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Albert E Norman's collection, 
the Historian of Oakland, California. 

graduating class of Fabiola nurses about 1888 on the steps of Fabiola hospital corner Moss
Those that paved the way to today.
D Henshaw Ward Home - 150 Lake Ave Present site of the Lake Merritt Hotel.jpeg
Places to work, play and stay.
Oakland Plaza (in front of City Hall) looking east, 1905 .jpeg
Getting around the East Bay
Some history of Oakland, California

Having been selected to designate those of our city, who during the lifetime of this community stand out for their civic activities allow me to tell you of the very early folk, who have left their mark on our fair City of Oakland.

Think with me for a moment of the four sons of Don Luis Maria Peralta, the gallant Spanish soldier who for his service to Mexico, was granted in June 1820 all the land from El Cerrito Hill, at the County line between Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, as we now know It, to San Leandro Creek, from the ridge of the hills to the bay. This great tract of over 48000 sq acres is now covered by Oakland, Berkeley, Albany, Piedmont, Emeryville, part of San Leandro, and Alameda.

In 8842, Don Luis divided this land between his four sons, Ignacio, Antonia Maria, Vicente, and Jose Domingo. So my first mentioned citizens are these four, who with their haciendas scattered across this great rancho, were the leading lights from their first settling of these parts until the coming of the New Englanders.

Firstly, these men had but a temporary adobe on the banks of San Leandro Creek, but in the year 1821, Antonio Marie built his home near what is today 34th Avenue and Paxton Street. From this home the other brothers managed their lands. In 1836 Vicente built his home at Telegraph Road and 56th Street, to where Jose Domingo moved until he had completed his adobe near Hopkins and Sacramento Street in Berkeley.

Ignacio went to the southerly end of the grant to build his home. First, he built the "Francisco house" on the lower San Leandro creek. Later he turned this home over to his son Francisco and build a large adobe in 1841. These two houses were badly damaged by the earthquakes of 1856 and 1868 and little is recorded as to their exact locations. In 1860 Ignacio built for himself the house that stands today, known as the Alta Mira Club of San Leandro, and located at the corner of Lafayette Avenue and Peralta Avenue.

The last remnant of any of the Peralta adobes was in 1897, standing on the Antonio Maria property on Paxton Avenue. This building was torn down and parts of it were used by Mr. Dennis Diamond in the erection of a study of a study and a boys club house on his estate, now Dimond Park. Later this building was made the Boy Scout House. It was but a month ago that vandals made an effort to destroy this link in history.

Ignacio was born April 3, 1791 and died May 9, 1874; Jose Domingo was born December 3, 1795 and died April 1855; Antonio Maria was born August 16, 1801 and died February 22, 1879; and Vicente was born November 11, 1811 and died June 30, 1871.

Space does not permit the many stories of the experiences of these gallant men, as to the entertaining done at each of their haciendas; of their quarrels with the early settlers and their real estate dealings involving their vast holdings. These four brothers made the history of the east bay up to the time of the saw mills in the hills back of Oakland, the coming of the miners and those who hoped to make their fortunes in farming and in the development of these fair cities as we have them today.

The names of these brother shall remain as a part of the history of this community for ever and ever. Watch for the next stores of the civic leaders of Oakland during the past one hundred years.

Albert E. Norman.

Oakland_Tribune_Thu__Mar_17__1966_- obit.jpeg
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