1898 3

The Oakland Gas Light Company (sometimes referenced as the Oakland Gas-Light Company, the Oakland Gas and Light Company, and/or the Oakland Gaslight Company; later the Oakland Gas, Light and Heat Company) was founded in 1866; Broadway was lined with gas lamps installed by the Oakland Gas Light Company in 1867. It later became part of PG&E.

The company's first president was Anthony Chabot.

c.1869-1874, H.H. Haight was the president, Joseph G. Eastland was vice president, and James Freeborn was secretary. In 1875, Eastland was secretary.

The offices were on 1st Street between Broadway and Washington Street. In 1876, the offices were moved to 466 - 2nd Street.

Other presidents and vice presidents included J. West Martin, William Watrus Crane, Jr. (who had been mayor), John W. Coleman, and D.E. Martin. Through lots of other changes in the leadership, Van Leer Eastland was superintendent, from c.1869 until his death in 1894.

1875 ad

The company moved its offices to the Union Bank Building at 9th and Broadway in 1879.

Circa 1884, the company changed its name to the Oakland Gas, Light and Heat Company.

A new headquarters was constructed at 13th and Clay. The building and its details were described at length in an 1893 article. 2

The 1898 directory lists works at 2nd and Washington, Grove (now MLK) and 2nd, and  Grove and 1st.

John A. Britton (Van Leer Eastland's son-in-law) became president of the company in 1899, and guided its growth and eventual merger into what is now the Pacific Gas & Electric Company.

In 1903, the company was absorbed into the California Gas and Electric Corporation. It was announced that John A. Britton would remain as president of the Oakland company while also becoming general manager of the larger corporation. 4 California Gas and Electric merged with the San Francisco Gas and Electric Company in 1905 to form PG&E.

13th and Clay1902 Sanborn excerpt1st-2nd and Washington, 1889 Sanborn excerpt1st and Grove, 1889 Sanborn excerpt

Fixture at MLK Jr. Way and 36th StreetFixture at 250 Sheridan Avenue, PiedmontFixture on Alice Street

Links and References

  1. Men of the Pacific Coast Pacific Art Co., S.F., 1902
  2. The New Home of the Gas Company Oakland Times September 5, 1893
  3. Alameda County, the Eden of the Pacific Oakland Tribune 1898
  4. John A. Britton Enters a Wider Field Oakland Tribune February 4, 1903