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1891-1894: Lost Years

With their lease expired, the Chinese Mission School moved from its 15th Street location and their old building was quickly rebuilt into a neighborhood dwelling.  In the years from 1891 through 1894, there is some uncertainty as to the where the church was relocated.  The 1892 and 1892-1893 City Directories list the Mission at 1017 Clay Street, but the 1892 City Directory also has a listing for the Mission at 37-6th Street.

The 1892 listing at 1017 Clay Street shows the pastor at the time as F. J. Masters.  A "S.F." is printed behind his name. One possible explanations is that this notation was intended to indicate that he was based in San Francisco.  The other possibility is that the address itself referred to Clay Street in San Francisco which would have been close to the Chinatown there.  The former explanation appears more credible since the SF would otherwise have followed directly after the street address; there would be no reason to have a San Francisco listing in an Oakland directory; and finally, the address is consistent with long-time church members' recollections of a building "on Clay, near 10th."


The Block Book lists the owner of this lot as Elnia le Farnham (no apparent link to the mission).  It is conceivable that the mission rented space and therefore would not necessarily be listed in tax documents.

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1017 Clay Street in 1889
Sanborn Insurance Map, 1889-1901

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1017 Clay Street in 1901
Sanborn Insurance Map, 1889-1901
Courtesy of Oakland Public Library

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