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The Abraham Lincoln bust is a metal sculpture of the 16th President of the U.S., next to the Alameda County Courthouse. It was cast by Louis de Rome. 9

A plaque on it reads:

In memory of the heroes of the Civil War, Spanish War and The World War who gave their lives that liberty shall not perish
Erected by the Women & Girl Workers of '61 & '65 June 14, 1920

The Women and Girl Workers of the Civil War 61-65 was a group associated with the Grand Army of the Republic, incorporated in 1918. They organized and raised funds to erect the sculpture; the city gave $300 towards the project. 5 Although the plaque says 1920, it wasn't installed and unveiled until July 4, 1922. The unveiling was done by Annie Glud, and was originally at the Memorial Park at 12th Street and Fallon. 6

According to a document on the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War website, may have originally been part of a larger Civil War memorial:

The bust was reportedly placed in a triangular plot of land near Lake Merritt in June, 1920. It was reportedly donated to the City of Oakland by Annie (Hunley) Glud, a female veteran of the Union Army. Other decorative elements in the original memorial included a flag, a bust of U. S. Grant, two Civil War cannons, a drinking fountain, benches, and "lovely plants." The memorial was reportedly removed when a nearby freeway was constructed. (I-580?)

Although the history is unclear, the bust was eventually relocated to Fallon Street, on the sidewalk directly across the steps from the Alameda County Courthouse. 1

A lot of "reportedly" in there, so the claims bear further checking. The 'freeway' refers to the Frickstad Viaduct. References to the cannon says they were to be placed "near the flag in Memorial Park at the Civic Auditorium" 2 which would jibe with that being the former location. An article about fund-raising for the bust mentions 12th and Fallon. 4 Approval for adding a plaque or bust of U. S. Grant was given in 1925. 8 So it mostly checks out.

Present Day

In December, 2012, a speeding car lost control and knocked the bust from its pedestal. The pedestal was destroyed, but the sculpture was largely unharmed. The sculpture was then put away while the Measure DD re-alignment of 12th Street into Lake Merritt Blvd. was happening, and was unveiled in 2015.

CC SA-BY Our Oakland1922 unveiling 71922 9

Links and References

  1. Civil War Memorials Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
  2. Women, Girls of '61 Oakland Tribune January 23, 1921
  3. Memorial Park Guns Will Be Dedicated Oakland Tribune February 9, 1921
  4. Fund Grows to Honor Lincoln Oakland Tribune April 30, 1922
  5. Women, Girls of '61 and '65 to Celebrate Oakland Tribune June 25, 1922
  6. Bronze Bust of Lincoln Unveiled Oakland Tribune July 4, 1922
  7. Oakland Celebrates Fourth With Gala Events Oakland Tribune July 4, 1922
  8. Park Directors Approve Rifle Range at Sequoia Oakland Tribune February 4, 1925
  9. Bronze Bust of Lincoln Will Be Dedicated Oakland Tribune June 29, 1922