OAKLAND IN EARLY DAYS (NO. 8) BY CHAS. G. REED
(Contributed by Oakland Pioneers No. 23) Broadway Wharf and the First Public School.
May 27, 1852. just twenty-three days after Oakland's incorporation as a town, an ordinance was passed by the Board of Trustees "granting to H. W. Carpentier the exclusive right of constructing wharves, piers and docks at any points within the limits of the town of Oakland and of collecting wharfage and dockage at such rates as he may deem reasonable, for the period of thirty-seven years," provided that Carpentier construct a wharf at the foot of Main street, now Broadway, at least twenty feet wide to deep water, etc., and pay two per cent of the receipts for wharfage to the town, also to build a public schoolhouse. The ordinance further provided that. in consideration of the foregoing, all the land lying within the limits of the town, between high tide and ship channel (commonly known as the "waterfront") was sold, granted and released to Carpentier.
May 31st a deed, in accordance with the ordinance, was duly executed by the president of the town trustees to Carpentier, who lost no time in entering upon his newly acquired possessions. December 30, 1852, he reported, under oath, that he had paid to the town its portion of the receipts for wharfage to date. On the same day an ordinance was passed approving the Broadway wharf and granting further time for the construction of two other wharves provided for in the first ordinance.
July 12, 1853, Carpentier reports that "I have built a substantial, elegant and commodious schoolhouse (22 by 34 feet) for said town, which is now completed and ready for delivery. In the plan and construction of the building, I have intended to go beyond rather than fall short of the obligation of my contract. I would also state, for the official information of the board, that a free school is at present maintained, at my expense, in the building above referred to and which I am happy to inform you is well attended and promises to be the beginning of an important system of free schools. I herewith transmit to you a conveyance of the schoolhouse, together with a deed for the lots upon which it is erected. I trust that the building will meet with your approval and that the additional present of the lots will prove acceptable to your honorable body." August 27th an ordinance was passed, reciting the completion of the wharf and schoolhouse, and in consideration thereof, granting the waterfront to Carpentier "in fee simple forever."
(To be continued.)