Abandoned Steel Factory, Oakland CA

History – The area was inhabited by the Ohlone people for thousands of years before Spanish settlers displaced them in the 18th and 19th centuries. Spain expanded the Viceroyalty of New Spain and colonized Alta California to stop the advancement of Russia from Alaska. Much of the land that was to become Oakland was held by the Peralta family under the Rancho San Antonio (Peralta) land grant. New Spain became independent in 1821 under the name “Mexico.” In 1846, the Territory of Alta California was conquered by American forces, becoming simply “California.” Throughout the 1840s and 1850s, American squatters laid legal claim to the land held by the Peralta family. In 1852, the California legislature incorporated the town of Oakland. Company began its business life by occupying what had once been home to the largest steelworks in the western United States. The integrated mill in Fontana, California, was built in the 1940s, becoming the jewel of the steelmaking empire controlled by Kaiser Steel Corp. The 350-acre facility bustled with activity in its prime, employing more than 2,500 workers and holding sway as the largest of its kind west of the Mississippi. By the beginning of the 1980s, however, the luster…