The History of our History & Contact page
This site was created to help digitize our city's history for myself. There are going to be some factual discrepancies and I will try to gather all facts that I can find. A huge thank you to the Oakland History Room, newspapers.com, google books, ancestry.com, the Exedra, Piedmont Post, and archive.org who made 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 and the multiple emails I have written were answered. It would have also been nice to see some of their research widely available online.
Trying to learn about Piedmont's history is incredibly tough due to historical and emotional biases in our Bay Area's history as a whole, a lack of online information and gatekeepers who know the stories but refuse to publish them.
History is made depending on who writes it - if it isn't written down, it’s more than likely to be lost. During Piedmont’s initial settlement the stories we have are from what newspapers decided to report on (sometimes with bias or ignorance for/against the Piedmont area), the books people wrote (more bias), and oral histories passed on (bias and sometimes forgetfulness). Oakland was not keeping records of land purchases at the time according to the Oakland History Room. My website will also have biases depending on what restricted information I can gather and publish here from the limited resources I have available.
Queen of the Hills is Piedmont's only “biography” by Evelyn Craig Pattiani (14 Aug 1876 - 4 Jun 1954) that was published in 1953 when she was 77 years old. Evelyn was the daughter of our town's second mayor, Hugh Craig, and most likely had a good insight to some of the town's memories at the time, however, there also seems to be some factual discrepancies relying on the limited technology of the time to save records and the oral histories shared to her by those who were present at the time yet most likely, aging quite rapidly themselves. The stories focus heavily on the upper echelon of Piedmont.
As recorder, she decided what stories to tell her audience and which to exclude such as Sidney Dearing's story which appeared on multiple front pages of newspapers in 1924, when Evelyn was 48 years old. Her book also had some inconsistent facts, for example, during the 1934 Waterfront strike she listed our Police Chief as Pflaum but it was actually Heere and she says no one was hurt but according to the news 4 people were beaten and arrested in Piedmont. Today the Queen and her story have become our town’s “history” and the book is quoted quite frequently in our town's publications with little to no fact checking while republishing her stories.
Our town's “biography” has factual inaccuracies, missing some major newsworthy stories and focuses predominately on the white aristocratic population of Piedmont. We also have a Historical Society founded during the Civil Rights Movement, yet, is heavily lacking in stories of color, race restrictions and the plebeians of Piedmont. If these stories of different perspectives are not told, then one could essentially erase their history in of our city's past. These stories of the past tell who we were, how we got here and how we can learn from this to change Piedmont's future for the better with a more understanding on how we got where we are today. The Historical society has had a good start this year (2021) with their summary of my Sidney Dearing site and I hope to see more perspectives organically told in the future.
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. *
*Let's selectively embrace the values of the past here with some more compassion and understanding for those who struggled here by telling their stories as well.
If you have any comments, questions, suggestions or facts to add or even
historical items you would like to sell, please contact me: