With all of the news about newspapers closing, the Oakland Tribune turned 135 on Feb. 21. Trib columnist Angela Hill reported the anniversary in Friday’s edition. A quote from her column:
- Back then, Oakland was barely out of its teens as a city with only 12,000 people. It had mud streets, rutted from horse-drawn carriages and the occasional cow wandering loose. Ulysses S. Grant was president of the United States. … News from other areas was tapped out on telegraph machines, scribbled down on a pad, then each letter of type set by hand and the newspaper churned out with the huff and puff of a steam-powered press.
Oakland was growing, and George Staniford and Ben Dewes, who worked in a small printing company on Ninth Street, took advantage of it. They put together four pages of a three-column sheet with a front-page item about the “grandest affair” to be given by Relief Hook and Ladder Company No. 1, and a reproof about people being rude to out-of-town visitors in church. Much of the rest was ads — some things don’t change — for saloons, cigar parlors and billiard halls. There were even a couple of jokes: “The color of the wind was discovered by the man who went out and found it blew.” Ha ha.