West Oakland and Prescott
Originally known as Oakland Point, for the westward bulge of the shoreline, this area was later called Prescott after the school. It developed from 1869 in tandem with the trans-continental railroad. The Central Pacific/Southern Pacific yards and shops below Seventh Street were the regions biggest employer and in turn attracted factories, mills, foundries, and canneries. By the turn of the 20th century, the streets of West Oakland were lined with workers' cottages and gracious houses in a variety of Victorian styles.
The area was also one of the most ethnically diverse in Oakland, replete with German, Irish, Italian, Slavic, Scandinavian, and Latino families, as well as the City's most historic African-American community centered around the Pullman Porters of Prescott.
The 1872 Shorey House, one of the oldest in West Oakland, is located across Eighth Street. William Shorey, an African American sea captain and civic leader, lived here with his family.
Bertha Port Park
Philip Joseph Port, a longtime resident of West Oakland, gave the land for this park as a memorial to his wife. A native
In the late 1930s, not long after Bertha died, the Oakland Housing Authority began buying property in the neighborhood. Philip loved West Oakland, and protested the bull-dozing of its old homes for housing projects like Campbell Village. Yet he also cared for the people who lived there, especially the children. So, he added a provision to his will, donating a quarter acre lot at Eighth and Wood Streets for a public playground.
On the eve of Thanksgiving in 1947, three years after Philip's death, the City's Mayor formally dedicated Bertha Bastian Port Playground. Intended for mothers with pre-school children, the gournds had swings, slides, and picnic tables. Decades later, the Trust for Public Land secured funding, surveyed residents, and sought the services of a local landscape designer. A community block party in July 2006 celebrated the reopening of Bertha Port Park, a renewed gift to the West Oakland community for the 21st Century.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. A significant historical month for this entry is July 2006.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Ron Dellums (here, next to this marker); The Shorey House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Wild Oats Underdone Asparagas Boil (approx. Ό mile away); Liberty Hall (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Music They Played on 7th Street (approx. 0.4 miles away); Seventh Street (approx. half a mile away); Dr. Huey P. Newton (approx. half a mile away); Oakland Memorial Park (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Oakland.
More about this marker. The marker is located in the southeast corner of Bertha Port Park, on the reverse side of the Ron Dellums marker.
Also see . . .
1. West Oakland and Prescott (WaterfrontAction.org). A nice clean pdf image of the marker, allowing one to read much of the last two paragraphs of the marker. (Submitted on July 18, 2021.)
2. Bertha Port Park (Oakland Wiki). (Submitted on July 18, 2021.)
Credits. This page was last revised on July 18, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 18, 2021, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 112 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on July 18, 2021, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.