I don’t think I have any photos of the houses where my Parents or Grandparents grew up. This is why Google Maps has been so important to me. Most of these locations I have never seen. Now I can find them on the map, zoom in, and see where my ancestors once lived.
I have a couple of photos of the Jackson girls standing in front of a window. Other than that, I have no clue what the family’s house at 2652 25th Avenue in Oakland, California looked like. I’m not even sure if the photos were taken in front of their house. I found out that because personal photography was such a new thing people took photos where the best lighting was. If that meant going across the street and posing in their neighbors front yard, that’s what they did.
The Jackson’s originally lived in San Francisco. The 1906 earthquake and fire destroy their house on Natoma. They were nomadic for a couple of years. They briefly lived at 22 Aztec in San Francisco, then in the Fruitvale District in Oakland. Around 1915 they settled at 2652 25th Avenue in Oakland.
This map shows the location within the city of Oakland:
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This is a view of the house from Google Maps:
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This is a map of the terrain where they lived. It interests me to note that their is a creek running nearby–Sausal Creek. There is another a couple blocks from that called Peralta Creek. My Grandma spoke of going down to the creek. Once she and her cousins caused quite a ruckus by getting buckets of frogs from the creek. Her cousins who never had seen frogs took them home on the ferry boat to San Francisco. Evidently, many frogs escaped stirring up the whole afternoon commute. A few kids got in trouble that day. LOL
The aerial view (which is not linkable) shows the layout of her house and yard. My Grandma spoke of playing in their backyard. I can see the stairs coming from the back kitchen that was so common with houses in Oakland during that time. The yard seems reasonably sized. She mentioned that their house was very close to the one neighbor. She got in serious trouble for making the neighbor’s goat very sick by feeding it onions through the fence.
I checked zillow.com, the real estate website, to see if I could find any details about the house. It was built in 1908. It’s a 3,993 sq. ft. lot, with 2 bedrooms, and 1 bathroom. It has 4 rooms total. It’s currently valued at $237,500. A far cry from the $4000 the house was valued at in 1930.
I can imagine my Great Grandparents, Margaret (Jones) and Harry Jackson, my Great Great Grandfather, Thomas Jones, and the Jackson’s 5 children, John, Margaret, Anna, Viola, and Julia running around this house.
I now have a pretty good idea of where my Grandma grew up. Google Maps has given me several ways of looking at the area. I now know what the house looks like which is pretty cool!
Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website, yourislandroutes.com