The History of our History & Contact page
This site was created to help digitize our city's history. There may be some factual discrepancies, and I will try to gather all the facts I can find. I want to express my gratitude to the Oakland History Room, newspapers.com, Google Books, Ancestry.com, the Exedra, Piedmont Post, and Archive.org for making this site possible. As a multigenerational Piedmont resident who loves and collects Piedmont history, I wish I could have collaborated with the Piedmont Historical Society. Unfortunately, I did not receive any responses to the multiple emails I sent them. It would have been nice to see some of their research widely available online as well.
The Book, "Queen of the Hills," is a significant source of information about Piedmont, California's history, authored by Evelyn Craig Pattiani, the daughter of Piedmont's second mayor, Hugh Craig. Her book was published in 1953, when Evelyn was 77 years old. While she most likely had a good insight into some of the town's memories at the time, there are some factual discrepancies in her book that could be attributed to the lack of technology and availability of records as well as oral histories with unconscious and conscious bias.
As the recorder and author of her book at the age of 48, she made the decision to include certain stories and exclude others, such as Sidney Dearing's story, which was covered extensively by newspapers from Oakland, California, to Utah in 1924. Additionally, the book contains some inconsistent facts. For example, during the 1934 Waterfront strike, she listed Piedmont's Police Chief as Pflaum, when in reality, it was Heere. Moreover, she claims that no one was hurt during the strike, whereas according to the news, four people were beaten and arrested in Piedmont.
Today, the book is widely quoted in the town's publications without proper fact-checking. As a result, the Queen of the Hills and her story have become a significant part of the town's "history." However, it is important to recognize that the book's content may not be entirely accurate, and alternative sources of information should be consulted to ensure a comprehensive understanding of Piedmont's history
Mrs Pattiani and Marjoria Trumbell at Edder's book store in San Francisco discussing Mrs Pattiani's book - Queen of the Hills in 1954.
Credit Albert E Norman photo collection.
Piedmont Historical Society's
The Attic Trunk, Vol 6. No. 1, 2002
A message from the (past) President of the Piedmont Historical Society:
I looked at her and thought, my God, if she believed this and that is what history has recorded for her to read, then the future generations have little hope for history to not be repeated. The need for history to give depth and understanding is paramount to helping direct future actions.
Our beautiful little town did not just happen, it grew with the sacrifices efforts and commitment of those who had a vision. The need to record that history and share it with all generations will ensure that human growth and development will embrace the values of the past.
The concept of historical epistemic injustice refers to the ways in which certain voices and perspectives are systematically excluded from the production and dissemination of historical knowledge. This can take many forms, including the marginalization of stories from underrepresented groups or the suppression of dissenting voices. In the case of Piedmont's history, this injustice has made it difficult for people to access a comprehensive understanding of the community's past.
Furthermore, the lack of online information can perpetuate this injustice by making it difficult for people to access primary sources and research materials. The gatekeepers who control access to this information can also contribute to the problem by choosing to prioritize certain narratives or perspectives over others. This creates a distorted and incomplete understanding of the past, which can have real-world consequences for the present. Ultimately, history should be a tool for understanding and learning, not a means of reinforcing existing power structures or promoting certain agendas.
It is important to acknowledge and learn from the past, but we must do so with compassion and understanding for those who may have struggled or faced injustices. This includes telling the stories of marginalized communities and individuals whose voices may have been silenced or overlooked in traditional historical narratives. By embracing a more inclusive and nuanced approach to history, we can gain a better understanding of the complex and diverse experiences that have shaped our community.
If you have any comments, questions, suggestions or facts to add or even
historical items you would like to share or sell to me, please contact me: