History of Alameda

A collection of articles on Alameda History by Dennis Evanosky and Eric J. Kos


Alameda Chamber of Commerce postcard of Neptune Beach

In 1890 this station at Park Street and Tilden Way replaced the one that A. A. Cohen had built for his San Francisco & Alameda Railroad in 1864. Cohen sold his railroad to the Central Pacific Railroad in 1868. The very first transcontinental railroad train stopped here on Sept. 6, 1869. An Oil Changers stands on this spot today.

Homeowners on College Avenue own property with a chain of title that stretches back to San Francisco Sheriff and Texas Ranger Jack Hays and his deputy sheriff and fellow Texas Ranger, John Caperton. The pair sold the property to Peder Sather (of Sather Tower and Sather Gate fame), who in turn leased it to Alameda’s Methodist community. The Methodist cut a road through to the school from today’s Encinal Avenue. There, the Methodists established a “college” that they named Oak Grove Institute.

In its Nov. 21, 1935, edition, the Oakland Tribune informed its readers that “The largest mail load ever carried by an airplane was placed aboard one of Glenn L. Martin Company’s flying ships China Clipper. The next day, just after 3:30 p.m., pilot Ed Musick and his navigator Fred Noonan taxied the Clipper over the waters just off Alameda Airport, into San Francisco Bay and the history books. The Tribune described the journey as “the longest airmail flight ever scheduled — 8,000 miles over (the) ocean from Alameda to the Orient.”

Part Two

In more normal times, Eric J. Kos and I lead a tour that features seven Julia Morgan-designed homes on the Island City. This year, we invite our readers to step out and have a look for themselves. We ask that you respect social-distancing and mask-wearing norms and that you do not disturb the owners of the historical homes.

The tour starts at Franklin Park at Paru Street and San Antonio Avenue and passes by Morgan-designed homes on Dayton Avenue, Sherman Street, Bay Street and Central Avenue.
From Franklin Park:

Ask a Japanese child to count to three. The youngster will beam at knowing the answer and reply, “Ichi, ni, san.” Japanese who live outside their native land use these three numbers to define themselves, to express the order in which they, or their ancestors, migrated to a county outside Japan they now call home.