125 Year Old Shack; Jack London and Creedence Clearwater.

One day on the Levee I stopped to talk to a man I had not seen before, it’s common practice for most of us to do so. Not so much out of suspicion but normally everyone has a reason to be here, some have great stories. This Island has fond memories for a lot of people in the Bay Area, at one time it was way out in the Boondocks. This mans story had to do with this shack.

Old shack.

He was about 50 years old and told me he would come here all of the time with his family when he was young. One of his friends dad lived in this shack for years, he then built the house Big Mike lived in. He told me this was built between 1905-1910, of course the junction box is a new addition. The tell-tale of it’s age is the construction technique, it’s Redwood 1×12’s with 2″ cleats at each seam. It remains in use, I’m sure the new owner will enjoy it.

And the Dock.

The dock may be as old but it most likely isn’t quite, as it has the appearance of post WWII. The floats most likely have been replaced at least once in the past 70 years, the galvanized sheets are later than 1930. The shack was most likely built first then a few decades later the dock was added.

At one time there were a number of these shacks, my neighbor had one until about 8 years ago when a storm caused high water and flooded it out.

The marina’s on this side of the Island were all built right after WWII, the GI’s came home and were eager to make a good life. An interesting fact is Creedance’s song “Born on a Bijou” was not written about Louisiana but right here on the California Delta. Jack London spent a great deal of time in the local waters as well.

The Antioch Bridge is in the distance, I used this photo a few days ago, this time it’s all about the bridge.

The Antioch Bridge seen here in the distance replaced one that was very near the waters surface, it was a draw bridge as many are around here. John Steinbeck wrote the short story “The Bridge Keeper” about this crossing.

At the left end of the bridge there is a plaque denoting the spot where the Spanish fleet arrived by sea and met the ground force making it’s way North from where Los Angelo’s is now. They are credited with “discovering” San Francisco, although the people of the First Nation lived here for thousands of years prior.

Tennessee Ernie Ford was a common visitor here as well, in fact his boat “The Pea Picker” still passes by, someone restored it to perfect condition.

Country Joe (of Country Joe and the Fish) lived across the Island, I’m unsure if he is still there. He would have small concerts for the neighbors on his Levee.

There was a “Cat House” in San Francisco during WWII, the owner was well known, (I forget her name ironic isn’t it?), she made her fortune and moved here. The big marina at the end of the road remains her legacy except now it is owned by a church used as a half-way house for men. When she built it there was no road access, the levee top was used and abused.

To add a bit of perspective; this Island was a swamp until the 1880’s when the Levees were built by the Chinese; without whom none of this would exist.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

3 responses to “125 Year Old Shack; Jack London and Creedence Clearwater.”

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