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 Laurel, Oakland Tracts

The Fremont Tract

Oakland Tribune

The Fremont Tract opened in 1911.  The tract is located at the intersection of MacArthur and High Street with frontage on MacArthur, High, Masterson, Quigley and Porter Streets. The Realty Syndicate handled the sales.

“The tract is near Mills College and commands a beautiful view of the hills.”

Every lot in the Fremont Tract was a full 35-front -foot lot. The prices ranged from $10 to $18 a front foot – the terms from $35 to $85 for the first payment. The balance paid at $5 or $10 per month.

Oakland Tribune Aug 1912

“Natural beauty and delightful surroundings, combined with even temperature, make this a delightful spot to build a home and enjoy living every day in the year. Every lot is high and well-drained.

The eastern side of Quigley Street is now the High Street freeway exit, and Redding Street is part of the freeway.

Photo by Cheney Photo Advertising c. 1911
‘The Collection of Ed Clausen’.
Oakland Tribune Aug 1912
Oakland Tribune Aug 1912

This photo was most likely taken from the hill behind the present-day Walgreens on High and Redding Streets.

Photo by Cheney Photo Advertising c. 1911
‘The Collection of Ed Clausen’.
  1. 3315 Vale Street
  2. 3333 Vale Street
  3. St. Lawrence O’Toole
  4. Location of Walgreens today
  5. Freeway exit ramp
  6. Macarthur Blvd and High Street
  7. Masterson Street
  8. Laurel School

Kanning Street is now Masterson Street, and Franklin Avenue is now 39th Avenue, and Hopkins Street is now MacArthur Blvd.

Photo by Cheney Photo Advertising c. 1911
‘The Collection of Ed Clausen’.
  1. 3651 39th Avenue
  2. 4026 Masterson
  3. Laurel School
  4. 3625 Patterson Avenue
  5. 3840 MacArthur Blvd

St. Lawrence O’Toole

Oakland Tribune Aug 1912
Photo by Cheney Photo Advertising c. 1911
‘The Collection of Ed Clausen’.
Oakland Tribune Aug 1912

St. Lawrence O’Toole Catholic Church at the corner of Porter and High Street opened in 1911, in time for Christmas Eve Mass. The church was dedicated on August 25, 1912.

Photo by Cheney Photo Advertising c. 1911
‘The Collection of Ed Clausen’.
Photo by Cheney Photo Advertising c. 1911
‘The Collection of Ed Clausen’.

In March of 1956, the Diocese of Oakland broke ground for a new church just three blocks up High Street. They held the first mass on Thanksgiving Day in 1957.

More Info:

Oakland’s Laurel District

https://evanosky.info/

History is All Around Us

The End

Posted in Allendale, Maxwell Park, Model/Display Homes, Oakland Tracts

Allendale Terrace

Allendale Terrace is a group of twenty-seven homes built east of High Street on Allendale Avenue. They were built and sold by K.A. Johnson.

Fifteen homes were ready for inspection in 1930. The area is most likely is considered Maxwell Park.

Oakland Tribune May 11, 1930

Twenty -seven unusually beautiful English designed homes. Five, six, and seven rooms, basements, furnaces, water heaters, and laundry rooms. Close to new schools.

All basements are sufficiently large to provide space for a social hall. The five-room homes can be converted to six-room homes by completing another room upstairs, the stairways are already built.

Oakland Tribune May 1930
Oakland Tribune May 1930

The homes of Allendale Terrace

Oakland Tribune Jun 1930
4808 Allendale – Today
Oakland Tribune Jun 1930
4722 Allendale Ave Today – Google Maps
Oakland Tribune Feb 1930
Oakland Tribune Mar 1930
4507 Allendale Today – Google Maps
4501 Allendale Ave -today

The End