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.
“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.
This photo was most likely taken from the hill behind the present-day Walgreens on High and Redding Streets.
3315 Vale Street
3333 Vale Street
St. Lawrence O’Toole
Location of Walgreens today
Freeway exit ramp
Macarthur Blvd and High Street
Kanning Street is now Masterson Street, and Franklin Avenue is now 39th Avenue, and Hopkins Street is now MacArthur Blvd.
3651 39th Avenue
3625 Patterson Avenue
3840 MacArthur Blvd
St. Lawrence O’Toole
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.
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.
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 didn’t have a whole lot of luck with this group of schools. I figured I better share it now, as I was spending too much time on it.
Laurel Elementary School
The Laurel School opened in February of 1910. The school was a part of the Allendale School district.
New School Building
In 1959 the wooden three-story school building was demolished to make room for a new school building.
For almost 50 years, the ringing of the bell in the wooden three-story building played an essential part in the neighborhood around the school.
Residents were determined to save the bell as a local shrine. It was the last public school bell used in the city.
The bell is mounted and on display in the hallway by school offices.
In 1956 a new school was proposed for the site on El Paseo drive that was occupied by a group of portable buildings.
The new school was designed by Ralph N. Kerr and Robert E. Riggs.
13 general classrooms
Special Ed classroom
A multi-purpose room
Sobrante Park Today
The school is located at 470 El Paseo Drive
Today the school is called Madison Park Academy (MPA Primary). MPA Primary serves students in grades TK-5. Our vision at MPA Primary is to educate, challenge, and nurture our students to succeed in secondary school and beyond.
Stonehurst School opened 1915 as one portable school.
The citizens of both the Elmhurst and Stonehurst districts attended a school board meeting in August of 1915. They demanded that each area get a portable school, one north and the other south of the Southern Pacific and Western Pacific tracks.
“We have working men down in South Elmhurst, workmen have children! said J.A. Halpruner
The Stonehurst people based their claim on growth and the Elmhurst people their claims on the more significant number of children.
The rich people in Stonehurst don’t have any.”
Small or Not!
“The logical site is south of the tracks,” said M.D. Sherwood.
“Stonehurst is a small insignificant burg, but we have a big district and many children,” continued Sherwood.
At the time, there were 78 students and 89 not yet in school in South Elmhurst and only 41 Stonehurst. The meeting was adjourned!
The South Elmhurst school was located on Edes and Douglass Avenues.
In 1916 it was reported in the “School Building Report” that they intended to purchase another site to be used for a new Stonehurst school building to replace the portable one. The district was leasing the land the school was on.
After demanding a new school as promised in 1916, the residents were guaranteed by the school board that the first money received from the sale of school bonds
“shall be used in the construction of the Stonehurst school.” Oakland Tribune 1921
Work began on the new school in late May of 1921. The new school consisted of 8 classrooms and an assembly hall at the cost of about $50,000. An addition was added to the school in 1927, costing $60,000.
“The scene in the Stonehurst School grocery, where second- grade pupils are learning how to make play dollars go far.”
In 1972 a $1.2 million project to replace the 50-year-old Stonehurst school building because it is an earthquake hazard was approved by the Board of Education.
Built before 1933, when California’s Field Act established new construction standards for earthquake safety, the building is surrounded by a cluster of 29 portables -10 of which were built before 1933. The school was built to house 380 students who had 973 enrolled in 1972.
The firm of Ratcliff, Slama, and Cadwalader architects designed the new $1.2 million school.
No Name Change
Both Madison Junior High and Stonehurst (at different times) requested to their school be renamed for Dr. Marcus A. Foster. Both were turned down.
10315 E Street, Oakland, CA, 94603
Fred T. Korematsu Discovery Academy, a public community K-5 elementary school in East Oakland with an integrated focus on academics, youth development, family support, health, and social services. KDA website –OUSD
Esperanza Elementary is a dual language school that prepares students to be college and career ready. Esperanza website – OUSD
Growing up in Montclair (for me), Thornhill Drive was always just Thornhill Drive. But come to find out it was once called Thorn Road (sometimes Thorne Road). Thornhill is a more delightful sounding name than Thorn. But there is a perfectly good reason as to why it was called Thorn Road.
The name goes back to 1856 when a man named Hiram Thorn (Hiram Thorne) built the road at a hefty expense. Thorn’s road brought redwood logs to Oakland out of the vast forest known as the Moraga Redwoods, where he ran a lumber mill on Pinehurst Road. Thorn was later given a franchise to run and collect tolls for the road, it was one of 3 toll roads in Oakland. In 1933 Thorn Road officially became Thornhill Drive.
Since I found out about Thornhill Drive, I have been inquisitive about the names of our city streets. If you are interested, you can read more at the Oakland Local Wiki page Street Names.