Oakland Mystery: who is doing this?

Oakland, have you seen this in your neighborhood?

I first saw this as a wall photo on a friends Facebook Account and thought it was awesome. Now, months later,  I was pleasantly surprised to find this wonderful poster on a pole!  Have you seen this? If not here is what it says:


Dear Friends:

It is up to you what the future of Oakland will be. Oakland is no longer a village. It is a city, a growing one. It is your duty to keep it growing, to keep it prosperous.

Oakland, with it’s wealth, beauty and brilliant future, is an ideal attained by pioneers who struggled for years over innumerable hardships. The cement, the steel, the mortar and glass and the thousand and one things which go into Oakland, was not conceived overnight.

I realize the future of Oakland is far beyond human imagination. I thank you for your wonderful work. So partake of her hospitality and prosperity, invest, build, prosper and live happy in Oakland.

Your well wisher,



Written and Compiled


Florence B. Crocker

Published in Oakland


Clyde Dalton, 1925

My inquiring mind wants to know.. who is doing this??

Is our Guardian Angel Florence B Crocker? Or is Clyde Dalton riding his wheel chair throughout Oakland and putting up posters (no offense but Clyde would be pretty old by now)?

OR is our Guardian Angel someone else altogether. Who are you???

Dear Readers: Have you seen this on your street? Comment and let me know where! Share with your online friends. Lets create an online map!

Dear Guardian Angel: Am I ruining your purpose by posting it on the internets? Let me know. I can delete the post… but I want to help you. I think having an on-line presence would be a great way to help spread your word.   Tell me your plan. Can I help you run around town putting up posters?  I’m nozy..but I won’t tell anybody if you don’t want me to. 🙂

=====UPDATE 9 Hours Later =======

We know the who..sort of. A vender of Grand Lake Farmers Market  and owner of the following website: http://whomadeoakland.com/Home.html    is our Guardian Angel.

Gene has posed this question though: “The real question is, did they install any of the associated art/signs, and is any of it still about? It’s a great idea, building on 90-year-old Oakland love.”

What say you readers? Have you seen any artwork associated with this project? I still want to know what neighborhoods have you seen this poster.

The pic of this one is on Moss Avenue in the Grand Lake area.

12 responses to “Oakland Mystery: who is doing this?”

  1. I haven’t seen the sign up, but Florence B. Crocker was the author of a book called “Who Made Oakland”, published by Dalton Publishing in 1925.

    I haven’t read the book myself, but I love the quote referenced here:

    “And a great voice from the Heavens said:‘God made Oakland and all that is glorious herein.’ Oakland is the choicest gift God ever gave to man.”

    • Interesting. It’s kind of a round about way of doing it though. It doesn’t give that much attention to the book. I think it does more to encourage than to advertise.

  2. Well it’s official. As Gene stated and has just been confirmed by a member of Grand Lake Neighbors .. Our Guardian Angel is the owner of this website: http://whomadeoakland.com/Home.html

    There is also a table at the Grand Lake Farmers Market on Saturdays. It’s possible to go and get a poster for yourself.

    Thanks neighbors for solving this 9 hour mystery. lol

  3. The real question is, did they install any of the associated art/signs, and is any of it still about? It’s a great idea, building on 90-year-old Oakland love.

  4. To the People of Oakland!

    What a phenomenal thread of discussion around this project! This kind of public reaction and curiosity is exactly what the project was meant to inspire.

    To cast some light, my name is Justin A. Kanalakis and I found the WHO MADE OAKLAND? book in my Grandfather’s library shortly after he passed. This was a couple years back and I’ve been slowly archiving and condensing the volume into a series of messages that would translate Florence B. Crocker’s message in 1925, into one that speaks to our Oakland today. The original book can be viewed at the Oakland History Room on the 2nd floor of the Oakland Main Library (I encourage anyone who’s interested to visit, take a look).

    Initially the project began by wheat-pasting large posters around my neighborhood:
    …and passing out smaller posters to local businesses. It has since grown to include a sponsorship by the Downtown Oakland Association which has provided a modest art grant to spread this incredible message to the People of Oakland by any means necessary. As Gene discovered, you can view the initial proposed projects here: http://whomadeoakland.com/SPONSORED_PROJECTS.html
    …a lot of the energy thus far has gone into passing out free prints to people on the outskirts of the Saturday Grand Lake Farmers Market (on the corner of LakePark & Lakeshore btwn the Sprint and TMobile buildings) and hanging oversized window displays that include various messages and photography from the original book. The first of which is at 1610 Telegraph (across the street from Van Cleef Cafe), the second is scheduled to cover the HUGE windows of the Newberry building at Telegraph & 19th. There are also banners on light posts at various cross streets of Broadway in Downtown that were just hung, which include Florence’s “Invest, Build, Prosper & Live Happy in Oakland” message. Go check ’em out when you’re downtown.

    As far as the future of the project and how you can get involved, you can contact me direct at whomadeoakland@gmail.com with any ideas of how to spread the message. You can also come visit my mobile booth outside the Grand Lake Farmers Market on Saturday’s from 10am – 2pm’ish (I won’t be there this Saturday (10/22), but I’ll be back the following Saturday). I can provide you with various size prints of “To the People of Oakland.” So if you want to take a stack and hang them in your neighborhood and/or to friends/family/neighbors please email me and specify how many you want and what size(s) and I’ll print them up for you.

    Thank you all for your interest and support of this project and remember, through putting energy towards making our city a better place to live, work and play, WE ARE ALL GUARDIAN ANGELS OF OAKLAND! Again, feel free to contact me with any ideas you may have to contribute to the project!

    Invest, Build, Prosper & Live Happy in Oakland,
    Justin A. Kanalakis
    — Also visit http://www.thelakemerrittmonster.com for more historic Oakland goodness!

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