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About this site

This website is dedicated to Albert E Norman. He had an amazing collection of photographs, documents, maps and other historical items about Oakland, Alameda, Piedmont, Berkeley, Emeryville, Hayward, San Leandro and many other cities he collected over the years 


A majority of this site is his collection I have been documenting over the past year. It will most likely never be finished and more will  always be added.

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Oakland_Tribune_Thu__Mar_17__1966_- obit.jpeg


Oakland Tribune - Thu - March 17, 1966:

Albert E. Norman, 73, a familiar figure on Oakland streets as he pushed his spare frame along in search of the historical items with which he regaled readers of The Tribune’s Knave column, has died after a heart attack.

Mr. Norman, who operated the Albert E. Norman Real Estate company on downtown 15th Street for 53 years, was as well known in Masonic and business circles as in those devoted to history. And he combined his hobby with his devotion to Oakland’s First Methodist Church, for which he was official historian.

He was given first prize for historical writings in 1963 by the California-Nevada Conference of the Methodist Church.

His contributions to The Knave over the past 35 years made his name as familiar to Tribune readers as many a byline re-sorter. He delineated the Oakland of many years ago, the Jakland he remembered and the Jakland he had heard of from he “old-timers” of his youth.

Mr. Norman had been in ill health since his first heart attack in 1955, but continued his work and his historical writing almost to his death, according to his son, Albert Norman Jr.


Mr. Albert E. Norman,

380 15th St.,

Oakland, Calif.


My memory goes back to the time you was born in West Oakland, which was Oakland's exclusive residential section at that time, and when the business section of the city was all south of 12th Street.

You was born into a family who has lived in Oakland since 1873.

You was educated in the Oakland Public Schools, and graduated from the old Polytechnic High at 12th and Market Street, which with the progress of the city has grown into the Technical High School, the largest of its kind in the west. While attending school you spent your spare time delivering the Oakland Tribune, S. F. Examiner, Chronicle and the Oakland Herald, a publication which has long since been discontinued.

After leaving school he was employed by the Southern Pacific Co., the Sunset Lumber Co., and the old Oakland Traction Co., as stenographer.

Thirteen years ago he decided to go into the real estate business, and has been actively engaged in this line ever since. Upon entering the real estate business he specialized on properties in the Claremont section, which was then mostly a grain field, extending from 40th St. to Claremont Hotel, and the Fourth Avenue District, in which he sold many thousands of dollars worth of prop-erty, which was then an open field, and which is now build up solidly with some of the best moderately priced homes in the city.

Mr. Norman now conducts his office at 380 15th Street, one of the new arteries of Oakland, which will soon be opened to the Lake, making it one of the most prominent streets. At the present time he is doing a general real estate business, handling all properties within the limits of the city.

He was one of the original organizers and members of the Real Estate Glee Club, and is now a member of the Orpheus, the largest and oldest singing organization on the Pacific Coast. Besides he is one of the original founders of the Loyal Knights of the Round Table, which has Oakland as its principal place of business, with Round Tables in thirty-two cities in the United States, of which organization Mr. Norman is the International Secretary.

For many years he has been Financial Secretary of the First Methodist Episcopal Sunday School, to which he has given many faithful years of service, and is also a Mason.

Yes, Mr. Norman, we are truly proud to call you one of us. May you ever continue your good work is the wish of your friend,



Albert E Norman Bio in Who Made Oakland.jpg

Who Made Oakland?
By Florence B. Crocker
C. Dalton, 1925 - Oakland (Calif.) - 158 pages

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