To help identify and preserve these precious, decaying museum pieces in our midst, a historic preservation ordinance is being put together for consideration by the City Council later this month. It will provide a framework for historic structures in and around Oakley.
"Oakley's history is so rich and diverse that it's important and necessary to identify the historic buildings and accommodate them as the city undergoes its revitalization," said Barbara Mason, Oakley Redevelopment Director. "There is definitely a movement afoot here to chronicle and preserve Oakley's history."
Like many towns, Oakley was born as a train stop for farmers transporting their produce. While much has changed in the hundred years since then, many local landmarks remain.
The building that once housed the Valley Hotel on Second and Main streets is over 100 years old and still standing and accommodating businesses. The Oakley Lumber Company building is still with us and now the site of Oakley Motor Sports.
The site of Oakley's first post office, at 3540 Main Street, still contains a working elevator that once transported mail to and from the basement.
The one-hour cleaners on Main Street used be the Oakley bank. When the stock market crashed in 1929, urban legend has it that the president of the bank hung himself inside the bank. There's even talk that the building is haunted.
Photo courtesy of City of Oakley
It's an open question whether this old shack, along Highway 4 will be considered to have historical value and be worth preservation.