Oyster Farms and Oyster
the 1870s and 1880s, oyster farms were numerous in the shallows off Bay
Farm Island and in San Leandro Bay. Winant & Co., the Pacific Oyster
Co., the Mulford Co., E. Terry & Co., Swanberg & West's Bay Farm Oyster
Beds Co., and the Morgan Oyster Co. all maintained commercial oyster
beds. The beds were enclosed by fences to keep out predatory stingrays
as well as oyster pirates who raided the beds by night. Jack London
accompanied the pirates and wrote about his exploits in Tales of the
Fish Patrol. Fierce competition between rival companies resulted in
theft and vandalism. Armed guards were needed to fend off both pirates
and hooligans sent by competitors. Pollution and mud deposits forced the
closing of most of the East Bay's oyster farms by 1890.
"Walk Along the Water"
© Oakland Museum of California, used with permission.
Explore this Topic:
Alameda on the Half Shell: Farming Oysters in the Island City
by Woodruff Minor - Alameda Magazine
Raid on the Oyster Pirates by Jack London - Sonoma
State University Library Jack London Online Collection
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