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 1895, architects and builders Marcuse & Remmel built three side-by-side houses at 2029, 2031, and 2035 Alameda Ave. for Julia Stone Waite, the widow of the well-known editor and politician Edwin G. Waite. The home at 2035 will be open as part of this Sunday’s Alameda Legacy Home Tour. Edwin came to California from New York in 1849, beginning his career at the helm of the Nevada City Transcript. 

 

Encinal Avenue holds particular esteem for me, as it has been the home of the Alameda Sun World Headquarters since it began publishing in 2001. Both Encinal Avenue itself and its name are steeped in local history. 

The name comes from the Spanish for “oak forest” which aptly described the Alameda penninsula before the Gold Rush. On the first map we have of Alameda dating to 1776, Spanish Missionary Pedro Font clearly drew the forest as a significant landmark on the penninsula while his expedition explored the East Bay.

 

I never met a house that had written a book about itself until Alain Pinel Realtor Johanna Hall introduced me to the Craftsman-style cottage at 2516 Encinal Ave. 

 

A court and a nearby street off Lincoln Avenue recall one of Alameda’s pioneer families. Edwin Baird Mastick was born in Burton, Ohio, on March 22, 1824, to Benjamin and Elizabeth “Eliza” Tomlinson Mastick, the second of nine children. When Edwin was still an infant, his parents moved to Rockport, Ohio. Edwin attended law school in Cleveland and began to practice law there.

In 1848, Edwin married Lucretia Mary Wood. She was born in Henderson, N.Y., on Feb. 28, 1824, the last of 12 children. Mastick Court and Wood Street bear the married couple’s surnames. 

Wood no longer dressed like stone: Stick-style

Alameda is famous for its  Victorian-era homes built during Queen Victoria’s reign from 1837 to 1901. One of these, in the Stick style, is pictured on the right. 

Alameda Museum Curator George Gunn tells us that George Stark built this home in 1880 for Isaac Ayer. 

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