Livermore History - Flagpole
|Main Flagpole Page on our general photos page
Flagpole Removal, Oct 7, 2004
Flagpole Removal 2, Oct 7, 2004
New Flagpole - June 17, 2005
New Pole being Assembled - June 17, 2005
The Flagpole is Raised - June 17, 2005
Dedication (1) - July 4, 2005 - the ceremony
Dedication (2) - July 4, 2005 - raising the flag
Dedication (3) - July 4, 2005 - people
Dedication (4) - July 4, 2005 - the flag
100th anniversary of the flagpole(1) - Sept 9, 2005
100th anniversary of the flagpole(2) - Sept 9, 2005
The Flagpole has been a landmark in Livermore since 1905. It is well placed, appearing right in the middle of 1st St as you are driving east through downtown. It was moved to its current location in 1959, originally being about 15 or 20 feet further north.
History of the Flagpole below
See also our other Flagpole page, with pictures of the plaque.
The Flagpole also appears on the eLivermore.com Postcard
Flagpole dedication, September 9, 1905. The Livermore Hotel is behind. This picture was most likely taken from a building on the south side of 1st St, near J St. St. Michael's (which burned Aug 4, 1916) can be seen just to the left of the Livermore Hotel's 2nd floor, up East First St a ways. The smoke stack from the Diamond Flour Mill (see photos) power plant is on the far left side, left of the church.
Roughly the same angle in March 2003 (although from ground level). The original location of the flagpole was about where the traffic light in the middle of the photo in the traffic island is now, with the Livermore Hotel roughly centered at that spot.
Livermore Flagpole Dedication, September 9, 1905. Looking south. Probably taken from the McLeod building, from a window on the 2nd floor (the boards at the bottom being the overhang). The building to the left of flagpole is Mary Sarah Anthony's hardware store. She and her husband Fred Anthony opened it about 1870. It was replaced by the Masonic Building in 1909. Brass letters in front of the Masonic Hall read "M.S.Antho" (see photo) (unknown why the "ny" is left off).
The building to far right was replaced by the Schenone building (see photos) in 1914. The building just to the right of the flagpole was a butcher shop, and remained between the Masonic and Schenone buildings without the overhang for a while (the overhang probably came down in 1916 when they were banned), and was later replaced by the current one story building.
Looking west, from slightly south of the Livermore Hotel at around 1910. This gives an indication of where the original location was. It is currently about 15 or 20 feet to the left. The building behind the flag pole is The Hub. 1st street now curves through that location. The current fountain was built just to the right (north) of The Hub.
This photos was taken in the 1950s looking east on 1st St.. The flagpole is at its original location. It is now 15 or 20 feet to the right, lined up with the center of 1st St. Note the sharp turns at 1st & Livermore. When The Hub was removed, 1st Street was redirected through its location to make for a much easier turn.
History of the Livermore Flagpole
by Gary Drummond
Used by Permission
The flagpole at First and Livermore Avenue has been a community landmark since 1905. The idea of a flagpole originated within the business community who several years earlier had established a "Fourth of July" fund. The idea was picked up by social organizations who wanted to contribute.
As early as 1901, baseball teams of the Native Sons and the Foresters were charging 25 cents for adults and 10 cents admission for children as contributions toward the purchase of a pole. Shortly, they had deposited $42.25 in the "Flagpole Trust" at the Bank of Livermore. The next year the teams netted $42.50 for the fund, and talked of other kinds of entertainment, like a joint performance that would add more to the Fund. Later that year the teams sponsored a ball at Armory Hall to further increase the amount needed for a flagpole and a proper flag. The Herald commented that "anything that has as its object the beautifying of the town should receive the support and encouragement of all its people"
The community enthusiastically endorsed the idea of a flagpole. Contributions in 1904 to the "Fourth of July Fund" by the business sector and private citizens amounted to $572.00. It was agreed that some part of this would be used for the flagpole and perhaps for an enclosed grass plot with a bandstand at its base.
The committee chosen to purchase the flagpole idea arranged for the purchase of an Oregon pine pole 126 feet long and 18 inches in diameter at the base from the W.A. Boole Company in San Francisco. The cost was $207.00. In order to get it to Livermore from Oakland it had to be transported by three "trucks" pulled by horses over the Dublin grade because it was too long to be transported by rail - too many curves in the roadbed.
A hole was dug seven feet square by ten feet deep in August, and a concrete pad was poured at the bottom to support the base of the pole. The pole arrived later that month, being carried over the pass by the company who supplied it. It received two coats of oil and several coats of white paint, and affixed to the top was an eighteen-inch diameter gilded ball. It weighed over 2 and 1/2 tons.
On September 5, 1905 at 4:40 in the afternoon, the flagpole was successfully erected in two minutes time, drawn into position by a team of four dray horses. The Echo said, "The crowd was finally rewarded by seeing the big 126 foot pole ascend gracefully skywards. It may now be seen looming majestically from miles around."
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