Canneries, factories and mills formed an industrial cluster on one side of the railroad line in the period between 1880 and 1940.
Turn of the century small working class homes for workers employed by these companies dotted the connecting streets nearby.
The district did not officially become part of Oakland until annexation in 1909 and this may be part of the reason residents always have seemed to maintain a seperate sense
of neighborhood identity.
In the early years a mix of German, Italian and most prevalently Portuguese immigrants, settled in Fruit Vale. Paid good wages by the canneries and mills, workers were
said to jingle coins in their pockets as they strolled home on payday--signifying their prosperity. Hence "Jingletown" came into popular usage and the name stuck.
The coming of the Nimitz Freeway in the early 1950s greatly impacted Jingletown. Despite the disruption of the freeway, Jingletown's sense of community has never failed. A spirited
effort to rezone portions of the area from industrial to residential (thereby recinding city policy in place since the 1930s) was successful in 1974.
--(from "Oakland's Jingletown has its own history, identity" by Annalee Allen, The Oakland Tribune, March 2, 1997)