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


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. 


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.


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.