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.

Tragic blaze compounds widow Emilie Cohen’s woes

The fire that destroyed Emilie Gibbons Cohen’s Alameda mansion in 1897, brought tragedy home to her at Fernside once again.

Almost 10 years before the fire Emilie received distressing news from New York. Her husband and the family patriarch, Alfred, was possibly near to breathing his last. Emilie boarded a train for Chicago, where she met her ailing husband.

Pat Hathaway in Monterey, Calif. holds a treasure that had its roots in Alameda: the works of Edgar A. Cohen that include more than 2,140 images on 5"x7" glass negatives, original prints, and some hand colored prints.

Cohen was a prominent local photographer. His father, Alfred A. Cohen, sowed the seeds that became the terminus of the Central Pacific Railroad’s transcontinental line: the San Francisco and Alameda Railroad. His mother, Emilie, was the daughter of a renowned San Francisco physician, Henry Gibbons.

The city’s creation of the Cross Alameda Trail has roots that stretch back some 13 years. In 2001 a group of interested Alamedan formed a steering committee to guide the concept from idea to fruition. Committee members included: Debra Arbuckle, Liz Bogan, Lucy Gigli, John Knox-White, Helena Lengel, Audrey Lord-Hausman, Melanie Mintz, Jon Spangler, Jean Sweeney and Bart Thurber.

Repairs needed to carriage house
At 115 years old, the carriage house at the Meyers House & Garden on Alameda Avenue is showing its age. The makeup applied to the outside of the structure and its new roof hides the fact that the fragile building is, well, falling apart at the seams.

In honor of former Encinal High School (EHS) Principal Frank Hanna’s passing, (see Local Deaths below) the Alameda Sun has chosen to retell the story of how a former Navy jet came to be posted in front of the school during his tenure.

In May 1984 a crowd gathered in front of EHS to celebrate the arrival of an A-4 Skyhawk jet. They looked on as workers backed the jet onto the lawn in front of the school. The aircraft had served the Marine Corps in Vietnam and in 1974 fell victim to a fire while in midair over San Francisco Bay.

Twin Towers United Methodist Church, 1411 Oak St., will host the sixth Women in Military History event at noon, Saturday, March 15. The celebration honors the military service of all women of all eras. An honor guard will welcome guests.

Delphine Metcalf-Foster, Disabled American Veterans’ third national junior vice commander and Major Esther C. Sablan, who commands the 129th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 129th Rescue Wing at Moffett Field, will make presentations.

Living Ship Day

The USS Hornet Museum will pay tribute to two local veterans of the famed World War II Tuskegee Air Group during its March Living Ship Day. The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American military aviators in the United States Armed Forces.

At 1 p.m. the Tuskegee veterans and Tuskegee historian Dave Cunningham will speak, followed by a public meet and greet.

The Hornet Band will perform big band music selections from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Air Group 11 Documentary