Archive for the ‘1916’ Category

Sidewalk maker: A. Soda

October 13, 2017

Andrea Soda was born in southern Italy, near Provenza, in 1877, and came to America in 1907 with his wife Margherita (nee Argenta). He was listed in the 1908 directory as a cement worker. By 1912 he was living at 1137 65th Street, the address shown in his sidewalk stamps, and was the father of three children. He went by the name Andre or Andrew, and his wife likewise was called Marguerite or Margarita.

His draft form from 1917 described him as a man of medium height and build, with blue eyes and dark hair and not yet a naturalized citizen.

I have documented his marks from 1913 to 1937, all using the stamp shown above. The Tribune records him bidding on various jobs under the name A. Soda Company from 1928 to 1931 and A. Soda & Son (or Sons) from 1932 to the 1950s. (His sons were Yster Charles (“Y. C.” or Chester), born in 1908, and Stephen, born in 1912.) The company’s contracts grew in size over the years and came to focus on small bridges around Northern California.

On 5 November 1936, the firm was retimbering the old high-level tunnel above today’s Caldecott Tunnel when a collapse killed one of his workers. The paper quoted Y.C. as saying the firm had never, not once had such an accident before, and also noted that his workers kept photographers away from the scene. By this time Andrea had moved to Sacramento Street in Berkeley, with Chester still living at the old homestead.

By the 1940s Andrea had retired from the Soda firm and was running a liquor store at 6324 San Pablo Avenue. He died in 1948. Several family members, including Margherita, are entombed in a family crypt at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Hayward, but I can’t tell if he’s there too.

I was prompted to compose this post by spotting an A. Soda mark in Berkeley from 1916, a year not found in Oakland.

2099 Martin Luther King Jr. Way

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1916 – A. H. Kopperud

April 20, 2014

1916t

2700 High Street

1916 – C. Hubmann & Co.

July 7, 2013

1916s

3125 Boston Avenue

1916 – Hutchinson Co.

June 28, 2013

1916r

51st Avenue at E. 10th Street

This tiny neighborhood has quite a long history.

1916 – J. Ogden

June 10, 2013

1916q

2736 Brookdale Avenue

If I have the date correct, this pushes Ogden back another year.

1916 – J. Catucci

March 10, 2013

1916p

2014 E. 26th Street

This is yet another configuration of the Catucci mark from this year.

1916 – M. Goncalves

September 28, 2012

1916

1831 E. 22nd Street

A second example of this East Oakland sidewalk maker.