Santa Ray Avenue in Trestle Glen and Crocker Highlands may be named for...a racehorse.

Apart from a number of people named Ray who perform as Santa Claus, the word would normally be spelled "rey" in Spanish, meaning "king"; the plural is "reyes" as in Point Reyes.

Searching the Oakland Tribune archives, the first references for "Santa Ray" are indeed for a racehorse, beginning in 1905. The horse was owned by J. F. Clifford. 1 References to the street name don't appear until a few years later in 1908. 3

In 1910, which sections of the street were called Santa Ray was adjusted a bit. 2


Other streets in that same area, which was originally called East Piedmont Heights and Piedmont Heights could also be named after racehorses.

Calmar Avenue and Rosal Avenue

Oakland Tribune Mar 1907

Arimo Avenue

Oakland Tribune Dec 1906

Viona Avenue

Oakland Tribune May 1907

Lerida Avenue (now Balfour)

Links and References

  1. race results from Emeryville Oakland Tribune December 29, 1906
  2. Ask Street Changes Oakland Tribune August 23, 1910
  3. New House for East Piedmont Oakland Tribune November 1, 1908