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The Reed-Henshaw House is a beautifully restored Victorian at 974 - 16th St. On July 12, 1983 the house was designated Oakland Landmark #72, under Zoning Case #LM 83-96. 1

George W. Reed was an attorney with Moore & Reed while he lived in the house. He and his wife lived there from 1879 when it was built to least 1889. 2

One odd thing about the house is the fact that George D. White, manager of Murphy, Grant & Co., in San Francisco, was listed at this address in the 1887 Oakland directory, while Mr. Reed also resided at this address, although Mr. White was listed as residing at 1253 Webster Streets in later years. 3

In an 1892 directory and in the 1900 census, Edward T. Henshaw (of Taylor & Co.) was listed as living at this address. Mr. Henshaw passed away in 1904. Edward Henshaw's brother, Frederick Henshaw, later served on the California Supreme Court. See the Alameda County Law Library page. 4

It is possible that the house was converted into a boarding house after Edward Henshaw's death. In 1907, Thomas J. Haworth was listed as a resident at this address, and his daughters Jennie and May Haworth were listed as being boarders, and it also appears that a woman named Abbie Weeks was also a boarder at the address. 5,6 Additionally, Stephen Towan (also sometimes known as Stephen Towne), who was originally a stoker with the Oakland Fire Department, and later a clerk at the Moore shipyards, was listed as a resident at this house in the 1907 directory, although the house was described by location (16th and Filbert) rather than address. 7,8 At some point, perhaps prior to 1907, Mr Towan purchased the property. After Mr. Towan passed away in 1920, the property was then owned by his daughter, Margaret Towan / Towne. 9 When she passed away in 1970 at the age of 79, her obituary stated that she had lived her entire life in this house, although a 1963 article about the 85th anniversary of the Oakland telephone exchange stated that her family originally resided at 318 - 13th Street. 10,11 Upon her death, the property was transferred to a relative, Anthony Cerelli. 12 He, in turn, sold the property to the Oakland Redevelopment Agency in 1972, perhaps to avoid tax liens on the property. 13

Paul Cobb of the Oakland Post currently lives there. A 2000 article by Annalee Allen stated that Mr. Cobb and his wife purchased the property in 1972 from the family of a 100 year-old woman who had lived there since she was a girl. 14 It appears this was a reference to Margaret Towne, although the Cobbs acquired the property in 1975 from the Redevelopment Agency. 15

Reed-Henshaw House 1CC SA-BY Our Oakland


974 - 16th Street, Oakland, California

Links and References

  1. Designated Landmarks, Heritage Properties, and Preservation Districts City of Oakland

  2. ALAMEDA COUNTY SOCIETY BLUE BOOK - 1889 Alameda County Genealogy
  3. Oakland, Alameda and Berkeley City Directory McKenney Directory Company, 1887, page 716 and page 589

  4. Husted's Oakland, Alameda and Berkeley Directory, 1892, page 270

  5. Husted's Oakland, Alameda and Berkeley Directory, 1907, page 520 and page 1096
  6. Thomas J. Haworth on FindAGrave
  7. Husted's Oakland, Alameda and Berkeley Directory, 1907, page 1055
  8. Stephen Joseph Towan on FindAGrave
  9. 1940 Census page showing Margaret Towne as owner of 974 - 16th Street 1940 Census - 974 16th.jpg
  10. Margaret Mary "Marguerite" Towan on FindAGrave
  11. All Digits? That's How it Started Oakland Tribune April 7, 1963
  12. Order Settling Estate of Margaret Towan Order settling Margaret Towne estate.pdf
  13. Deed from Anthony Cerelli to Oakland Redevelopment Agency Cerelli Deed to ORA.pdf
  14. Victorian era still lives on in Oak Center homes by Annalee Allen Oakland Tribune May 28, 2000
  15. Deed recorded October 28, 1975 Cobb deed.pdf