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Oakland became a transportation and industrial hub in the late 19th century as its oak-studded ranches and fruit orchards evolved into urban neighborhoods. Just as the postcard was born at the 1893 Chicago Columbian Exposition, Oakland began its transformation into a major city. As postcards grew in popularity, Oakland grew astride, led by two ambitious mayors, Frank K. Mott and John L. Davie. Mott, a proponent of the “City Beautiful” movement, fostered the creation of grand boulevards and imposing civic buildings, while his successor Davie oversaw expansion of the port, a regional parks system, and one of the first commercial airports in the nation. All of these, along with picturesque Lake Merritt, made excellent subjects for hundreds of postcards.
About the Author
Author Annalee Allen, well-known Oakland Tribune landmark columnist and Oakland Tours program coordinator, has created an entertaining narrative to accompany views from the collection of Edmund Clausen, a retired Oakland firefighter and current president of the Alameda Historical Society. Allen has selected 230 from the more than 6,000 views Clausen has amassed of his hometown since he began collecting in 1978, creating this tour through Oakland’s past, its best-loved landmarks scrubbed clean and wearing their Sunday best.