Columbo Club History

Today at the Temescal Library is an opening reception for the exhibit, Italian-Americans in Temescal: The History of the Columbo Club. I learned about this last month at the Temescal Library Reception from Giovanna Capone, who had put together a preview from the "archives" (a bunch of stuff in boxes in some back room) of the Columbo Club (careful, that link has music).

The event will feature a speech by Temescal historican Ray Rainieri, who also conducts a wonderful walking tour of the neighborhood through the Oakland Heritage Alliance. In addition to her work cataloging the Club's historical documents and photographs, Capone has assembled an oral history video of some of the its senior members.

The Columbo Club is the oldest Italian social club in Oakland, and one of the largest still in existence in the U.S. Founded in 1920 by 34 Piedmontese immigrants, it currently has a waiting list of several hundred. On Sunday mornings, the Club is open to allow patrons of the Temescal Farmers' Market to use its restrooms, which is something I highly recommend. The photos and memorabilia on the walls, as well as the general decor, is like stepping back decades.

The event today is from 3:00 to 5:00, and the exhibit will be open at least through the end of January. The Temescal Library is located at the corner of Telegraph Avenue and 52nd Street, where Claremont Avenue meets Telegraph.

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