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

The Cascade

Creating a Lush Tropical Paradise in Piedmont

 
 
The Cascade Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, March 7, 2014
1. The Cascade Marker
Caption: 880 – The Canyon, Piedmont Park, California (postcard, upper right).
Inscription. In her memoir about life in Piedmont, Elsie Whitaker Martinez remembered fishing with her brothers in the Piedmont Heights in the 1880s. A myriad of streams found their way from Alta, Scenic, Pacific and Mountain Avenues. Most fed into the cityís largest waterway, Bushy Dell Creek. Today asphalt, cement and modern landscaping have forced water flow underground or into manmade culverts and Bushy Dell Creek is a shadow of its former self.

Even in 1890, the Piedmont Springs canyon was never steep enough to create a true waterfall. Never one to let nature determine aesthetics, Frank Havens designed his own artificial falls which he named The Cascade. To complete his Victorian vision of a lush tropical paradise, he lined the pathway near the falls with banana palms, canna lilies, cordylines and other plants from the tropics.

Fashions changed. In 1986, when the city created the Piedmont Park Master Plan, a key goal was the elimination of non-native species of plants and trees. After 20 years of renovation, there appears to be little that remains of Havenís vision. Look closely. The steps of the old Cascade are still visible and in the spring of the year Piedmont Park has its own waterfall and beautiful pathways thanks to Frank C. Havens.
 
Erected by Piedmont Beautification Foundation
The Cascade Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, March 7, 2014
2. The Cascade Marker
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Location. 37° 49.363′ N, 122° 13.944′ W. Marker is in Piedmont, California, in Alameda County. Marker can be reached from Highland Avenue, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 711 Highland Avenue, Oakland CA 94611, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Sulphur Springs Grotto (within shouting distance of this marker); Piedmont Art Gallery (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Piedmont Springs Hotel (about 600 feet away); Piedmont Springs Clubhouse & Cafe (about 600 feet away); Faux Bois Benches (about 700 feet away); Honor Roll (about 700 feet away); Eucalyptus Amphitheater (about 700 feet away); Piedmont Park History Trail (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Piedmont.
 
More about this marker. The Cascade is located in Piedmont Park.
 
Categories. Man-Made Features
 
The Cascade image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, March 7, 2014
3. The Cascade
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 15, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 301 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on March 15, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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