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The History of Oakland, California

Oakland is the largest city and the county seat of Alameda County, California , USA. Oakland is the largest port city in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, the third largest city in the San Francisco Bay Area, the eighth most populous city in California, and the 45th most populous city in the United States. With a population of 433,031 as of 2019, it serves as a trading center for the San Francisco Bay Area; its Port of Oakland is the busiest port in the San Francisco Bay Area, the whole of Northern California, and the fifth busiest port in the United States of America. The act of incorporation of the town was passed on 4 May 1852, and the incorporation was subsequently approved on 25 March 1854, which officially made Oakland a town.



Oakland was named King of Spain by explorers from New Spain in 1772. At the beginning of the 19th century, the area was granted to Luís María Peralta by the Spanish Royal Government for Rancho San Antonio. The area of the ranch included a forest of oak trees, the area was called Encinal, the Spanish word meaning "oakland," the origin of the name of the town. When Peralta died in 1842, he divided his land among his four sons. They would open up land for settlement by American settlers, loggers, European whalers, and fur traders. Full-scale settlements and developments followed by California's conquest of the United States during the Mexican-American War, and California's Gold Rush in 1848. The state legislature of California incorporated the town of Oakland on 4 May 1852.


The town and its surroundings grew rapidly with the railroads, becoming a major railway station in the late 1860s and 1870s. Including the construction of the Oakland Long Wharf Terminus and the largest rail yards and service facilities in West Oakland, which continued to be a major local employer in the Southern Pacific well into the 20th century.


Oakland's rise to industrial prominence and the need for a seaport led to the digging of a shipping and tidal channel in 1902, creating the "island" of the nearby town of Alameda. In 1906, the population doubled with refugees made homeless after the San Francisco earthquake and the fire that had fled to Oakland. A Chevrolet plant was opened in 1915 at the southern border of Oakland. By 1920, Oakland was home to a number of manufacturing industries, including metals, canneries, bakeries, automobiles and shipbuilding. Economic growth was fuelled by the general post-war recovery, as well as by oil discoveries in Los Angeles, and the widespread introduction of the automobile. In the 1920s, Oakland grew significantly. During World War II, the East Bay Area was home to a number of war-related industries.


The war attracted a large number of workers from all over the country to Oakland, many of whom were African Americans from the western south, who enjoyed great prosperity during the war years. Soon after the war, the shipbuilding and automotive industries virtually evaporated, as did the jobs that came with it. Many who came to the city did not leave Oakland, many of the city's wealthy residents left the city to move to the newly developed suburbs. At the end of the 1960s, however, Oakland, which had been quite prosperous before the war, had found itself with a population that had become increasingly poor.


In the 1960s, the city was home to an innovative funk music scene that produced well-known bands like Sly & Family Stone and Graham Central Station. It was also in the 1960s that the Oakland Chapter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club began to grow into a formidable organization. It was the most feared and respected chapter of the Hells Angels in the 1980s. The Oakland Clubhouse is still located in East Oakland. In sports, the Oakland Athletics MLB club won three World Series in a row, the Golden State Warriors won the 1974-1975 NBA championship, and the NFL Oakland Raiders won the 1977 Super Bowl XI.

The amazing city of Oakland in California prides itself to be near some of the must-see sights you don’t want to miss:

  • Angel Island

  • Jack London Square

  • Tilden Regional Park

  • Oakland Zoo

  • Lake Merritt 

  • Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park

  • Chabot Space & Science Center

  • USS Hornet - Sea, Air and Space Museum  

  • Children's Fairyland

All of these wonderful attractions are located just a short distance from our location located at 555 12th Street, on the 5th Floor 
in Oakland! Stop by for a visit anytime!

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