Chapter 7

THE SAN FRANCISCO TERMINAL RAILROAD AND FERRY COMPANY

Page 6

Clerk Church then read a series of resolutions asking the Council to grant a franchise to the new company, at the same time safeguarding the interests of the property owners and the city.

President Bartnett of the San Francisco and San Joaquin Coal Company, who is also an attorney, was introduced and spoke in favor of the proposed franchise.

"When President Harriman of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company was here some time ago, he spoke of the necessity," said Bartnett, "of railroads being properly used by public bodies. He dwelt upon the necessity of citizens giving reasonable aid to his road and asked that fair treatment be extended to it and to other lines in the development of a territory.

"General Barnes responded, and his speech, one of the last he delivered with his masterful eloquence, will live although he has passed away. He dwelt upon the extension to the railroad of the hands of the 'knocker.' He showed that when any enterprise was promulgated in California, there was on hand, 'the knocker' to destroy it.”

"When Harriman returned home the newspaper men asked what he had seen in California which had made an impression on him. He replied that the population of Brooklyn was equal to the population of the entire State of California.”

"Now, Oakland bears the same relation to San Francisco that Brooklyn does to New York City. San Francisco bears the same relation to the Pacific Ocean and the 400,000,000 of people in the Orient that New York City does to the Atlantic Ocean and to Europe.”

"If you want to build an empire here, it is your duty to put aside the 'knocker’ and consider the broad necessities of that empire.”

"We ask no special favor for the San Francisco and Oakland Terminal and Ferry Railroad Company from the people of Oakland. We ask for not one cent of bounty, but the legal rights that are granted us by the laws, the rights and accommodations that are granted by the Oakland Charter. We ask nothing from the Southern Pacific that we are not entitled to, nothing from Oakland that we are not entitled to.

"The fact is that this corporation was organized under the laws of the State of California. It was organized for the purpose of building railroads. The State of California granted the Santa Fe a franchise. The articles of incorporation of our company show that we are entitled to seek and build from San Francisco, to Oakland, to Haywards, from Haywards to San Jose, to Dunbarton Point, to Altamont, to Berkeley. Almost a million dollars worth of property has been bought and over $150,000 has been expended in other ways. That is my answer as to the question relating to our good faith. Our board of directors comprise such men as J. D. Brown, F. M. West, Tirey L. Ford, John Treadwell whose name has been for years one of the foremost in the development of mining and coal industries of the State: O. C. Kings and others. They are all reputable men, men who know what they are doing. If it is necessary to know whether there is any men of means in the East who are behind this enterprise, I will say emphatically 'yes.' All the money that is required to carry out this project is available. As regards the San Francisco & San Joaquin Railroad Company, I will say that that company has been sold to the interests of the San Francisco & Oakland & Ferry Railroad Company.

"Another objection has been made to the effect that this company intends to take Third Street from curb to curb. That is not the case. We have not asked for such a franchise as that. We have asked for only such a franchise as the Southern Pacific asks from San Francisco and from other cities. The very same language which you will find in this ordinance, you will find in railway ordinances across the bay. I am not asking anything in this ordinance that you have not put into other ordinances of the same kind."

In support of this contention, Mr. Bartnett read the ordinance recently adopted by the Council granting a right of way to the Oakland and East Shore Railroad Company, comparing the provisions and showing that they were worded in the same manner.

"We are asking," he continued, "for a right of way for a single or double track, the same as the Southern Pacific is doing."

Bartnett then took up the charge that the company had not asked for a right of way beyond the western line of Union Street, and said: "Why did we not ask for a right of way beyond that point? Extensive terminal facilities have been bought at that point. We have acquired property on the water front. The water front for all these years has been an eye-sore because it has been owned and controlled by the Southern Pacific and its kindred companies. But recently, when that road changed hands, and this property got into other hands, we were able to acquire these terminal facilities, something which had been denied to others for years past all along the line."

Bartnett said that his line had the same right to come in here that it would have if it were one thousand miles long.

Mr. Wilson asked him if he thought such was the case, and Bartnett repeated that he did.

"We have other interests," said Bartnett.

"What are they?" asked Evans,

"That terminal property will be improved. Plans for that improvement are in preparation. When they are matured we will come before the council and ask for a franchise to reach the southern limit of those acres further down and establish a ferry system to San Francisco. A ferry system will be put on that will serve the people of the city of Oakland.

Mr. Cuvellier asked if it would be a freight and passenger system.

Bartnett said it would be both.

Moore — I suppose you understand that you could not run a ferry satisfactorily in the creek, which is narrow and which is impeded by passing boats. You know, don't you, that time cannot be made on the estuary.

Bartnett replied "That is not as we understand it. It is not as the engineers who are employed by us have informed us. Isn't it a fact that the United States government has appropriated $250,000 for the improvement of the estuary? And hasn't the government been asked to appropriate two million dollars for the improvement and the widening of the channel. It is our intention to avail ourselves of that improvement, and the harbor is entitled to it from the government. Why will people of this city belittle this waterway, their heritage of commercial and mechanical prosperity? The channel will be widened and deepened and we will keep in its improvement."

Mr. Cuvellier brought Mr. Bartnett back to grade crossings.' The latter said the track would be of grade at Thirteenth Avenue, would raise after leaving there. From Twelfth Avenue there would be a drop. At other places, the grade would be at various heights. In passing by the Southern Pacific, the courts would have to determine the property rights. Bartnett stated the work would have to be begun in six months. Mr. Wixson asked when it would be completed. Bartnett said that would be governed by the general law of the state. Mr. Dornin asked about the grade at Ninth and Tenth
Avenues. Bartnett said that Ninth Avenue was not open. He had been so informed by his attorney.

Superintendant Palmer said there was a roadway at that place.

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