On Her Own Terms: Annie Montague Alexander and the Rise of Science in the American West

By Barbara R. Stein | Go to book overview

2
Life in Oakland

In the 1880s Oakland was a fashionable place to live, a city reminiscent of the towns and villages on the East Coast from which its early settlers had come. 1 Its name reflected the groves of gigantic oak trees that lined its shore. Majestic redwoods still topped the gentle hills that rose to the east of town, and every spring wildflowers carpeted the fields surrounding the city as far as the eye could see. The city offered its residents paved roads, police and fire services, gasoline street lamps, regular hourly ferry service to San Francisco, and a steam railroad that connected to the ferry. Its convenient commuter connections and genteel atmosphere drew the families of prosperous San Francisco businessmen and many of that city's leading professionals. But perhaps more than any of Oakland's other attractions, its Mediterranean climate and educational facilities made it a bright, pleasant, wholesome family town—untouched by the excesses that were San Francisco's legacy of the gold rush days—“the Athens of the Pacific Coast, ” as it was known at the time.

Shortly after arriving in Oakland, Samuel set about building a house on the western side of town, on the northeastern corner of Sixteenth and Filbert streets. 2 Among the Alexanders' neighbors were the author Jack London, the architect Julia Morgan, philanthropists Jane and Peder Sather, a former city mayor, several university regents, and the family of Charles and Anita Kellogg, descendants of East Coast merchants and the cousins of Martin Kellogg, professor of ancient languages at the University of California and later the university's president. 3

Details of Alexander's life in the years immediately following the move to Oakland are few. Although Samuel had come to California for reasons of health, he also wished to avail himself of the intellectual and social amenities that eluded an isolated plantation owner on Maui. In Oakland there were

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On Her Own Terms: Annie Montague Alexander and the Rise of Science in the American West
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • Illustrations vii
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • Introduction xiii
  • On Her Own Terms *
  • 1 - Samuel Alexander and Henry Baldwin 3
  • 2 - Life in Oakland 13
  • 3 - A Passion for Paleontology 22
  • 4 - Africa, 1904 35
  • 5 - Meeting C. Hart Merriam 48
  • 6 - Alaska, 1906 58
  • 7 - Meeting Joseph Grinnell 63
  • 8 - Founding a Museum of Vertebrate Zoology 76
  • 9 - An Unusual Collaboration 88
  • 10 - Louise and Prince William Sound 97
  • 11 - Support for Paleontology 107
  • 12 - Hearst, Sather, Flood 114
  • 13 - Innisfail Ranch 120
  • 14 - Vancouver Island and the Trinity Alps 138
  • 15 - The Team of Alexander and Kellogg 148
  • 16 - From “a Friend of the University” 155
  • 17 - Founding a Museum of Paleontology 165
  • 18 - A Restless Decade 181
  • 19 - Europe, 1923 190
  • 20 - The Temple Tour 203
  • 21 - The “amoeba Treatment” 214
  • 22 - Fieldwork–the Later Years 224
  • 23 - Saline Valley 244
  • 24 - The End of an Era 253
  • 25 - Hawaii–“my Only Real Home” 261
  • 26 - The Switch to Botany 274
  • 27 - Baja California–tres Mujeres Sin Miedo 290
  • 28 - Investing in the Future 299
  • 29 - An Enduring Legacy 308
  • Epilogue 315
  • Appendix 317
  • Notes 321
  • Index 359
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