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I. M. Wentworth Shoe Company President land sold by Schmidt

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I. M. Wentworth Shoe Company President land sold by Schmidt

Posted: 23 Aug 2012 4:42AM GMT
Classification: Biography
Surnames: Wentworth, Schmidt
As a possible interest for you, I found a interesting map so am posting this. I am not related to Wentworth, so this is all that I know. At 12 Bush Street in San Francisco was located the office of the president of the I.M. Wentworth Boot and Shoe Company. The President, evidently, was named I.M. Wentworth and is so listed on an item posted by the San Francisco genealogical center which had what appeared to be a city directory page with that information on it under surname Wentworth. I found that an area map as recorded in Alameda County records June 17, 1868, map book 6 page 16 had a parcel which was indicated on a map which I found dated as a Subdivision map May 1878 of this I.M. Wentworth Boot and Shoe Company's Tract. The map was printed by Spalding Printing Company of unknown location. The map is stamped with a rubber stamp Geo. Schmidt P.M. Berkeley, Cal. Perhaps P.M. meant, in this case, property manager, as the map is printed says: This Property for sale by Geo. Schmidt Real Estate Agent West Berkeley. As far as I know, West Berkeley has always just been a 'neighborborhood' and was never incorporated as a separate city when the City was incorporated about 1903. Anyhow the map shows the area north of Rose Street and west of San Pablo Avenue to Cordonices Creek which is the city limit line of Albany and Berkeley at this location. The streets are labeled and the current street names of today apply to the region with the exception that today's Harrison Street is labeled as Durant Street on this map. This is a minor mystery as the street name of Durant Street existed in 'downtown' Berkeley at about this time frame. Residential lots are delineated, some are water-colored out to indicate they are sold, I assume. No rail lines are indicated on this map, however other spurs, sidings, and rail lines were later installed in this map zone. On the block bounded by Gilman on the South, "Durant" (now Harrison) to the north between Sixth and Seventh Street there is no delineation as to lots. There is an irregular shaped structure near Gilman and from the shape of the drawing I cannot determine what it represents. I can assume it could have been to indicated a barn and stable area or perhaps a dairy or a very large home, perhaps. Later on, in the 1950's and 1960's this block had a firm manufacturing metal truck bodies at this location. Their primary customers were Pacific Bell and P.G. and E. That company was called Utility Body Company and ceased to operate there in the late 1960s after which the structure became a clothing manufacturing plant of The North Face in its early years. Other industrial sites located in the 1950's and 1960's in Berkeley along Gilman St are not shown on the map. I remember these sites included a Tallow company, a leather dying operation, a paint manufacturer, Pacific Galvanizing (metal zinc plating), and Haw's of Berkeley, a water cooler and drinking fountain manufacturer. In general, what was mostly developed as residential property in Albany, and in Berkeley north of University Avenue was mostly, for an extended period, open land for several small dairy farms in the area until the very late 1800's and early 1900's. Also, in general, the vast majority of residential construction which occurred in this region in Oakland, Berkeley, Albany, and El Cerrito, remains for the most part as it was originally built from about 1880 to present.

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