in South Carolina and was freed in 1838, he traveled to California during the Gold Rush, settling in Oakland.
In 1854 her mother founded California’s first Negro School in Sacramento and was the first teacher. She also founded a private school for minority groups in Alameda County in 1858, when Indians, Negroes, and Chinese were not allowed in White public schools. The school was at their home at 1335 East 15th Street in Oakland.
The Flood’s had son George who is believed to be the first African American child born in Alameda County. Elizabeth and Isaac Flood were not only one of the earliest African American families in the Oakland area, but they were also one of the most prominent and progressive.
In 1871 her father, a leader of the Colored Convention, successfully fought to have Negro children admitted to public schools.
The Oakland School Board passed the following resolution:
In 1872 his daughter Lydia became the first student to attend the Swett School (later the Old Bella Vista School). Then she attended night school at Oakland High and later married John William Jackson in 1889.
Activist and Clubwoman
Jackson was a member of the Native Daughter’s Club and the Fannie Jackson Coppin Club for forty-two years. Jackson was also a leader in the California Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs. While a member of the Federation, she on them to demand women’s suffrage. While addressing the organization’s 1918 state convention, she told her audience.
Today we are standing on the threshold of a great era looking into futurity to the mid-day sun of Democracy”
Latham sold the home to Horace H. Seaton in 1885, who sold it, S. Murray, in 1892, who then sold it to Edward G. Lukens in 1897. Lukens, son, was state Senator George R. Lukens.
In its heyday, the old mansion was a showplace. The home was a three-story structure with 25 rooms, a billiard room, a glass conservatory, and a bowling alley in the rear. There was also an ornate two-story barn with a hayloft and with horse stalls.
The Lukens family lived there until the death of Mrs. Emma Lukens in 1925.
Sometime after the death of Mrs. Lukens, the mansion was purchased by Edger L. Buttner, a civic leader, and electrical contractor.
Oakland Tribune Jan 22, 1928
In about 1938, Raoul Pause, a leading Oakland ballet teacher, converted part of the old two-story barn into a ballet studio. Many of the Oakland Ballet’s first dancers were students of Raoul Pause., he was the brother of Paul Pause of Montclair Reality.
In October of 1948, the building was damaged in a fire.
In 1952 the same building was destroyed by another fire. At the time of the fire, the building was being used by the Hotel Senator (a boarding house) as a garage.
In 1957 the mansion was demolished to make room for an apartment complex.
TheLatham Square Fountain is located at the intersection of Telegraph and Broadway in downtown Oakland. It was erected in 1913 as a memorial for James H. Latham and Henrietta Latham by their children and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).
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.
In 1970 Saundra Brown was the first black woman accepted for the Oakland Police Department’s Recruits Academy.
I ‘m kind of optimistic”
Saundra Brown December 1970
Saundra Brown December 1970
Born and raised in Oakland. She felt she knew the problems of the young here. She said, “in a city like Oakland, with its Black Panthers and militant groups, there is a special need for minority police officers.” She worked with teens during her college days.
Saundra graduated from Fresno College with a degree in sociology. She always had her eyes set on working with juveniles and looked into law enforcement as a possible field. She applied to OPD immediately after her June 1969 graduation. No opening existed.
She was working as a claims adjuster when she heard that OPD was looking for a “black policewomen.”
At that time, a MALE recruit needed only a high school diploma or a score of 262 on a GED course. WOMEN must have a four-year college degree or four years’ experience in law enforcement. She had that.
She attended the same 15 weeks Police Academy as the 22 males in her class. She was expected to compete with the males.
She took courses in criminal law and report writing, first aid traffic investigation, and the Oakland penal code. There were also defensive tactics, involving strenuous activities such as calisthenics, some judo, a little karate.
Oh, I did alright I guess” she laughed. I can throw the biggest guy in the class.
Saundra Brown – December 17, 1970
Saundra Brown – December 17, 1970
During the course, she learned for the first time in her life, to handle firearms.
I used to be scared of guns,” she laughed,. “but now I feel safer with a gun in possession because I know how to use it”
Oakland Tribune Dec 14, 1970
Oakland Tribune Dec 14, 1970
On December 18, 1970, she accepted her star and the congratulations from Police Chief Charles Gain as the only woman in the police academy of 24.
She finished near the top of her class. She hoped to be assigned to the juvenile division. However Chief Gain had other ideas
As the only minority-group policewoman, she joined a slightly more significant minority. There were 710 men on the force; only 7 women.
At that time, women were not allowed to compete with men for advancement. Fascinated with the legal issues she encountered on the job as a policewoman, Saundra decided to attend law school while continuing to serve her hometown of Oakland as a police officer until 1977.
She was a judicial extern, California Court of Appeals in 1977, and was a deputy district attorney in Alameda County, California from 1978 to 1979 and from 1980 to 1982. From 1979 to 1980, she was a senior consultant to the California Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice.
She was a trial attorney of the Public Integrity Section of the United States Department of Justice from 1982 to 1983. She then served as a Commissioner on the Consumer Product Safety Commission from 1983 to 1986, and on the United States Parole Commission from 1986 to 1989.
She was a Judge on the Alameda Superior Court, California, from 1989 to 1991.
On April 25, 1991, Armstrong was nominated by President George H. W. Bush to a seat on the United States District Court for the Northern District of California vacated by William Austin Ingram. She was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 14, 1991, and received her commission on June 18, 1991.
She earned a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from the Pacific School of Religion in 2012, and she assumed senior status on March 23, 2012
The Grateful Dead once partied at 6024 Ascot Drive in the Piedmont Pines section of Oakland.
In 1948 house at 6024 Ascot Drive was advertised as an ‘ A Little Bit of Mexico” in beautiful Piedmont Hills ( Piedmont Pines), nestled in a glorious 2 1/4 acres: balconies overlooking a beautiful swimming pool. All the tiles in the bathrooms came from the Muresque Tile Co. of Oakland, one of the premier West Coast tilemakers in the 1920s and ’30s. Property highlights include a log cabin family room.
In 1968 Michael Leibert, his wife Alexa, and their 5 dogs lived at 6024 Ascot. Leibert was the founder of the Berkeley Repertory Theater.
The house had a routine existence until sometime during the late sixties, the house was rented by Owsley “Bear” Stanley (1935-2011) was an American audio engineer and chemist.
Stanley was the first known private individual to manufacture mass quantities of LSD. By his own account, between 1965 and 1967, Stanley produced no less than 500 grams of LSD, amounting to a little more than five million doses.
The William M Stephens family was a very successful African American family from Oakland. They owned the Stephens Restaurant, and Virginia, their daughter, won acclaim at the age of fourteen when her name “Jewel City” was selected for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition buildings in a competition sponsored by the San Francisco Call-Post. Virginia went on to be the first African American woman to receive a law degree University of California Berkeley’sBoalt School of Law in 1929.
The Stephens Family
William Stephens was born in 1870 in Accomack County, Virginia. He moved out to California while still a child and attended school in Oakland and San Francisco. After graduation, Stephens completed coursework at Heald College before taking a job with the Southern Pacific Railwayin 1886. Beginning as a Sleeping Car Porter, he worked his way up to a clerkship under H.E. Huntington, assistant to the company’s President.
In 1894 he lived at 1132 Linden Street in West Oakland.
In 1898, Stephens resigned from Southern Pacific and took a position with the Crocker family, traveling with them throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Through these travels, Stephens learned about the hotel and restaurant business.
In 1901, he married Pauline Logan (1874-1929) of Tehama, California.
Pauline gave birth to one daughter, Annie Virginia (who went by Virginia), on April 7, 1903. Due to his daughter’s health problems as a young girl, Stephens resigned from his post with the Crockers and began working at an Oakland social club. He moved on from this position in 1915 to manage the clubhouse at the Hotel Del Monte Golf and Country Club in Monterey County.
Pauline died in May of 1929
William died on November 21, 1932
Eventually, Stephens opened his own restaurant in Oakland. Known as Stephens’ Restaurant, it grew from small quarters into an ample establishment seating over 200 people, occupying three locations near Lake Merritt.
During the 1920s and 1930s, the restaurant enjoyed great success and was usually filled to capacity. Stephens took great delight in employing African American high school and college students so they could earn money for their education.
Stephen’s daughter, Virginia, won acclaim at the age of fourteen when her name “Jewel City” was selected for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition buildings in a competition sponsored by the San Francisco Call-Post.
Virginia attended the University of California at Berkeley and received a bachelor’s degree in science in 1924.
Encouraged by her father to attend law school, she enrolled in Boalt School of Law at UC Berkeley and earned a degree in 1929. At that time, she was only the second woman to receive a law degree from the school and the first African American woman to complete the program. Virginia passed the California Bar in the same year, the first African American female Attorney in California.
While at Berkeley, Virginia and Ida L. Jackson were charter members Rho Chapter in 1921 and Alpha Nu Omega, a graduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha. These were among the first Greek sororities for African American women west of the Mississippi.
Virginia married attorney George Coker (1906-1970). The Cokers helped tutor African American students for the State bar exams. They moved to Virginia and maintained a private law practice there for almost a decade.
In 1939 after working in private practice for ten years, they moved back to California, settling in Sacramento. Virginia received an appointment as Attorney in the State Office of the Legislature Council in Sacramento in May 1939. In this capacity, she helped with drafting and amending legislative bills, and worked under four different legislative councils:
Upon her retirement in 1966, Virginia had attained the position of Deputy of the Indexing Section. Virginia died in Sacramento at the age of 83 on February 11, 1986.