Vernon J. Sappers

Sappers photo

A lifelong resident of Oakland's Brooklyn neighborhood, Vernon Sappers rode and enjoyed the Key streetcars all his life. He was also an energetic collector of historic photographs of railroad, streetcar, and East Bay subjects, and also of paper and other memorabilia. Born in 1917, he lived in the same house until he passed away in 1995.

He wrote an earlier book about this topic at the time streetcar service ended in 1948, entitled From Shore to Shore--The Key Route. He and his good friend, Harre Demoro, planned to work together on a much larger work treating both the East Bay streetcars and also the Key transbay services. Vernon's part was the streetcar book. Upon Vernon's death, his collections and the incomplete book went to the Bay Area Electric Railroad Association (BAERA), of which he was a founding member. Volunteers at BAERA and at BAERA's Western Railway Museum in Rio Vista, California worked to complete the book.