If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you have probably passed over the Oakland Bay Bridge many times in your life. The bridge is celebrating it’s 75th anniversary. Huffingon Post has some amazing photographs from the construction of the bridge:
Construction of the bridge was started in 1933, at the height of the Depression. It was completed on 12 November 1936. Amazing what we accomplished during the Depression when we set our minds to it!
If any of your relatives were in the Bay Area at that time, did they work on the bridge project?
I wonder what the people living in the area thought about this. Getting around the Bay Area was incredibly time consuming. It wasn’t just getting across the waters, but on land as well. A trip from Oakland to Centerville which now takes about 20-30 minutes depending on traffic was an all day affair. And, you stayed overnight when you got there! I wonder if they went out to watch the progression. Did they go to the opening day celebration? Were they afraid of crossing the bridge–perhaps not trusting it’s safety?
My distant relatives have a sad association with the the Oakland Bay Bridge. An elderly relative told me that her Medeiros cousin was the first person killed on the bridge in a car accident. She couldn’t remember his name but remembered he was in his 20s.
I’ve done research on this mostly in newspapers but haven’t been able to confirm the story. I have suspicions of who it was, possibly Raymond Medeiros, the son of Manoel Andrew Medeiros and Shandra Vierra. He died in 1941 and is of the right age. Maybe somewhere there is a list of Bay Bridge trivia that listed when that first accident happened.
Anyway, enjoy the photographs. I can’t help but look at them and think of how brave these men were. I cannot imagine being suspended so high in the air over the water like that. It’s crazy!
Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website, yourislandroutes.com