“Rock Ridge—a part of the city below, yet apart from it.”

“Rock Ridge—a city beautiful where dreams come true. Where successful men are building their homes apart from the noise of a great city.”

“Rock Ridge—a private park residence place built to an ideal—planned in the Broadway hills for successful men.”

These advertisements were a part of a 1910 campaign by the Laymance Real Estate Company which spent the then-whopping sum of $38,000 to attract the rich to buy in a new part of Oakland, in the hills among sandstones known as “Rock Ridge.”

Read More

The Livermores were one of the earliest families to settle in Rockridge, and contributed significantly to its development in the early twentieth century. In addition to turning the large tracts of land above Broadway into residential areas, they were also involved in the establishment of public utilities and lumbering in California. Read on for more on Rockridge’s founding family.

Read More

Charles Porter, 68, has lived his most of his life in the Golden Gate district of Oakland.

Porter grew up in a two-story Victorian at San Pablo Avenue and 63rd Street that his parents purchased for $7,500 in 1949. He spent much of his youth at the Golden Gate rec center and the public library, playing games and reading books. He remembers San Pablo Avenue during the 1950s and 60s as a a commercial corridor—department stores, grocers, barber shops, car mechanics, five and dime stores, donut shops, even a movie theater. Back then, Porter remembers, it was one of the first Oakland neighborhoods to open up for African Americans.

Over the past 60 years, he has watched the neighborhood go through a number of changes, and seen the community change with it. For Porter, the changes are just part of the natural life cycle of the neighborhood.

Read More

Even to his family, Charles Klinkner was known as an eccentric character. That tends to happen to a man who is arrested for counterfeiting after distributing nickel-sized coins carrying the name of his rubber stamp company, who wears a suit with 40 or 50 pockets in order to carry goods he could sell to a…

Read More

The place where the Mai Tai was invented is now a vacant lot. The original Trader Vic’s—where the world famous rum cocktail was invented in 1944—once stood at 6500 San Pablo Avenue, on the corner of 65th Street. But Trader Vic’s closed that location in 1972 and moved to Emeryville. In the first half of…

Read More

A lot can be learned about a place by glancing at the local newspaper. Take Temescal in 1873, for instance. The area was buzzing with activity—the bridge over Temescal Creek had recently been completed, there were at least a half-dozen saloons in the area, and the Berkeley Railway which transported people between the nearby cities…

Read More

Today, Oakland North is taking a look back at the history of the Temescal district with a few snapshots of what the area used to be like and look like, and who lived here. We’ll be publishing stories throughout the day, so check back for more.

Read More

The physical evidence today is scarce, but Temescal began with the creek. Most of the section of Temescal Creek that runs through the Temescal district has been covered up. Over the years, the creek was gradually culverted through the flat lands of North Oakland, and many younger residents of the area today may not know…

Read More

For nearly 100 years, the Colombo Club has been the heart and soul of Temescal’s historic Italian community. With almost 1,000 members today, the Columbo Club is the largest private Italian social club west of the Mississippi River. Oakland North reporter Megan Molteni goes down to the club to learn about its long and storied history.

Read More