Have you ever wondered where your street’s name originated? While often there’s no record, we do have the backstory on some. We just started this compilation in summer 2018, so you’ll see it grow over time. If you know the history of your street or others (or have a correction or improvement to suggest), we’d love to hear from you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alida Street. Named for Alida Young, the mother of Charles C. Young, Oakland surveyor who served on the city council in the 1920s.
Bienati Way. Named for Frances Bienati, beloved owner of Ann’s Café, a legendary community gathering place that operated for four decades in the space that is now Peet’s. The street was previously called Sloan Ave.
Champion Street. The main street in the Champion Tract development, it was named for Charles Noble Champion (1866-1934), who immigrated from England in 1885. He and his wife owned property near present day Pleasant St.
Damuth Street. Most likely named after Nathaniel and Minnie Damuth, who came from New York and lived here in the early 1900s.
Flagg Avenue. Named for A.J. and John Flagg, Oakland developers from the 1920s to 1950s. They built hundreds of homes, many in Dimond, Oakmore, and Redwood Heights.
Hopkins Place. Named for Casper Hopkins, a 19th century settler and insurance man. He formed the Sausal Creek Water Company, which built a dam and reservoir at the top of Dimond Canyon. Up until 1942, the entire stretch of what is now MacArthur Blvd. between Park Blvd. and 55th Ave. was named Hopkins St. Now just this tiny piece next to Bret Harte School bears his name.
Lincoln Avenue. Named for Frederick Rhoda’s son (see entry under “Rhoda Street”). Lincoln died in 1882 at 21 years old.
Lyman Road. Named for Richard Morris Lyman, Jr. (1893-1978), an assistant U.S. Attorney and California Assemblyman.
Rhoda Street. Named for Frederick Rhoda (1810-1886), who grew Royal Ann cherries in orchards adjacent to Sausal Creek. The family’s home on Whittle Ave. at Wilbur St. still stands. Another home sat at the corner of Lincoln Ave. and MacArthur Blvd., current site of Lincoln Court.