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

Once called the West End School and attended by famed author Jack London, today’s Longfellow School took its current name on Aug. 12, 1895.

The date coincided with the dedication of a magnificent new school building (right) at Pacific Avenue and Fifth Street. The leading local newspaper of the time, the Encinal, described the building as “a credit to the intelligence of our people” and “securing plenty of light and air.” 

The building was replaced with more modern facilities in 1942 that are still in use today as part of Alameda’s public school district.

To honor and salute American veterans, the USS Hornet Sea, Air and Space Museum hosts its annual Veterans Day Celebration Saturday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m.

The ceremony will be held on the ship’s hangar deck and speakers includes Capt.Michael C. McCarron, USN (ret.), Executive Director of the USS Hornet Museum; Rev. Dr. Wallace H. Whatley, pastor of the Alameda Baptist Church and Hornet Chaplain and crewmember of the Hornet since 1968, Bill Fee. The Hornet Swing Band will provide music for the ceremony. 


Veterans who served aboard the U. S. Navy oiler USS Kennebec, AO 36, gathered in Alameda with their spouses for their 17th annual reunion. This year’s confab coincided with Fleet Week on San Francisco Bay. 

During their stay, the veterans and their wives enjoyed a cruise aboard the USS Jeremiah O’Brien. They also visited the Alameda Museum, where they met with Mayor Trish Spencer. The mayor honored them with a proclamation declaring Friday, Oct. 6 “USS Kennebec Day.” 


The Island City’s Caroline Street bears the name of Caroline Elizabeth McLean Chipman Dwinelle. 

Caroline was born on March 18, 1833, in New York City and was educated at Rutgers College in New Jersey. In 1852 she and her four sisters — Josephine, Amanda, Virginia and Eugenie — sailed around Cape Horn to join their father and mother, Edward and Elizabeth, in San Francisco. Caroline also had two brothers, Edward and Alfred.


No parent ever wants to hear that a child is dead. Caroline Dwinelle had already buried two husbands and stood by one of her daughters as she buried a husband. On Wednesday afternoon, March 25, 1903, Caroline received word not just that her son Sheridan was dead, but that he had been murdered. Read more about Caroline on page 6.

Sheridan H. Chipman was a California blue blood. His father had laid the groundwork for the thriving City of Alameda. His stepfather had sat in the state Assembly and introduced the legislation that created the University of California.