Saturday, February 10, 2007

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There are thirteen state of California landmarks in Oakland.

State Historical Landmarks in Oakland

1. Site of Blossom Rock Navigation Trees
11500 Skyline Boulevard in Redwood Regional Park
Landmark #962

Here's what the plaque says:

#962 Site of Blossom Rock Navigation Trees
Until at least 1851, redwood trees on this site were used as landmarks to avoid striking the treacherous submerged Blossom Rock in San Francisco Bay, west of Yerba Buena Island. Although by 1855 the original stems had been logged, today's trees are sprouts from their stumps.

Here's an interesting note:

Blossom Rock was named for HMS Blossom. The Blossom sailed into San Francisco Bay on November 17, 1826.

During a six-week stay, her captain, F .W. Beechey, mapped the Bay for Great Britian. When he did, he made an interesting switch. He renamed the Spanish Alcatraz Island "Yerba Buena Island" and the Spanish Yerba Buena Island, "Alcatraz Island." No one really knows if Beechey did this deliberately or by mistake. In any case, the names stuck and the switch became permanent.

Beechey never admitted to striking Blossom Rock with his ship, but it's likely he did. In a diary entry he suggests lining up the northern tip of Yerba Buena Island (don't forget he made that switch, though) with two trees, "nearly the last ones south of the 'Palos Colorados,' a wood of pines situated on top of the hill over San Antonio, too conspicuous to miss."

These trees were used only to navigate around Blossom Rock, although the urban legend persists that mariners used them to wend their way through the Golden Gate.

2. Camino of Rancho San Antonio
Oakland and Santa Clara avenues
Landmark #299
The plaque is on southwest corner of Santa Clara and Oakland avenues.

Here's what the plaque says:

The Camino of Rancho San Antonio ran from Mission San Jose to Fruitvale and later to San Pablo by way of Oakland and El Cerrito. The word camino means trail, road, highway or line of communication that is in general or private use.

3. Church of St. James the Apostle
1540 12th Avenue
Landmark #694

4. Site of College of California
13th and Franklin streets
Landmark #45

5. First Unitarian Church of Oakland;
685 14th Street
Landmark #896

6. Joaquin Miller Home
The Abbey
Joaquin Miller Road and Sanborn Drive in Joaquin Miller Park
Landmark #107

7. Mills Hall
Mills College Campus
Landmark #849

8. Paramount Theatre
2025 Broadway
Landmark #884

9. Pardee House
672 11th Street
Landmark #1027

10. Peralta House
2465 34th Avenue
Landmark #925

11. Spot Where Rainbow Trout Species Was Identified
Redwood Regional Park
(50 Yards Past Redwood Gate Entrance Kiosk)
Landmark #970

12. Site of Saint Mary's College Site
3093 Broadway
Landmark #676

13. Site of Peralta Hacienda
2465 34th Avenue Oakland
Landmark #925

Here's what the plaque says:

Peralta Hacienda Site
One of California's original Spanish colonists, Luís Peralta received the first and largest Mexican land grant. His hacienda was the nucleus of the Rancho de San Antonio, which covered the sites of seven present-day East Bay cities and reached to the Contra Costa frontier. The rancho's first permanent adobe was located here, and the 1870 Italianate frame house is one of two remaining Peralta buildings.


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mmf1 said...

There several types of things I would like to see preserved with plaques or labels.
. Purple glass in cities sidewalks, which were used to let light into basement spaces. The glass turned purple because of the lead in the glass. There is some near 1714 Franklin, Oakland.
. Very large cactus plants (nopales), mostly in yards near older houses. I can see about 4 of them from BART. They are remarkable and are part of our history.
. Older buildings in the Fruitvale district which were associated with the cannery days. We can see them when we take the 63 bus to Fruitvale BART.
. Any remaining fig trees. One remarkable large tree on Foothill in the Fruitvale district was destroyed when creating a minipark.
. Creeks which run through neighborhoods. I used to own a house on Peralta Creek in the Fruitvale district.
Can you let me know how I can advocate for preservation of these things?

ebw-pete said...

I live on the Harrington Ave Branch of Peralta Creek and last year i was shocked to see people building right up to and in the creek from the Harrington Ave side. I'd been trying to do a mini-restoration / wildlife refuge in my yard, but it was frustrating to see these buildings going up in the creek. I searched for any regulation about building around seasonal creeks and found none. Does anyone have such info and who would be in charge of enforcement? I probably won't report them because I was threatened just for asking a neighbor why he was building there.