Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fruitvale Bike Tour

Sunday morning, the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) led a bicycle tour of the Fruitvale district. There was a small group led by OMCA docent Peter Barnett, who's been leading bike tours for the museum for over a decade. We met outside the museum, where preparations were under way for the a Dia de los Muertos celebration that afternoon.

We rode past the Kaiser Convention Center, which was used among other things as a temporary hospital during the 1918 flu pandemic. We crossed the channel to Lake Merritt and learned a bit about its history, then rode to Clinton Square park. There we heard about Milton Latham, who was governor of California for 5 days before resigning to become one of the U.S. Senators from California. That was precipitated by the previous senator, David Broderick, being killed in a duel with former state supreme court justice David Terry.

Our meandering path took us along the estuary, past Numi Tea and Coast Guard Island. We headed up Fruitvale Avenue, around Fruitvale Station, and up 34th Avenue to Peralta Hacienda. After some history about the Peralta family, we heard about nearby Patten University. It was founded in 1944 by Dr. Bebe Patten as the Oakland Bible Institute. We also heard some of the more colorful history; her husband C. Thomas Patten went to trial in 1950 for defrauding their followers. During the 3 1/2-month trial, he had a heart attack, and the trial was finished in a hospital on Pill Hill. He served time in San Quentin and died in 1958. Dr. Patten moved the institution to its current location on Coolidge in 1961.

Reminiscent of the 5 houses bike tour, from Peralta Hacienda we went to Cohen-Bray House. We rode back towards Jingletown to see the Cotton Mill Studios, and from there, back towards the museum.

Although I knew a lot of the information from the tour, I did learn things, and I enjoyed getting to know part of Oakland a little bit better.

More pictures from the tour:

Related links and things I told people about:

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