Ye Olden Oakland Days

(Data Supplied by Oakland Pioneers.)

There was a big train-wreck shortly after the Central Pacific came into Oakland along about 1869. It was on a Sunday morning, when two trains running in opposite directions on the same track came head-on near what is now known as Melrose, but which was then occupied by farms. All of the train crew and many passengers lost their lives.

Col. John Scott, who was editor of the Oakland Transcript, conscripted young John Gilmore and drove to the scene of the wreck. The boy held the horse, while the Colonel gathered up the details of the disaster, and hastened baek to town, and by noon had extras on the street, with glaring headlines describing the wreck. The papers went like hot cakes, and when young Gilmore counted up, his share amounted to about twenty dollars. This was his first and last experience as newsboy.

Some years previous to this there was another big accident which resulted in the loss of several lives. It occurred on the Fourth of July, when a big parade was held in Oakland and many military companies and floats had come over from San Francisco. After the street parade, the literary exercises and a big picnic was held in Hardy's Woods west of Market street. When the visitors were returning, the apron that connected the wharf with the boat broke and those who were on it fell into the bay; many of them were drowned and their bodies were brought to Oakland until claimed by their friends or relatives. One of the Maloon boys distinguished himself on this occasion by saving several lives.

Those who think that Oakland became a shipbuilding point only in recent years will be interested to know that several small vessels were built at the foot of Franklin street, and also at other points on the water front, back in the sixties.

train wreck 1869, wharf broke, ship building
Ye Olden Oakland Days

train wreck 1869, wharf broke, ship building Ye Olden Oakland Days TO BLOG Sun, Aug 1, 1920 – Page 13 · Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) ·