Merritt Slough

merritt slough

When Oakland was first settled, a large wetland extended inland from the tidal channels east of Alameda Island. Samuel Merritt took it upon himself to improve the marsh with a dam, and the resulting brackish water body was named Lake Merritt. Today the lake is closely regulated with a water gate beneath 7th Street, and this creek runs both ways depending on the tide. Not even the Oakland watershed map gives this stream a name, so I’ll call it Merritt Slough. Click the photo for a 800×700 version.

The bank on the right side is the south bank, or the left bank. It’s nearly in its natural state, whereas the other bank is part of an area of made land a couple hundred meters wide. I’m standing just off E. 10th Street, next to the Civic Auditorium.

About these ads

2 Responses to “Merritt Slough”

  1. Naomi from Oakland Says:

    There are some great old maps that show the original shore posted by the Oakland Library (Oakland History Room) at the California Digital Library website. Click “online items”
    http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt5b69q5bc

    In many City of Oakland documents this is called the Lake Merritt Channel:
    http://www.oaklandnet.com/cedahome_com/SiteData/cedahome/InetPub/wwwroot/main/dcsd_currentprojects_measure_dd_lakemerrittchannel.asp

  2. Andrew Says:

    Ah, thanks, Naomi. A channel seems like such a dry, prosaic thing. I think I’ll stick with slough. I referred to it as a “creek” aware of the word’s ancient meaning of a small coastal waterway. It isn’t a creek in the sense we mean today.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,659 other followers

%d bloggers like this: