The forecast of a warm afternoon did not deter the Walking on Wednesday group last Wednesday, August 21, as they traced the historic Key System streetcar Number 12 route.
Off they went down Magnolia Avenue past the construction at the high school, where they had been monitoring the progress and enjoying seeing the framing for the foundation go up. Continuing down Magnolia, they observed with some regret the empty space where city trees have been removed.
There are still many trees on the street, but no one was happy to see trees removed. The group went down Jerome Avenue towards its intersection with Fairview Avenue where the 12 Route streetcar originally started and ended. Along the way they took a slight detour to the Keefer Court cul-de- sac to view Walter Young's unique desert garden in front. Christina Schneck, who also a similar garden, told the group about the garden's plants and history.
From there it was on to Fairview. The 12 route did not connect with other routes, but the C Train to San Francisco was a short walk across Oakland Avenue. The 12 made its way all the way down Fairview to Grand Avenue where it continued to downtown Oakland. Fairview is wide and the land on which the trains ran did not provide an opportunity for infill homes to be built when the trains stopped running. At Grand they turned left and went one block to Boulevard Way. Christina told the group that there was another beautiful desert garden on it that they should see, and by chance Ann , the homeowner and Christina's friend, was working in her garden and told the group its history. Ann explained that she started the garden in 2000 when she discovered she couldn't get rid of a palm tree in front of her house. She decided to make the best of it, which she certainly has.
The temperature was starting to rise. It was time to get back to the Exedra, walking past Wildwood School with all the children playing, and finally through the cool Pied mont Park to the exedra, their starting location.
It had been a two-mile walk in about an hour and a half, with history, beautiful gardens, and friends making it very enjoyable.