Author(s): Carol A. Jensen
, East Contra Costa Historical Society
The settlement and development of Oakley is the story of a thriving California pioneer town. Nestled in California’s San Joaquin Delta, the area quickly became San Francisco’s easternmost frontier for land speculation, agricultural production, and immigration.
By 1900, land speculators enticed Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian immigrants to settle in Oakley and establish their families. Located away from the deep water of San Francisco Bay, Oakley became a railroad town along the Santa Fe line. Here the stories of immigration and community development played out as they have in small towns throughout the West.
Twentieth-century wars, food production, and changing transportation methods reshaped the tight-knit community over the years. Oakley Through Time provides a local history of a town, plus insights into our immigrant culture and California identity.
Presented here in vintage photographs from important state and local historical society archives is the evolving and endearing community of Oakley. Combined with Jensen’s prose, these images showcase the progression of a small California town in the era of real estate speculation, horse farms, and railroad produce terminals to self-sustaining San Francisco Bay Area suburb.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Carol A. Jensen is a native daughter and resident of eastern Contra Costa County, California. She is a history graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara. Carol delights in discovering the history of the California San Joaquin Delta, collecting early twentieth-century ephemera, and documenting the cultural history of the area from those who lived, farmed, recreated, and visited the beautiful California Delta. The fruits of her historical search can be found at the East Contra Costa Historical Society & Museum, Knightsen, California. She is pleased to compile and edit this photographic history of Oakley on behalf of the East Contra Costa Historical Society.
PUBLISHER: America Through Time
SERIES: America Through Time
DIMENSIONS: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)