In recent weeks I helped host a citywide spelling bee in Alameda that was thought to be the first such event in recent memory. It has come to my attention that a district-wide spelling bee in 1900 holds an important place in Alameda history.
Alameda Naval Air Museum curator Larry Pirack discusses the role the Martin M-130 China Clipper played in the history of Alameda. The plane took off from Alameda Airport on Nov. 22, 1935, on history’s first trans-Pacific flight of a commercial airline. The model of the plane, pictured here, and a special room dedicated to the China Clipper are just some of the many displays at the museum located in Building 77 on Alameda Point. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday.
In 1965, the Golden Gate Audubon Society began working with Alameda conservationist Elsie Roemer to stop the Utah Construction and Mining Company from filling in salt marshes on Bay Farm Island. Conservationists, including Roemer, worked to preserve some of these marshes, including one along the shores of San Francisco Bay at the southern end of Broadway. When developers wanted to purchase this marsh, the East Bay Regional Park District stepped in and made it a part of Crown 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.