(Contributed by Oakland Pioneers)
OAKLAND'S FIRST RAILROAD (NO. 1)
On August 8, 1862, I helped to break ground for the Seventh street local railroad. It was built by George Goss and Charles W. Stevens, the latter being a brother of A. J. Stevens, afterwards master mechanic of the Southern Pacific company for many years. It was then said to have been financed by French capital furnished by Charles Mayne, a capitalist and banker of San Francisco. Alex. McBoyle came over with me from San Francisco on the steamer Contra Costa,1 2 each of us with a pick and shovel, landing at the foot of Broadway. The fare was 50 cents. We made our way down to West Oakland, then known as the "Point," where the work was started. We commenced by boring holes for the piles with a big auger, dropped the piles in the holes, built a section or two of piling, then a pile-driver was built on top of these piles and pushed along as the piling was constructed westward.
There was a horizontal, circular saw connected with the engine of the pile-driver to saw off the piles when they were driven deep enough. The plles were brought down from Oregon in sailboats and were discharged on the east side of Goat Island, where the wharf is now located, and our men rowed over there every morning and towed some piles to this side for the wharf.
We had a bunkhouse which was built by John Scott. afterwards known as "Col. Scott," who was then a builder and afterwards a newspaper man, owner of the Oakland Transcript for a number of years. His two sons are living here now - J. Walter ("Bud") Scott, advertising agent, and Joe D. Scott, veteran letter carrier.
When the wharf was done and also a trestle was erected across the slough at the head of Hardy's Creek, at about Seventh and Filbert streets, four or five of us workmen cleared off the right of way along Seventh street from the bay up to Broadway, cutting down trees and shrubs and shoveling out the dirt ready for the ties.