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

Oakland Tribune Dec 10, 1958

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.

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

I haven’t been able to find any photos of the school from 1908. I will update it. I find some.

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 Uncategorized

Fountain of Serenity

Oakland Tribune Aug 31, 1958

Fountain of Serenity in Knowland State Arboretum and Park. “Serena,” the statue which tops the fountain, inspires calm and courage in the face of worldly troubles.   Oakland Tribune 

Oakland Tribune Aug 31, 1958
Oakland Tribune Aug 31, 1958

Previous Location

Oakland Tribune April 29, 1962

The fountain once graced the gardens of the home of James H. Latham. Latham purchased the land in 1878 from Samuel B. Merritt.

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.

Oakland Tribune 1898

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.

Undated – the fountain in closer to the right side of the photo.

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. Buttnera civic leader, and electrical contractor.

Barn/Livery Stable

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.

Oakland Tribune May 17, 1957

The Fountain Today

The Latham-Ducel Fountain is the centerpiece of Preservation Park. It’s more popularly known as the Diana Fountain. The fountain is cast iron, and was forged in Paris in the 1870s.

Latham-Ducel fountain
photo CC-A from Our Oakland
Latham-Ducel fountain
photo CC-A from Our Oakland

My question is that Serena or Diana on the top of the fountain?

More Info:

Western Fuse Company Explosion

E.G. Lukens was the owner of  Western Fuse and Explosives Company.  See Oakland Local Wiki – 

Oakland Tribune July 19, 1898

Latham Square Fountain

The Latham 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).

SF Call 1913

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

This is the ninth in a series of posts on Oakland Schools. I intend to show Then and Now pictures of the schools, along with a bit of history of each school. Some of the pictures are in the form of drawings, postcards or from pages in historical books.

Not all schools will be included in this series. Sometimes I might just post a picture of the school.

Updated Dec 17, 2019

Montclair Grammar School

Oakland Tribune Sep 20, 1925

The Montclair District held formal dedication ceremonies their first school on March 14, 1926. The ceremony 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 the school.

Oakland Tribune Mar 15, 1926

The four room school house was built with funds from the building program funded by a $9,000,000 bond issues 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 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 1757 Mountain Blvd., Oakland.

Montclair Today

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

Bid were taken in November 1949 for the New Joaquin Miller Elementary School on Ascot Drive in the Montclair.

Oakland Tribune November 1950
Oakland Tribune November 1950 Tribune

First Graduate

In January of 1950 Judith Lowe, 12 daughter 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 largest fire in the Oakland hills started near Broadway Terrace and Skyline, in the area above the Broadway Tunnel (Caldecott Tunnel). There 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

Posted in Montclair, Uncategorized

Rock Concerts – Montclair Park

Montclair Recreation Center 6300 Moraga Avenue Oakland, CA

The bands were not obscure, but rather the sort of groups that headlined local clubs or played third on the bill at the Fillmore West.

In the early 1970s, the Montclair Recreation Center held bi-weekly rock concerts. The shows were co-sponsored by the Center and the Montclair Junior Women’s Club.

Admission was a $1.00 to $1.50

Not sure why the concerts stopped, but they did in the middle of 1972.

 

 

From the Forgotten Montclair Group Facebook

I found the advertisements in the “Wednesday “Teen Age” and the “What’s doing…where…” sections of the Oakland Tribune.

The Concerts lasted until the fall of 1972.

Sample section from the Oakland Tribune

I commend the leaders of the recreation center for doing this. I can imagine a lot of people in Montclair did not like the idea.

I was alive and living in Montclair during this timeframe. But, I have no memory of them. I know I would have enjoyed going to them.

Speaking of memories, their lots of locals who remember more prominent named bands playing there. I don’t doubt them just can’t locate any info on them.

The Concerts

This is not all of them, but most of them. A couple concerts were held at Montera Jr High.

  • September 06, 1968 – Two Teen Rock Groups
  • June 13, 1970 – Artichoke Jones – Summer Festival
  • June 26, 1970 – Fox Glove & Leviticus – Montera Jr High
  • July ??, 1970 – Backwater Rising – Montera Jr High
  • August 15, 1970 – Loveship *
  • August 22, 1970 – Cookin Mama and Rags *
  • August 30, 1970 – Loveship * back again
  • September 5, 1970 – Crystal Garden *
  • September 19, 1970 – The Tyde *
  • October 3, 1970 – Frontier Constabulary
  • October 10, 1970 – The Fog *
  • October 24, 1970 – AB Skhy *
  • October 31,1970 – Loading Zone featuring Linda Tillery *
  • November 7, 1970 – Loading Zone featuring Linda Tillery *
  • November 14, 1970 – Loveship *
  • November 21, 1970 – Beggar’s Opera *
  • November 28, 1970 – Joy of Cooking
  • December 5, 1970 – Little John featuring John Hart*
  • New Year’s Eve – Little John featuring John Hart*
  • January ??, 1971 – Barry Melton and the Fish
  • January 9, 1971 – Loading Zone
  • January 23, 1971 – Commander Cody *
  • January 23, 1971 – Boz Scaggs
  • January 30, 1971 – Joy of Cooking *
  • February 6, 1971 – The Tyde *
  • February 11, 1971 – Loading Zone featuring Linda Tillery – Skyline High
  • February 13, 1971 – Little John featuring John Hart *
  • February 20, 1971 – John Hooker Group *
  • February 27, 1971 – Cat Mother *
  • March 13, 1971 – Full Moon (formerly The Womb)
  • March 20, 1971 – Loading Zone featuring Linda Tillery
  • March 27, 1971 – Pipe *
  • April 17, 1971 – Little John featuring John Hart *
  • April 24, 1971 – Western Addition with John Celona
  • May 1, 1971 – Ice Band *
  • May 8, 1971 – Barry Melton and The Fish *
  • May 15, 1971 – Cat Mother*
  • May 22, 1971 – Loading Zone with Linda Tillery *
  • May 29, 1971 – Gold *
  • June 05, 1971 – John Lee Hooker
  • June 12, 1971 – Malo – with Jorge Santana brother of Carlos*
  • June 23, 1971 – Liquid Heart
  • June 26, 1971 – Fox Glove & Leviticus – Montera Jr High
  • July 3, 1971 – Sopwith Camel
  • July 10, 1971 – Clover *
  • July 17, 1971 – Little John featuring John Hart “Montclair Favorite.
  • July 24, 1971 – Gold
  • September ??, 1971 – Crystal Garden *
  • September 19, 1971 – Loading Zone
  • October 2, 1971 – Barry Melton and The Fish
  • October 16, 1971 – Full Moon *
  • October 23, 1971 – Jabo Stokes
  • November 6, 1971 – Cat Mother
  • November 13, 1971 – Grootna
  • November 20, 1971 – Loading Zone – featuring Linda Tillery
  • December 03, 1971 – Malo – with Jorge Santana brother of Carlos*
  • January 19, 1972 – Gold
  • February 19, 1972 – Little Sister, Gunn, and Thunderclap
  • March 04, 1972 – Little John featuring John Hart
  • April 08, 1972 – Loading Zone –
  • September 30, 1972 – Anglo Saxon – with John Hart formerly of Little John
  • November ?? 1972 – Gold

*Green Death did the light show

From the Forgotten Montclair Group – Their light shows were mostly two shallow glass bowls, placed on an overhead projector. The bottom bowl held oil and food coloring, and the top bowl fitted inside it, allowing them to squish the colors around in kaleidoscopic patterns. They set up their equipment and chairs on a table in the back of the room where the band played. Despite the low-tech process, their light shows were very fresh and added a lot to the atmosphere of the rock concerts.

Oakland Tribune Feb 1971

The End

Posted in Business, History, Montclair, People, Uncategorized

Freeway Variety

Freeway Variety
Photo by Bill Boyd

C 1978

If you grew up the Montclair District of Oakland from 1956 to about 1990, you shopped at Freeway Variety.

The Montclarion March 1956

Freeway Variety opened in March of 1956. It was owned and operated by partners Cy Fritz and David Iventosch. They both had experience running the same type of stores in Berkeley.

The Montclarion March 1956
The Montclarion March 1956
The Montclarion March 1956

In 1957 Iventosch bought out his partner Fritz.

The Montclarion Apr 17, 1957
The Montclarion Apr 17, 1957
The Montclarion May 1957
From the Forgotten Montclair Page on Facebook
A basket from Freeway Variety

I felt the best way to describe this most beloved and dearly missed variety store is by sharing memories of it, which were detailed in a Facebook group.   The group is lovingly called  Forgotten Montclair.  It is dedicated to preserving and sharing the memories of growing up in the Montclair District of Oakland, California.

Laura C: I bought my Beautiful Crissy doll there, in elementary school, along with my camping cookware for Brownie camp. When I graduated from high school, I bought my powder blue gym clothes there.

Joanne G: Freeway Variety was “candy land” heaven to me!  My mom never let me have candy growing up – not ever once being able to trick or treat. So if I was ever able to ride my bike up to Freeway Variety from lower Broadway Terrace (all uphill)! The Now or Later were my first choice after a spin around the store to take in the isles of crazy stuff

Joan G

Todd E: Lived in Montclair 1970 – 1992. Freeway Variety was like the ultimate dive bar of five and dimes. It was kind of dark with low ceilings, but it was comfy. It felt a little bit like a place where you could buy a Gremlin from some ancient guy in the back where all the wicker baskets hung from the ceiling.  There were nuances to Freeway Variety that can never be replicated anywhere else. There was nothing funnier than riding your BMX down that strange concrete slope and dropping your bike down and entering the store in one fluid motion. It’s the place where I thought Army Men and those little parachute dudes were born. It had all the romantic stuff of childhood, candy, cards, Slurpee, video games, toys, Choose Your Own Adventure Books, a whole section on Movie Novelizations (with pictures in the middle!), strange arcane stuff like rabbit’s feet and real Mexican Jumping Beans. To me, the basic concept of what 1 mile is will always be the walk from my house over by Joaquin Miller School to Freeway Variety.

Christopher W

Christopher W:  Ah, there it is, my favorite store growing up in Montclair. While my mom shopped at Lucky’s, I would be down at Freeway Variety looking for everything from match cars, Pez dispensers, loved the chocolate ones, and when I was tiny, I would get a quarter and ride the horse in the front. Good times

Cherie L: We would walk down there from Westwood Way. Buster brown socks. Schools supplies. Candy, you name it. Lived in Montclair from 1959 to 1982.

Stephanie W: Florence was my auntie

Nanette: I loved Freeway Variety! The old creaky wood floor that sloped down. You could get art (my favorite), craft, and school supplies. And of course where we got our Wacky Packs!!!!·

Susan S: Look what I found cleaning out my closet

Dennis J: Does anyone remember the ladies of Freeway Variety store? Florence, Winnie, Mildred, and May.  I worked there after school and on weekends. Coolest boss ever: Big David Iventosch. My first real job!!!

Helene C: Loved everything about Freeway Variety. The smell of popcorn, candy, turtle pond scum. The only place where you could get candy, washcloths, home goods, toys, candy, an iron, a picture frame, valentines, Christmas cards, canning jars, toy guns, turtles, popcorn, and sweet. And those old ladies behind the counter. A golden childhood staple and memory. I pity everyone else.

Erik H:  Florence always gave me extra on my Icee. But you introduced me to the “Suicide “flavored slush.

Dena M: I remember we would all go there to pick out our Halloween costumes and buy wax harmonicas.

Susan S: Look what I found cleaning out my closet

Jan D: The ladies used to follow us around the store, thinking we were going to steal something!

Donna:   I still have my Ink bottles and pens.

Lara: I loved getting presents from here. Thanks to my mom, this is dated. I guess that means I am too! 33 years ago . . .

Donna:   I still have my Ink bottles and pens.

The End

Posted in Uncategorized

Oakland and Surroundings

Oakland and Surroundings Illustrated and Described, showing its Advantages for Residence or Business, was published in 1885. W.W. Elliott was the publisher.

Oakland and Surroundings: illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885

I thought I would share some beautiful illustrations from the publication. You can view the entire document here.

Oakland and Surroundings: illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885
Oakland and Surroundings: illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885
Oakland and Surroundings: illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885
Oakland and Surroundings: illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885
Oakland and Surroundings: illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885
Oakland and Surroundings: illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885
Oakland and Surroundings: illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885
Oakland and Surroundings: illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885
Oakland and surroundings: illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885
Oakland and Surroundings: illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885
Oakland and Surroundings: illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885
Oakland and Surroundings: illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885
Oakland and Surroundings: illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885
Oakland and Surroundings: illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885
Oakland and Surroundings: illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885
Oakland and Surroundings: illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885
Posted in Uncategorized

The Rabbit Hole

I started this blog because I have collected so much information on the history of Oakland that I couldn’t wait to share. Posting in Facebook groups isn’t the best outlet for me. I love sharing what I know and reading what others share. But things get lost on Facebook.

So with the help of my dear friend Phil, I got started, and I was off and running. It should be easy, I say to myself, because, in my mind, I had already laid out actual pages and everything I wanted to say.

But it wasn’t.

I tend to get bogged down in the details. I worry about not getting my facts correct. It is hard for me to find a happy medium between too much and too little. So, this is a work in progress, so bear with me.

Down The Hole, I Go

But I have strayed from the topic of this post. Often when researching one thing, you find something else that has nothing to do with what you are looking for, but it piques your interest. That happens to me a lot.

You might know this as the “Internet rabbit hole” you see when you try to research one thing, and then accidentally go to Wikipedia, and then you are trying to find out what happened to Jimmy Hoffa? That is it in a nutshell.

One rabbit hole I get sucked into often is I will see a picture like this one and want to know more about it.

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Apr_2__1911_ (1)
Oakland Tribune Apr. 02, 1911
  1. Location
  2. Is it still there?

Those two things can be very hard as sometimes the location is very vague and wrong.  Sometimes the location is correct.  When looking up the house, I am curious as to who the house was built for, were they famous or rich, maybe both?

I have compiled a lot of these pictures of newly built houses. I decided to create a map using Google Maps.  The map I have created is “What was there or still is… Oakland California”. 

I have already added lots of the homes that I have found while down in the rabbit hole.

What was there or still is… Oakland California

Description of the Map

Some from long ago and long gone, but some are still there.
Based on clippings, newspapers, and photos. May not be accurate as address numbers have changed, and locations were often vague

Maroon – Still there
Black – Gone
Yellow – Landmark
Green – Berkeley
Purple – Piedmont
Red – Questions – researching

Here is a link to the map.  Click on it to see.  Please feel free to share it.

I still have lots of pages in the works just have to get myself out of this hole.

This might help explain Rabbit Hole.