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

Western Pacific Mole

 
 
Western Pacific Mole Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, February 24, 2014
1. Western Pacific Mole Marker
Click on photo to view photos and to read captions.
Inscription.  On a January morning in 1906, two hundred workmen from Western Pacific Railway and thirty armed “company soldiers” landed on the north training wall and began laying track. Although the City of Oakland had invited this action, it was considered a brazen challenge to the Southern Pacific’s long standing monopoly of the waterfront. Southern Pacific promptly sued, claiming ownership of all land along the waterfront. In 1907, the court ruled against Southern Pacific in its suit. The result: Oakland regained control of most of its waterfront.

“The advent of the Western Pacific Railway is epochal... for the system’s coming made it possible for Oakland to recover control and possession of its magnificent waterfront.” – Oakland Mayor Frank K. Mort, 1910.

Sidebar, on left
This is the site of the Western Pacific Mole, which opened in 1910 and extended nearly two-miles out from Oakland’s natural shoreline. The term “mole” refers to an earth or stone-filled breakwater, such as a ferry anchorage, that juts out into deep water. Ferries were crucial to Bay Area transportation until
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bridges were built in the 1930s. People rode ferries from this location until 1933, when passenger operations were transferred to the Southern Pacific Mole on the north side of Middle Harbor. The passenger terminal was demolished in 1940.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars. A significant historical year for this entry is 1906.
 
Location. 37° 48.022′ N, 122° 19.764′ W. Marker is in Oakland, California, in Alameda County. Marker can be reached from Middle Harbor Road near 7th Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3660 Middle Harbor Road, Oakland CA 94607, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Chappell Roland Hayes (approx. 0.2 miles away); Training Wall (approx. ¼ mile away); John "Alex" Alexander (approx. 0.4 miles away); Rear Admiral R.J. "Bear" Arnold, U.S.N. (approx. 0.4 miles away); USS Oakland CL-AA 95 (approx. half a mile away); USS Oakland Mast (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Oakland - San Francisco Bay Bridge (approx. 1.4 miles away); Crossing the San Francisco Bay (approx. 1½ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Oakland.
 
More about this marker. This marker is located in Middle Harbor Shoreline Park. To locate this marker take an unnamed road heading south from the USS Oakland mast to
Western Pacific Mole Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, February 24, 2014
2. Western Pacific Mole Marker
the end. From there walk about a 1/4 mile west to the former ferry slip.
 
Western Pacific Ferry Slip image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, February 24, 2014
3. Western Pacific Ferry Slip
Southern Pacific Train Tower image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, February 24, 2014
4. Southern Pacific Train Tower
This SP train tower is located across Middle Harbor from the Western Pacific Mole at Port View Park.
"Room With a View" image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, February 24, 2014
5. "Room With a View"
The upper floor of the Western Pacific Train Tower, located at Point View Park, contains a excellent exhibit on the history of the Western Pacific Railway as well as other Bay Area transportation and shipping issues.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on March 10, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 639 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on March 10, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 24, 2024