Hello, and thanks to everyone who has volunteered at our last three monthly Saturday morning clean up events.

We will begin mulching the picnic area under the old Oak trees at the top of San Antonio park next Saturday, October 8th. If we don’t complete the task, we will meet again Saturday, October 15, to finish up.

The mulching protects the roots from being compacted. Since these trees are well over 100 years old, we want to do everything we can to preserve and protect them.

We will supplying gloves and rakes for the mulching project. However, we REALLY NEED A FEW WHEELBARROWS OR LARGE TRASH CONTAINERS ON WHEELS. It makes moving the wood chips so much easier if you can put them in large containers, and roll them to where they need to be deposited.

I look forward to meeting all of you next Saturday. My husband, Peter, and I have lived across from this magnificent park for 23 years. We WELCOME your interest and participation in maintaining this precious open space. We would love to hear any of your ideas for projects in the park.

See you next Saturday.


Strollathon & Block party SATURDAY sept 24th

LOTUS BLOOM COLLECTIVE invites the neighborhood to their annual:

Strollathon & Neighborhood Block Party

Music, Performances, Face painting, Games, and Family Fun for everyone!
*Bring a dish to share or cash donation*
When: Saturday, Sept 24, 2011
10am-12pm Walk &
12pm-4pm Block Party

Where: 2000 Park Blvd
& E 20th Street

Open to everyone

Historical San Antonio Park

Redwood Trees Grove

San Antonio Park is the oldest in Oakland occupying four city blocks on a slope that looks out onto the Oakland Estuary. The gazebo structure perches atop the hill on East 19th Street, and was the platform where flags signaled incoming and outgoing boats.

San Antonio is a large district in Oakland, California, encompassing the land east of Lake Merritt to Sausal Creek. It is one of the most diverse areas of the city. It takes its name from Rancho San Antonio, the name of the land as granted to Luís María Peralta by the last Spanish governor of California.

Map showing San Antonio Park area in 1820

Historical Map of San Antonio District 1820

Rancho San Antonio, also known as the Peralta Grant, was a 44,800-acre (181 km2) land grant by Governor Pablo Vicente de Solá, the last Spanish governor of California, to Don Luís María Peralta, a sergeant in the Spanish Army and later, commissioner of the Pueblo of San José, in recognition of his forty years of service. The grant, issued on August 3, 1820, embraced the sites of the cities of San Leandro, Oakland, Alameda, Emeryville, Piedmont, Berkeley, and Albany.

Luís María Peralta never lived on the rancho himself, but his four sons and their families did. With their wives, families, landless Mexican laborers, and surrounding native peoples, the Peralta sons established the first Spanish-speaking communities in the East Bay. As the rancho prospered, the Peralta brothers built newer and bigger houses. The main hacienda contained two adobes, and some twenty guest houses, and became an established stop for travelers along what was during the Spanish era the only camino real on the eastern side of San Francisco Bay.

The hacienda became the social and commercial center of this vast rancho. Annual rodeos and cattle round-ups, horse racing, and games often took place here. The Peraltas eventually had over 8,000 head of cattle and 2,000 horses grazing on the rancho, and built a wharf on the bay near the hacienda headquarters in order to trade the rawhide and tallow produced by their cattle. The Peralta family built a total of 16 houses over a fifty-year period on Rancho San Antonio. There were eleven adobes, three frame houses, one brick house, and one built of “logs and dirt” (the very first structure built). Son Domingo’s home was located on Codornices Creek adjacent to the site of what is today St. Mary’s College High School. Son Vicente’s home was located in what is today the heart of Oakland’s Temescal district.

In 1842, Luís María Peralta decided to split the rancho among his sons. His five daughters received his cattle and his San Jose adobe (the Peralta Adobe) and land. He died in 1851, but not before telling his sons to steer clear of the California gold rush, stating, “The land is our gold.” However, it would not be easy for the Peraltas to hold on to their property.

Although the United States government promised all rights of citizenship and property ownership to the Californios through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo signed at the end of the Mexican-American War in 1848, the 1851 U.S. Federal Land Act required the Californios to prove their land titles in court. The resulting litigation lasted years. In the interim, squatters continued to overrun Rancho San Antonio, stealing and killing cattle and even subdividing and selling land belonging to the Peraltas. Although the United States Supreme Court confirmed the Peralta title in 1856, the Peralta family had their own internal title dispute to resolve.

The Peralta sisters apparently felt cheated out of the family land, and contested their brothers’ claim to the Rancho San Antonio land grant. The court case, known as the “Sisters Title case” was eventually resolved in the brothers’ favor by the California Supreme Court in 1859.
What the area look like in 1851
The settlement that became San Antonio began in 1851 when J.B. Larue squatted on Peralta’s land west of San Antonio Creek.The site was west of Clinton. Larue built a store and wharf and the community grew up around them.

Clinton and San Antonio joined in 1856 to form a new town called Brooklyn named after the ship that had brought Mormon settlers to California in 1846.

The San Francisco and Oakland Railroad built a station at San Antonio. When the Central Pacific Railroad took over the line in 1870, the name was changed to Brooklyn. When the Southern Pacific Railroad took over the line in 1883, the name was changed to East Oakland.