Montclarion Columns

My column Looking Back, written about Oakland history, has appeared in the Montclarion newspaper since July of 1999. The Montclarion is part of the Contra Costa Times, and you can click here to see the most recent column online—click on the Montclarion masthead once you arrive, and then scroll down until you see my byline. Unfortunately, you will need to register (it’s free), and the historical photographs that appear in the print version don’t appear online.

I must thank the Oakland History Room of the Oakland Public Library, 125 14th Street, for maintaining the collection that permits me to do this research. I also use the Oakland Cultural Heritage Survey materials from time to time as a valuable resource.

Here are a few columns to peruse. At the Contra Costa Times website, some but not all of the columns have been archived. Oakland’s a city with an incredibly rich history—enjoy!

Haunted. A look at the history of Heinold’s First and Last Chance saloon, a haunted bar on Oakland’s waterfront where you can still go to lift a jar.

Etiquette. This one has a pretty weak Oakland angle (the book on Victorian etiquette was published by an Oakland printer), and I remember the editor at the time pointing that out. Wince. But it’s still pretty dang interesting.

Stuffed Rhinos. Nothing says early Oakland like a bunch of taxidermied safari beasts, right? Here’s the tale of how big game hunters brought their spoils home.

Galvin Street Gang. Bad boys throw mudballs in Oakland’s Glenview District.