History

The Civil War? In Alameda?

May 12,2021

Historians often hear the mistaken idea that California played no role in the Civil War.

In fact, during the Civil War California furnished the Union army some 17,000 volunteers — a number that could make up just under two divisions of soldiers.

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BayAreaRailFan.org The red lines on this 1911 map depict the Alameda streetcar system under the aegis of the Oakland Traction Company, which was part of Francis Marion “Borax” Smith’s Key System. The black dotted lines show the Southern Pacific Railroad’s broad-guage tracks that would become part of the East Bay Electic Lines the year this map was created. East Bay Electric Lines carried the Big Reds. Note the absence of today’s Coast Guard Island at the word “Harbor.” The federal government did not create

Borax’ Smith Takes Over

Apr 21,2021

Dennis Evanosky

Part two in a series

Streetcar service began here in 1875, when the Alameda, Oakland & Piedmont’s (AO&P) horsecar line first carried passengers through town from the Central Pacific Railroad Station at today’s Tilden Way and Lincoln Avenue.

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William Gardiner Transportation Collection     This building stood at Atlantic Avenue and Webster Street. It served first as a carbarn and stables for Theodor Meetz’ horse-car lines and later as a power station when the lines were converted to electic-powered streetcars, like the one pictured.

Horse-Drawn Streetcars Once Plied Our Streets

Apr 14,2021

Part one in a series

Mid-19th-century Alamedans did not have a convenient way to travel to Oakland. This was especially true for West Enders who had to travel — oftentimes walk— across the peninsula to catch J. P. Potter’s omnibus that ran from Park Street to Oakland.

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These illustrations, perhaps appropriate and stylish for the time, accompanied an article and advertisements in the Encinal. The depictions of policemen in the image at left may have meant to discourage drunken revelers and “roughs” known to frequent Alameda’s bayside resorts and multiple drinking establishments.

Alameda Celebrates Rebirth as ‘Island City’

Apr 08,2021

On an auspicious date in Alameda history often overlooked, Aug. 8, 1902, at 7:30 a.m., the Alameda peninsula was detached from the mainland after decades of engineering work. “The city attained to insular importance ...

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With sideburns like those, you’ve got to believe Dr. A. W. K. Newton’s claims on 19th-century miracle cures.

Side Effects May Include Universal Satisfaction

Mar 18,2021

Lately I’ve come across social media postings from people who are surprised at just how many pharmaceutical advertisements Americans are subjected to on a daily basis, and how Americans can rattle off the names of such fabulous products as Skyrizi, Ozempic and Trempfya.

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File photo Members of Alameda Fire Department Station No. 1 on Webb Avenue stand in front of their hook and ladder truck and the station in 1910. The first wooden firehouse on Webb Avenue rose up in 1877 to house the Citizens Hook and Ladder Company. The building in this photograph went up in 1908. A hook and ladder apparatus required two drivers, one to steer and control the horses, the other to steer the rear wheels; both are in position in the photograph. Firefighters use ladders to gain access to fires

Ordinance 175 Created Alameda Fire Department

Feb 25,2021

Pull up the Alameda Daily Evening Encinal edition of Sept. 29, 1891, and printed inside is a copy of the original text that created Alameda Fire Department (AFD). Ordinance 175 delinated how AFD would operate. Prior to this, Alameda had several unaffiliated fire companies.

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