1887, San Pablo and Park, courtesy John Bosko

The Oakland Cable Railway was a cable car line that opened November 19, 1886. It ran from from 7th and Broadway, 2 up San Pablo Avenue, "about 3 miles" 1 into Emeryville. In 1889, the line was extended to the ferry terminal at Water Street at the foot of Broadway. 2

It was built by James G. Fair, a U.S. Senator from Nevada, mining engineer, and railroad developer, and was the same general design as the Market Street cable cars in San Francisco. The railway was purchased by the Southern Pacific in 1887. The office was at the corner of Jones (now 22nd St.) and San Pablo, and the power plant nearby at 20th and San Pablo. 2

George York (G.Y.) Loring was the superintendent, and his son, George Arthur (G.A.) Loring, the assistant superintendent. They resigned in 1894 3 and M.M. Martin took over in April. 6 NB: It is possible (but not yet proven) that some of the people in the photo above are G.Y. (standing) and G.A. Loring (seated), and G.A.'s daughter, Clara May Loring (Hale), born in 1885. (The Lorings are buried in Plot 8 in Mountain View Cemetery. G.A. Loring married Margaret Marsh, the niece of Alice Marsh Camron.)

There was a horrific accident on the night of December 14, 1894. At Broadway and 7th St. where the line crossed the train tracks, the train coming from Fruitvale hit the cable car, killing Miss Mae Coates, and badly injuring her fiance, attorney W. H. Waste. After much testimony, a coroner's inquest found the company at fault for not providing sandboxes on the cable cars to improve their braking capability on wet tracks. Coates was buried in Mountain View Cemetery, and the company paid her mother a $5,000 settlement. 6,7

In 1896 it was announced they were converting the line to electric, 4 but this hadn't happened yet as of 1898 but would be done pending city council approval. 5

from 1889 directory

Links and References

CC SA-BY Our Oakland

  1. The System of Railways for Cities and Towns published 1887
  2. Oakland Cable Railway on The Cable Car Guy
  3. The Lorings to Resign San Francisco Call May 29, 1894
  4. Street Railway Review Volume 6, 1896
  5. Only Broad Tracks Now San Francisco Call September 4, 1898
  6. Cable Car Hit by Steam Train on The Cable Car Guy
  7. Fate of Fiances San Francisco Call December 5, 1894