Berlin Way on Peralta Creek

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It looks like the Stuttmeister home and orchard was on Peralta Creek that has it’s source near Joaquin Miller’s house in the Hights. Rosemary said Maple St. was one of the streets William Stuttmeister and his kin, William Beyer, built over forty homes. This land looks like it belonged to the Peralta family. This creek is being restored and seen as a historic site. Oakland is a young city. It grew fast. Now, as it ages, historians are going back and cleaning up after these history. My family will be seen as Pioneers, folks who built Oakland, and contributed to its Arts.

Captain Gregory

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Untitled, 8/13/04, 4:36 PM, 8C, 4676x4646 (3242+3779), 108%, bent 6 stops, 1/60 s, R80.5, G62.4, B66.1

Untitled, 8/13/04, 4:36 PM, 8C, 4676×4646 (3242+3779), 108%, bent 6 stops, 1/60 s, R80.5, G62.4, B66.1

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n 1842, apparently believing it was time to settle his estate, eighty-three-year-old Luís María Peralta journeyed to the rancho in order to divide the rancho land among his four sons. Luís had already given cattle to his three married daughters and planned to leave his San José adobe and land to his two unmarried daughters, who lived with him. Antonio received 16,067 acres of land from 68th Avenue to present-day Lake Merritt and up the eastern side of Lake Merritt to Indian Gulch, now known as Trestle Glen. Antonio’s portion also included the peninsula of Alameda. Ignacio received approximately 9,416 acres from southeastern San Leandro Creek to approximately 68th Avenue in Oakland. Vicente received the acreage that included the entire original town of Oakland, from Lake Merritt to the present Temescal district. Domingo received all of what is present-day Albany and Berkeley and a small portion of northern Oakland. The acreage of each portion is only known because of the patents later received by the brothers from the US government. Both Ignacio and Antonio received separate patents for their portions, but Vicente and Domingo applied for a joint patent that totaled 19,143 acres. 

According to historian J.N. Bowman, 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). Only two of these sixteen houses are still standing: Ignacio Peralta’s brick house built in 1860, which is part of the house now known as the Alta Mira Club in San Leandro, and the 1870 Victorian frame house built by Antonio which is now the focal point of Peralta Hacienda Historical Park, in the Fruitvale district of East Oakland. All of the other structures were either lost as a result of the 1868 earthquake, burned, or torn down for new development after being sold by descendants of the four brothers. 

In 1872, the combined property of the sons of Luís María Peralta was assessed at approximately $200,000, a substantial decrease in the family’s wealth. Antonio, (the last of Luís María Peralta’s sons), died in 1879. At the time of his death, Antonio owned his own home and had 23 acres left of the original 16,067 acres he had received from his father. The property was valued at $15,000 when the estate was probated two years later. Not a huge estate by the standards of the time, but still a substantial home in his neighborhood. Antonio had sixteen heirs, but the house and land were deeded to Francisco Galindo (husband of Antonio’s daughter Inez) in trust in payment of a $5,000 debt. 

Like many families, Antonio María Peralta’s children fought over the handling of the estate and there are surviving letters that discuss financial problems experienced by the adult children, and the need to sell off land for money. In the end, the 1870 house and the last eighteen acres of Antonio’s share of the land grant was sold by his daughter Inez Galindo in 1897 to a developer named Henry Z. Jones. The house was moved across the street and a housing development called the Galindo tract resulted. The last remnants of the 1821 adobe were also removed from the site at this time and some of the bricks were used to build the Dimond Lodge in Dimond Park, Oakland. Fifty years after the American annexation, the last of the headquarters of Rancho San Antonio was gone.

Arroyo Viejo Creek drains the western Oakland Hills between Merritt College and Knowland Park. Three branches meet under I-580 and Golf Links Road and run across East Oakland, mostly through open, but private, land. You may see it as a concrete channel in the middle of Hegenberger Road, or a muddy ditch behind the Coliseum.

The creek enters the Bay at Damon Marsh, part of Martin Luther King, Jr. Regional Shoreline, which encircles San Leandro Bay. San Leandro Bay is an estuary, the meeting place of fresh and salt water. Before dredging and filling began in the mid-19th century, Sausal, Peralta, East, Arroyo Viejo, Lion, Elmhurst, and San Leandro creeks drained into the area creating fresh and salt water marshes, tidal sloughs and mudflats. These areas supported a staggering abundance of plant and animal life in a complex food web. Native American peoples had lived on its largesse for thousands of years.

In 1868, an earthquake destroyed many of the buildings on the property. Two years later, Antonio Peralta (one of Don Luis Maria Peralta’s sons) built a two-story Italianate Victorian house known as the Peralta Hacienda, located in what is, today, the Fruitvale District of Oakland. By the time of Antonio Peralta’s death in 1879, he held only 23 acres of the 16,067 acres his father had given him.

In 1860 a brick house was built for Ygnacio Peralta by his son-in-law, William P.Toler.  It was the first brick house in Alameda County, and was originally sited on forty acres of land with a palm-lined horseshoe drive and gardens that fronted on East 14th Street. The house belonged to the Peralta family until 1875, when it was sold by the widowed Senora Peralta.  The building still stands in San Leandro, and has been used as the home of the Alta Mira Club since 1926.  It is designated as California Registered Historical Landmark and is on the National Register of Historical Places.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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1 Response to Berlin Way on Peralta Creek

  1. Reblogged this on Rosamond Press and commented:

    My mother told us the Stuttmeisters were Teutonic Knights who are associates with the Prussians. I was born on Berlin Way.

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