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 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, Fruitvale, Schools, Uncategorized

Fruitvale Open-Air School

About Open-Air Schools

The schools were a single-story building with integrated gardens, and pavilion-like classrooms increased children’s access to the outdoors, fresh air, and sunlight. They were mostly built in areas away from city centers, sometimes in rural locations, to provide a space free from pollution and overcrowding. 

New School House

School Children Enjoy the Open Air – SF Chronicle July 15, 1910

Free education and fresh air has interested educators from as far away as Paris, France

Oakland Tribune – May 13, 1913

The first open-air school in Oakland was established at the Fruitvale School No. 2 (now Hawthorne School) on Tallent Street (now East 17th). When it opened, there were forty students enrolled, from grades third through seventh. Miss Lulu Beeler was selected as the teacher because she had prior experience working in an open-air school in the East.

 The school designed to help cure ill and tubercular children. The focus was on improving physical health through the infusion of fresh air in the classrooms and into the children’s lungs. The school was established as a medical experiment. The school reserved for children judged to be of “weak” disposition.

The Fruitvale school is decidedly a health school”

Oakland Tribune May 13, 1913

It was constructed at the rear of the playground, one hundred feet from the existing main building.

“Fruitvale School. The fresh air school, 5-18-13.” Negative shows a group of children, boys and girls, posing in front of what looks like an enclosed porch on the back of the building. Two adult women and a man are standing with the children on a set of stairs leading up to this room.
OMCA

The square, the wood-framed building was raised to prevent underfloor dampness.

Fruitvale School. Saluting the flag, 5-18-13.” Negative shows a group of children with their right hands to their foreheads. One girl is standing in front of them holding an American flag on a pole.
OMCA

Each of the sides had a different treatment to reflect the sun. The southern side had tall windows that, when open, didn’t seem to be enclosed. The east side was opened to the elements with only half of a wall. A screen protected them from insects.  In case of storms awnings can be pulled down to protect the students.

Fruitvale School.” Negative shows school children hanging out the windows of the school, posing for the photo. A male teacher is standing on the ground outside the windows looking up at the first floor windows filled with the students.
OMCA

The school was to be the first in a series of open-air schools installed on the grounds of Oakland’s existing city schools.

Objections

Fruitvale School. The outdoors brought indoors 5-18-13.” 
OMCA

There was some objection in opening the school, from the parents of the selected children and the children themselves. The parents did not want their children singled out; the children worried they would be teased as being “sick.” These fears were realized, and the teachers struggled with how to deal with the repeated taunts

Oakland Tribune May 13, 1913

The idea of the open-air classroom was incorporated in many of the new schools built in the 1920s. I don’t know how long the Fruitvale Open Air school was open. I will update if I find more information.

More Info:

Growing Children Out of Doors: California’s Open-Air Schools and Children’s Health, 1907-1917 – Camille Shamble Los Gatos, California – May 2017

Open air school – Wikipedia

Collection of Photos – OMCA 

The End

Posted in Buildings, People, Then and Now, Uncategorized, West Oakland

Walsh’s Flatiron

Walsh & O’Brien’s Store, junction 18th, Peralta & Center Sts., Oakland, CA, ca. 1898″
OMCA – Gift of Mrs. Brent Howard
H26.1429
Oakland Tribune Dec 21, 1901

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.

Oakland Tribune Feb 11, 1884

A native of Ireland, Mr. Walsh purchased the Peralta Street lot in 1877. Peralta Street was one of the main avenues to Berkeley. 

Oakland Tribune Dec 21, 1901

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.

Oakland Tribune Apr 18, 1901
Plate 100

From Oakland 1902 Vol 1, California
Published by Sanborn Map Company in 1902

The Flatiron Today

1615 CENTER ST OAKLAND 94607

Google Maps – 1615 Center
Google Maps – 1615 Center
Google Maps

More Info:

Oakland Heritage Alliance News, Winter 1996-97, by William W. Sturm

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

Then & Now – Oakland Public Schools – No. 19

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.  

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.  

Skyline High School

Skyline High School is located on a 45-acre ) campus at the crest of the Oakland hills. The school is near the Redwood Regional Park and has a panoramic (through the trees)view of the San Francisco Bay Area on one side and Contra Costa on the other.

My School Id

Hill Area High School

Where will Oakland’s proposed new hill-area school be located”

Oakland Tribune Sep 05, 1956

Talks about a new “Hill-Area High School began in the early to mid-1950s. After weeks of field trips and meetings the possible sites for the new school were reduced from eight to three.

They finally they decided on a 31-acres site at Skyline Blvd and Fernhoff Road – No 1 above and below.

The new hill area high school costs were expected to be almost $4,000,000, with nearly $3,000,000 earmarked for site development and construction.

Oakland Tribune May 21, 1958

For 1,500 students, the plans called for fifty-four classrooms, a library, a cafeteria, a gymnasium, an auditorium, and administrative offices. The number of classrooms would be increased to 67 for 2,000 students.

The Oakland architectural firm of Warnecke and Warnecke were hired to design the new school.

Construction

The grading and excavation was complete by July of 1959 at a cost of $182,000

Montclarion 1961

Architects Warnecke and Warnecke estimated the school building would cost $3,650,600 in addition to the money already spent on the site, and development would bring the total to $4,623,301.

Some of the suggestions to cut the cost was.

  • Omit a $500,000 auditorium
  • Omit the covered walkways for a savings of $97,000
  • Substitute 13 portables classrooms for permanent buildings to save $266,800
Oakland Tribune Jan 25, 1959

The contract to build the Hill Area High School was awarded to Branagh and Son, at a cost of $4,140,500 for 50 classrooms.

Construction was set to begin in November of 1959

The school was set to open in the fall of 1961.

Oakland Tribune Jan 25, 1961

Loud protests that the “tentative” boundaries for the new Hill Area High School would keep low income and minority groups prompted the Board of Education to request further study on the matter in January of 1961.` 

Representatives of the NAACP told the board members that keeping attendance boundaries in hill area would make the new facility a

“private prep school supported by public funds.”

The existing boundaries of the four high schools in Oakland then had lines extending to the eastern limits of the city allowed for a wide divergence of racial and economic backgrounds.

The proposed boundary for the new school stretched along the top lines of the hills would only allow for “horizontal mobility.”

David P. McCullum, president of the Oakland NAACP, stressed that “Negros would not be the only ones deprived of a chance to attend the new school but that all races in the lower economic group would be cut out.

” It is not just a color problem-it is a total problem.”

Henry J. Kaiser Jr was the chairman of PACE (Oakland’s Public Advisory Committee on Education), and he wrote in a letter to the board of education that. 

“This is the time when all of us-the Negro people and the white people-should face common problems together and work them out to our mutual satisfaction, to the end that the community is strengthened and our school children are given the maximum opportunities for development.”

McCullum said:

Skyline boundaries don’t just shut out Negroes, but create general “economic” segregation which also affects many white people.

The new attendance boundaries brought charges of gerrymandering.

The Segregation unintentional School Official Decries”

April 03, 1962

But today there are many Negro children in junior highs which feed into Skyline High School”

Selmer Berg Apr 1962

The discussion on Skyline’s borders went on for a few more years. In 1964 an ‘Open” enrollment plan was proposed, and eventually, it was accepted.

Oakland Tribune Feb 26, 1961

The new boundary did the best job of following present junior high attendance lines, and in giving relief to Castlemont, Fremont, Oakland High and Technical High.

The Name Skyline Wins!

In January of 1961, Dr. George C. Bliss was appointed the first principal of Skyline. Dr. Bliss had with the Oakland schools for 36 years most recently as the principal of Technical High School.

School board members received suggestions that the new Hill Area High school be named Sequoia or Skyline High.

Montclarion 1961

In February of 1961, Oakland’s newest high school had an official name.

The board voted at the regular meeting to call the $4.5 million school “Skyline High School”.

Athletic Shakeup

To fill Skyline, they planned on taking the following students from:

  • 700 from Oakland
  • 400 from Fremont
  • 200 from Castlemont
  • 125 from Technical

Seniors could stay at their present school and graduate with their class, and junior within the new boundaries also had that choice. Sophomores had no choice. They must go to Skyline.

This meant that some of the star athletes would be leaving their school for Skyline.

Oakland’s starting basketball guard and the best high jumper in track and field were bound for Skyline. 

Oakland High was set to lose Paul Berger, their coach of nine years.

Ben Francis was the sophomore starting basketball guard at Oakland High, who must switch to Skyline. Others were Craig Breschi,Glen Fuller, Jim Ida, and Ed Huddleson.

Oakland Tribune Nov 03, 1962

Ben Haywood Oakland’s best high jumper was bound for Skyline.

JUNIOR BEN HAYWOOD WIND FOUR EVENTS

Oakland Tribune Mar 03, 1962

It was announced in April of 1961 that no varsity football would be played the first year at Skyline, by principal Dr. George Bliss.

“Football depends a great deal on size and weight.” the principal said, ” and we’ll be outnumbered two and three to one in seniors by the other schools.”

Skyline High circa 1963

Dedication

Sky’s the limit

All we have to do is develop the finest school that’s possible-one that everybody can look up to”

Dr. George Bliss – Aug 1961

The formal dedication for the school was held in November of 1961. The ceremony was held in the auditorium, with music provided by the Skyline Concert Band and Choir.

Oakland Tribune Dec 04, 1961

The formal presentation was made by Selmer Berg the Sup. of the Schools with Arch W. Host and Leroy D. Smith accepting on behalf of the students and faculty.

In a surprise feature to the program the auditorium was named the Selmer H. Berg Hall in his hoor.

The school newspaper is the Skyline Oracle and the yearbook is the Olympian. These publications have existed since the early decades of Skyline High history. The participants of each publication are involved by taking the offered courses. The Skyline Oracle has won numerous honors over the years for the quality of its publication.

Skyline Mascot

Arson Fire

From Chris Treadway

In January of 1973, an ex-student of Skyline who at the time was AWOL from Fort Ord broke into the 20 Building in search of food or money. He said he threw a lighted match into a can of cleaning fluid. He said he tried to put the fire out but fled and pulled the fire alarm. When the fire department responded, they were unable to find it. Neighbors later saw the flames and called the fire department by this time the 20 Building was gone.

From the Skyline Yearbook

After leaving Skyline, he broke into a church down the hill and was arrested by the police; he had set off the silent alarm. While in police custody, he confessed to starting a fire at Skyline.

Oakland Tribune Jan 31, 1973
Oakland Tribune Feb 1973

Skyline High Today

Skyline High is located at 12250 Skyline Blvd.

More Info:

Skyline Website – OUSD

Posted in Buildings, Schools, Then and Now, Uncategorized

Then & Now – Oakland Schools Part 14

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.

I wasn’t able to locate pictures of Sheffield School. I am hoping someone might have some. The same goes for Burbank, although I think the school looks pretty much the same now as it did when it was built in 1950.

Update Jan 17, 2020

Burbank School

In 1928 plans for the new Burbank School on 64th Avenue in East Oakland were approved. The new six-room brick structure was to cost $60,000 and house 270 students.

 

The school is named after Luther Burbank, a botanist, and horticulturist who made his home in Northern California.

 
Oakland Tribune Dec 8, 1928

 

Oakland Tribune Dec 28, 1928

New School

In 1948 plans for a new school and the reconstruction of the old school, the building was approved. They added an auditorium and a couple more classrooms. Hudspeth and Cerruti were the architects.

Oakland Tribune Nov 16, 1950

The new $297,777 Luther Burbank Elementary School was dedicated on November 15, 1950. The building is one-story and had a capacity of 315 students.

 

Oakland Tribune Nov 16, 1950

School Song

High Upon a hill near home, there’s a school my very very own
Its name is Burbank Elementary, and of all the schools in Oakland It’s the only one for me
Burbank School where we study hard each day
Burbank School where we have some fun and play
Burbank school, you’re the best in every way
So we give 3 cheers for Burbank School
Hurray, Hurray, Hurray!

Burbank Today

 

Burbank Today – OUSD

 

Burbank Today – OUSD

Burbank was closed by the Oakland Unified School District in 2004.

In September 2010, Burbank Preschool Center was opened.

Burbank is a special place in OUSD that supports infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with special needs through exemplary, special education programming as well as related services

 

Burbank Today – OUSD

More Info:

It is located at 3550 64th Ave.

Burbank School – Oakland Local Wiki

Burckhalter Elementary School

 

Oakland Tribune Aug 30, 1925

In 1923 a new one-room school was built on Sunkist Drive, the school was called Columbia Park (Columbian Park). Susie Thompson was the custodian of the school for 3 years. She lived next door to the school at 6868 Sunkist.

 

Oakland Tribune Aug 18, 1925

In the obituary of Susie Thompson, it is reported that a wind storm destroyed the first school, and it was replaced by a new building in 1925.

 

New School

In September of 1948, they broke ground for the new Burckhalter School.

 

Oakland Tribune Sep 16, 1948

Burckhalter Today

 

Burckhalter Today – OUSD photo

 

Burckhalter Today – OUSD photo

 

Burckhalter Today – OUSD photo

More Info:

The school is located at 3994 Burckhalter Avenue, Oakland, CA, 94605

Burckhalter School Website – OUSD

Carl B Munck Elementary

Plans were approved for the new Redwood Road Elementary School at 5000 Redwood Road. E. Geoffrey Bangs was the architect. The site included a field for the Oakland Recreation Department.

 

Oakland Tribune Nov 18, 1959
  • 12 Classrooms
  • Administration Offices
  • Library
  • Multipurpose Room

The new school opened in 1960. The name was changed to honor Carl B Munck, who was the president of the school board (five times), was president of California School Board and was the president of the National School Boards Association in 1958.

 

Oakland Tribune Apr 1962

On a rare snow day in 1962, icicles formed on the shrubs at the after a sprinkler was left on.

 

Oakland Tribune Jan 22, 1962

In 1962 five local Girl Scout troops donated a Colorado blue spruce tree to the school in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Girl Scouts.

 

Oakland Tribune Mar 27, 1962

Bus Service

In 1965 students were able to ride the bus to school. The bus made six to seven trips daily.

 

Oakland Tribune Sep 14, 1966

In 1966 without warning, the service was ended at the beginning of the school year as part of the Oakland School Board’s effort to make ends meet. Parents were concerned with the safety of children who couldn’t get a ride to school.

The young fourth-grader walks about a mile to school every day, up a steep and winding Redwood Road.

Mrs. Niall Quinn – Sep 1966

Mrs. Niall Quinn – Sep 1966

Munck Today

 

Munck Today OUSD

 

Munck Today OUSD

 

Munck Today OUSD

More Info:

The school is located at 11900 Campus Drive.

Howard Elementary School

Before being named Howard Elementary School it was called King Elementary School. The ground was broken for the school in March of 1959.

The school was designed by Alvin Fingalo and George Kern with David Horn.

Oakland Tribune Dec 10, 1958
School Opens – Sep 06 1960
School Opens Sep 06, 1960

The new Howard school was dedicated on December 13, 1960. It was named after Charles P. Howard, a civic leader.

 

Oakland tribune Dec 13, 1960

 

Oakland tribune Dec 13, 1960

Howard Today

 

Howard Today – OUSD

 

Howard Today – OUSD

Today it is the Sojourner Truth Independent Study (K-12), an alternative public school.

Sojourner Truth website – OUSD

More Info:

The school is located at 8755 Fontaine Street

Kaiser Elementary School

Oakland Tribune Feb 1962

The school was named in honor of Henry J. Kaiser Jr., an industrialist, and civic leader.

 

Oakland Tribune Feb 05, 1964

Integration Bus Program

 

Oakland Tribune Sept 12, 1966

 

Oakland Tribune Sept 12, 1966

Kaiser Today

The school is located at 25 South Hill Court

 

Kaiser Today – OUSD

More Info:

Markham Elementary School

The Krause Avenue School (Webster Annex) was formally dedicated in November of 1928.

 

Oakland Tribune Jul 31, 1928

The “Krause Avenue School” before being demolished to make room for the new school in 1956.

Oakland Tribune Feb 04, 1956

In March of 1929, the Oakland Board of Education changed the name of the Webster Annex school to Edwin Markham school in honor of the widely known California poet and educator. Edwin Markin was principal of the Tompkins School from 1891-1899

New School

 

Oakland Tribune Oct 14, 1949

In 1949 a new $450,000 school building with 10 classrooms, an auditorium, and a kindergarten was dedicated. The building has a capacity of 385 students and was designed by Edward T. Foulkes.

 

Oakland Tribune Oct 14, 1949

 

Oakland Tribune Oct 23, 1949

 

Oakland Tribune Apr 1958

Markham Today

 

More Info:

Located 7220 Krause Avenue.

Sheffield Village School

Note: I have not been able to locate any pictures of the school

 

Oakland Tribune March 1950

The Sheffield Village school open in March of 1950. The four-classroom building was designed by C.A. Whitten, Dir. of Architecture for the Oakland Public Schools. The school cost $40 300.

The school closed in 1964, and the students were transferred to the San Leandro School District. The site is now used as a park and the Sheffield Recreation Center.

The school site today

More Info:

The school was located at 241(251) Marlow Drive.

The End

Posted in Buildings, Schools, Then and Now, Uncategorized

Then & Now – Oakland Schools Part 12

In this series of posts, I hope to show Then and Now images Oakland Schoolsand 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 March 2, 2020 – see Highland School

Edison Elementary School

In 1927 the Old Grant school at 29th and Broadway was closed, and two new schools were built to replace it, one on each side of Broadway.

Grant School No. 1 was at Kempton Ave and Fairmount Avenue and, Grant School No. 2 was at Summit and 29th Street.

Oakland Tribune Dec 11, 1927

Edison School 3239 Kempton Ave circa 1940

Edison Now

The school was closed in 1975 because it was not up to earthquake standards. The school was later sold to developers, and the classrooms were converted into expensive condos.

The playground turned into a city park called  Oak Park.

Edison Today –CC SA-BY Our Oakland

More Info:

The school was located at 3239 Kempton Avenue, Oakland

Highland School

88236386_226450348485354_7798874888218869760_n
Highland School – circa 1910-12
Photo by Cheney Photo Advertising

Oakland Tribune Dec 28, 1907

Highland School was established as part of the Highland School District in 1908 and was annexed into the Oakland School district in 1909.

New School

The school was dedicated on November 14, 1908. There were 250 pupils had enrolled in the new Highland Grammar School. The Mission-style building was built at the cost of $23,000. There were 8 classrooms with the possibility of adding more.

Oakland Tribune 1908

1923 a one-story 8 classroom addition was built, and in 1924, they added an auditorium for $44,200.

New School

In 1957 the old school building was demolished. Plans were approved for a new school to house 644 pupils. The new school was designed by Andrew P. Anderson and Irwin M. Johnson.

Oakland Tribune Jan 29, 1958

In 1958 a new school was built to replace the one from 1908. The new building has 9 classrooms, a special classroom, administrative offices, a library, and a multi-purpose room. The total cost was $411,999. The 1923 addition was retained.

 8521 A Street, Oakland, CA
Highland School Today – google maps

More Info:

The school is located at 8521 – A Street Oakland, CA

Today the school is called the New Highland Academy. The vision for New Highland is that our students become creative thinkers, effective communicators, and compassionate members of their community.

Grant School

Oakland Tribune Jul 28, 1885

Grant School was built in 1885 and was located on Broadway at the corner of 29th Street, then called Prospect Avenue. The Grocery Outlet is now where the school was originally.

Grant School in 1891
Gift of Miss Marietta Edwards
http://collections.museumca.org/?q=collection-item/h68104

Oakland Tribune 1892

New School

Oakland Tribune 1905

A new school was approved in 1904. The plans were drawn up by San Francisco Architects Stone & Smith.

Another New School

The last day of school in the “old Grant School” building was January 9th, 1928. The 500 grammar school children would march in a parade to the new school buildings that were built. The two new buildings were constructed to replace Grant School. At that time they were called

  • Grant School No. 1 – Edison Elementary School (see above)
  • Grant School No. 2 – Grant School at 29th and Summit

Oakland Tribune May 30, 1928

The Front entrance in 1928

Building Abandoned

The old school building was abandoned and demolished. The land was sold for $350,000, and the money was used to pay for the new schools and property.

Oakland Tribune Jan 1928

Continuation School

In 1966 Grant became a continuation school.

Grant School Today

It is now the site of the Oakland Emiliano Zapata Street Academy.

The vision of Oakland Emiliano Zapata Street Academy (OEZSA/Street Academy) is to provide students a small, safe, high school with a social justice-focused college-preparatory education.

More Info:

Toler Heights School

In December of 1925, Toler Heights School was just one portable classroom, where 40 students attended school. There were six grades in one room under the guidance of two teachers.

New School

In 1927 a new school was built. The school had four classrooms and was Spanish in design. The new school’s capacity was 180 students and cost about $36,000.

Dedication 

Oakland Tribune May 1928

The new school building was dedicated on May 24, 1928.

Oakland Tribune May 1928
Shared in the Oakland History Group on Facebook

Toler Today

The school is located at 9736 Lawlor St.

In 2007 the school became known as the Alternative Learning Community, a middle school.

In March of 2009, it became notable as the first, middle school in the United States to be officially named or renamed after US President Barack Obama.

It is now the Francophone Charter School. It opened in 2015 as Transitional Kindergarten through third grade, which offers a French language immersion program.

More Info:

The End

Posted in Buildings, Oakland, People, Uncategorized, West Oakland

Thomas Mahoney House

As I take a little break from my series on the schools in Oakland, I thought I would share this little bit of history with you.

Historic American Buildings Survey, Creator. Thomas Mahoney House, 69 Eighth Street, Oakland, Alameda County, CA
. Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/ca0013/>.

These photos have popped up many times over the years and, I didn’t give them much thought. They popped up again yesterday. I decided to look into them and see what I could find.

Historic American Buildings Survey, Creator. Thomas Mahoney House, 69 Eighth Street, Oakland, Alameda County, CA
. Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/ca0013/>.

Both photos are online at the Library of Congress. Please note there is a typo in the LOC description the address is 669 Eighth Street.

  • Thomas Mahoney House – LOC

I don’t know what became of the house after these photos were taken. I will let you know if I find out anything.

Early Pioneer

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

!8718 Directory
1888 Directory

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.

His obituary

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

Oakland Tribune Jan 1900

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.

Find A Grave – St. Mary’s Cemetery – Thomas Mahoney

Past and Present of Alameda County, California
Book by Joseph Eugene Baker
Oakland Tribune May 22, 1922

The Knave

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.

Oakland Tribune Jue 23, 1950

Sunday Knave

Some of her “reminiscences” in the Sunday Knave.

Oakland Tribune 1944
Oakland Tribune June 29, 1947
Oakland Tribune July 6, 1947
Oakland Tribune Aug 10, 1947

Go here to read the clip Oakland Tribune.

The End

Posted in Buildings, Montclair Tracts, Schools, Then and Now, Uncategorized

Then & Now – Oakland Schools Part 9

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 17, 2019

Montclair Grammar School

Oakland Tribune Sep 20, 1925

The Montclair District held formal dedication ceremonies in their first school on March 14, 1926. The service under the direction of A.R. Romer, the principal and Mrs. J.D. Bishop, the teacher in charge of the 71 students already registered to attend the school.

Oakland Tribune Mar 15, 1926

The four-room schoolhouse was built with funds from the building program funded by a $9,000,000 bond issue voted by the people of Oakland in 1924.

In attendance were Mrs. Stanton Lore representing the Montclair Women’s Club and Mrs. E.T. Jepsen of the Piedmont Avenue PTA

Oakland Tribune 1926
Montclair School 1927
Montclair School 1927
Montclair School 1927

The original building of brick with a tile roof was later considered an earthquake risk and razed in 1936. They used portables for many years.

Oakland Tribune Oct 1936

The new school building was dedicated in 1942, with nine classrooms, an administrative suite, an arts and crafts room, a PTA room, and a Library, was created. In 1947, a Cafeteria and Assembly Hall were added.

Auditorium
Montclair in the 1950s

Montclair is located at 1757 Mountain Blvd., Oakland.

Montclair Today

2013, a new building was added to the campus, which houses a modern Multipurpose Room, new classrooms, a faculty lounge, and a living roof. A new learning garden and play structure were also added to the campus.

  • Montclair Website – OUSD

Thornhill Elementary School

Plans for a new school in the Montclair District were drawn up by local Montclair residents Robert “Bob” Goetz and Jens Hansen in association with Confer and Willis.

Drawing of Thornhill 1956

The site on Thornhill Drive at Alhambra was acquired through condemnation proceedings. The court awarded $48,000 to the landowner, Alice Taylor

Oakland Tribune July 4, 1956
Oakland Tribune July 4 1956
Oakland Tribune Aug 28, 1957
Montclarion 1957

The school was to be ready in September 1958 and will have an administration office s, a multipurpose room, library, 11 classrooms, and a kindergarten room.

Montclarion Oct 23, 1957
Oakland Tribune June 22, 1958
Thornhill 1959-60

Dedication – November 12, 1958

The Montclarion Nov. 12, 1958
November 12, 1958
November 12, 1958
The Montclarion Nov 1958

Bus Service

The school bus was approved by the district earlier in the year, stopping at both Thornhill and Montclair schools. The kids were picked up throughout the hills on the roads that were designated ‘safe.’ The bus service continued until 1959 when the service was going to be pulled but continued a little longer after the parents rallied to raise money to maintain the service.
Menu 1959
Jan 1959
Jan 1959
The Montclarion
Thornhill 1963-64

The school is located at  5880 Thornhill Dr, Oakland

Thornhill Today

Thornhill Elementary – website
  • Thornhill Website – OUSD
  • Thornhill 50th Anniversary –blog

Joaquin Miller Elementary School

The bid was taken in November 1949 for the New Joaquin Miller Elementary School on Ascot Drive in Montclair.

Oakland Tribune November 1950
Oakland Tribune November 1950 Tribune

First Graduate

In January of 1950, Judith Lowe, 12 daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Lowe had the honor of being the first graduate of the school – she was the only one. She was the lone pupil in high sixth grade.

Oakland Tribune Jan 25,1951
Oakland Tribune Jan 25,1951

The school is located at 5525 Ascot Drive.

Joaquin Miller Today

Joaquin Miller today
  • Joaquin Miller website – OUSD

The End

Updated Nov 28, 2019

Posted in History, Montclair, Oakland, Uncategorized

Fire in the Hills – 1943

In December 1943, there were winds up to 75 MPH and many fires in the hills and the East Bay. There were at least 10 brush and grass fires reported all over Northern California.

The smell of burning eucalyptus hung over the city for hours

Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 19443

The fire in the Oakland hills started near Broadway Terrace and Skyline, in the area above the Broadway Tunnel (Caldecott Tunnel). There also was a fire on Snake Road.

Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 1943

The fire started just after midnight and burned for about 3 hours. The fire was most likely started by down wires knocked down by gale-force winds. There were over 30 fires reported all over Oakland.

 

Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 1943
Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 1943
Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 1943
Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 1943
Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 1943
Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 1943

Wind and Fires Wreck Havoc

Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 1943
Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 1943
Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 1943
  • Fire destroyed the garbage facility at the end of Davis Street
  • Fire on Mt. Diablo
  • 50 Boats smashed in Monterey
  • Tilden Park Fire
  • 1800 Acres burned in Concord
  • Napa County Swept by Fire

More