1912 – Azorean Construction Co.

1 February 2023

2755 E. 7th Street

It caught my eye and wouldn’t let go. It’s the only Azorean Construction Co. stamp I’ve found with a date.

1904 – R. Hahn

20 January 2023

Ellis Street at Prince Street, Berkeley

Robert H. Hahn was a Berkeley-based cement worker. I have two of his marks from Oakland, both a peculiar crescent.

1901 – Lindgren & Hicks

8 January 2023

3111 Harper Street, Berkeley

Sidewalk maker: Gus Peterson

16 December 2022

1717 Fairview Street, Berkeley

This handsome stamp on a concrete wall is the best mark left by August “Gus” Peterson. His sidewalk stamps are rare and poorly preserved; only one has a date (1914) in all of Oakland. It looks like there ought to be more in Berkeley.

Peterson was born in Sweden in 1880 and came to the US in 1903. The 1905 directory lists him at 3132 King Street, and in 1909-10 he was listed at 3130 King.

The 1910 census had him and his wife Signe, another Swedish immigrant, and their infant daughter Ruby living at 3132 King. The 1920 census found them and Ruby at 993 56th Street along with son Robert, Gus’s brother John and two Swedish lodgers. The 1922-24 directories list him living at 5979 Telegraph Avenue. At the time of his death, in 1926, he lived at 5205 Genoa Street.

He’s hard to trace in the newspapers because his name was a common one. In the listings I cite here, he was identified as a cement worker and/or married to Signe.

Five years ago, a commenter identified himself as Peterson’s grandson. Apparently Gus’s son Robert died without issue, so the line must go through Ruby.

1953 – Wm. Ward

13 December 2022

1307 Alcatraz Avenue, Berkeley

William Clyde Ward (1906-1975) is a little-attested concrete finisher, an Oakland native who worked for August Casqueiro during the late 1930s, but I guess he did some independent work in later years. I have one dated mark of his from Oakland, and here’s this one in south Berkeley. He and his wife and three kids lived at the south end of Ward Lane through the 1940s; the house is still there.

1919 – G. Skidmore

4 December 2022

1362 E. 28th Street

Every now and then I get a better look at a mark I passed by, and I decide it’s decipherable after all. A resident pointed this one out to me recently, and I decided after feeling it with my fingers that yes, this is from 1919.

Grant Skidmore left a few marks in Oakland, all from the 1910s decade.

1907 – C. J. Lindgren

1 December 2022

2415 Prince Street, Berkeley

Charles J. Lindgren was active in the 1900s decade. I can’t find out much about him, but his son Charles Jr. appears to have continued in the contracting business. There is this alarming item from 1908 about him getting in a fist fight on a Berkeley streetcar.