undated photo of conductor-driver Mab Jones and car no. 8 3

The Oakland Railroad Company introduced the first horsecar railroad to the East Bay. It was sometimes incorrectly referred to as the Oakland Street Railway Company. It was incorporated in 1864 with the provision that it finish the line to the city limits, then at 36th Street, within a deadline. It first opened for service in 1869. 1,3

The original 1864 incorporators were Frederick Delger, E.B. Walsworth, Israel W. Knox, A. Hersey, Solomon E. Alden, Isaac H. Brayton, F.E. Weston, Francis K. Shattuck, B.F. Ferris, S.H. Willey, George Goss, and George H. Fogg. 4 The company had 500 shares. As of May 19, 1868, 315 of those shares had been subscribed. 5

The 1869 directory lists F.E. Weston, president; Joseph Emery, vice-president; B.F. Ferris, treasurer; George H. Fogg, secretary. The directors also included Henry Durant and Joseph Emery. 4

The 1872 directory lists Joseph Emery, president; A.I Gladding, vice-president; Israel W. Knox, treasurer; J.M. Todd, secretary.

The line was extended to Temescal Creek in 1870, and to the UC Berkeley campus in 1873. A steam dummy was added for the section from Temescal to Berkeley in 1875. 3

The 1877-1878 directory lists Joseph S. Emery as the president, and George Y. Loring as the superintendent of the Oakland Railroad Company. The 1889-1890 directory lists his son George A. Loring as the assistant superintendent and receiver, as well as for the Oakland Cable Railway. It also lists George Y. Loring as the superintendent of both.

In 1885, James G. Fair (who also owned the Oakland Cable Railway) purchased the railroad. He changed the line to narrow gauge to match the tracks for his South Pacific Coast Railroad, and replaced the horses with steam trains for a while. There was opposition to this from other railroads and city council members. "Hostile interests" in July 1887 forced Fair to give up, and he sold it to the Pacific Improvement Company (controlled by the Big Four of the Southern Pacific.) The line was electrified about 1892. 3

It was acquired by the Oakland Transit Company (owned by the Realty Syndicate) in February 1901, which later became the Key System.

undated photo of engineer Charles Ensign with steam dummy no. 2 and horsecar no. 15 3

Links and References

  1. Oakland Railroad Company on Wikipedia
  2. The Railroad Muddle Oakland Daily Transcript September 14, 1871
  3. Oakland's First Railroad The Western Railroader January 1956
  4. Oakland 1869 directory B.F. Stillwell
  5. Oakland Railroad San Francisco Examiner May 19, 1868