Evarts I. Blake.

Greater Oakland, 1911, a volume dealing with the big metropolis on the shores of San Francisco Bay .. online

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Indian objects, which had been made in
California for an Eastern museum. Then
he caused a collector to be sent into differ-
ent fields to secure material for other de-
partments. The city government voted
funds for the maintenance of a public mu-
seum, and in April. 1909, formally placed
it under the management of the board of
trustees of the Oakland Free Library.

Mr. C. P. Wilcomb. formerly of the Gold-
en Gate Park Museum, was called to as-
sume the curatorship. It is to his skill as
a collector and his knowledge of practical
museum work, that Oakland owes the excel-
lence of the exhibits and the orderly ar-
rangement and careful attention to details
that make their appearance so pleasing to

The Board of Public Works set apart the
Josiah Stanford mansion on the shore of

The City Museum


^-v ^


Greater Oakland, 1911

Lake Merritt, 1218 Oak Street, to be used as
a museum until a more commodious build-
ing can be provided. This has been remod-
eled until it lends itself admirably for the
purpose desired, although even now it is
being rapidly outgrown by the collections,
which are constantly increasing through the
donations of friends and patrons. In seven
weeks, since the opening, over forty indi-
viduals and firms have contributed speci-
mens to add to the exhibits.

Fourteen Exhibition Rooms.

There are at present fourteen exhibition
rooms, warmed by steam radiators and bril-
liantly lighted by over 400 lamps so dis-
posed as to make it possible to see all arti-
cles and read all labels as well in the even-

ing as by day. In these rooms the exhibits
are classified and arranged in attractive or-
der. So displayed, they are interesting to
the visitor who wishes diversion or recrea-
tion, and useful to the student who may
desire to make investigations along special
lines of work. The prime object of the
Oakland Public Museum is not at present
the prosecution of research work, for the
collections are not sufficiently extensive in
a few departments.

The total number of specimens belonging
to the museum is about 12,000, classified
under the following heads:

1. Natural History, containing about
5,600 articles, exhibited in three rooms on
the second floor. The collection of local

birds and eggs is particularly good; it is
not all displayed for lack of space, but is
available for students who desire to use it
for scientific purposes.

2,600 Subscriptions From This Continent.

2. The Ethnology of North America is
represented by about 2,600 specimens, in-
cluding quite a complete collection of ma-
terial from the Pacific Coast Indians, illus-
trating their every-day life, arts, industries,
war and ceremony, and is very instructive
to anyone desiring to make a study of the
aboriginal inhabitants of this section.

3. Ethnological collections from Africa,
Pacific Islands, Asia, Mexico and Central
America aggregate over 700 specimens,
showing strange and interesting phases of
primitive culture.

4. The department of General History
contains nearly 1,200 specimens, including
coins, medals, paper money, pictures and
historical relics, and is one of the most pop-
ular exhibits in the museum.

5. Colonial America is represented by
what is probably the best collection on the
Western coast. This is displayed in five
rooms, two of which are types of those
found commonly in colonial homes. These
are so attractive that visitors return to them
again and again, and so instructive that they
enforce many a lesson of the life and strug-
gles of our forefathers who had the strength
to found a nation.

Reference books are found on reading
tables in the various departments. These
are provided for the visitors who desire to
consult them for more extended information
than can be embraced in the labeling.

Visitors to the museum are generally sur-
prised and delighted at the amount of ma-
terial and the arrangement and attractive-
ness of the exhibit, and pleased to find the
greater part of the articles provided with
descriptive labels setting forth the chief
points of interest in relation to them.

The attendance since the opening on Oc-
tober 21, 1910, has been very gratifying, as
showing the interest of the people of Oak-
land in the new municipal possession. The
self-registering turnstile showed that during
the first seven weeks 12,237 visitors entered
the building. The largest record for any
one day was 1,220, on the afternoon of Sun-
day, October 23.

Thi City Museujj


One new feature introduced in the Oak-
land Museum is that of the docentry, which
is being practiced in some of the leading
institutions of the East. It is the courtesy
of providing a guide to strangers who de-
sire to be directed to points of interest
rather than risk to wandering about aim-

lessly or missing some of the most valuable
exhibits. A specialty is made of thus direct-
ing children, entertaining and instructing

Educational Feature One of the Best.

It is the purpose and aim of the promoters
and managers of the museum to make it a
strong factor in the educational work of the
city. To this end they have established a
Children's Department, and inaugurated a
system of lectures and talks daily, both
formal and informal, under the manage-
ment of Mrs. D. W. de Veer, a teacher of
several years' experience. This is the first
museum on the coast to make a specialty
of such work, and while at present the
methods are being only experimentally
worked out, the results are already very

The children's room is sunny and pleas-
ant, and the exhibits are attractively ar-
ranged. They comprise such objects as are
interesting and curious, and at the same
time instructive. Some of the exquisite col-
orings in Nature's work are shown in one
case containing bright-hued birds, insects,

fishes, minerals and shells. Strange and fa-
miliar insects give their lessons of natural
economy. Useful minerals are shown with
articles made from them, and curious ones
that teach of Nature's endless variety of re-
source — the natural magnet, the stone that
floats on water, iron that fell from the sky,
etc. Products of farms and plantations,
birds of the forest, shells and corals from
the sea, fossil remains of living things
buried in the earth for ages all have their
lessons. Striking things there are, too, such
as the egg that is variously taken for a foot
ball or watermelon, and the tooth of a mam-
moth, which, as one child pertinently re-
marked, "had room for a lot of ache."

Labels Tell Story in Simple Way.

The exhibits are labeled in simple lan-
guage so that older children may under-
stand the descriptions. And the attendants
of the museum are always ready to tell
about the objects to those who are too
young to read or who prefer to listen to the

On Saturday afternoons regular half-hour
talks are given to such children as assemble,
the subjects being the exhibits in different

departments which are particularly interest-
ing to children; these talks are somewhat
informal, the listener having opportunity to
ask questions or talk over the objects with
the speaker.

Arrangements have been made with Su-
perintendent J. W. McClymonds of the city
schools to have teachers bring their classes
to the museum to listen to regularly ap-


Greater Oakland, 1911

pointed talks, illustrated by objects in the
collections. The subjects are arranged with
the teacher to correlate with the regular
school work and have proven very helpful
to the classes.

The Colonial rooms afiford a wealth of
material for illustrating early American life
and customs, and from the talks on these
subjects the pupils gain a much clearer im-
pression of Colonial America than they
would receive from merely reading about
the life of the colonists. When they see the
"old rude-fashioned room" of Whittier's
tale, with the huge fireplace, "crane and
pendant trammels," its "whitewashed wall
and sagging beam," or the bedroom like the
one in which Lafayette slept at the Wayside
Inn, they know what the home life of early
days meant. When they watch the process
of preparing flax and wool, spinning them
into thread, and preparing the thread for
the loom for weaving cloth, they know bet-
ter how much a new dress or a new coat
cost the men and women of the old Pilgrim

Revolutionary relics bring that period of
struggle home more clearly to the student
of history; and the old pictures and histori-
cal objects of later times serve to fasten in
their minds facts of which they have read
in their school work.

The younger pupils, just reading the
stories of early California, may see pictures
of all the old missions, also a model of the
first gold nugget found by James Marshall,
with pictures of the Sutter Mill, where it
was discovered; a wooden mining pan used
in early days; some of the first cotton cloth
made in Oakland; and other objects of pio-
neer days in their own State.

For classes beginning the study of natural
history, the lecturer gives talks on insects,
plants and flowers, birds or animals, par-
ticularly those represented in the collection

or found in the vicinity of Oakland. From
this time on it is planned to keep on exhibi-
tion fresh wild flowers in their season, so
that the children who arc studying them
in school may always find specimens at the
museum, if they cannot go themselves to
the woods and fields to pluck them.

Talks on these and other subjects have
been given to classes taken to the museum
by their teachers, one each school daj' since
the middle of November. The children are
encouraged to ask questions and are al-
lowed to handle and examine closely ex-
hibits which are not perishable or will not
be injured by moving and handling.

Will Work With Public Schools.

It is purposed to continue this work in
connection with the public schools, so as to
make the museum a permanent means of
education in Oakland. And as soon as pos-
sible an auditorium will be built, and lan-
tern slides provided, so that lectures may be
given on a variety of subjects which cannot
be illustrated by the objects themselves.
The educational value of a museum under
such a system may be almost limitless. And
it is believed that Oakland will realize that,
being the first city on the coast to adopt
such a plan, it behooves her to work it out
to its greatest possible value. The good to
be obtained from this system is not to be
measured by the intrinsic value of the ex-
hibits, but by the use made of them. An
experienced teacher may give a greater les-
son from an old spinning wheel or an ordi-
nary hornet's nest than from a valuable
painting or a rare jewel. And if the citi-
zens of the city support the project by their
personal interest, attendance and money,
Oakland should retain what she now has —
first place on the Pacific Coast in maintain-
ing an educational department in connection
with the municipal museum.


Greater Oakland, 1911



Key Route


Signal bridge over the Berkeley and Claremout lines at a point where they verge into the main line at

San Pablo Ave. Note derailer system on tracks in foreground positively prohibiting

passage of train unless main line tiacks are clear

Key Route and Oakland Traction

the thinker, Greater Oakland
deals not only with what has
been accomplished, but with
that which is to be accom-
plished. It is not only a taking into ac-
count the past few years, but it is as well
a prophecy for the near-coming years.

Our city has taken, and is to take, promi-
nent place in the list of commercial cities,
not only of California, but as well of our
great Nation. And true spirited Oaklanders,
placing grateful acknowledgment where ac-
knowledgment is due, granting merited ap-
proval where approval is due, dwell with
thoughtful significance upon that which has
been accomplished by the Oakland Traction
Company and by the "Key Route," which
is the more familiar name of the San Fran-

cisco, Oakland and San Jose Consolidated

These lines have, without doubt, been
most closely identified with the marked
growth which has taken place in Oakland
during the past few years.

It is not difficult to recall the days be-
fore the establishment of the splendid ser-
vice now being rendered by the Key Route,
when the extremely congested condition of
the trans-bay travel and unsatisfactory
hourly service meant almost the exclusion-
of the fair cities on this, the east side of the
bay. Nor is it difficult to recall the prop-
erty values of outlying districts prior to the
time of establishment of the ample trans-
portation facilities aflForded by these lines,
for comparison with the values of the pres-
ent day. Take, for example, the attractive


Greater Oakland, 1911

Key Route



Greater Oakland, 1911

residence district in North Berkeley known
as the Northbrae tract. This property was
sold about six years ago at a price ranging
from $500 to $1,000 per acre; this tract has
been subdivided and is now selling at from
$8,000 to $12,000 per acre.

This same condition obtains in other out-
lying districts, such as the Fremont tract
of some thirty-one acres, which seven years
ago was purchased at about $700 per acre.
This also is subdivided and is now being

settlement of these properties and their en-
hancement in value?

What of the fast modern steamers of the
Key Route! Steamers giving 15 and 20-
minute service, rushing to and fro between
San Francisco and the handsomely equipped
mole on the Oakland side of the bay! Its
up-to-date electric trains! Are they not
operated to render good service, good treat-
ment, and, above all, so as to assure protec-
tion to patrons?

w f. r

General Office of the Key Route and Oakland Traction Co., corner San Pablo Ave. and Jones Street, Oakland, Cal.

rapidly purchased at prices ranging around
$6,000 per acre.

Is it not apparent that the change that has
thus taken place is due to the establishment
of the transportation facilities now being
afforded by the Oakland Traction Company
and the Key Route system?

Has not the Oakland Traction Company,
with its far-reaching lines, branching into
all outlying districts, been the medium of

This latter fact has surely been very def-
initely brought out by the recent installa-
tion of the new automatic block signal sys-
tem upon their lines, between San Pablo
Avenue and the Pier terminal, where the
fact of nearly 600 daily trains being oper-
ated over this short stretch of double track
necessitates that the most extreme precau-
tion be exercised to prevent accidents. The
Key Route Company has placed this pro-

Kky Route


uii_ Mi]y^^~'';


Greater Oakland, 1911

tection about the traveling public, regard-
less of the heavy expenditure its installa-
tion entailed.

The Oakland Traction Company and Key
Route are composed of and controlled by
men of Oakland. It should suflfice, so far
as this city is concerned, to call public atten-
tion to the fact that Mr. F. M. Smith is the
dominating spirit of both companies. Oak-
landers know well how he has but recently
gone out into the markets of the world
and drawn together the great corporation
known as the United Properties Company

alert to what the future holds in store for
this viciaity.

In fact, the Key Route's familiar trade
mark (the sign of the key) has come to
have particular significance, standing out in
reality as the veritable Key, which, with its
sister enterprise, the Oakland Traction
Company, has opened up the great possibili-
ties existant on this side of San Francisco

The casual visitor to Greater Oakland is
at once impressed with the excellence of the
trans-bay and local transportation service

Interior view of Key Route Power Station showing several of the large Corlis Engines and
Dynamos which generate the poA'er

of California, with a capital of two hundred
millions of dollars, which vast sum is to be
expended in the establishment of better-
ments, with Oakland as the vorte.x of its
accumulated strength.

With the same keen, broad-tninded out-
look which has made Mr. Smith's name
synonymous in Oakland with such words as
"growth," "enlargement" and "enrichment,"
he has surrounded himself with others who
are identified with the predominating spirit
of progression and who are men keenly

afforded by the Key Route and Oakland
Traction Company.

The continual eflfort of these interests in
affording betterments in extent, conveni-
ence and safety of service are not only in
the way of upbuilding their own lines, but
Greater Oakland as well, for, acting in har-
mony with the Chamber of Commerce and
other commercial and economic bodies of
Greater Oakland, the attention is gained of
the man looking for a home or a business
location, or the interest in search of an ad-

Key Route



Greater Oakland, 1911

I? ■



Key Route


vantageous industrial site, so that the Key
Route and Oakland Traction Company are
in fact busy and indefatigable publicists for
Greater Oakland.

A recent new department embraces facili-
ties and attractions whereby hundreds of
people are each week brought across the

transcontinental train service took them
whirling through the back yard of Greater
Oakland on their way to San Francisco.

This is but one of the many instances
where the Key Route and Oakland Traction
Company interests have recognized a mani-
fest need and an opportunity to assist and

Showing signal standard of the new automatic block signal system and Key Route train
on its way to the mole. Nearly 600 trains pass over these double tracks daily

bay from San Francisco and shown the
business and residential sections and all
points of interest in Greater Oakland.
These people would not otherwise visit the
east side of the bay during their time on the
Pacific Coast save as the exigencies of

hasten the growth of the community, and
have promptly grasped the opportunity and
satisfied the need.

Too, more than any other one interest in
this entire section, the closely associated
interests of these lines have been of benefit


Greater Oakland, 1911

Key Route


terior view of Electric Interlocking Tower No. 3 of Key Route

Dakland and adjacent cities in the way
giving employment to labor. At the
sent time they employ in the neighbor-
d of 2,000 men. This means a monthly
roll to be distributed in Greater Oakland
ipproximately $175,000.
onsider the various departments re-
ed to operate this great system:
n Yerba Buena Avenue (Fortieth Street)
■nding from San Pablo Avenue to the

shore, are situated their car shops, ma-
le shops, power house and material
Is, each with its quota of skilled me-
lics, carbuilders, foundrymen and elec-
ans. At Haywards, on the extreme
:h end of the line, is a power station

car barns calling for a large force for
•ation. At Central Station, in East Oak-
1, is a headquarters for the storage of
pment, requiring another force of men.

Telegraph Avenue and Fiftieth Street
the large car barns and shops for the
age of the equipment of the northern
■ict, requiring their employees. At Rich-
id are the facilities for use in connec-
with the East Shore and Suburban
way, now a part of the Oakland Trac-

Company. There is the marine depart-
t with its five familiar orange-colored

steamers, named "San Francisco," "Fern-
wood," "Claremont," "San Jose" and "Yerba
Buena," each with expert crews of skilled
navigators. At the pier terminal, known as
the Key Route Mole, is the headquarters of
this department. Here again is required
a large force to attend to the upkeep of the
handsome ferry houses, wharves, etc. In
the large building at the corner of Jones
Street and San Pablo Avenue are located
the general offices, a veritable beehive of ac-
tivity, under the able heads of the vice-
president, general superintendent and chief
engineer of inaintenance of way, with va-
rious sub-departments and diversified and
widespread interests; also the purchasing
department, the auditing department, with
its large force of accountants, the claims de-
partment and the line department.

These numerous and various branches of
labor, herein but briefly outlined, giving
steady employment as they do year in and
year out, have been one of the largest fac-
tors in the establishment of Greater Oak-
land homes — homes which are being created
in surprisingly increasing numbers in an
ever-widening territory, between Hayward
on the south and Richmond on the north,
between the mountains on the one hand
and the sea on the other hand.

Interior view of Lever Room with attendant on duty in interlocking room


Greater Oaklanp, 1911

F. M. SMITH {Borax)

President of the United Properties Co., Who Has Inaugurated

THE Most Gigantic Consolidation of

Interests in the West

Gigantic Financial Concern Plans Big Things

United Properties Company Will Expend Millions
in Oakland and Vicinity

The close of the year 1910 was marked
by the filing of the articles of incorporation
in the State of Delaware of the most power-
ful corporation ever organized for the devel-
opment of California interests, excepting that
of the Southern Pacific Company, namely
that of the United Properties Company, with
a capitalization of $200,000,000. All of the
incorporators are Californians and all of the

interests combined in the company are Cali-
fornia properties. The incorporators are F.
M. Smith, William S. Tevis, R. G. Hanford,
W. R. Alberger, Gavin McNab and Dennis
Searles. The interests of which the United
Properties Company is the holding organiza-
tion are the Oakland Traction Company,
which controls all the street electric railways
serving the three cities located on the east-

United Properties Company


em shore of San Francisco Bay and their
suburbs ; the San Francisco, Oakland and
San Jose Electric Railway and its transbay
ferry system, popularly known as the Key
Route, and the vast acreage of water-front
lands adapted to commercial and industrial
uses, and urban and suburban residence
property, all of which are vested in F. M.
Smith, and the water-producing lands and
hydro-electric power sites owned by William
S. Tevis in the Sierran basins of the Tuol-
umne and American Rivers, and in the main
streams which rise on the flanks of Mount
Hamilton in the inner Coast Range of Santa
Clara County.

R. G. Hanford and Gavin McNab repre-
sent the foreign interests that have financed
the corporation with unlimited capital to de-
velop the properties which have been placed
under its control. The other members of the
directorate represent the interests of Frank
M. Smith merged in the holding company.

On January 13th the directors named in
the articles of incorporation of the United
Properties Company organized by the elec-
tion of the following officers : Frank M.
Smith, president ; William S. Tevis, first
vice-president ; R. G. Hanford, C. B. Za-
briskie and W. R. Alberger, vice-presidents ;
C. B. Zabriskie, treasurer ; F. W. Frost,
secretary, and Gavin McNab, general counsel.

The object of the merger is the reclama-
tion of the large area of tidelands owned by
the Realty Syndicate on the western water
front of Oakland, the construction of
wharves for deep-sea commerce on the fifty-
year leasehold frontage on the northern side
of the Key Route basin held by the San
Francisco, Oakland and San Jose Railroad ;
the extension of the latter electric railway
system to Santa Clara County to the South

and to Sacramento to the North, and later
to other points ; the development of the Sier-
ran water-power resources and the water
supply sources of the Bay Cities Water Com-
pany, and the opening up for settlement of
the urban and suburban properties of the
Realty Syndicate, which extend along the
flanks of the Coast Range from the county
line north of Berkeley to the neighborhood
of Hayward.

These undertakings involve the expendi-
ture of vast sums of money, all of which
will inure to the benefit of the city of Oak-
land, as well as to the profit of the big
corporation. The reclamation of western
water-front lands and the building of
wharves on the Key Route basin, which is to
be the first enterprise to be developed, will
cost, at a low estimate, $5,000,000, and this
work is to be started at once. The exten-

Online LibraryEvarts I. BlakeGreater Oakland, 1911, a volume dealing with the big metropolis on the shores of San Francisco Bay .. → online text (page 4 of 30)