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

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.

John Barton owned the Union Pacific Salt Company that produced 20,000 tons of salt a year. He had this 15,000-square-foot home built on Broadway in 1879 and lived here with his wife Isabella and children William and Grace until his death in 1900. The family sold the building, which the new owners subdivided into apartments. The house was demolished in the 1920s. The Hotel Alameda stands on the site today.

Editor’s note: Under normal circumstances, Alameda Sun publishers Eric J. Kos and Dennis Evanosky would be leading history tours for the city’s “Alameda Walks” program this time of the year. Instead, Eric and Dennis are presenting six weeks of history stories. This week’s presentation discusses the history of water, which they would have discussed during their walk around Lincoln Park and environs 

Today’s Island City began life as a peninsula where Native Americans, members of the Ohlone tribe, first lived more than 3,000 years ago. These first settlers took advantage of the climate and the readily available staples — acorns, game, fresh water and oysters. The Ohlone found today’s Alameda an attractive place to live. Willow trees grew along Sausal (“Willow”) Creek to the north. The Ohlone used the branches from these trees to build their homes.