fbpx
Newsletter Podcast Membership
Alameda Post - podcast

Share:

Facebook
Twitter
Reddit
LinkedIn
Email
Print

Experience Alameda’s Horsecar Era This Saturday

Walter Blair built the Broadway & Piedmont Horsecar Line in 1875, the same year the Alameda, Oakland & Piedmont Railway began carrying passengers through Alameda and into Oakland. Blair played a role in developing the AO&P, and its cars resembled the one seen here on Blair’s line. Horsecars served Alameda until 1891, when the technology to electrify the lines was introduced.

Alameda Post - Oakland horsecar
A Broadway & Piedmont Horsecar Line horsecar and horse. Photo courtesy Piedmont Historical Society.

Horses were expensive when AO&P began operations: ones capable of pulling streetcars cost about $200 each at the time, about $3,500 in today’s money. Despite the cost, these animals could only pull cars like the one pictured for a maximum of 12 miles a day. A typical horsecar line owned at least a dozen horses, and they had to be housed and fed.

Sign up Now!

July, 2022 – Alameda’s Innovative Streetcars​

Saturday July 9 — Alameda’s Horsecar Lines

Join Dennis Evanosky for an imaginary ride on two of Theodore Meetz's three horsecar lines and a visit to Fassking’s Hotel. Meet at Union Street and Santa Clara Avenue. at 10 a.m.
Tickets available

Sign up Now!

Each horse devoured some 30 pounds of hay and grain, and the horsecar lines were responsible for cleaning up and hauling away the animal’s “leavings,” which amounted to some 20 pounds every day for every horse. Things got so bad in England that The Times of London declared a horse-manure crisis in 1894. At about the same time, Frank Sprague was busy developing the solution: street cars that ran on electricity. We’ll cover Alameda’s switch to electric powered streetcars during our next tour on July 16.

Dennis Evanosky is an award-winning East Bay historian and the Editor of the Alameda Post. Reach him at [email protected]. His writing is collected at AlamedaPost.com/Dennis-Evanosky.

Join our community!

We hope you enjoyed this article. Will you support us?

Alameda Post Inc. applied to the IRS for 501 (c)(3) non-profit status earlier this year. Members will be notified when the IRS sends a positive determination letter, making their membership or donation tax-deductible. Sticker and shirt benefits will be available starting in October. Monthly members will receive their benefits after three months of membership. Memberships including tickets to history walking tours will be offered in limited quantities.

Get our weekly newsletter!

Register to receive a free weekly email newsletter of the week’s news from the Alameda Post. We will never share or sell your information.