Thursday, February 28, 2008

Alfred A. Cohen & Fernside

"From Estate to Neighborhood: the Story of Fernside" by DENNIS EVANOSKY, © Alameda Sun, January 11 - February 28, 2008.

The Alameda Sun has a six part series about the history of Fernside and Alfred A. Cohen:

" ... In the 1850s Cohen was a respected and trusted financier and banker ... born in London, England, on July 17, 1829, the son of a wealthy merchant. ... While in jail, he studied the law. He was admitted to the bar in 1857. ... Around this time he began to put down roots on his 106-acre spread in the east end of Alameda. He built a home and dubbed his property 'Fernside' ... Leland Stanford played a major role in first consolidating A. A. Cohen's San Francisco and Alameda Railroad ... which by 1869 stretched from Vallejo Mills through San Leandro and Hayward before it reached Alameda’s Pacific Avenue wharf ... then hiring Cohen as one of the railroad's attorneys. Stanford would live to regret the latter decision. ... By the summer of 1869, the CPRR had added the SF&O and SF&A to its portfolio. When the deal closed, A.A. Cohen became a very wealthy railroad attorney. ... In September 1869, the transcontinental railroad was set to arrive at San Francisco Bay. There was one problem; the SF&O wharf at Gibbons Point was not yet ready to accommodate the trains. Cohen was happy to learn that the very first train would arrive on 'his' tracks. ... Cohen remained the president of the San Francisco, Alameda & Haywards Railroad and also served as the Central Pacific's attorney. ... he could scarcely abide members of the Big Four. He looked down on them as, 'men whose habits, modes of thought and conversation were not calculated to advance me.' ... " [More]

Click for parts one, two, three, four, five, and six.

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]