Bill for lumber, 1863. (D. Cooper, 8/96) T. W. Badger is probably Thomas W. Badger, who in 1861, settled on an estate in Brooklyn (now a part of Oakland) and created Badger's Grand Central Park which opened to a crowd of 4,000 paying customers on April 14, 1872. A restaurant served East Bay oysters, beef, wine, and steam beer. Theater and opera productions filled a 3,000 seat pavillion. Exotic plants and animals thrived in a botanical garden and menagerie. Baseball games and trotting races brought the "cranks"--as sports fans were called--into the grandstands. But demands for expansion of the booming transportation industry soon required tht Badger give up his land. By 1885, the scenic park was transformed to a tangle of railroad tracks and busy inner-harbor piers. From Steven Lavoie for the "Walk Along the Water" exhibition.
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