Secret streets

You’d think that Oakland has erased all of its dirt roads, but one afternoon I found this one, running north after a hairpin turn past the end of Florence Avenue.

Florence ends near a power substation that’s labeled, if I recall it correctly, with the word “Landvale.” Naturally I thought of Landvale Road, the nearly-lost street that has been wiped out by Route 13. Is this the lost south end of Landvale? Or is it a leg of the old Oakland & Antioch Railroad bed that runs through Montclair? If my calf ever heals, I’m heading back here.

UPDATE: I visited the Cal Library’s historic topo maps site and found the road mapped as the railroad grade in 1947, before the Warren Freeway was put in, and shown as the “old railroad grade” in 1959. For now, I guess it’s a decidedly informal walking trail for the neighborhood—certainly a long walk to get there from anywhere else.

9 Responses to “Secret streets”

  1. Aaron Says:

    Looks like a great place for a run!

  2. Andrew Says:

    That’s a nice site. All it needs is the USGS quads.

  3. gem Says:

    Late to this, but you might find this set of Oakland maps my boyfriend and I put together useful:

    It’s a couple older maps from 1877 and 1912 I found online, along with automobile maps from 1936, 1950’s, and 1967; plus Open Street Map and aerial view- all georeferenced and zoomable. You can find a spot on the modern map and then click to an older map layer. Some of the scans aren’t perfect, and some of the gas station maps have errors. But you can see in 1912 that Florence ave used to include Estates dr. and curved south where it met the Oakland-Antioch Railway.

  4. Paul Greenwood Says:

    if you go to this website you can look at oakland as how it use to be, it is amazing to see just how much Houses and Business that were distroyed for the freeways

  5. Naomi Schiff Says:

    Daniel Levy, who has traced the Sacramento Northern through Oakland, and who put together the interpretive panels up near Lake Temescal, will be around this summer. I’ll send him a link to this post, and perhaps he can give you more details!

  6. Andrew Says:

    Eric, looks like you’re right. By the way you have a fantastic set of old maps and plans and stuff on your Flickr site.

    ODP, it makes my leg hurt to think of walking right now! But I’ve led a few walks. Next year I may get serious about it.

  7. Oakland Daily Photo Says:

    Thank you for this blog. Even though I don’t leave comments, I check in every so often. Maybe you’ve covered this before, but do you ever lead geology walks around Oakland?It would be fun to tromp the hills and see the vista through a geologist’s eyes.

  8. Jafafa Hots Says:

    Awesome, will have to visit this.

  9. Eric Fischer Says:

    It looks like Florence Avenue and Florence Terrace were once routed together as a single street, but southeast of the end of Landvale Road (at least as it was in 1939), which ended at Broadway Terrace. I would have put my bet on this being the Sacramento Northern right of way.

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