The early history of animal control in Berkeley was related in a short article 75 years ago in the Aug. 25, 1938 Berkeley Daily Gazette.

"To C. Geinnette, father of Mrs. Charles Spear, fell the lot of rounding up strayed animals in the early (eighteen) seventies, according to J.F. Chase, West Berkeley historian. Geinnette operated a blacksmith shop at the southeast corner of San Pablo and University Avenues and it was in the rear of this smithy Berkeley's pound was located."

The next "poundman" was Pasquale Ysunza, who kept stray dogs at the foot of Cedar Street "near the beach," where beachgoers sometimes released them.

"Then came Harry Hughes who kept the pound at the foot of University Avenue; then Robert Burcher, who set up the pound in the rear of 1932 Fifth Street; and later Martin Lauterbach of 2334 Ninth Street."

According to the story, all of the pound keepers were unsalaried. Their compensation came from those who "bailed out" their wayward animals. "In those days stray animals walked to jail," since there was no wagon for the pound.

The present day pound -- animal shelter -- is still in West Berkeley, at the north end of Aquatic Park, next to the foot of University Avenue.

Hillside club

The Aug. 23 1938 Gazette gave a profile of the fall activities of the Hillside Club, one of Berkeley's venerable social and cultural organizations.

First up was a members-only "fireside meeting" on Aug. 29, described as "traditionally an informal get together after the summer's vacationing, with a program devoted to reports of the summer's journeys by traveling members."

Accounts of visits to Europe and Mexico would be presented, along with home movies of a club picnic the previous May.

On Sept. 10, "an unprogrammed interlude will be a club picnic at Taylor Farm, near Redwood City."

Several committees, old and new, would also resume activities. They included committees for civic affairs, art activities, club advancement, educational interest, poetry, grounds, house affairs, finance, and club rentals.

The Hillside Club's traditional performance activities and member events would be organized by committees including acting, dramatics, refreshments, reception, and decorations.

The Hillside Club still operates today out of the same brown shingle clubhouse on Cedar Street.

Fire pension

Berkeley's Fire Department Pension Board was scheduled to meet in late August 1938 to consider awarding a pension to the widow of Fire Chief George Haggerty who died on Aug. 12, as recounted in an earlier column.

A corner's jury had concluded he died of a stroke "super-induced by an accident on December 3, 1931" when the chief had been burned and suffered a head injury.

Haggerty had been chief for 11 years and a Berkeley fireman for 42 years. His age wasn't given, but presumably he was in his 60s. In 1938 Berkeley paid the fire chief $375 a month, or $4,500 a year. Adjusted for inflation -- using a calculator on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website -- that salary in 1938 would be equivalent to a salary of just under $75,000 today.

New signs

"Electric Signs to Point to Berkeley" read an Aug. 22, 1938 Gazette headline. The Chamber of Commerce was planning neon signs on the Eastshore Highway at Ashby and University avenues; money was coming from private fundraising. This was part of the run up to a September week of events in Berkeley promoting the coming exposition at Treasure Island in 1939.

Aviation authority

Aug. 23, 1938, the Civilian Aeronautics Administration went into operation, "the first experiment in administration of an independent agency" under legislation proposed by President Roosevelt, according to the Gazette that day.