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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Oakland in Alameda County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Pony Express Ferry “Oakland”

 
 
Front of Pony Express Ferry "Oakland" Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Andrew Ruppenstein, May 10, 2009
1. Front of Pony Express Ferry "Oakland" Marker
Inscription. Dedicated April 23, 1999
Jack London Square
By Port of Oakland, William Campbell Family, Dreyers Grand Ice Cream, Alameda/Oakland Ferry Service, Waterfront Plaza Hotel & Jacks, Sportsman's Hall - Pollock Pines Pony Express Home Station, Pony Express Trail Association

Sponsors: Walter R. Harmon • Miller Packing Company • Dealey, Renton and Associates • Piedmont Grocery Company • Employees of Scotts Seafood • Oakland Association of Realtors • Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce • Bay Cities Produce Company (Est. A.B. Del Masso 1947)


{Other side:}

At the summit of Fish Ranch Road Pony Express Rider Thomas Bedford followed today's Claremont, Telegraph, and Broadway Streets to the pier located at this site.

Captain Falkenburgh arrived here with the "Oakland" at 9:15 AM. The telegraph had informed him about Bedford. He waited awhile but then gave the order to "Haul in and let go." Bedford was then sighted and the plank put out again for the flying horse and Pony Express mail. At 9:32 AM Bedford rode on board and arrived in San Francisco at 10:30 A.M.

Bedford's trip from Martinez covered 25.9 miles in 1 hour and 40 minutes. This was an average of 15.5 MPH. This first overland trip between Sacramento and San Francisco on April 23, 1860 covered 98.7 miles
Reverse Side of Pony Express Ferry "Oakland" Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Andrew Ruppenstein, May 10, 2009
2. Reverse Side of Pony Express Ferry "Oakland" Marker
in 9 hours and 45 minutes, by two riders.
©1999 Joe Nardone

{More sponsors continue below the text;} Joseph L. Schroeder • Enoch A. Hunter •Cecelia M. Shinn • Glenn T. Seaborg • Cobel Glann, Inc. • Peerless Coffee Co. • First & Last Chance Saloon • Nor-Cal Metal Fabricators • Oakland Athletic Club • Meyer Plumbing Suppy • Consolidated Lack Inc. • Paramount Aluminum • Jack London Inn • Broadway Ford
 
Erected 1999 by See Front of Marker Inscription.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Pony Express National Historic Trail marker series.
 
Location. 37° 47.663′ N, 122° 16.64′ W. Marker is in Oakland, California, in Alameda County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Water Street and Broadway Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Oakland CA 94607, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Oakland's First Wharf (a few steps from this marker); Origins of Oakland (a few steps from this marker); Jack London (a few steps from this marker); Oakland Railroad History (within shouting distance of this marker); Live Oak Lodge U.D
Pony Express Ferry "Oakland" at the foot of Broadway by the pier Photo, Click for full size
By Andrew Ruppenstein, May 10, 2009
3. Pony Express Ferry "Oakland" at the foot of Broadway by the pier
(within shouting distance of this marker); Jack London Square Development (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); USS Potomac (about 700 feet away); Evolution of a Marine Terminal (about 700 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Oakland.
 
More about this marker. The marker is located in a pedestrian zone in Jack London Square, right on the water at the foot of Broadway.
 
Regarding Pony Express Ferry "Oakland".

• The San Francisco Evening Bulleting of April 23, 1860 reported on Bedford's ride thusly, "The Pony Express last arrived, left St. Joseph in Missouri at 5 p.m. of the 13th, and reached San Francisco in 9 days 17 hours. The swiftest riding we have heard of on the route, was Mr. Bedford's from Martinez to Oakland, which 24 miles he accomplished in one hour and 45 minutes; yet the Pony did not shed his shoes, his rider did not break his neck, nor was there any appreciable smell of fire upon his garments when he came in. The distance from Sacramento to Benicia Mr. Hamilton rode this morning between 1 and 7 o'clock. Very few letters brought the Pony. Dreadful slow people live on the other side of the mountains."

• It's worth noting that one of the donors listed on the reverse side of the marker, Glenn T. Seaborg, was a winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1951.

•As a matter of comparison, the stretch that took 9 hours and forty-five minutes in 1863 can be covered today in an hour and 45 minutes, or less if traffic is very light.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Ride of Thomas Bedford by Tom Crews. The Pony Express Home Station's dramatic telling of Thomas Bedford's Pony Express ride of April 23, 1860. (Submitted on May 16, 2009.) 

2. Photo of the Ferry "Oakland". Scroll to center of page to view a photo of the "rebuilt" Ferry Oakland.

Ferry Oakland was rebuilt from a single-ended riverboat in 1875. She burned in 1940. K. C. Jenkins photos, John Schmale collection. All rights reserved. (Submitted on May 16, 2009.) 
 
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Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 2,440 times since then and 115 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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