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

The story of the M-130 seaplanes that once called Alameda home

A Pan American World Airways ground crew waits as mechanics inspect one of the China Clipper’s engines. A photographer took this photograph at Alameda Ariport on Nov. 21, 1935. The following day the China Clipper made Pan Am’s maiden voyage to Manila.

irport home until 1938, when Pan American Airways moved its operations to Treasure Island.

The China Clipper taxis on the waters just off Alameda Airport on Nov. 22, 1935, set to take off on Pan Am’s first commercial flight acrosss the Pacific Ocean. The airline initiated passenger service to the Far East on Oct. 21, 1936. The Navy buried Alameda Airport beneath its runways in 1940.

Image courtesy Alameda Museum. Captain R. R. Thompson cashed out of the Oregon Steam Navigation Company and moved south: first to San Francisco, and then to Alameda, where he built this stately mansion in today’s Lincoln Park.

Robert R. Thompson moved to Alameda with his family in 1877. A steamboat captain, Thompson found wealth navigating the Columbia River. 

Before plying the Columbia,  Thompson had cashed in on the California gold rush. Now he intended to do the same in Oregon by mining a new breed of gold miners on their way north. 

Native Americans made Europeans aware of gold on the Fraser River in 1857. Word spread beyond this British Columbia outpost, setting off a gold rush and raising demand for travel on the Columbia River. 

Captain Robert R. Thompson once lived in a stately mansion in today’s Lincoln Park. Before coming to Alameda he made his fortune as a principal shareholder of the Oregon Steam Navigation Company. Thompson came overland to Oregon in 1846 on an emigrant wagon train.  

His wife, Harriet, and their three daughters, Eliza, Sarah and Mary made the trip with him. Historian T.C. Eliot tells us in the Oregon Historical Society quarterly that Thompson eked out a living his first two years “doing odd jobs at blacksmithing and tinkering of all sorts.”  

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