|Oakland City Hall|
Oakland very quickly became a settlement and incorporated as a city in 1852. Previously, of course, the land had been inhabited by the Ohlone peoples who were displaced by the Spanish in the 18th and 19th centuries. Then Russia began to lay claim to the land moving in from Alaska. Then in 1849, American troops conquered the territory mostly influenced by the discovery of gold. In the late 1860s, the Transcontinental Railroad completed its western journey at Oakland and the city became an important port for the delivery of supplies to the western cities.
|Downtown building for offices and condos|
Numerous immigrants moved to Oakland during World War II and the city became a center for industries supporting the war effort. Consequently, it has a very high ethnic diversity. While the San Andreas earthquake fault line runs through San Francisco, the equally treacherous Hayward fault runs right through Oakland. The surrounding hills make it a gorgeous place. It has a difficult reputation since there is a high level of unemployment, poverty, and crime. Although those social issues are present, it isn't the complete story as the city is also balanced by thriving neighborhoods, excellent public transportation, rich cultural opportunities, museums, music and superb regional parks. In many ways, the reputation is undeserved.