Ye Olden Oakland Days


By Chas. G. Reed

Until August 16, 1820, the only settlers in and about the region now occupied by the city of Oakland were Indians of a low type. The Indian rocks in North Berkeley still show the smoke of their fires and in their sides are the rude mortars used for grinding acorns and grain, while upon the shore of the bay there were many mounds of clamshells left by these early settlers

Upon the date mentioned, Luis Maria Peralta, a soldier of Spain, stationed at the Presidio of San Francisco, was granted a tract of land extending from San Leandro Creek to the knoll on the west side of San Pablo road and then known as the Rancho de San Antonio. Don Luis resided in San Jose, and in 1842 divided the San Antonio grant among his sons; and to Vicente and Antonio Maria fell the portion comprised within the present limits of the city of Oakland. Vicente built an adobe house north of Temescal and Antonio built at Fruitvale.

The first American settler in what is now known as the city of Oakland was Moses Chase, who pitched his tent on what is now the foot of Broadway in the winter of 1849-50, and commenced hunting. Here he was found by the Patten brothers on their arrival in February, 1850. Next came Col. Henry S. Fitch and and Col. Whitney, who made an unsuccessful attempt to purchase the site of Oakland. In the summer of 1850 Messrs. Moon, Carpentier and Adams came across the bay in a whaleboat rowed by Harry N. Morse, a young sailor, who in later years became sheriff of Alameda county. They erected a shanty near the foot of Broadway and squatted upon the land, claiming that it belonged to the United States Government. The Peraltas made an attempt to eject them under a writ from the county court at Martinez and failing, finally compromised the matter by granting a lease of a number of acres of land on certain conditions. The squatters then laid out a town, extending from Market street to the lake, and from the estuary to Fourteenth street, made a map and sold lots and blocks, giving quit claim deeds. They erected the first buildings and were therefore the actual founders of the city.

(To be continued)

Native Americans, Spaniards, Americans in Oakland OAKLAND'S BEGINNINGS By Chas. G. ReedNative Americans, Spaniards, Americans in Oakland OAKLAND'S BEGINNINGS By Chas. G. Reed Sun, Oct 10, 1920 – Page 12 · Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) ·