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


On Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017, Immanuel Lutheran Church on Lafayette Street will celebrate the 125th anniversary of the dedication of its church, the oldest sanctuary in Alameda. (Alameda has older congregations, but they worship in newer sanctuaries). Immanuel’s sanctuary on Lafayette Street is also the oldest Lutheran sanctuary on the West Coast.


America lost a hero last week when one of the two surviving Doolittle Raiders passed away in Missoula, Mont. David Thatcher’s death at age 94 left only one surviving member of that elite team. Eighty Doolittle Raiders boarded the USS Hornet CV-8 in Alameda on their way to surprise Japan. They departed on April 2, 1942; 16 days later they were flying 16 B-25 Army bombers over enemy territory. 


In 1916 Dr. Chauncey Penwell Pond and his wife, Josephine Kibby Pond, filed a plat map with Alameda County. They had purchased property on Alameda’s East End. The plat map showed plans for a housing development along a street that the Ponds chose to name “Sterling Avenue.” 


A World War I Red Cross nurse reaches out from across the room to visitors of the recently completed gallery at the Alameda Museum. The artist who drew her likeness was famous for his drawings of women. His “Fisher Girl” and “American Girl” became the epitome of beauty in America during the early part of the 20th century,” the website AskArt tells us. This artist, Harrison Fisher, spent much of his youth in Alameda with his parents, artist Hugo and Adelaide Fisher, and his brother Hugo. 

In 1890 three talented professionals teamed up to design and build the house at 1207 Union St. in Alameda — architect Charles Shaner and builders David Brehaut and J. C. Diamond. These men had a hand in designing or building more than 80 homes during the Victorian era in Alameda. 

The neighborhood was once part of Dr. James Hibbard’s property — land that he dubbed “The Town of Encinal and the Lands Adjacent.” Hibbard laid out his town in 1854, naming all the north-south streets for fish. Today’s Union Street bore the name “Pike Street.”