(Data supplied by Oakland Pioneers.)
The flower shows that are held in Oakland are not an innovation. As early as 1858 plans for such an exposition were made and on, June 18, 1859, the first floral show opened.
This exposition was held under the auspices of the Agricultural society which was formed by leading citizens of the county at a meeting held in San Leandro In 1858. The society proposed to hold a flower show in the spring and an agricultural display in the fall. The first officers were: A. H. Myers, president; H. C. Smith and F. K. Shattuck, vice-presidents; E. S. Chipman, secretary; Frank F. Fargo, treasurer; Robert Blacow and Alfred Lewelling, directors.
A large Gothic structure was erected on the block, then a plaza, where the court house now stands, to house the fairs. The flower show proved a big success and among the men who took a prominent part in the big ball given at the close of the display were Judge George M. Black, W. M. Home and Judge William H. Glascock.
At the fall exposition of 1859, the first kerosene lamps to arrive in California were exhibited and the Wheeler & Wilson and the Grover & Baker sewing machines were great curiosities. At the exposition in 1862 there was a stock parade in which the famous racing horses Kentuck, Hunter and Comet were seen. As was usual in those days, gambling games ran full blast and unmolested.
During the civil war days, the pavillion was used as a sewing room where bandages were made. It also served as the armory.
The regular meetings of the society are held on the second Friday of each month in the police court rooms at the city hall.