History of Golden Gate

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A thriving commercial strip. Open country, with dairy farms, cottages and ranches. A small town created by an eccentric showman remembered for his multi-colored jackasses. A tavern haven.

What is now Oakland’s Golden Gate district, the area north of Emeryville, centered around San Pablo Avenue and 59th Street, has had many faces over the years.

Oakland North is taking a look at the history of the Golden Gate district. We have a story by Ryan Phillips about Charles Klinkner, a rubber stamp tycoon who was an early developer of the Golden Gate and established it as “Klinknerville.” Megan Molteni interviews a longtime resident of the area to find out what it was like to grow up in the Golden Gate district in the 1950s. And Amna Hassan has some then and now photos of what San Pablo Avenue looked like in the 1950s, and what it looks like today.

We’ve also got historical photos and a map of bars that once thrived but are now closed.

Do you have a story about the Golden Gate’s history that you’d like to share? E-mail Ryan Phillips at ryan.phillips@oaklandnorth.net. Also, if you want more, check out the first edition in the series on Temescal.



One of the early founders of the Golden Gate district was an eccentric entrepreneur named Charles Klinkner, who drove painted mules around Oakland and named a small town he developed “Klinknerville.” By Ryan Phillips.



The Golden Gate, Then and Now

Take a tour of Golden Gate in the 1950s and earlier, and the neighborhood today. While some buildings have remained intact, most retail stores have been replaced by new businesses. By Amna Hassan.



Growing up in the Golden Gate

Charles Porter, 68, grew up in a two-story Victorian at San Pablo Avenue and 63rd Street that his parents purchased for $7,500 in 1949. Porter tells reporter Megan Molteni what it was like to grow up in the Golden Gate district in the 1950s.


The Shuttered Bars of the Golden Gate

In the first half of the 20th Century, there were “50 bars from the Emeryville line to the Berkeley line” around San Pablo Avenue, according to historian Don Hausler, who compiled a walking tour of bars that have closed in the area since World War II. “Two or three bars on every block, almost.” Take a tour of some of the bars in the area that have shut down over the years.

View Post-WW2 Bars in Golden Gate District in a larger map


[The multimedia elements of this page are no longer working, but you can still read the original stories by clicking the links below.]

Stop here, this is the place: Klinknerville

Photos from the early days of the Golden Gate district

Golden Gate “then and now” side-by-side photos

Growing up in the Golden Gate audio interview

The shuttered bars of the Golden Gate