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

Main Street. The words evoke a thoroughfare with shops, a park and maybe city hall or other municipal building. Alameda’s Main Street boasts no such amenities.

In fact, the Island City’s Main Street runs nowhere near the center of town but skirts its periphery. Alameda’s Main Street has something in common with another Main Street arcoss the bay.

San Francisco’s Main Street and Alameda’s Main Street both bear Charles Main’s name.

In an effort to reduce Alameda’s electric costs and thereby lower greenhouse gas emissions, Alameda Municipal Power (AMP) has been converting more than 3,000 high pressure sodium street lights to energy efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs). These lights last longer — 20 years as opposed to 5.5 years — which helps reduce the utility’s maintenance costs.

On Oct. 27, 1849, the sidewheel steamer Senator entered San Francisco Bay with Charles Minturn aboard. Over the next 25 years until his death in 1874, Minturn left his mark on the transportation industry all around San Francisco Bay.

The Senator had left New York more than seven months earlier on March 10, 1849, with just one paying passenger, Jack Anderson, aboard. Credible word of the Jan. 24, 1848, discovery of gold had not reached the East Coast until President James K. Polk’s December 5, 1848, message to Congress.

About 500 people attended a ceremony aboard the USS Hornet that honored participants in the April 18, 1942, Doolittle Raid. Hornet trustee Bob Fish provided an overview of the daring raid.

Richard Nowatzki, a Hornet CV-8 crewman, who watched the B-25 aircraft take off from the flight deck provided an eyewitness account of the Doolittle Raiders aboard. He also accepted the medal awarded to USS Hornet officers and crew. He presented it to Hornet Museum CEO Scott Lindeman for permanent display at the museum.

Resident retells a story that should never be forgotten

April 9 marked the 70th anniversary of the execution of Dietrich Bonhoeffer by his Nazi captors in 1945.

Picture yourself in Hitler’s Germany where the Nazis were murdering children with genetic defects and adults with disabilities. Your Jewish neighbors were disappearing to concentration camps, never to be seen again. What would you do? Bonhoeffer, driven by his Christian faith, decided to join a resistance movement against Hitler and was arrested for his activities.