Oakland in Alameda County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Oakland's 19-mile shoreline underwent continual change after the Gold Rush, as marsh and tideland was reclaimed for development. The natural shoreline now lies buried under dredged bay sediments and landfill. Here, by the Emeryville border, the West Oakland marsh once extended as far inland as San Pablo Avenue. The first reclamation projects in the area occurred in the late 19th century, when the marsh was filled for train tracks, factories, and houses. The elevated freeways mark the site of the old marshland shore
Marshy land, garbage dumps, and raw sewage flowing into the bay made this part of Oakland a backwater district for many years. Early residents included a community of Scandinavian seafarers. The city of Emeryville, north of here, was incorporated in the 1890s. For much of its history, Emeryville flourished as a blue-collar town of steel mills, factories, and canneries. It was also known as a "City of Vice" rife with racetracks, lottery shops, speakeasies, and brothels. Though factories and legal card clubs still exist, the city is now known for its upscale lofts and high-tech firms.
The streetcars, trains, and ferries of the Key System, or "Key Route", once
From the beginning of its ferry service in 1903, until the opening of the Bay Bridge to trains in 1939, the Key Route dominated public transit in the East Bay in completion with the trains and ferries of the Southern Pacific. The Key System yards and shops, where the orange and silver trains were repaired and sometimes built, were located in Emeryville, adjoining the three-mile-long ferry pier. The pier lay alongside the site now occupied by the Bay Bridge. By 1949 motorbuses had replaced streetcars on local lines, though transbay Key trains continued running on the lower deck of the Bay Bridge until 1958. The tunnel visible to the west is a remnant of the old interurban train system.
Erected by San Francisco Bay Trail, Association of Bay Area Governments and Coastal Conservancy.
Location. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3701 Mandela Parkway, Emeryville CA 94608, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Oakland Ball Park (approx. 0.4 miles away); Key Route Terminal (approx. half a mile away); California & Nevada Railroad (approx. 0.9 miles away); Black Panther Party Stoplight (approx. 1.1 miles away); St. Augustine's Episcopal Church (approx. 1.3 miles away); Site of Saint Mary's College (approx. 1.6 miles away); Liberty Hall (approx. 1.6 miles away); El Camino Rancho San Antonio (approx. 1.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Oakland.
Also see . . . When Trains Ruled the East Bay - Oakland Magazine. The opportunity for better, cleaner rail service was recognized by a coalition of wealthy landowners called the Realty Syndicate, which owned vast tracks of Berkeley, Piedmont and Oakland, and sold the land to real estate developers to build houses for the burgeoning population. They knew something that we are still learning today—that areas well-served by transit are worth more and develop faster—and so, in the spirit of good sense coupled with a healthy entrepreneurship, they began buying up the existing smaller train operators, some of whom had been around since the early 1890s, in an effort to consolidate service into a single competitor to Southern Pacific. (Submitted on February 28, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.)
Categories. • Railroads & Streetcars • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 28, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 246 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on February 28, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.