Something to remember, as we enter a new year: Yesterday's history, Tomorrow is a mystery and Today is a gift, that's why it is called "the present". [Via]

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Capt. William T. Shorey House a City of Oakland Landmark


This Report has some good history of Captain William Thomas Shorey also known as Black Ahab, his family and subsequent home owners.


If you are available you can either watch KTOP (online or on Comcast 10) or attend the City of Oakland Planning Commission, at City Hall on Wednesday, November 7, 2012, starting 6:00 p.m.

Listed as item 4, on the Agenda (Revised), LM12-071--Application to designate 1782 8th street, (Shorey House) a City of Oakland Landmark, http://www2.oaklandnet.com/oakca1/groups/ceda/documents/agenda/oak038340.pdf

If you are unable to attend, but would like to share your opinion, contact staff member Scott Miller, smiller@oaklandnet.com

UPDATE On April 16th 2013, the Oakland City Council adopted an Ordinance designating 1782 8th Street, The Shorey House, as Landmarks pursuant to section 17.136.070 of the Oakland Planning Code.

The staff report states:

The Shorey house is a two-story wood frame Italianate house, dating to 1872-73. It has a rectangular plan, now extended to the rear, and a new concrete foundation. It is a very early West Oakland house with strong associations with Oakland's 19th and 20th century African-American community.

It contributes to the National Register eligible Oakland Point District. This district was settled largely by families associated with the railroad or, like the Shoreys, with the waterfront. John Winfield Pearson, owner from 1872-73, was a real estate speculator and a major developer in West Oakland who reportedly owned 110 tenement houses. The Shorey family obtained title in 1888, with two interim owners. William T. Shorey (1859-1919) was bom on the island of Barbados in the British West Indies. With a strong attraction to the sea, he left for Boston as a cabin boy, and then worked on a whaler out of New England until the whaling industry shifted to the West Coast. He rose rapidly fi*om mate to officer to captain. In 1886 he became the only black captain on the Pacific Coast. He was a pillar of the community and a leader in society.

Booker T. Washington came to speak at a dinner here in 1903, raising funds for Tuskegee Institute.

The Shorey House is eligible for landmark designation in that the property:

Was built by a prolific West Oakland developer, John Winfield Pearson, in 1872-73, a very early West Oakland Italianate located at the far west end of Oakland Point, where the earliest Oakland Point residential development occurred to house families associated with the rail yards or, like the Shoreys, with the waterfi-ont;

Is a Contributor to the National Register eligible Oakland Point Historic District in West Oakland;

Is characterized by low-hanging gable roofs and attic-like upper stories typical of these early Oakland Point Italianates, with a first floor front fa9ade bay with a bracketed hood, a small entrance portico with pilasters and bracketed hood, second floor bracketed hood windows, and rustic siding;

Has strong associations with Oakland's 19th and 20th century African-American community through the activities of its owners, William T. and Julia Ann Shorey, who resided there fi-om 1888-1919;

Was the residence of William T. Shorey (1859-1919), bom on the island of Barbados in the British West Indies, who had a strong attraction to the sea, worked on a whaler out of New England until the bulk of the whaling industry shifted to the West Coast, rose rapidly from mate to officer to captain, sailing on ships from the South Pacific to the Arctic, and in 1886 became the only black captain on the Pacific Coast;

Was the residence of Julia Ann Shelton (1865-1944) who married Shorey in 1886, was active in the Oakland black community as president and chair of the boards of directors of the Beulah Rest Home, Companions of the Forest, the Herames of Jericho, and the Household of Ruth, and accompanied her husband on voyages writing articles for the San Francisco Elevator,

Was the location of the January 14, 1903 dinner, hosted by the Shoreys, for influential black citizens from around the Bay Area in honor of Booker T. Washington, who spoke at the dinner to raise funds for educational growth and his school at Tuskegee;

Was the home of the first black Oaklander to be so honored by the City fathers, in 1907, with the renaming of Short Street, the extension of 8"" Street beyond Pine, to Shorey Street;

Was acquired in 2005 after it had fallen into disrepair in the decades after Shorey passed away, and the front facade was substantially restored.


Staff provides an oral report:









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