Clinton is an historic neighborhood in Oakland that, along with neighboring San Antonio, formed the bulk of Brooklyn Township which was annexed to Oakland in 1872. It approximate boundaries are East 24th Street, 14th Avenue, East 15th Street and along 5th Avenue and Park Boulevard, just east of Lake Merritt. Ivy Hill, a small finger shaped neighborhood, carves out the northwestern corner of Clinton between Park Blvd and 8th Avenue.
The roots of Clinton can be traced back to the 1850s, when lumbering mills were established here to handle lumber from the San Antonio Redwoods. The finished lumber was shipped to San Francisco. In 1853, an early settler named Thomas Eager proposed forming Brooklyn Township. Officially incorporated in 1870, the township was annexed to Oakland in 1872.
The nearby Brooklyn Basin project, which has begun construction, will completely revitalize the Oakland Estuary, into a vibrant, waterfront community.
Clinton is home to two notable mansions that still stand today: The Ellen Kenna House, an 8,000 square foot Victorian masterpiece designed by Augustus Laver, and built by Ellen Kenna stands near the corner of East 2st Street and 12th Avenue. Cedar Croft, the mansion of John J Valentine, a gun-slinging stage coach driver that rose to be the 3rd president of Wells Fargo Bank, is across the street behind a row of more modest houses that front East 21st Street (the grand gate can still be seen from 13th Avenue).
It is believed that Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday and Black Bart were among the guests at Cedar Croft, connecting back to Valentine’s days as a stagecoach driver.