James Larue (1800-1872) was an early pioneer of Oakland and was influential in the building of San Antonio in 1851: he built the wharf and (first) store that became the center of that town. 2 The wharf was located at East 11th and 14th Ave. 1

He owned about 200 acres of the Peralta ranch and was allegedly the first lumber dealer in Oakland.6  The lumber business probably led to the construction of the steam boat and the ferry business: San Antonio was a thriving lumber town. 5 

Larue was the founder of the "Oakland and San Antonio Steam Navigation Company," a ferry line that ran out of the San Antonio Embarcadero and gave Carpentier's Minturn-Carpentier ferry line some (unwelcome) competition. Minturn (Carpentier's partner) ended up suing Larue, saying that Larue was violating an the exclusive franchise but this was ruled unconstitutional. Minturn went up the chain from the US Circuit Court who had made this decision to the US Supreme Court, where the case was still pending when, in 1859, Larue and Mintern agreed to team up. 4

James Larue organized and put in operation an opposition line of steamers in 1853, which brought the cost of a round trip ferry ride down from $1 in 1852 to .50 cents in 1853 aboard Larue's steamers. 

Larue served on the California Legislature. 6 Larue was a Mason, a member of the Brooklyn Lodge. 3

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Map filed September 12th, 1854 as "recorded at request of James B. Larue, April 27th 1869 at 30 minutes past 1.00 P.M.". Block map of the town of San Antonio, showing streams emptying into San Antonio Creek and the boundary with the town of Clinton "beginning [from] the East corner of a house at the South West corner of Arroyo and Washington Street." Portions of the map were "taken from a previous survey by C. C. Tracy, Esq., also a U. S. Deputy Surveyor." 7

Links and References

  1. Oakland Directory, 1874.
  2. Scott, Mel. The San Francisco Bay Area: A Metropolis in Perspective. University of California Press, 1985.
  3. Sherman, Edwin. Fifty Years of Masonry in California. Kessinger Publishing, Jul 31, 2006.
  4. Bagwell, Beth. Oakland: The Story of a City. Oakland Heritage Alliance: 2012.
  5. Lavoie, Steve. "Larue's Wharf." Walk Along the Water.
  6. "Judge Larue Passes Away: He Was Prominent in the Political Life of Oakland and One of Its Oldest Residents." San Francisco Chronicle: July 10, 1904.
  7. Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room and Maps Division