Sidewalk maker: Arthur G. Moniz

Arthur G. Moniz (1911-1973) grew up in East Oakland, the son of Hawaiian parents of Portuguese ancestry. His father George was a shipbuilder, and at age 19 Arthur was listed in the 1930 census as a cabinetmaker. In the 1940 census he was listed as a cemetery caretaker, married to Rose (another Hawaiian native) and the father of Arthur Jr., born in 1939. Various records have him as a mariner in 1934, a shipbuilder in 1935, an ironworker in 1936, 1938 and 1940, a laborer in 1939, a shipfitter in 1944 and a cement contractor in 1967.

He never used a metal stamp. His trademark was the hand-drawn scroll; I have examples dating from the 1930s into the 1960s. I have two examples from the 1950s consisting of the scroll with “Moniz + Moniz” inside. Perhaps Arthur Jr. helped, or a relative. He also left hand-drawn marks consisting of his name and various partners:

Moniz & Johnson (perhaps R. W. Johnson or R. E. Johnson)

Moniz & Chaves (probably L. F. Chaves)

Andrade & Moniz (William Andrade)

Moniz-Silva-Chaves (there are several possible Silvas)

J + J & Moniz

He lived at several addresses in East Oakland, but I think of his home being at 3955 Burckhalter Avenue, where he lived in the 1950s.

It’s because of this panel at the front gate.

I wish I knew more about him; I think he must have been a character.


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