Sidewalk maker: Carl T. Petersen


Carl T. Petersen paved a lot of Oakland over the years, and he had many years, starting in the mid-1920s and lasting into the 1950s. This 1952 mark at 2009 Capp Street is a good example of his later marks.

Born in Denmark in 1888 or 1889, Petersen was working as a concrete contractor in Oakland as of 1923, at 1318 E. 12th Street. At that time he and his wife Hazel had one son, Carl Jr. They were there in 1924 as well.

The earliest surviving marks of his are from 1925. Those included his address at 3041 Champion Street, in the lower Dimond near the St. Jarlath’s church.


The house at that address is from that period, and the redwood tree is one Petersen could have planted himself.


In the driveway is an example of that early mark.


The latest example I have with that configuration is from 1929. During their time on Champion Street, Carl and Hazel had a second son, Eugene. Afterward Petersen’s marks consisted of only the upper line of text, lightly incised and placed right at the edge of the pavement.

As of 1930 the directory had the Petersens at 2324 E. 20th Street. The 1940 census listed them and their two sons. In the 1967 directory he and Hazel were listed at that address as “retired”. A Hazel Petersen, with the dates 1894-1971, is buried at Mountain View.

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