History of Temescal

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Temescal today is a vibrant neighborhood, famous for the restaurants centered around Telegraph Avenue and 51st Street, and a burgeoning art scene. But back in 1890, Temescal was a small town still independent from Oakland, and the foundation was just being set for the vibrant area to come.

“Temescal,” said the Oakland Daily Evening Tribune on Saturday, January 25, 1890, “is a pleasant northern suburb of Oakland, is so easily reached from this city that many neglect on that account to explore it, choosing rather, when bent on a day’s recreation, to penetrate some distant quarter or accomplish a journey attended with greater difficulty.

“Sheltered by the Coast Range and bordered by the foothills of Berkeley, the district extends from Thirty sixth street, Oakland, to the shore of the bay, inclosing sundry smaller locations such as Lorin, Klinknerville, Newbury and Claremont. A creek of the same name, rising in the hills, empties itself into the bay.”

Oakland North is taking a look back at Temescal’s history with a few snapshots of what the area used to be like and look like, and who lived here, with stories on the Columbo Club by Megan Molteni, Temescal as a transportation hub by Amna Hassan, and Temescal Creek by Ryan Phillips.

We also have a video on Idora Park, once one of the top amusement parks on the West Coast, a timeline of key dates in Temescal’s early days, photos of what the area looked like then and now, and a look at what Temescal was like in 1873.

Anything we missed, or have a story about Temescal’s history you’d like to share? Write in the comments section or on Facebook, or e-mail Ryan Phillips at .

Temescal’s Historical Sites

Take a tour of some of Temescal’s former destinations from the late 1800s and turn of the century. Click on the points for a description of the site. Full size map.

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  1. Alexis

    Does anyone know about the old Safeway building at 403 49th Street, Oakland? I work for a company that owns that building now and wonder if there were photos or any fun historical facts?

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