[Patten gravesite photo by Michael Colbruno]
The Patten family were among the very first settlers of what is now Oakland. The three brothers – Robert, William and Edward – arrived here in 1850.
Robert Foster Patten was born in Maine in 1798 and became a tanner. In March 1849, he departed from Boston aboard the ship “Sweden” and arrived in San Francisco five months later. By February 1850, all three brothers were in San Francisco and they decided to head across the Bay. There amongst the vast array of Oak trees, they met Vicente Peralta and leased 640 acres of land from him. They turned that land into successful farm land, growing wheat and barley.
The property later became the town of Clinton near what is now known as Lake Merritt. The Pattens entered into partnership with Moses Chase, who many consider the first actual settler of Oakland. Chase is also buried at Mountain View Cemetery.
The Pattens proved themselves to be honorable men, unlike Edson Adams, A.J. Moon and Horace Carpenter, who squatted on the Peralta land, stole timber and killed cattle. Adams has a prominent crypt at Mountain View Cemetery.