March 4, 2013

The Concrete Arch Bridge over San Leandro Creek

The following article appeared in the August 27, 1903, edition of Engineering News. It is about the E. 14th Street bridge over San Leandro Creek next to Root Park near the corner of Hays Street.

THE 80-FT. CONCRETE-ARCH BRIDGE OVER THE SAN LEANDRO CREEK, SAN LEANDRO, CAL.

By William B. Barber.

The accompanying illustrations show a concrete arch bridge which is rather interesting because of its span of 8IlA ft. built of un-reinforced concrete, This bridge crosses San Leandro Creek on the line of the county road between Oakland and San Leandro, Cal. Fig. 1 is a view of the completed bridge. and Fig. 2 shows the center and some of the dimensions of the arch ring.

San Leandro Concrete Arch Bridge 1903

The bridge is a monolithic structure, built entirely of concrete, and its total length is 192 ft. No iron whatever was used in the construction of any of the parts of the bridge. It is a five-centered, elliptical arch, with a rise of 26 ft., and a span of 81 ft. 3 ins.; the arch has. a 10° skew from a right angle and its thickness at the keystone is 3 ft. The centers as shown by the original plans were intended to rest upon sand boxes, but in the construction of the bridge wedges were substituted and were found to work very successfully.

Center and some dimension for San Leandro Concrete Arch Bridge

About two miles up the stream from the location of the bridge is a dam that impounds the water supply for the city of Oakland. During the time of the construction of the bridge very little water was in the creek, but after the footings had been set and the haunches had been built about one-third the way up on each side, the filters at the dam were cleaned and the construction work flooded. The wedges under the centerings were flooded and the ground softened. In order to make the arch self-sustaining and to allow it to carry the extra weight that was to follow, a ring of the concrete, 1 ft. in thickness, was built up and keyed. Work was then continued upon the haunches and the arch was built upon the inner ring to its full thickness, as shown in the plan. Thus it will be seen that the arch is really built of two distinct rings.

The arch spans a waterway having a total area of 1,650 sq. ft. The footings of the arch have a width of 30 ft. on each side and extend 5 ft. below the bed of the creek, resting upon a bed of clay which is slightly interspersed with gravel; the footings rest on the original clay without piles. After the second arch ring had been keyed and the fill nearly completed, a 3-ft. water main that supplies the city of Oakland burst, and, cutting its way around the south end of the bridge, flooded the arch and removed a large portion of the fill. This had no effect upon the stability of the arch.

The centers were struck ten days after the keying of the second arch ring and the settling at the crown of the arch did not exceed 1 ½ ins; The main retaining walls for the approach are built also of concrete and have a length of 90 ft.

The total amount of concrete used in the bridge was 3,384 cu. yds. Scales' brand of Portland cement was used In the footings, while above the haunches and in the crown of the arch, Alsen brand was used. The concrete mixture consisted of 7 barrels of rock of varying sizes, 2 barrels of sand; and 1 barrel of Portland cement. Two winters were allowed to pass in order to allow the fill over the arch to properly settle; and the contracts, have been let for the construction of a macadam roadway, 41 ft. wide, over: the bridge and cement walks, 8 ft. wide, on each side; a granite curbing, 10 ins. in width, separates the walks from the roadway. On each side of the bridge is a parapet wall, 3 ft. 6 ins. in height.

There were 90,000 ft. of lumber in the forms used in the construction of this bridge. The finish of the exposed surface did not receive a coat of plaster, surfaced lumber being used next to the face of the bridge. It was built in 1901 from plans prepared by the County Surveyor's Office of Alameda County, California, and the construction was under the superintendency of the same office. The bridge was constructed by the E. B. & A. L. Stone Co., of Oakland, whose contract price was $25,840.

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November 28, 2012

History of San Leandro's Library

The following history of San Leandro was prepared by Marie Tinsley in 1950. Tinsley was appointed Librarian in 1938.

HISTORY OF THE SAN LEANDRO FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY

Prepared by Miss Marie E. Tinsley, September 28, 1950

(From Standard-Observer, April 26, 1919). In 1892 a circulating library club was organized with dues fixed at $.50 per month. Funds thus realized were used to buy books in popular demand. The association had headquarters at office of San Leandro Standard on Davis Street where Editor Truesdale acted as librarian. After several months, interest flagges, dues were hard to collect and the collection of books remaining passed into hands of librarian in lieu of salary unpaid.

Next concerted effort was a benefit entertainment by a group of local young people, a dramatic performance on April 12, 1902, which netted $39.00. Sum deposited in Bank of San Leandro.

From 1902 - 1905 Library spirit waned. During these years O.J. Lynch had a small collection of books in his store (now Ortzow's Drug Store ), consisting of volumes donated by various persons, and loaned without charge. The Ebell Club of Oakland heard of his efforts and in 1903 supplemented his stock with a case of books from their circulating library. The considerable demand for these books aroused interest of Daniel McCarthy and at his suggestion an application was made to the then recently organized circulating department or California State Library at Sacramento. 50 volumes were obtained, with bookcase and charging system.

On May 3, 1905, O.J. Lynch, L. D. McArdle, L. B. Critchlow, Dr. C. H. Miller, and Dr. K. B. Smith, met and organized the San Leandro Public Library Association. Mr. Lynch was elected President and Mr. McArdle, Secretary-Treasurer and Librarian. Books were removed to the office of the San Leandro Oyster Company, where Mr. McArdle gave an hour a day to library work.

After a few months Mr. McArdle left San Leandro and the library was once more placed in charge of Tony Thomas and Mr. Lynch in the drug store of the latter, where it remained for several months.

Near the close of 1905, Dr. Miller and Mr. Lynch, sole remaining representatives of the Library Association, petitioned the City Trustees that they should assume charge of the rapidly growing institution. Board of City Trustees gave the matter their enthusiastic support, and besides appointing a Board of Library Trustees, made a 5 mill increase in the tax levy for the support of the library.

San Leandro Free Library, 1907
San Leandro's first free library was located on E. 14th Street near Ward Street (Now W. Estudillo Ave.). Note the watering trough in front.

The San Leandro Free Public Library began its existence on the evening of January 31, 1906, when the newly appointed Board of Library Trustees met in the office of Judge Frank. There were present, A.B.Cary, Mrs. J.H. Garcia, Mrs. R.D.James, Dr. C.H.Miller, and A.A.Rogers, and the board organized by electing M. Rogers, and President Dr. Miller, Secretary.

The new board immediately appointed Miss Mary Brown to be Librarian and petitioned the City Trustees for permission to remove the library to the City Hall. In its quarters in the general meeting room, the popularity of the library increased by leaps and bounds, as evidenced by the fact that the daily circulation doubled each month for the first three months.

About the middle of the year the library was forced to seek new quarters on account of the necessity for more room for the Citizens Relief Committee caring for refugees from the San Francisco earthquake.

[The rest of the history is after the break.]

A room in the Borman Block leased and fitted with shelving and tables, answered the requirements for many months.

Toward the end of 1907 it was proposed that application should be made to Andrew Carnegie for funds to erect a suitable library building, and Talcot Patchen Cary made an unsolicited offer of the site on Estudillo Avenue, this offer on condition that citizens of San Leandro subscribe a sum of at least $2000.00 to be used in the purchase of books and furniture, before February 1, 1908, and that the building be erected on the property as expeditiously as possible.

The San Leandro Board of Trade, the Alta Mira Club, and the City Trustees went to work at once and secured the needed subscriptions.

(*A list of donors of gifts from $100 to $5 is given in the San Leandro Reporter, Feb. 8, 1908)

(From San Leandro Reporter, February 8, 1908.) Gift of Mr. T. P. Cary was given under the following conditions:

1. That upon said described lot a building be erected to be used as a Free Public Library.

2. That said land be not used for any other purpose except for the erection of library building, as aforesaid, including reading rooms, assembly hall, and kindred purposes.

3. That no less than the sum of $10,000 be expended for the library building only.

4. That said library building be completed wi thin eighteen months from date hereof.

5. That the sum of $2,000, at least, be collected from the citizens of San Leandro and held at the disposal of the Board of Library Trustees to be expended for furnishing the library building when completed.

6. I reserve the right to remove the barn now upon the premises.

Mr. William H. Weeks of Watsonville was the architect who prepared the plans for the building.

Word was received from Andrew Carnegie on May 11, 1908, that $10,00 was at the disposal of the library trustees. Bids were called for and Ernest Anderson secured the contract to erect the building for the sum of $9,200. The painting cost $300.00 more.

However, before the building was completed, the trustees realized that on account of the increase in the size of the city by reason of the annexation of the large territory on the the Oakland side of San Leandro Creek, more accommodations would be needed. They petitioned Mr. Carnegie for an additional $2,000.00 to finish the basement for men's reading room and auditorium, which was granted, and March 1909 saw the completion of the new library.

Miss Mary Brown as librarian and the Board of Library Trustees: A.B.Cary, President; Dr. C.H.Miller, Secretary; Mrs. J.H. Garcia, Mrs Josephine Russell, and C.A.Harwell.

The dedication of the new building took place on May 14, 1909.

San Leandro Carnegie Library, 1908-1909
San Leandro Carnegie Library, 1908-1909

In 1936-1937, by an addition to the building, the capacity was doubled. This addition, made possible by the fines accumulated through many years, and through the aid of W.P.A. funds and workers, was called the "Mary Brown Addition" to honor the years of untiring service of the librarian, Miss Mary Brown, who resigned in 1938 because of ill health.

Miss Marie Tinsley, who was appointed Librarian in 1938, has held that position up to the present.

Even with the additional space and equipment, the library has been pressed to keep up with the phenomenal growth of San Leandro. In 1940 the Broadmoor Branch Library, formerly a County Library Branch, was taken over as a branch of the City Library for full support and administration.

In 1940, July 16th, a new Children's Room was formally opened to the public. The Auditorium in the basement had been remodelled and redecorated and shelving added. With its own outside entrance, it provided an ideal home for the youngsters from four to fifteen.

In 1947-48, extensive changes were made in the basement. The book-mending room, removed to another part of the building, became a staff and board room. Storage and toilet facilities were added, a dumb waiter for moving books was installed, and the Children's Room was redecorated and fluorescent lights replaced the outmoded ones.

A few statistics may show quickly the growth of both city library. How soon the "seams" will have to be "let out" once more remains to been seen. The present library board are deeply interested in all questions concerning the welfare of the library and devote many hours to consideration of needs, problems, and their solution.

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October 12, 2012

San Leandro Residents Tell Their Stories as Part of Library Project

At the Day at the Casa event at Casa Peralta on September 22, 2012, a packed room watched six San Leandro residents tell their stories and the stories of their families. They were produced by the San Leandro Public Library in conjunction with the Media Arts Center of San Diego.

If you weren't able to make the event, you can now view each of the stories online at the City of San Leandro's YouTube channel.

In one video, Yuriko Yokota tells the story of her San Leandro flower nursery, M Yokota Nursery Inc., located where the San Leandro Volvo dealership is currently located on Marina Boulevard. Yokota had been in a Japanese American internment camp for three years before moving to San Leandro after World War II and her battle over eminent domain with the City of San Leandro was detailed in the San Francisco Chronicle. Yokota also tells the story her internment at Topaz Relocation Center in Utah during World War II when she was 27 at http://blip.tv/san-leandro-stories/the-sting-of-prejudice-by-yuriko-yokota-3759224

Brian Copeland moved to San Leandro as a young boy and chronicled his experience growing up in San Leandro's Washington Manor neighborhood in the one-man show “Not a Genuine Black Man,” which provided the genesis for a book of the same name.

Life-long San Leandro resident Marcia Cronin recalls growing up in San Leandro.

Joe Borelli tells his story of working at the cannery in San Leandro and living in employee housing with his mother as a young boy.

Links to additional videos after the break.

Pearl Hernandez Johnston tells the story of her Spanish parent's immigration to the US and life in San Leandro.

Life-long San Leandro resident Paul Moura shares his family story about his father, who emigrated from the Portuguese Madeira Islands to San Leandro, California and owned Housewives Fish Market in Oakland, California.

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December 4, 2011

San Leandro Community Members to be Honored at Monday City Council Meeting

According to a press release issued November 28, 2011, on Monday, December 5, 2011, the San Leandro City Council will present awards to members of the community to recognize their leadership.

The Mayor's Award of Excellence will be presented to Chad Pennebaker, president of the San Leandro Scholarship Foundation for the past six years and a frequent volunteer in San Leandro schools.

The Mayor's Award for Excellence in Business will be presented to J. Patrick Kennedy, the President and founder of OSIsoft, and the force behind Lit San Leandro, a project to create a fiber-optic loop around the City.

In District 1, Deborah Cox will be honored for her work as the President and founder of the San Leandro Education Foundation, President of the Estudillo Homeowners Association, leadership in school groups, including parcel tax and bond campaigns, and her service on the Boards of Leadership San Leandro, PACE, and the California Conservatory Theater.

In District 2, Charles Gilcrest will be honored for his service on the Human Services Commission and Board of Zoning Adjustments. Gilcrest is also President of the Business Association of South San Leandro and the Halcyon Foothill Neighborhood Association. Gilcrest serves as a campaign consultant and ran against Councilmember Ursula Reed in 2008.

In District 3, Lee Thomas will be honored for his service as President of the Floresta Homeowner's Association, on the Human Services Commission and the Board of Zoning Adjustments. Thomas also serves on the Shoreline Development Citizen’s Advisory Committee.

In District 4, Marti Lantz will be honored for her service as President of the Washington Homeowners Association, leadership in school groups, and is a Regional Director with Naval Sea Cadet Corps.

In District 5, Anna and John Tandi will be honored for their service as volunteers with Anna on the Board of Friends of San Leandro Creek and involvement at St. Leander Church and school groups and John as a member of the Buon Tempo Club, the Elks Club, and Moose Club.

In District 6, Carole Rinaldi, will honored for her service on the Library-Historical Commission, President of the Marina Faire Homeowner's Association, and the Shoreline Development Citizen's Advisory Committee. Rinaldi has also coordinated the Leadership San Leandro program for the past 15 years.

The awards began in 1999 when former Mayor Shelia Young presented the Mayor's Award of Excellence to Tom Guarino for restarting the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce. The next year Susan Kleebauer received the Mayor's Award for her role in rebuilding the San Leandro Library.

These awards continued until Tony Santos was elected Mayor in 2006. Previous recipients, provided by Community Relations Representative Kathy Ornelas, are listed below.

2000

  • District 1 – Ann Hague

  • District 2 – Doris Marx

  • District 3 – Joe Savio

  • District 4 – Eleanor Bolesworth

  • District 5 – Marie Lothrop

  • District 6 – Bessie Parafina

  • Mayor's Award of Excellence – Susan Kleebauer


2001
  • District 1 – John Faria

  • District 2 – Lucille Kline

  • District 3 – Robert Kvam

  • District 4 – Madge Basuino

  • District 5 – Frank Cerruti

  • District 6 – Betty Bailey

  • Mayor's Award of Excellence – Dale Reed


2002
  • District 1 – Pat Raposo

  • District 2 – Mary Bystedt

  • District 3 – Barbara Tierney

  • District 4 – Barbara Sidari

  • District 5 – Bob Grazzini

  • District 6 – Ernie Low

  • Mayor's Award of Excellence - City Manager Emeritus Wes McClure

  • Mayor’s Award of Excellence in Business - Larsen Brothers Lumber Company


2003
  • District 1 – Bob Maginnis

  • District 2 – Greg Romani

  • District 3 – Bill Perras

  • District 4 – Evelyn Plate

  • District 5 – Denise Bownds Kaplan

  • District 6 – Esther Holcomb

  • Mayor's Award of Excellence – Martin A. Francis

  • Mayor’s Award of Excellence in Business – SL Chamber of Commerce

2004

  • District 1 – Sara Zoffada

  • District 2 – Harold Kitzmann

  • District 3 – Peter DiGregorio

  • District 4 – Alban Cayere

  • District 5 – Shirley McManus

  • District 6 – Audrey Albers

  • Youth Leadership Award – Amy Fong

  • Mayor's Award of Excellence – Faith Frazier

  • Mayor’s Award of Excellence in Business – Ghirardelli Chocolate


2005
  • District 1 – John Chovanes

  • District 2 – George Hansen and Janice Maldonado

  • District 3 – Verna Corum

  • District 4 – Simone Shuttleworth

  • District 5 – Tim Holmes

  • District 6 – Kent Myers

  • Youth Leadership Award – Karen Wong

  • Mayor's Award of Excellence – Maria and LeVern Cabral

  • Mayor’s Award of Excellence in Business – Deadrich Realty

2006

  • District 1 – Kathe Frates

  • District 2 – The Reverend Sarah Reyes

  • District 3 – Caryl Ann Symons

  • District 4 – V.I.E.U. – Mission Bay

  • District 5 – Patty Silva

  • District 6 – Luster Knight

  • Youth Leadership Award – Norris Mei

  • Mayor's Award of Excellence – Heidi Finberg

  • Mayor’s Award of Excellence in Business – Kraft Foods

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October 17, 2011

Brian Copeland Gets His Day in San Leandro

In 1972, when Brian Copeland was eight, his family moved from Oakland to San Leandro, California, hoping for a better life. At the time, San Leandro was 99.4 percent white, known nationwide as a racist enclave. This reputation was confirmed almost immediately: Brian got his first look at the inside of a cop car, for being a black kid walking to the park with a baseball bat. That story became the basis for "Not a Genuine Black Man," his solo show that began at The Marsh theater in 2004 and the last performance was more than seven years later at the Marsh Arts Center in Berkeley last month.

Thirty-nine years later, San Leandro Mayor Stephen Cassidy proclaimed October 19, 2011, as Brian Copeland day, honoring him as an ambassador of San Leandro. The text of the proclamation:

WHEREAS, Brian Copeland moved to San Leandro with his family as a small child and has remained a resident, proclaiming "San Leandro is my home town"; and

WHEREAS, Brian Copeland attained celebrity for his work in the news media, as a comedian, and most notably for authoring a poignant book about growing up in San Leandro during a time of discrimination and racism which grew into his highly successful one-man play, "Not A Genuine Black Man"; and

WHEREAS, in telling his story, Brian Copeland has become an ambassador for San Leandro, and demonstrates how one can overcome adversity, how neighbors can become friends, and the change that has occurred within San Leandro communities; and

WHEREAS, for more than twenty years, Brian Copeland has been a champion of the Davis Street Family Resource Center, supporting its programs and services in many ways, most notably by raising thousands of dollars every year for the children's nutrition program to ensure that preschool children in the Center's programs have a hot and nutritious breakfast; and

WHEREAS, Brian Copeland's philanthropy and celebrity have brought acclaim and honor to this community.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Stephen H. Cassidy, Mayor of the City of San Leandro, on behalf of the City Council, do hereby proudly proclaim October 19,2011 as "BRIAN COPELAND DAY" in San Leandro.

Copeland's new solo play, "The Waiting Period," will preview at San Francisco's Marsh Theater in November and will open in January. Copeland also is the host of the talk show 7LIVE weekdays at 3pm.

Copelands_day.jpg
Brian Copeland and son Casey
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July 23, 2011

San Leandro in 1907

The following article about San Leandro appeared in the September 1907 edition of Out West Magazine:

SAN LEANDRO
By W. J. LOCKE

"OH. HOW BEAUTIFUL! I had no idea this was such a lovely place."

This or some other similar expression, is the one which invariably falls from the lips of those beholding San Leandro for the first time; and a stay of any length in the town always convinces the sojourners that their first impression was no mistake.

This charming burg lies on the eastern side of San Francisco Bay, about four miles below Fruitvale, and occupies about the same relative position to Oakland on the south as Berkeley does on the north.

It is no exaggeration to say that San Leandro has the most even climate of any locality in the State, the United States Weather Reports of 1906 showing the average to be sixty-two degrees Fahrenheit in summer, and sixty degrees in winter, which is unquestionably an incomparable record--a place where "Jack Frost" is a stranger and the severe rigors of winter unknown, likewise, a place never oppressive with the sultry heat of summer.

This remarkable equality in climate is due largely, if not entirely. to the proximity of the ocean, the cool breezes of which temper not only the sun's rays, but the severe chills of winter as well.

The damp fogs which creep through the Golden Gate seldom reach San Leandro, and when they do come that far, it is always at such an elevation as to be entirely unobjectionable.

San Leandro is on the line of two transcontinental railroads, the Southern Pacific and the Western Pacific. Additional passenger service is given by the Oakland Transit Consolidated, which runs through the main street of the city and connects with the ten-minute ferry-service across the bay to San Francisco. The other railroad improvements which are now under construction will undoubtedly in a very short time place the town on an equal footing with Berkeley as regards both service and rates.

View of San Leandro

Of all other things, San Leandro is probably best noted for its beautiful streets.. In the early history of the bicycle craze it was here that many a famous record-run was made. At the present writing the automobile enthusiasts are proposing to hold the Vanderbilt Cup races here, and the arrangements are in a fair way to be made.

Estudillo Avenue, which connects the San Leandro Road with the new Scenic Boulevard, is without a rival in the state for beauty. Tall overhanging locust-trees meeting overhead, give the appearance of a roadway through a veritable tunnel of green foliage.

The new Scenic Boulevard referred to is almost completed to San Leandro, It is a wide. finely-paved roadway, running along the foot-hills as far as Haywards, and will cost the county nearly half a million dollars. It is claimed that more automobiles run through San Leandro than anywhere else in California.

The Plaza in San Leandro

The fine climate makes. this locality a choice spot for fruits and flowers. Cherries and apricots are the principal fruit-products, with apples, peaches, pears and plums in lesser quantity. Berries and melon do equally well. San Leandro has on more than one occasion furnished the first raspberries to the San Francisco market. All kinds of table-vegetables do fully as well as fruits and melons, and the value of the vegetable products is quite equal to that of the fruit. Situated about a mail east of the town, nestling in the foot-hills, is beautiful Lake Chabot, famous not only for its scenic beauty, but also for the fact that its waters are restrained by the largest earth-dam in the world. A good roadway runs for five miles along the western shores of the lake, and makes an attractive drive. Lake Chabot furnishes the town with water, and also contributes to the water-supply of Oakland.

San Leandro is an ideal manufacturing city, by reason of being on the line of two transcontinental roads and having a climate which enables men lo work at their best in all seasons of the year. The largest plant now located here is that of the Best Manufacturing Company, devoted principally to making harvesting machinery, traction engines, crude-oil engines and other machinery of that class. It occupies over two square blocks and gives employment to over three hundred men. Its business is steadily on the increase.

The Junior Monarch Hay Press Works are also located here. The "Junior Monarch" and "Little Giant" hay presses are well known all over the West.

Here, also, is the home of the popular "Boss Ladder" made by Driver, Aber & Co., who, by the way, are the largest ladder-manufacturers on the Coast.

A Street in San Leandro

The Pacific Preserves Company and the California Fruit Canners' Association, both have large establishments here, which during the season give enjoyment to a considerable number of people.

San Leandro has its quota of schools and churches. The primary and grammar school buildings are well located in a spacious block with attractive grounds. Both schools have a good record. There is also a Catholic convent for young ladies, under charge of the Dominican Sisters, where all English branches are taught, besides foreign languages, music, painting and fancy work. Boarding pupils left in their care are given a complete education.

A modern paid fire department is one of the proud possessions of the city, which was recently augmented by the addition of a powerful gasoline fire-engine. The trustees now have in contemplation the installation of a fire alarm telegraph, which will put the town in first-class rank as regards fire protection.

Residence Near San Leandro

Bridge Over San Leandro Creek

Estudillo Avenue in San Leandro

The Suburban Electric Light Company has its head office here and supplies light and power to many surrounding towns. San Leandro itself is admitted to be one of the best lighted towns in the State.

Another distinguishing feature is the number of fraternal orders located here. Every prominent fraternal society is represented and they all have a good membership and apparently thrive. Consequently social entertainment is never lacking.

In conclusion, it can be truthfully said that this charming locality possesses extraordinary features. Its proximity to San Francisco and the fast growing city of Oakland makes it convenient for "suburbanites." The railroad improvements contemplated and those under construction will undoubtedly double its population within a short time.

As a manufacturing locality, as a place of residence or for investment, San Leandro offers exceptional attractions.

A San Leandro Home (Dunsmuir House)

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July 8, 2011

Former San Leandro City Manager Lee Riordan Dies

Riordan_small.jpg
Former San Leandro City Manager Lee Riordan
Former San Leandro City Manager LeRoy E. "Lee" Riordan died on July 2, 2011, after a brief illness. Riordan started working in San Leandro's finance department in 1952 after working as an Administrative Analyst for the US Air Force. He was appointed Assistant City Manager in 1956 and served in that position for 20 years before he was appointed City Manager in 1976 when Wes McClure retired. After ten years as City Manager, Riordan retired briefly and then served as the City Manager for Monterey from 1987 until 1991. From 1991 until 1996, Riordan served as the Advisor to the Mayor Association of Monterey County.

Elected officials and city officials who worked with Riordan had nothing but praise for him. John Jermanis, who worked under Riordan, said, "Lee was a great guy; he was highly regarded by his many friends and colleagues and will be missed." Jermanis noted that "he [Riordan] placed an emphasis on disaster training for staff" and also worked with the City Council to establish a reserve fund (later used in 1998 for the Hillside Drive landslides).

Former San Leandro Mayor Tony Santos said of Riordan, "He assisted me in learning about city budgets; I came from the private sector and did not have experience in city budgeting."

Bob Glaze, the former Councilmember for District 4, said, "He was strong but could sit down and help to bring people to consensus. His "can do" attitude was instrumental in the return of the Cherry festival, cherry tree plantings, the cherry symbol of the street signs and the celebration of the city and the people."

Former Mayor Shelia Young said she will "remember him as someone who had a passion for San Leandro and lived it."

Riordan was City Manager when Proposition 13 was passed and when recession drove interest rates to all-time highs. Financing became so prohibitive that a planned multi-story shopping center with underground parking could not be completed, but was salvaged in a public-private deal resulting in the large parking lot and single story buildings known as Washington Plaza Shopping Center.

Projects started while Riordan was City Manager include the Greenhouse Market Place, Parkside apartments, and Marina Square shopping center (formerly Pacific High School). The Marina Inn and the original Tony Lema 18-hole golf course were completed under Riordan's tenure.

After his second retirement, Riordan served as a Range Rider from 1997 until 2003, making "the counsel, experience and support of respected retired City Managers available to active local government Managers and Administrators."

Riordan served as the President of the Municipal Management Association of Northern California in the 1950s and was a member of the Board of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA).

Mayor Stephen Cassidy adjourned the July 5, 2011, meeting of the City Council in memory of Riordan and flags will be flown at half-staff at City facilities for one week. No information about funeral services was available.

Update: Corrected to eliminate Blue Dolphin as construction began in 1965, prior to Riordan's tenure as City Manager.

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December 29, 2010

San Leandro History at City Hall

On the wall at the northeast end of City Hall, five sets of images and words describe San Leandro History from the Ohlone Indians to farms and industrialization. The images were collected and words written by Cindy Simons, a retired San Leandro librarian, in 2002. Simons is also the author of San Leandro (Images of America: California), part of an Arcadia Publishing series on American history.

Here is the text that Simons wrote about San Leandro's history:

San Leandro
Proud of Our Past -- Looking to the Future

San Leandro history, as does California history, reflects changing cultures and land use-from the first Native American inhabitants, to the ranchos of the Spanish and Mexican periods, to the massive influx of people from all over the world during the Gold Rush, to the 20th Century transformation from agriculture to industry. The Ohlones, called Costanoans by the Spanish, were the first people in the San Leandro area. Archaeological evidence and accounts of the first Spanish explorers indicate several Ohlone villages in the East Bay. Deer, bear, and other wild game, shellfish, acorn meal, wild oats, seeds, and berries provided abundant food for the skilled Ohlone hunters and gatherers. The first Europeans in the San Leandro area were a Spanish exploring party in 1772, led by Captain Pedro Fages. Father Crespi's diary of the Fages expedition is the first written description of this land. Spanish settlement, the conscription of the Ohlone into Mission San Jose, and the rapid influx of settlers during the Gold Rush devastated the Ohlone culture.

In 1820, a land grant was given to retired Spanish soldier Don Luis Maria Peralta. His 44,000-acre land grant, stretching from San Leandro Creek to present-day EI Cerrito, was named Rancho San Antonio. He divided the land among his four sons, Ignacio, Antonio Marla, Vicente, and José Domingo. Ignacio settled in the area that was to become San Leandro. In 1842, Don José Joaquin Estudillo, also a retired Spanish soldier, was granted 7,000 acres of land from San Leandro Creek south into the present-day San Lorenzo area.

He named his land grant Rancho San Leandro. The Peraltas and Estudillos raised cattle on their land, exchanging hides and tallow for the cloth, furniture, equipment, and other goods brought by trading ships.

With the discovery of gold in 1848, people from all over the world rushed to California seeking instant wealth. The fertile land, mild climate, and access to shipping on San Francisco Bay brought disappointed goldseekers and other settlers to the San Leandro area. Spanish ranchos gave way to farms. Fruit orchards and vegetables crops began to fill the land. Cherries were one of San Leandro's well-known crops, honored by the Cherry Festivals since 1909.

In 1855, John Ward, a son-in-law of Joaquin Estudillo, filed a map of a town site to be called San Leandro. In 1856, San Leandro became the Alameda County seat. The county courthouse stood at the corner of Davis and Clarke Streets. The major Hayward Fault earthquake of 1868, which destroyed the county courthouse, was one factor in the relocation of the county seat to Oakland in 1873. San Leandro was incorporated as a town on March 21, 1872, one hundred years and a day after the Fages expedition.

Industry. as well as farming, was important in the development of San Leandro. The San Francisco, Alameda and Stockton Railroad, built in the 1860s, offered relatively cheap transportation. Many factories were located near this rail line. One of the earliest was the San Leandro Plow Company, which was purchased by pioneer Daniel Best. He formed Best Agricultural Works, which later merged into Caterpillar Tractor.

During and after World War II, San Leandro's population grew rapidly. Bay Area shipyards and military installations drew thousands of people to the area. From 1940 to 1950, and again from 1950 to 1960, the population doubled and thousands of homes sprang up in the community. In addition to population growth, 87 industrial parcels and 27 non-industrial tracts were annexed to the City between 1942 and 1965. Pelton Shopping Center, one of the first of the open-air shopping malls in California, was developed to meet the growing residential demand for commercial services.

By the late 1960s, the City was largely built out, with little land available for development or annexation. Recent decades have been a period of cultural diversification. This period has also seen a move away from San Leandro's traditional large Industry base, and a move toward small manufacturers making high-end products that require highly skilled workers.

San Leandro has grown from a population of 426 in the 1870 census, to 2,253 in 1900, to 11,455 in 1930, to 65,698 in 1970. and to 79,452 in the year 2000. As we face the challenges of the 21st Century, we look to our past with pride, and to our future with the forethought and spirit of the people who came before us. These photographs, from the San Leandro Library's Historical Photograph and Document Collection, provide a glimpse of the farms and small town life that once were San Leandro.

One Hundred Years Ago in San Leandro

In the first decade of the 20th Century, the 2,253 residents of San Leandro were a thriving community of farmers, industrial workers, and business people. An electric railway already transported passengers between Oakland and Hayward, stopping in San Leandro. The railroad on the west end of town was carrying produce and industrial goods to other markets. The first bank had been established, and the Morse/King Cannery and the Daniel Best Agricultural Works employed hundreds. Anthony Chabot's dam on San Leandro Creek had created Lake Chabot Reservoir. The 20th Century dawned quietly, but brought vast changes to our small town. What was here a hundred years ago, before computers, before television, almost before automobiles?
Horses were still the mainstay of local transportation, but automobiles were beginning their ascendance. Daniel Best built the first horseless carriage in San Leandro in 1898. Contests between local drivers were so keen that a portion of Joaquin Avenue was, by ordinance, declared a "Speedway" - over the protest of several property owners. Bicycles were popular as well, and an ordinance to restrict the speed of bicycles to eight miles per hour included the provision that bicyclists should not appear on the streets with bare legs on penalty of a $25.00 fine. Increased motor traffic created a demand for better streets and roads and the replacement of a "creaky" covered wooden bridge over San Leandro Creek with a concrete bridge built In 1901. This concrete bridge still carries traffic on East 14th Street over San Leandro Creek. Although the bridge has been expanded, the original structure is visible from underneath the bridge.

Electricity brought many changes. Streetlights were changed from coal oil to gasoline in 1900, and then on July 15, 1903, electric streetlights were turned on for the first time. Electric lights were common In businesses by the turn of the century. New residential wiring was reported almost every week. In the photograph above of Hayward Avenue (now East 14th Street), the number of insulators on the telephone poles Indicates dozens of telephone connections.

Turn-of-the-century San Leandro found entertainment in many places. Church bazaars, fairs, parades, and festivals were popular. Many clubs and organizations were active at this time, including the Ausonia Club, the Sociedade Portuguesa Reinha Santa Isabel (S.P.R.S.I.), a tennis club, the San Leandro Baseball Club, and dozens of others.
In the early 1900s, San Leandro children attended Union Public School, located at Clarke, Saunders (W. Juana), Carpentier, and Hepburn (W. Joaquin). Increasingly crowded, Union School was torn down and replaced by Lincoln School in 1910.

Modernization may have been the driving force of the early 20th Century, but San Leandro was still primarily a farming community. An ordinance passed in 1903 prohibited the keeping of swine within the city's limits, but still allowed two cows per citizen having less than two acres of land. Bruce Elerick writes of those days in San Leandro, "It was a time of relative peace and prosperity in Alameda County. A time of hard work, of 12-hour 6-day work weeks.. Younger boys played in knickers, knee length socks, and caps; little girls in petticoats, aprons, and 'pig tails.' There was a car or two banging around disturbing the hum of bees. but horses and wagons were still the mode of the day . . It was a lovely time to be alive and the most spectacular sight of all was the cherry trees in blossom, thousands of cherry trees as far as the eye could see."

San Leandro Celebrates Cherries

San Leandro calls itself the "Cherry City" and a cluster of cherries adorns the city seal. Cherry trees still grow in back yards, but once cherry orchards sprawled across the San Leandro plain, delighting residents with their scent and lovely blossoms in spring, and their luscious fruit in early summer.

John Henry Begier, William Meek, and the Lewelling brothers are particularly associated with cherries in the East Bay. Mr. Begier, known as The Cherry King, laid out many of San Leandro's orchards and helped start the fruit shipping industry. Begier personally wheeled a portion of his first eastern shipment of cherries to the train depot in a wheelbarrow, thereby creating a San Leandro legend. Meek introduced new methods of crop rotation and irrigation. The Lewelling brothers were instrumental ill starting the fruit industry on the entire Pacific Coast. Two years before the Gold Rush, Henderson Lewelling carried grafted fruit trees in soil-filled boxes in the bed of his wagon from, Iowa to Oregon, where he started a nursery. Eventually, Henderson, John, and Seth Lewelling all settled in the East Bay, and they shipped thousands of trees from their nurseries. Henderson named the Royal Anne cherry, and Seth developed the Bing cherry, named for his Chinese foreman in Oregon.

The San Leandro Independence Day celebration of 1892, with a cherry-themed float and cherry refreshments, was a precursor to the later cherry festivals. Around this time, many smaller communities, taking their cue from county fairs, established their own festivals, usually focused on one crop. San Leandro chose to honor the cherry.
The first Cherry Festival took place on June 4 and 5, 1909. Red and green decorations, cherries, flags, and flowers bedecked the city, and the Plaza was ablaze with electric lights. A band concert, a parade, rides, concessions, a queen, a 21-gun salute, and a grand ball were just some of the events that led the Oakland Enquirer to report that it was the county's greatest carnival ever, and the host City was "as full of carnival spirit and joy as her orchards were full of cherries. "

The Cherry festival of 1910 started with a ballot scandal, when competing newspapers In Oakland and San Leandro each declared a different Festival queen. The matter was resolved when the San Leandro Reporter owner refunded $600 for ballots purchased to elect Virgie Wilson, who accepted the prize of a trip to Los Angeles. and Mabel Furtado became the official queen.

The 1911 Cherry Festival drew a huge crowd of 75,000, but in 1912 attendance dropped to 40,000. When the organizer of the 1913 Festival underwent surgery shortly before the Festival, it was decided to cancel the event. Cherry festivals were not held for the next decade, although a San Leandro contingent--including a cherry-covered car--participated in Alameda County Day at the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition.

Festivals were held again from 1922 to 1931, then the tradition lay dormant for decades. Planning for the Centennial celebration renewed interest in the Festival, and a 1972 Cherry Festival echoed the events of the first one. Bessie Best, the first Cherry Festival Queen of 1909, crowned the 1972 queen Ruth Phillips.

In 1986, the Cherry Festival was revived as an annual event, celebrating the community spirit that is still here, and honoring the orchards that once filled San Leandro.

San_Leandro_Plaza_1890-1910.jpg

San Leandro Plaza

The Plaza, formed by the triangular intersection of East 14th Street and Watkins (now Washington), has always been central to San Leandro's cultural life. The street we now call East 14th was once called El Camino Real - the route traveled between Mission San Jose and the San Antonio area of what is now Oakland. Later it was called Haywards Road (Hayward shed its "s" in 1894), or Oakland Road, depending on which direction and which section you were traveling. As the major route between the southern and northern East Bay, this well-traveled road became the center from which the town site of San Leandro was laid out. The Plaza was one of four parcels set aside for public use when the map of the town site to be called San Leandro was filed in 1855.

From 1855 until 1918, the elegant Estudillo House - a hotel, restaurant, and stage and streetcar stop - attracted visitors to the Plaza. Way back in 1855, says Leslie J. Freeman, "it was about a half day's coach ride from Oakland to San Leandro, where you stopped and had lunch at the old Estudillo House. Your next stop was at the Hotel Hayward." A fountain anchored the northern end of the Plaza for many years. Three palms trees were planted in 1890. "Little Betsy," a cannon captured during the war in the Philippines, was placed in the Plaza in the early 1900s - where it stayed for almost 40 years, until a scrap iron drive during World War II claimed it.

Cherry Festivals and Independence Day Parades brought crowds of celebrants to the Plaza many times, but the most notable celebration was the opening of the Oakland, San Leandro & Haywards Electric Railway on May 7, 1892. The first passenger run began at the Oakes Hotel in Haywards, with stops opposite the Estudillo House on the San Leandro Plaza, the California Railway Crossing in East Oakland, and at the central terminal at 13th Avenue. Harry Shaffer, the author of A Garden Grows in Eden, says, "This was a festive occasion, with free rides for children, speeches, and general rejoicing that one could now travel along this route without being mired down in the miserable roads. A whole new era of developments for homes opened, and a rash of subdivisions appeared. For almost forty years, this line continued to be an important link between the three cities."

A 165-foot flagpole was installed in the Plaza in 1897. A dramatic rescue occurred in 1909, when a lineman repairing the top portion of the pole fell. He hung upside-down by his foot-strap, while a crowd below watched, until two other men were able to climb the pole and bring him down.

In 1909, the California Federation of Women's Clubs placed an El Camino Real Bell in San Leandro. This was one of hundreds of bells placed throughout the state to mark the King's Highway running from mission to mission in California's Spanish era. What is now East 14th Street was the inland route of the famous highway. The original bell is now in the San Leandro Main Library, while a replica is still in place at the north end of the Plaza.

A revitalization movement initiated by downtown merchants in 1948 led to a Plaza remodeling and landscaping. The new design created off-street parking and pedestrian malls. Washington Avenue was closed at Davis. In the 1960s, the Plaza I Redevelopment Project dealt with deteriorating buildings and a shortage of public parking.

The Plaza remains the center of San Leandro, but the small town flavor of the old Plaza, the fountain, the palm trees, the cannon, and the elegant Estudillo House are now memories.

San Leandro Farms

Harry Shaffer titled the history of San Leandro A Garden Grows in Eden in tribute to San Leandro's fertile soil, ideal climate, and origins as a farming community. After the Gold Rush, Mr. Shaffer said, the "influx of settlers, coupled with the realization that the soil was almost ideally suited for the cultivation of fruits and vegetables, completed the break-up of the large land holdings. No longer was it profitable to raise grain on several hundred acres, when an orchard or truck garden of one-tenth that area would produce crops of equal value - and land was too valuable to use for grazing cattle. Thus cherries, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, sugar beets and asparagus displaced the hides, tallow, wheat and barley of earlier years."

Items about farming and crops fill the newspapers of the late 1800s. The Reporter ran an item on a tomato that weighed three pounds. The 225-pound pumpkin from the Meeks Ranch outshone Jake Harlan's squash. Other articles boasted of three-inch cherries, a 200-pound beet, and a 36-inch carrot. Dutton Avenue, named for the Dutton farm, was once known as Chicken Lane because of the many poultry farms along it. Cherry and apricot orchards spread across San Leandro.

People involved in building San Leandro were often farmers. Socrates Huff, whose elegant farmhouse was illustrated in the 1878 Thompson & West Historical Atlas of Alameda County, was a successful farmer who served on the San Leandro Board of Trustees, served as Alameda County Treasurer, and helped draw up the Act of Incorporation for San Leandro. He also founded several banks and took part in the found of San Leandro Plow Company. Another example, J.B. Mendonca, started as a farmhand for Thomas Mulford. He then rented foothill property, and in 1876 purchased his own 30 acres. For the next 25 years, Mr. Mendonca not only acquired and farmed several hundred acres, but leased a similar number. He was active in the Portuguese Union (the U.P.E.C.), an organizer and director of the Bank of San Leandro, a Trustee of Union School, and helped bring the Morse-King cannery to San Leandro.

San Leandro's first industries served the needs of farmers. Sweepstake Plow Company was founded in 1867 and San Leandro Plow Company in 1881. Daniel Best bought San Leandro Plow and formed Daniel Best Agricultural Works in 1886. Inventions such as the Best tractors, with its huge, broad-tired wheels, found ready markets not only in San Leandro, but throughout the world.

Fruits of the sea - oysters in particular - were as important in San Leandro's early years as fruits of the land. The whole shoreline from Bay Farm Island to Eden Landing had become a series of oyster beds. Oysters were valuable, and control of the oyster beds was a serious matter. The author Jack London writes of having been an "oyster pirate" in youth during the 1890s - joining the cutthroats who sneaked down on the bay on boats during the night to steal oysters. After a few months with the oyster pirates, London decided to join the other side, and became a member of the Fish Patrol, whose job it was to catch oyster pirates and other violators of the fishing laws. The San Leandro Oyster Beds are now State Historical Landmark No. 824.

Orchards gave way to housing, shopping malls, business, and floral cultures in the 1930s, '40s, and '50s. The San Leandro Dahlia Society, formed in 1925, became famous for its spectacular dahlias and annual shows. San Leandro adopted a new slogan, "The Home of Sunshine and Flowers." Mr. Shaffer's history, A Garden Grows in Eden, is aptly titled.

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December 17, 2010

1938 Map of San Leandro



This 1938 map of San Leandro is from the San Leandro Classified Business Directory and Buyer's Guide. Note that the southern boundary of the City doesn't extend to the current location of San Leandro High School, Palma Plaza, or Bayfair Center and the western boundary doesn't extend to San Leandro Bay. Some of the street names shown on the map have since changed: Ward St. is now West Estudillo, Orpheus St. is now Teagarden, Saunders St. is now West Juana, and Broadmore is now Broadmoor.

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January 9, 2010

San Leandro's Best Theater

Best Theater ad

In 1973, the California History Center published "Saga of San Leandro," a 70-page history of San Leandro funded by the San Francisco Federal Savings and Loan Association [now part of Citibank] and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Citibank is one of the current occupants of the Best Building at 1300 E. 14th Street.

Below is an excerpt about the Best Theater, which was built by Daniel Best in 1911, and was located at what is now E. 14th St. just south of Estudillo Avenue. The excerpt was written by Terry Sinclair and appears on pages 46-48 of "Saga of San Leandro."

The Best Theater

Soon after the completion of the Best Building, on September 25, 1911, Daniel Best once again hired architect W. H. Weeks to draw specifications for Best's new theater. The new theater was to be built on his property on Hayward Avenue, which at the time was occupied by A. J. King. Work was to commence on the new theater building after Mr. King vacated the premises. This was to be the second movie theater in town which ran silent films." A theatrical syndicate conducting vaudeville and motion picture shows, to the accompaniment of a nickelodeon or an organ, took a lease on the new building for a term of years (not specified)." "Though he rented the theater, Daniel always paid the admission price to see the movies. It was operated in 1912 by Mr. Bridges, serving as manager; and reports claim that his son Lloyd Bridges, who later entered the acting profession, may have been a frequent visitor."

Normally, the number of reels shown per movie numbered between four and seven. In the earlier days of the theater, a different movie played each day of the week. By 1914, one movie or a small number of movies played each week. The heyday of the Best Theater was probably before the war, when the local residents could afford to be entertained.

Typical movies that appeared were:

"David Copperfield"
"Peg o' the Movies" (acclaimed at the time to be the greatest picture ever produced by Edison)
"Uncle Tom's Cabin"
"A Picture of Bull Fights"

In April of 1912, under the management of a Mr. Peterson, the Best Theater staged "Ybur the Great, Queen of Handcuffs." "Ybur" was acclaimed to be a "genius" in removing any set of handcuffs from her wrists, but she, also performed many other mysterious feats which reportedly kept the audiences guessing for weeks. "On July 19, 1913, Edison's first moving and talking picture was shown at the Best Theater. This was the first time this movie, or any of its type, had been shown in the state of California."

Daniel Best's Theater was also used for other purposes than showing movies. For instance, on May 4, 1912, there was a political rally in support of Teddy Roosevelt. The principle speakers were Medill McCormick, of Chicago and Senator John W. Stetson, of Oakland. "Mr. McCormick was one of the National managers for Col. Roosevelt. State Senator Stetson, was President of the California State Roosevelt League, and he had managed the campaign for the former President in California. Music and movies were featured along with the rally. Because of the limited space in the theater, at the time of the rally, only adults were admitted with no charge."

During the summer of 1914, along with the normal entertainment, the theater was the site of local benefits. Two known benefits were held, one for the San Leandro Junior Baseball team and another for the Boy Scouts. "The theater was also used for preliminary voting in local elections. How it worked was first a card of each candidate was flashed on the screen and the amount of applause each candidate received determined the voters favorite. This type of community action was often thought of as "lots of fun."

Added attractions, such as free gifts, often helped business at the Best Theater. One evening the theater advertised as ladies night, it was to give away six electric irons. A normal attraction, especially for children, was free ice cream. One movie, Jack London's "Valley of the Moon," was of exceptional interest to the people of San Leandro, since some of the scenes were shot near the eastern limits of the town."

The price of admission varied as to what movie was showing, but normally the cost was fifteen cents for reserved seats, ten cents for adults, and five cents for children. The Best theater had many managers in its day. After Mr. Bridges left the theater, F. Holliday took over the management in 1914. By 1915, a new man named Arvidson became manager. But no matter who managed the theater, the advertisements basically stayed the same. Normally when a new movie was to appear, the Reporter ran a complete description of the movie, including the number of scenes, the number of people in the movie, where the movie had played, and who staged the movie, including a brief outline of the text of the story.

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September 4, 2009

San Leandro in 1940: The "White Spot" City

San_Leandro_Brochure_1940_small.jpg This brochure was produced by the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce and the City of San Leandro to advertise the qualities of San Leandro. The following text was scanned in from the brochure.

Essentially San Leandro is a suburban community neither rural nor big city. To live in San Leandro is to live in a small-town community where one's neighbors are one's friends, where one's social activities are those of club, church, and lodge, where parents take an active interest in their children's affairs through parent-teacher work, where news of their community is brought to them by friendly little community newspapers.

It is such happy situations as these, combined with its blessings of nature, that have built San Leandro's reputation as an ideal residential community.

Because of its many residential advantages, San Leandro during the depression years since 1929, has enjoyed a quiet unspectacular growth. Not a boon in the sense of inflated prices, but a growth which has established it as the "White Spot" city of California.

The rest of the text continues below.

With an estimated population of 17,500 persons, a house-to-house count by Uncle Sam's mail carriers showed 4,669 places of residence in November, 1937, 4,375 of which were single-family residences.

Building permits for the last three years have shown $928,164 in 1936, $730,968 in 1937, and $1,048,185 in 1938, of which latter sum, $100,000 is for a new city hall now in process of construction.

There are some exceptionally fine and well restricted residential districts in which homes costing from $10,000 to $15,000 have been built recently. The majority of the homes, however, averaged $4,600 to construct during the past two years.

The city's climate is ideal for residential, horticultural and factory purposes.

San Leandro's residential desirability is enhanced by its extremely rich, loamy soil, which makes a beautiful garden possible in every yard.

The atmosphere is mildly tempered by the waters of nearby San Francisco bay. The city is protected from the bay region fogs by low-lying hills to the north. Its exposure to the southeast, south and west, makes possible the city's boast of "Sunshine and Flowers."

unlike many small communities, San Leandro does not rely on one or a dozen industries for its prosperity. Its residents represent a cross-section of workers in every line of endeavor in a great metropolitan area, working in a thousand industries and drawing their living from the very ends of the earth.

Four public and one parochial schools serve the grade school needs for education.

The San Leandro junior and senior high schools are of the Oakland educational system.

Seven churches, Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Lutheran, Congregational and Scientist server the spiritual needs of the community.

The city has excellent transportation.

The East Bay Transit and Key System companies, which operate 61 lines in the East Bay area, closely tie San Leandro to its sister communities by extending free transfer privileges to and from the lines serving San Leandro.

Purest of mountain water, brought to the city by the East Bay Municipal Utility district through a hundred miles of aqueduct and carefully filtered and sterilized, gives to San Leandrans a sparkling drink unsurpassed by the finest mountain brook.

Two newspapers, one a semi weekly, the other a weekly, give the city's residents a digest of the local activities, while the daily newspapers of the nearby larger cities bring daily telegraphic accounts of world events.

The city enjoys a city manager form of government whose efficiency has kept the tax rate down to 93 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.

In August of 1938, the voters bonded the city for $185,000 for a new city hall and new sewage and garbage disposal plant, to cost a total of $335,000, the difference being provided by the federal government in PWA grants.

Two great trans-continental railroads and two great inter-state bus lines and sever intra-state bus lines serve the city. Electric interurban trains and ultra modern coach lines give rapid transportation to commuters and others to San Francisco across the new San Francisco-Oakland bay bridge. One of the finest airports in the U.S. is a ??? two miles from the city.

Population:

1900 census . . . . . 2,253
1910 census . . . . . 3,471
1920 census . . . . . 5,703
1930 census . . . . .11,455
1938 estimate . . . .17,500

Places of residence (U.S. postal survey Nov., 1937): Single family homes, 4,669; Apartments, 24, units 154; Flats, 60, units 139; occupancy, per cent, 98.9.

Stores and businesses: Store building, 305; places of business, 407; (C. of C. canvass, 1938.)

Industry: Manufacturers, 31.

City Government: Form, city manager; council of 5 who elect mayor.

Taxes:
Assessed value, $9,435,405: city rate, 1938, per $100 assessed value, which is approximately 40 per cent of actual, .95; county rate, $3.38; bonded debt, city, $185,000. Rainfall, average past 12 years, 19.53; area, square miles, 4; elevation, feed, 48.

Schools (Elementary school district): Grade schools, public, 4; Grade schools, parochial, 1; High school, public, 1; Junior high, public, 1. (Junior high and senior high schools part of Oakland school system.)

Higher education: A dozen colleges and universities are located within easy reach of the city.

Churches: 7. Catholic, Methodist, Episcopal, First Presbyterian, All Saints Episcopal, St. Peter's Lutheran, First Congregational, First Church of Christ, Scientist.

Building:
10 years, '28-'38 incl. . . $5,696,663.50
Yearly average . . . . $ 464,853.85
1938 . . . . $1,048,125.00

Public Utilities: Gas, electricity, 9,000 outlets; water, 3,748 outlets.

Transportation: Steam railroads: Southern Pacific, Western Pacific . . . Interurban electric, to Oakland and San Francisco . . . Coach services, Greyhound lines, Peerless Stages, Santa Fe (unified bus and rail) Key System, to San Francisco; East Bay Transit company, free transfer over 62 lines. Air transport, United Air Lines, et al.

Recreation: Public parks, 7; Parks open for recreation, 4; School playgrounds under supervision, 6; Tennis courts, located on two parks and at two schools, 8; Swimming pools, public, open air, municipally conducted,2; Veterans' Memorial building, 1. All public schools open as community centers. Numerous private social halls available for public assemblage.

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RECREATION is spelled with capital letters in San Leandro.

Never was a community more blessed by location for its residents to take advantage of the facilities offered by nature for the outdoor sportsman and sportswoman, whether the sportsman be child or adult. Besides natural advantages there are those supplemented by the city and school administrations of San Leandro and by the city's large nearby neighbors.

Among the sports provided by nature is striped bass fishing in which sport hundreds upon hundreds of San Leandrans indulge. Within five minutes of the city is San Leandro bay where many limits of this most sporting of all fish are caught. By boat from San Leandro bay it is a matter of but a few minutes to the channel where the big ones lie in wait for bait or lure. Forty minutes by automobile will bring the sportsman to the finest bass fishing on the entire Pacific Coast, Carquinez straits.

Along the shores of San Leandro bay, just a few minutes from town, is excellent duck hunting, and for some of the best hunting in the state, two hours by auto brings one to the duck fields of Gustine, three and a half to the rice fields of Colusa.

Deer are to be found in the nearby hills, in Crow Canyon, the Livermore hills, from 10 to 30 minutes from the city. The better hunting of the state is to be found within three or four hours by motor to the north.

Swimming in San Francisco bay is another sport which hundreds enjoy, though the city is provided with two out-door swimming pools, one operated without charge by the city at Thrasher park, the second operated by the school department at a nominal charge barely sufficient to pay the cost of operation.

In the nearby hills back of San Leandro, the East Bay Regional park is now engaged in developing one of the most extensive park systems in the world, over 10,000 acres having recently been taken over and intensively developed for hikers, campers, golfers, picnickers, swimmers, fly and plug casters, archers and other sportsmen.

Within a mile of San Leandro's southerly city limits is the Oakland Speedway, fastest dirt track in the world, where automobile classics are staged several times each year.

All of the collegiate sports are easily available at the nearby campuses of the University of California, Stanford University, San Francisco University, Santa Clara University, Saint Mary's College, Mills College and other colleges.

The city administration with its recreation department, which at present has a personnel of some 33 directors and assistants, conducts supervised recreation at three city playgrounds, Thrasher, Estudillo and Memorial parks, and six school playgrounds. Memorial park is a new development completed for tiny children, fully furnished with the latest playground equipment in June, 1938. Tennis courts for tournament play have been built by the city at Estudillo park and at the Roosevelt school, the Estudillo courts being

Thrasher park as well as the McKinley school are also provided with tennis courts. Thrasher park is also equipped with flood lights for night softball.

Yachting and motor boating is another sport enjoyed by hundreds, with ample docking facilities provided along 30 miles of waterfront from Alameda to Port Chicago.

Indoor sports are provided by a hundred organizations. Dances, whist parties, bazaars and get-togethers of all kinds offer amusement throughout the year. One of the finest neighborhood moving picture theaters in the bay region brings the cinema to San Leandro, while the best in stage productions are easily available in nearby Oakland and San Francisco and at the nearby colleges.

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FLOWERS! One of the most beautiful creations known to mankind. Always in demand, they are always suitable as gifts and willingly accepted by the recipient.

From the time Alameda county became known to the outside world, this community was recognized as a center for flower growing. The soil in and near San Leandro was proved to be especially adaptable for growing flowers. History informs us that among the first iris and tulips imported from abroad were some planted near San Lorenzo.

In later years, the dahlia became a favorite with gardeners who desired a large flower for decorative purposes. The dahlia has been improved since it was first planted here some 40 years ago. Today, San Leandro is rated as one of the outstanding dahlia centers in the United States.

More than half a century ago the chrysanthemum was first successfully grown in the United States in Alameda county, and in experimental gardens near San Leandro.

And San Leandro was the site of the first large commercial green, or hot house. Gardeners were brought over from Scotland to start the enterprise which proved to be a success from the start.

The result is: San Leandro is the center of the floricultural industry which annually amounts to more than eleven million dollars in real money, from a retail standpoint.

A massive flower garden comprising some 3500 acres is what San Leandro and surrounding sections offer as their contribution to beauty of this great Eastbay Empire.

Here are a few salient facts which illustrate the real importance or the floral industry to this community:
San Leandro is the home or the time-honored dahlia show, an enterprise sponsored by civic leaders who enjoy raising dahlias in their backyards.

Carnations and roses grown here have been awarded the highest honors for six consecutive years at the California State fair in Sacramento.

Gladiolus competing against the cream of California's crop were declared the best at the State fair; they were grown in San Leandro.

The outside market demands San Leandro-grown flowers. Each day a fast motor truck equipped with refrigeration leaves San Leandro for Los Angeles to supply the markets of the southland.

By fast train and by airplane fresh blooms are shipped daily to practically every city of importance on the Atlantic seaboard.

From a field in San Leandro thousands of peonies are shipped each year, the greater part of the crop being sent to Louisville, Kentucky.

Growers in New Zealand, Australia, London and Holland call on San Leandro for new creations in dahlia bulbs.

Love of flowers is best exemplified here by the fact that nearly every yard is a beautiful flower garden. The climate, together with a rich soil, makes it possible for the best type of blooms to grow.

Mention San Leandro to the stranger, and he immediately connects the name with the floral industry. More worthwhile publicity for this community has resulted from the enterprise of the floral products than from any other one factor.

Perhaps the best tribute paid San Leandro was when the late Luther Burbank, recognized as the world's outstanding plant wizard, selected San Leandro for his experimental gardens during the Panama Pacific International Exposition in 1915.

Iris, dahlias, peonies, gladiolus, Transvaal daisies, zinnias, asters, perennial delphinium, sweet peas, larkspur and other colorful blooms are grown in large quantities during the proper season.

Throughout the year the green houses produce roses, carnations, snapdragons, gardenias, orchids.

Chrysanthemums are grown under cloth to keep the delicate blooms from receiving too much sun.

A tour of inspection among the man beautiful gardens is well worth one's time. San Leandro flower growers will be happy to conduct you on a tour of inspection.

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QUALITIES which have contributed to making San Leandro an ideal home community, have made it an ideal place in which to locate industry.

The city's almost perfect climate, with its exceptionally equable temperatures, neither too hot nor too cold, with its abundance of sunny days, make for the finest of working conditions.

There is an abundance of available labor, for industry located in San Leandro can also draw upon the manpower or neighboring communities.

Transcontinental rail service is provided by two railroad systems, the Southern Pacific company and the Western Pacific Company. Numerous truck lines serve the community to deliver the community's products to ocean shipping terminals wherever located throughout the bay region. Oakland port facilities are located but a few minutes from San Leandro's industrial center. A harbor is now being developed at San Leandro bay, 5 minutes from the city's industrial district.

Products from San Leandro factories have world-wide distribution.

Caterpillar Tractor company, the world's largest manufacturer of track-type tractors. Diesel engines and road machinery, had its beginning in San Leandro.

The Holt Manufacturing company of Stockton and the C. L. Best Tractor company of San Leandro consolidated in 1925 to form the Caterpillar Tractor company, with headquarters in San Leandro.

Since the consolidation, Caterpillar Tractor company has had a phenomenal growth, outgrowing its San Leandro manufacturing facilities. "Caterpillar" now has a 60-acre plant at Peoria, Ill., but continues in San Leandro its corporate offices, Western Sales, Service and Parts headquarters and a manufacturing force of nearly 700.

In 1936 the Friden Calculating Machine company, one of the world's largest manufacturers of calculating machines, selected San Leandro as its manufacturing home because of the ideal working conditions found here.

Here, too, is located the Hudson Lumber company, the largest manufacturer of pencil slats in the world.

At San Leandro's very doors is located the truck assembly plant of the Chevrolet Motor company, the city at the same time offering home accommodations for hundreds of employees of the Fisher Bodyworks and the Chevrolet Motor company.

Here, too, is located the manufacturing plant and head office of the United Engine and Machine company, large manufacturers of automobile and truck pistons.

The Wurm-Woven Hosiery Mills are also located here.

Just a short distance over the line in Oakland is the new million dollar manufacturing plant or the Standard Brands corporation, manufacturer of yeast and malt products, scores of whose employees are making San Leandro their home city.

In San Leandro is located plant No.8 of the California Packing corporation, one or the world's largest canners.

Here in San Leandro is located the Universal Pencil Company, the only pencil factory west of St. Louis.

In all, there are 31 manufacturing institutions, large and small, located in San Leandro, and yearly the number increases.

Large acreages of open land located along the rights-of-way of the city's two transcontinental railroads still remain open for industrial development at exceptionally low prices for such ideal sites.

Power there is in abundance, furnished at reasonable prices by the Pacific Gas and Electric company. The finest of water in the largest amounts desired is available from the East Bay Municipal Utility district.

Manufacturers seeking sites for their plants in the far-west should investigate San Leandro as a place in which to locate.

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HISTORICALLY, San Leandro can be said to date its white-man's history back to 1820 when Don Maria Luis Peralta received his grant of land from the king of Spain. The grant, which took in practically the entire city of Berkeley, Oakland, Alameda, Emeryville and Piedmont, also included about half of what is now San Leandro.

Actually, however, the city's history began when in 1837 Don Joaquin Estudillo took up holdings which included. among other lands, all of the rest of San Leandro not included under the Peralta grant.

Having established his home some two miles from the site of what is now San Leandro, Estudillo in 1847 built the first house to be erected in San Leandro, a home still standing at 1291 Carpentier Street. He and his family were the city's first white settlers. About 1847, Estudillo erected the Estudillo house, a famous hostelry of the early days which up to 10 years ago continued to serve the wayfarer.

II was after Don Luis Peralta divided his vast holdings evenly among his four sons that his son, Ignazio Peralta in 1860, erected for himself a beautiful home, said to be the first brick structure in Alameda county, in San Leandro. The home is still standing and serves as the club house of the Alta Mira club.

San Leandro was the second county seat of Alameda county, serving in this capacity from 1854 to 1871 when the county seat was removed to Oakland. It was incorporated as a city in 1872.

Site of the old court house is now occupied by the Saint Mary's parochial school, directly opposite the original Estudillo home which is now owned by St. Leander's parish of the Catholic church.

Growth of San Leandro was slow during its early days, the city having but 2253 population in 1900; 3471 in 1910; 5703 in 1920.

During' the '20s, however, it took a sudden spurt which developed into a steady drive which brought the population up to 11,455 by the 1930 census. Since that time, despite the depression, growth has been rapid, and today the population is estimated at 17,500.

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December 26, 2008

A Look Back at the San Leandro Marina Boat Harbor

The January 1964 edition of The American City published an article by San Leandro Public Works Director G. Homer Hamlin about the recently constructed San Leandro Marina. The article mentions plans for a future recreation center and an expectation that the facility will begin paying its own way.

Here is the article in its entirety:

Drawing of San Leandro Marina in 1964

More Than Just a Marina
By G. HOMER HAMLIN
Public Works Director
San Leandro, Calif.

Ask anyone around San Leandro, Calif., and he will tell you that our new bayside facility is more than just a marina. It already includes 308 berths, a golf course, parking lots, restrooms, play areas and a children's fishing pier. The future will bring to this waterfront playground a restaurant, a boatel motel, 200 more berths and a recreation center building.

In design, too, it rises above. the class of simple marinas. We carved this new facility out of the tidal flats of San Francisco Bay by dredging and clamshelling the submerged material to produce solid banks and a deep channel connection. Buoyant concrete piers with hollow interiors near the gas pumps provide adequate fire resistance. Wood and styrofoam comprise the other docks, with extra support where ramps with their concentrated loads seek to bury them underwater.

An accurate feasibility report provides the essential backbone for marina construction. A good one will accurately forecast whether the proposed marina will pay for itself or whether it will turn into a money-grabbing monster that siphons off tax revenue. We have spent about $1,100,000 on our marina thus far, no small amount for a community of 66,000 residents. In March it will celebrate its first anniversary. Judging by rentals to date we should hit the first-year goal of 150 rented stalls as estimated in the report. This would fill about one-half of those already constructed.

Bigger Boats
Now that our marina has taken shape, the boats here seem to be getting longer. Many local owners have now made the transition from trailer-borne craft to larger ones that need permanent berthing. They probably tired of the two-hour task of washing the salt water off the trailers and repacking wheel bearings after every outing. And even though the boat-launching ramp is convenient and free (except on holidays and week-ends when we levy a one-dollar charge), launching and recovery can become tiresome and time-consuming. Permanent marina berths give boat lovers good reason to switch to bigger boats which they can leave in the water under protective eyes.

At 65 cents per lineal foot per month, slip rental here is not excessive. An annual rate equal to ten month's rent is also available. No vessel can occupy a berth shorter than itself. Monthly rates vary from $13.65 for a 21-footer up to $31.20 for a 48-foot craft. If boats occupied all 308 stalls, we would realize about $5,400 monthly from these fees alone. Berth rental now comprises a major source of revenue. As concessions go up, however, they will furnish the lion's share. The future will find slip rental and fuel sales each contributing about one-fifth of the total revenue.

These planned concessions, will include a restaurant, a snack bar, repair and sales sites, a motel, club facilities and some others. An approved concessionaire will lease a designated area from the city and construct all improvements at his own expense. Leases will run from 20 to 50 years, depending on the value of the improvement. Rental fees will include a percentage of gross income with a specified minimum amount: Several prospective concessionaires are now consulting with us about these leases.

Strong Decks
Our wooden piers are stronger than those of most marinas because the top decking runs perpendicular to the length rather than diagonally. For years designers have placed decking at an acute angle. This actually creates vertical planes of weakness parallel to the grain. By placing our decking at right angles to the stringers we develop much more strength in torsion. This design saves money because it eliminates excess cutting and wasted triangular sections. All exposed lumber is construction-grade Douglas Fir, penta-treated with heavy-retention solution according to Specification C-18-61 of the American Wood Preservative Association. Piles and other hidden lumber got the more economical creosote pressure treatment.

A typical pier begins at the dike with a ramp about 80 feet long. The anchored end rests on a concrete abutment but it is free to rotate vertically with the tides that sometimes change the elevation as much as ten feet. About half way out, a galvanized steel gate firmly bars the way. Only those with boats moored at this dock own keys. The other end of the ramp rides on a small pair of wheels that travel in steel channels on the floating pier as it rises and falls. A ribbed steel plate provides the transition from ramp to pier. We are experimenting with some Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Safety Tread to obtain more traction on these steep plates.

Main-pier lengths vary according to the number and size of berths. The pier itself consists of a deck, six feet wide, supported by three longitudinal planks of Dow Chemical's styrofoam. Two-by-eight-inch stringers raise the deck above the styrofoam and hold it well above the water level. Angle-driven wooden dowels firmly fasten longitudinal foam planks to the hollow deck section. Steel loops loosely encircle the piles adjacent to these piers to allow tidal movement.

Finger-Piers
Finger-pier construction is similar but these piers measure only half as wIde. Here, too, decking consists of two-by-sixes perpendicular to the stringers. Fillets strengthen the connections where these finger piers join the main piers. Each joint contains one fresh water hose bib and two 15-amp, 115-volt outlets. All pier lights shine downward at an angle rather than parallel to the water where they could blind boat operators. These are Shalda #583 fixtures with 100-amp lamps spaced 18 to 34 feet apart.

Because it floats, gasoline poses a terrible fire hazard on water. Our four pumps each dispense a different fuel: regular, ethyl, an oil-gas mixture and diesel fuel. Because all are so dangerous we chose lightweight, hollow-concrete sections for those piers near the pumps. Manufactured by the Unifloat Marine Structures Corp. of Petaluma, Calif., they cost more than their wooden counterparts but they contribute a tremendous safety factor.

These thin-walled floats measure 8 feet long, 6 feet wide and 26 inches deep. Three-fourths submerged, they will sustain a live load of 40 pounds per square foot. Fir two-by-eights along the top edge hold them together and minimize the danger of collision-generated sparks. Attractive plastic bumpers set closer together here than on the other piers also help. A two-inch pipe with hydrants at 100-foot intervals supplies fire protection on the piers. Hoses provide the needed flexibility at pier joints. Several Greenberg all-brass wharf hydrants on 'the dikes supply an extra safety. factor.

The dikes that enclose and protect the marina basin required 200-foot-wide tops to accommodate all our planned facilities. Dredging the six-foot channel and the deeper marina basin brought up more than enough material to build them. The combined job, however, cost more than $500,000. First the contractor clamshelled the silty material into two parallel dikes which are 200 feet apart.

He then filled the intervening area with dredged and clamshelled material. We specified side slopes of five-to-one or steeper, but the silt surprised us pleasantly when it stood at three-to-one. Riprap then followed on these portions subject to erosion.

Utilities on Fill
With some trepidation we prepared to install utilities and streets on this unconsolidated fill. A liberal bed of pea gravel went in the trench bottoms to support the vitrified-clay sewer pipe. And we specified plastic gasket joints that can move somewhat without leaking. A small lift station holds the sewer depth to less than ten feet. This is nothing more than five-foot-diameter concrete pipes on end with two four-inch Wemco submersible pumps. With their small impeller clearance, the Wemcos at our sewage plant resist clogging so we chose the same type for the lift station.

Building the roads constituted another problem. The bad soft spots we tackled first by sheepsfooting dry clay into them:. Some of these measured 50 feet long. Then we sheepsfooted the lime-rock base material into this silt instead of adding it on top. This ½-inch material stiffened up to form a base eight inches deep with a stabilometer value of 65R. Next followed six inches of base material with a value of 78R. A 1 ½-inch hot-mix leveling course now provides a temporary surface. After full settlement takes place a paver will add another 1 ½ inches. Adjacent parking areas consist of a shot of asphalt applied directly on the base course.

A piled timber dock that bulges out from the dike bears the boat hoist near the basin entrance. The timber dock abuts the six-foot channel and provides a stable and clean area in which to work. The hoist itself is a Checo Tram Chief with Yale motor. Its two-ton capacity adequately lifts outboard motors and entire sailboats onto the timber trestle.

The adjacent nine-hole golf course, opened only a few months ago, has proved immensely popular. This, too, will double in size as need dictates. Some experiments at our activated-sludge sewage plant have solved the grass-growing problems on our fairways. Mixed with the existing soils, the sludge improves drainage and enriches the seed bed.

Our young marina is attracting residents at a furious rate. Every day more turn up to watch and then take part in the activities there. Soon, this facility will begin paying its own way and much of it will be due to the extra thought that makes this community attraction more than just an ordinary marina.

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July 21, 2008

New Book on History of Portuguese in San Leandro

The Portuguese in San Leandro cover On July 7, 2008, Arcadia Publishing released a new book entitled The Portuguese in San Leandro, a photographic history of Portuguese culture in San Leandro.

Current indications of San Leandro's Portuguese history include the União Portuguesa do Estado da Califórnia (Portuguese Union of California or U.P.E.C.), which was established in San Leandro in 1880, the annual Holy Ghost festival, the Holy Ghost Chapel and Ides Hall, and the monumument to the Portuguese immigrant at Root Park.

The book is part of Arcadia's Images of America series, which has produced more than 3,000 similar books focusing on the photographic histories of towns and local cultures throughout the United States. The author, Meg Rogers, is a volunteer with the Milpitas Historical Society, who also wrote The Portuguese in San Jose. It was while she was researching that book at the J.A. Freitas Library at UPEC in San Leandro, that she found the information published in her newest book.

Autographed copies of the book are available at A World of Books, located at 137 Pelton Center Way in San Leandro.

Arcadia Publishing will also be publishing a photographic history of San Leandro authored by Cynthia Vrilakas Simons, known to San Leandrans as Cindy Simons, in October 2008, entitled San Leandro.

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December 30, 2007

Former Mayor Jack Maltester's Testimony Before the US Commission on Civil Rights

On May 6, 1967, San Leandro Mayor Jack Maltester testified at a hearing of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which was investigating housing discrimination.

The complete text of Maltester's testimony follows.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. The next witness is the Hon. John D. Maltester. Whereupon, the Hon. John D. Maltester was sworn by the Chairman and testified as follows: )

TESTIMONY OF THE HON. JOHN D. MALTESTER, MAYOR OF SAN LEANDRO, CALIFORNIA

MR. GLICKSTEIN. Would you please state your full name and address for the record.

MAYOR MALTESTER. It's Jack D. Maltester, 715 Woodland Avenue, San Leandro.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. What is your occupation?

MAYOR MALTESTER. Half owner in a printing business and mayor of the city of San Leandro.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. How long have you been mayor?

MAYOR MALTESTER. Since 1958.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. Are you also a member of the city council ?

MAYOR MALTESTER. Yes.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. What is the population of San Leandro?

MAYOR MALTESTER. The last official population was 69,000, close to 70,000, and anticipated at this time probably closer to 75,000.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. You think it's about 75,000?

MAYOR MALTESTER. Yes.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. How many Negroes live in San Leandro?

MAYOR MALTESTER. I cannot tell you to the exact amount. I get two different reports. I would guess it's between 20 and 25, 26.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. Twenty or 25 persons or families?

MAYOR MALTESTER. Persons.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. Are Negroes employed in the industries in San Leandro.

MAYOR MALTESTER. Yes.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. Do you have any idea how many?

MAYOR MALTESTER. No, I haven't. We haven't asked for that type of a survey, although lean tell by the plants when the shifts go off duty that there are quite a few Negroes employed in our industries.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. We have some statistics, Mr. Mayor, a study we did that indicates that the companies in San Leandro employing 100 or more persons that report to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and that report to the office of Federal Contract Compliance, provide approximately 13,500 persons, of whom about 572 are Negroes, about 5 percent or so. Does that sound as though it might be right?

MAYOR MALTESTER. That might be right. I presume that some plants according to the type of work may employ more than others. I wouldn't question that.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. And those are companies of 100 employees or more. Companies with less than 100 employees are not included in those statistics. Are Negroes employed in stores and small businesses in San Leandro?

MAYOR MALTESTER. Yes, they are.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. How would you account for the fact that just across the border of San Leandro in Oakland there are large numbers of Negro families, and yet there are just 20 to 25 Negroes in your city?

MAYOR MALTESTER. Well, basically the question in the past has been one of prejudice. San Leandro grew from a farming community to a bedroom community for people who mainly worked in San Francisco. I guess prior to World War II there were about 20,000 people in the community.
Industry started to come in. Half of our present land area is zoned industrial. I don't think there is any question but what there was prejudice involved.
Although some of the families, Negro people who live in San Leandro, have lived there for many years. We have a very heavy Portuguese, Mexican American, Spanish people living in our community. At the present time the families that are moving in are moving in different areas of the town.
As you just heard Mr. Lucot state that the one property on the Hills at some $75,000 or $80,000. We have other families that moved into the Marina Fair and different areas which, from a personal standpoint is good for everybody, and in other words we don't get any ghetto, or where it's white or dark or anything else. It is spread throughout the community. One other thing that has, I'm sure, kept an awful lot of minority races out has been the cost of property.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. The cost of property?

MAYOR MALTESTER. The cost of property in San Leandro. I do not have facts to back this up. I get this statement from real estate people and appraisers, that the same property on one side of Durant Avenue, which is our dividing line with Oakland is worth $1,000 to $1,500 more than this property is in Oakland. The reason for that, I don't know. One has been that we have had a reduce in tax rate, and we have increased our services to the people. Beyond that I can't say, I'm just guessing.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. Do you think that the fact that two cities so close to each other, and one of them has such a large Negro population and the other has such a small one, might lead to friction of some sort?

MAYOR MALTESTER. I'm certain it will some day unless something is done. As I say, it is--I feel something is being done now, but it is being done slowly.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. Is the city concerned that racial disturbances in Oakland might affect San Leandro?

MAYOR MALTESTER. I might say as the mayor I'm concerned, yes.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. What actions or plans do you have to deal with the problem?

MAYOR MALTESTER. Well, we haven't any plans to deal with the problem. You must understand that in our community, although the mayor is directly elected by the people, we are a little different than some of the Eastern cities.
We do not have the authority as mayor, I technically do not have any more authority than any city councilman, so it is just a problem as to what you can do. We hope that we are getting, I think, more and more people in our community that realize the problem and are willing to recognize that it is there and help do something about it, but it's an awfully slow process.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. Do you have problems in your community with white racists groups?

MAYOR MALTESTER. No. In fact, the only time I knew one existed was a series of articles in a local newspaper.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. But the groups themselves you don't consider terribly significant or a force in molding opinion in the community?

MAYOR MALTESTER. No, I've checked this out with our own police department and they feel that it does not pose any problem at all in the community.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. There has been some testimony about the meeting that you held with business and religious leaders to discuss problems of racial integration in San Leandro. Have there been many such meetings ?

MAYOR MALTESTER. Well, no. That was probably the largest where we've brought industry into the picture and the banks.
I have attended three or four meetings with various clergy groups and I would think that the clergy has been the most interested in the problem in the community, and probably not only the most interested but probably the most knowledgeable as to what does exist.
There have just been unofficial meetings over a cup of coffee talking about the problems as they would see one or the others that would come up.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. But in December you had a meeting which included a larger number of individuals?

MAYOR MALTESTER. That is correct. I was asked if I could get together some of the industrial people to join some of the clergy and the banks. We thought it would be a good thing to sit down and talk to them and just see what they felt.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. Has that meeting been followed up with additional similar meetings?

MAYOR MALTESTER. No, it hasn't been. It was left on the basis that see how things are going for a while and then we would get together again unofficially. When you try to get a group together like that, sometimes it takes a little time to get them together. Everybody is busy, but we undoubtedly will have other discussion. That is, if I have my way about it and they show up.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. How long have you lived in San Leandro?

MAYOR MALTESTER. I was born in San Leandro.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. On the basis of your knowledge in general, and on the basis of your experience as mayor what factors in the local real estate market do you think have kept Negroes from buying homes in San Leandro?

MAYOR MALTESTER. I don't think it is the real estate people nor the lending institutions. I think it's the people themselves. I'm quite sure that any real estate man would sell any home in San Leandro to a Negro if the seller of that home gave them the go-ahead.
There is still the fear that if one home is sold to a Negro, the whole block will be sold to Negroes and then the next block. This is a fear, I think--and I am not a historian--which grew up over many, many years which ultimately, I guess it did happen in the West Oakland area. And this, I think is the basis of fear.
I really don't--oh, there may be one or two real estate people, maybe one or two lending institutions, but I think the basic problem is with the people themselves, not only in our community but in any other community,

MR. GLICKSTEIN. But you have had some large tract developments in San Leandro where the homes were sold new by the developer.

MAYOR MALTESTER. Right.

MR. GLICKSTEIN, Not by individual sellers. Yet, those developments have turned out to be predominantly or, exclusively white. Isn't that correct?

MAYOR MALTESTER. It is correct, and yet probably the largest and latest development and the last one from the land standpoint that is available now has three Negro families living in it, and the development is only five or six years old and all of the three--and one I know was sold through the developer of the tract.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. One was sold through the developer of the tract?

MAYOR MALTESTER. Definitely to the Negro.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. That is the Marina

MAYOR MALTESTER. Marina Fair.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. That is a new area that is being developed?

MAYOR MALTESTER, Right.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. How do you account for the older tracts that were developed that were not integrated?

MAYOR. MALTESTER. This, again, I cannot account for except for the fact that I think it goes back to the people themselves. I've talked to apartment house owners that the rest of their tenants have threatened to move out if they rent one apartment to a Negro family. So then who do you blame, the people or the apartment house owner?

MR. GLICKSTEIN. When Negroes have moved into San Leandro how have they been received by their neighbors?

MAYOR MALTESTER.. Normally very fine. We've had one bad incident that you have undoubtedly picked up on us. This happened to be on the most expensive one we were talking about, but it had nothing to do with racial problems, just outright hoodlums, but outside of that they are well accepted.
In fact, I would think exceptionally so. The reports that I get from this Marina Fair area is that the people in the area are happy with these families. They have gone in and fixed up their homes better than they were before and joined the Home Owners Association, become active in the area. This is what I think is tending, as I say, to break down this barrier that is built up, but I don't think it will be broken down politically. It's got to be through people.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. And I gather from what has been said that you as mayor have been exercising some leadership in the direction of breaking these barriers down?

MAYOR MALTESTER. I try as much as possible, in fact maybe a little more than I am supposed to, but it has to be persuasion and on a friendly basis. Yes.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. One of the witnesses said you had proposed to the city council that a human rights commission be set up and you were unsuccessful in getting that through.

MAYOR MALTESTER. I went beyond the human relations commission. I also tacked the word responsibilities in there because this had been proposed right after President Kennedy addressed the United States Congress of Mayors in Honolulu and asked for this type of support throughout the country because I think every city has areas where the property is getting run down, and this is not always Negroes' areas. In fact, most of the time it isn't.
So we wanted not only the human relations commission aspect, we wanted some responsibilities put into it. Unfortunately, the city council decided on a five to two vote that it was not necessary, that we didn't have any problems, and I don't blame the city council because, believe me, when that proposal was put out in the press --before I made the proposal I had six votes, and when the people got through with the telephone calls I wound up with one besides my own.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. Informally, then, your fellow councilmen agreed with your position, but when they had to indicate publicly what their position was they voted differently.

MAYOR MALTESTER. That is correct.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. How many persons does your city employ?

MAYOR MALTESTER. Approximately 365.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. How many are Negroes?

MAYOR MALTESTER. One.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. And he is a--

MAYOR MALTESTER. Police officer. We did have two. We had a young lady that was a police assistant, but she decided she would rather work for the telephone company.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. Does the city require its employees to be residents?

MAYOR MALTESTER. Yes and no. The rule is, the civil service rule is that all employees must be residents. The civil service board has the right to suspend that rule for all examinations. In checking our records we find it has suspended for all operations except three, they're always putting the rule to one side.
Those three operations that they have not suspended the rule for was a garbage collector, a maintenance man and the parks people, and in checking back and asking the Civil Service Commission why these three were not also allowed to not have to live in the community it is a fact that they class them in three emergency categories. I don't know, this is the answer that I got.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. Those three categories have to live in the community?

MAYOR MALTESTER. Right, and the others have to--the examinations are open. In fact, the young Negro police officer we had lived in Berkeley. Now he lives in San Leandro with his family.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. He now lives in San Leandro?

MAYOR MAL TESTER. Right.

MR. GLICKSTEIN, Did he have any difficulty in finding a place to live?

MAYOR MALTESTER. I haven't talked to him. He hasn't said anything to me.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. But he did move into the city?

MAYOR MALTESTER. Yes.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. Does the city recruit employees outside the city?

MAYOR MALTESTER. Yes. This is what I was talking about on the recruitment. These are the only three that are supposed to live in the city, The rest of the recruitment comes from all over.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. And actually you make affirmative efforts to go outside of the city? You advertise outside the city?

MAYOR MALTESTER. Yes. It's advertised in all the journals, a notice is sent to the department of employment. We give it a broad advertising effect.

MR. GLICKSTEIN. Thank you. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman.

CHAIRMAN HANNAH. Mrs. Freeman?

COMMISSIONER FREEMAN. Mayor Maltester, does your city attempt to recruit industry, large industry, to come in? Have you ever in the past attempted this?

MAYOR MALTESTER. The city as such hasn't. The Chamber of Commerce is always, of course, working to bring new industry into San Leandro, and this is where our growth assessed valuation wise has come from, new industry over the past years.

COMMISSIONER FREEMAN. Do the majority of the persons who are employed by the industries that have come in in the past few years reside in San Leandro?

MAYOR MALTESTER. I wouldn't know. I would have to say as a guess, no. It's a pretty educated guess.

COMMISSIONER FREEMAN. Would a significant number of those that are white reside in San Leandro?

MAYOR MALTESTER. No. Again, I don't have any figures, but in my opinion no, because we have an awful lot of people that live in San Lorenzo, Hayward, Castro Valley.

I have had people tell me that even working for the city they can't live there because they can't afford it in their own city and they moved to Castro Valley.

COMMISSIONER FREEMAN. And these houses range in price from $18,000 up. Is that right?

MAYOR MALTESTER. Yes.

COMMISSIONER FREEMAN. Let me pose to you a hypothetical question that if a government agency or a government contractor indicated an interest in shelter for its employees and said to you as mayor, the leading official of the city, that, "We cannot come here because there is not a free and open housing market" what would then be your responsibility as the mayor?

MAYOR MALTESTER. Well, I would certainly want to sit down with the contractor or whoever he was and find out what the facts would be, and then sit down with our city council, so I would say that--

COMMISSIONER FREEMAN. Do you think it would make any change with respect to the--and this of course is an estimate-would the council then care enough about having a white-only ghetto to change it?

MAYOR MALTESTER. I would say that as individuals they would, and then when it got out into the newspapers I don't know where they would stand when the heat went on.

COMMISSIONER FREEMAN. I'm sorry, I didn't hear you.

MAYOR MALTESTER. I say that I am sure that as individuals the city council would be interested. I think that our city councilmen still are interested, but I would say that when the people themselves started to protest-

COMMISSIONER FREEMAN. These people, then, are so racist that they would still keep the industry out?

MAYOR MALTESTER. In my opinion if this were the issue, yes,

COMMISSIONER FREEMAN. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN HANNAH. Mr. Mayor, there are seven councilmen you say?

MAYOR MALTESTER. Six and the mayor.

CHAIRMAN HANNAH. Are you elected as mayor or as a councilman and then the councilmen elect the mayor?

MAYOR MALTESTER. I'm elected as mayor.

CHAIRMAN HANNAH. You are elected at large?

MAYOR MALTESTER. At large. Following through, we have the six councilmen who represent six districts. They have to live in the district, but they are also elected at large.

CHAIRMAN HANNAH. In your testimony this morning you've indicated that your views with reference to the presence of Negroes in your community is at variance with the views of most of the people that live in the community. When you have run for re-election has this been a handicap to you?

MAYOR MALTESTER. I couldn't say that because in the last election I didn't have any opposition, which was last year.

CHAIRMAN HANNAH. Mr. Taylor?

MR. TAYLOR. No questions.

CHAIRMAN HANNAH. Thank you very much, Mr. Mayor. We appreciate your enlightenment, and we hope that you may be able to prevail upon some of your colleagues. Having watched this development in the areas of civil rights all over the country it is as certain as anything can be that a city like San Leandro is going to move in the direction of an orderly acceptance of desirable Negroes and members of other minority groups or face, as you suspect, unhappiness and this myth that has been built up that when good citizens who happen to be black, or Mexicans or something else, move into communities, nothing really happens. There are fine people of all races and colors and religions, and somehow or other we have to get our citizens to recognize that what is important is the individual.
It is basically an educational process and if you and other enlightened leaders can follow along with the attitude that you have expressed here this morning Maybe you can make progress, although it gets discouraging at times.

MAYOR MALTESTER. I hope so. I would like to thank the Commission and would like to make, one statement, if I may, because I have read where the Commission has been criticized, and I would like to say that I think the most important thing that this Commission is doing is to allow the light of day to be put on some of these problems around the country, and I just hope that your job is accomplished along with the rest of us.

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December 11, 2007

Retired Librarian Writing New History of San Leandro

San Lorenzo book coverRetired San Leandro Librarian Cindy Simons is writing a new book on the history of San Leandro. The book, to be published by Arcadia Publishing, is part of the Images of America series. The series also features Castro Valley, Hayward and San Lorenzo. The book will build on an earlier history of San Leandro she wrote in July 2004 for the Alameda County Historical Society.

According to Simons, “The book will cover the stories of San Leandro from the time of the Jalquin and Yrgin Ohlone tribes to the 21st century. There are so many great stories in San Leandro's past -- cherries, oyster pirates, tractors, and Portuguese Holy Ghost festivals to name just a few.” Unlike “A Garden Grows in Eden” by Harry Shaffer or Reginald Stuart’s “San Leandro...A History,” Simons’ history will use about 200 photographs to tell the story of San Leandro’s history, including important recent events and issues.

The book is expected to be published in September or October 2008. If you have pictures of old San Leandro or stories of the “good old days,” contact Simons at (510) 910-3215 or by email at simons6589@comcast.net.

Simons was a librarian for the City of San Leandro for 11 years and was responsible for the History Room at the library and the Casa Peralta. Simons also took on curatorial responsibility for the exhibits at the history museum when funding was approved by the City Council.

In September 2005, the City of San Leandro commissioned an outline for a book on the history of San Leandro, but cancelled the project when the writer proposed to write about housing discrimination in San Leandro.

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July 27, 2007

The Reasons Behind our Street Names

As part of San Leandro's centennial celebration in 1972, the city commissioned a history of San Leandro. Harry E. Shaffer authored this history entitled, "A Garden Grows in Eden." The book covers San Leandro's history from the first Spanish expedition that crossed through San Leandro in 1772 until about World War II. You can get your own copy of the book at the San Leandro History Museum and Gallery.

Many of San Leandro's street names come from its earliest residents, owners, developers, lawyers, and even the wife of an early city engineer.

In Shaffer's "A Garden Grows in Eden," he writes, "...the list [of street names] is only a start. Perhaps readers can help us add to it." Below are the names of many San Leandro streets and who or what they were named for.































































StreetNamed forChanged
Alice Ave.prob. Alice A. Young, wife of Charles A. Young, owners
Antonio St.Antonio Estudillo, son of Don Joaquin
Bancroft Ave.H. P. Bancroft, Sec. of Breed & Bancroft, developersfrom Santa Clara St.
Begier Ave.I.H. Begier
Belleview Dr.prob. developer Belleview (Belleview Gardens subdiv.)
Best Ave.Daniel Best, whose children subdivided the property
Billings Blvd.Ray L. Billings
Bradhoff Ave.Lloyd Bradhoff of Bradrick Homes, subdivider
Bradrick Ave.Bradrick Homes, subdivider
Breed Ave.A. H. Breed, Pres. of Breed & Bancroft, developers
Bridge Rd.R. C. Bridge (& wife Helen L.) and E. S. Bridge (& wife Emma Lou), owners
Callan Ave.Father James Callan, first resident pastor of St. Leander's parish
Carpentier St.Horace Carpentier
Cary Dr.T. P. Cary & children, Amzi B. Cary & Lucy (Cary) Walrath (who subdivided the estate) T.P. Cary provided the land for San Leandro's Library
Castro St.Guillermo Castro, owner of Spanish grant to southeast (Castro Valley)
Clarke St.Henry Kirk White Clarke, attorney for Ward & Estudillos against the squatters (for ex. George Zimmerman)
Collier Dr.C. H. Collier (& wife Avis M. Collier), owner
Dabner St.John Pimentel Dabner, owner
Davis St.Wm. Heath Davis
Diehl Ave.Fred W. Diehl & wife Lena A. Diehl, owners
Donovan Dr.J.J. Donovan
Doolittle Dr.Jimmy Doolittle who led raid on Tokyo in W.W.IIfrom Bayshore & Shoreline Blvds.
Dowling Blvd.Geo. F. Dowling, Gertrude M. Dowling & Catherine C. (Dowling) Slattery, owners, & prob. descendants of Richard Dowling
Durant Ave.Durant Motor Car Co. & founder Cliff Durant (Co. was where Chevy plant now is)from Stanley Rd.
Dutton Ave.widow Jane Dutton, owner & pioneerfrom Chicken Lane
Elsie Ave.Miss Elsie Nugent, dau. of Magdalena Estudillo Nugent
Estabrook St.George Estabrook Smith, County Clerk & subdivider for Jacob W. Harlan
Estudillo St.Don Jose Joaquin Estudilloto San Leandro Blvd.
Eveleth Ave.Larry Eveleth (of Linton, Sundberg & Eveleth, developers)
Farrelly Dr.R.S. Farrelly
Garcia Ave.Joseph Garcia or descendants Manuel H., Joseph H. and Frank H. Garcia (owners)
Graff Ave.A. W. Graff (possibly miswritten for Robert W. Graff), owner
Haas Ave.John L. Haas & wife Mary (Reid) Haas, owners
Harlan St.Jacob Wright Harlan, owner
Harrison St.? (named by Jesus Maria Estudillo)
Hays St.Col. Jack C. Hays
Haywards Rd.to E. 14th St.
Hellman Ave.I. W. Hellman Jr.,former owner
Hepburn St.Hiatt P. Hepburn, of Hepburn & Saunders, attorneys for Estudillos against the squattersto W. Joaquin Ave.
Holland Ave.Edward J. Holland, ownerto Halcyon Ave.
Huff St.Socrates Huff
Hutchings Dr.E.F. Hutchings
Hyde St.? (named by Jesus Maria Estudillo)
Joaquin Ave.Don Jose Joaquin Estudillo, grantee of Rancho San Leandro
Juana Ave.Doña Juana M. Estudillo
Knox Ave.Lewis Knox (by widow, owner)to 143rd Ave.
Lemon Ave.part of Orange Grove tractto Euclid Ave.
Leo Ave.Clarence Leo Best, owner
Lewelling Blvd.John Lewelling & son Eli Lewelling, owners
Lewis Ave.George A. Lewis, Pres. of Lewis & Mitchell Inc., developers
Linton St.George W. Linton of Linton, Sundberg & Eveleth, developers
Lloyd Ave.Lloyd Bradhoff, subdivider of Bradrick Homes
Lola St."Tia Lola" Dolores (Estudillo) Cushing, dau. of Don Joaquin
Manthey Ave.Chas. E. Manthey, Pres. of Hollywood Land Co.to pt. of Broadmoor Blvd.
Martinez St.Ignacio Martinez, Spanish Don, father-in-law of Joaquin Estudillo
Maud Ave.Miss Maud Nugent, dau. of Magdalena Estudillo Nugent
McKinley Ct.Chas. A. & Pauline McKinley, ownersfrom Shirk Ave
Melvin Ct.prob. Melvin E. Lyon, trustee for Peralta Land Co. in Hollywood subdivision
Mitchell Ave.Arthur R. Mitchell, Sec. of Lewis & Mitchell Inc., developers
Mulford Gardenssubdivided by Gertrude H. (Mulford) Collins (dau. of Thos. W. Mulford) & husband Robert H. Collins
Oakes Blvd.William Edward ("Billy") Oakes, ownerfrom Palm Ave.
Orchard Ave.prob. for George Smith's cherry orchards; he subdivided
Parrott St.John Parrott of S. F., testified for Juana Estudillo against squatters
Pelton Center WayAllen E. Pelton
Peralta St.Don Luis Peralta
Ramon St.Ramon Estudillo, son of Don Joaquinnow vacated
Reva Ave.wife of Cliff Cline of City Engineer's Dept.
Rodney Dr.poss. R. C. Bridge if R. stands for Rodney
Ruhe St.Bert Ruhe, Sec. of Hollywood Land Co.now vacated
St. Mary Ave.Joseph St. Mary & wife Sophie St. Mary, owners
Sandelin Ave.Fred Sandelin, proprietor of tract
Saunders St.R. F. Saunders, of Hepburn & Saunders, attorneys for Estudillos against the squattersto West Juana Ave.
Shirk Ave.A. Shirk, ownerto McKinley Ct.
Stoakes Ave.Benjamin Franklin Stoakes or children who subdivided, i.e. Frank C. Stoakes & Flora (Stoakes) Rider
Sundberg Ave.Sundberg of Linton, Sundberg & Eveleth, developers
Sybil Ave.Miss Sybil Nugent, dau. of Magdalena Estudillo Nugent (named by Jesus Maria Estudillo)
Sybil St.Miss Sybil Nugent, dau. of Magdalena Estudillo Nugent (named by Jesus Maria Estudillo)to Jefferson St.
Thornton St.Harry Inness Thornton, Federal Commissioner appt. 1851 to settle Mexican & Spanish land grant titles, S. F. lawyer
Toler Ave.William P. Toler, son-in-law of Ignacio Peralta; built what is now the Alta Mira Clubhouse in 1860
Valita Dr.wife of Charles Martin, City Engineer
Valley St.Wayne Valley of Valley & Lincoln subdividers
Ward Ave.John B. Wardto Estudillo Ave
Ward St.John B. Wardto W. Estudillo Ave
Warren Ave.poss. for owners W. A. Brown & wife Mary R. Brown
Wicks Blvd.Moses Wicks & family, owners
Williams St.John J. Williams, S. F. law partner of Harry I. Thornton & James D. Thornton

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July 5, 2007

City of San Leandro and Housing Discrimination

On May 31, 2007, the San Leandro City Council's Human Relations Committee released a draft document entitled, "Chronology of City of San Leandro’s Efforts to End to [sic] Housing Discrimination and Promote Community Diversity." The document details the city's attempts to address the discrimination and segregation that became synonymous with San Leandro from the 1950s to the 1970s. According to a June 2, 2007, article in the Daily Review, the document was prompted in part by San Leandro resident Brian Copeland's memoir "Not a Genuine Black Man," which chronicles Copeland's experiences as a child growing up in a city where black people were unwelcome.

The earliest city action in the document is July 8, 1968, when the City Council adopted a policy on Community Relations and Responsibilities. However, as detailed in American Babylon, San Leandro actively became a segregated community after World War II:

Immediately after the war, San Leandro residents erected a figurative white wall along the city's border with Oakland. M. C. Friel and Associates, a Hayward real estate firm with expertise in racial covenants, became the East Bay's leading consultant on shoring up segregation. In 1947 Friel developed a plan to place as much of San Leandro's residential property under restrictive covenants as possible, limiting future property sales to "members of the Caucasian race."

If there is any documented complicity by the City of San Leandro in establishing discriminatory policies, it remains well-hidden today. However, the actions of the business leaders and residents of the time are documented:

The San Leandro News-Observer reported in the autumn of 1947 that Friel outlined his "plan for protecting property values" in an address "before the board of directors of the Chamber of Commerce," which concluded with "the board giving its approval of the program and authorizing that a letter of approval of his program be furnished Friel." In undisguised language the News-Observer announced that the "sudden increase in the East Bay Negro population" meant that "local neighborhoods are spontaneously moving to protect their property values and calling upon Friel's company to assist them."...These restrictions enjoyed official local support through the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce and city council...

Many homeowners associations, few of which are thriving today, were a part of the effort to seal off San Leandro's borders to African Americans:

Already known in the East Bay for designing racial covenants that could survive close legal scrutiny, Friel responded to the Court's landmark decision by reconfiguring San Leandro's covenant agreements into "neighborhood protective associations," pseudo-corporations of homeowners that could legally select acceptable home buyers through "corporation contract agreements" as long as "race and creed" were not taken into account.

As noted by Copeland in the Daily Review article, the chronology developed by the City fails to include any information about its complicity in the housing discrimination that was implemented in San Leandro after World War II.

Some of this history still struggles to be told. At the September 20, 2005, meeting of the San Leandro Library-Historical Commission, Library Services Director David Bohne announced, "I just met this afternoon with the City Manager at my office. We're going to move ahead with a book on San Leandro history.... Hopefully it will done around June of next year and kind of tie in a little bit too with our celebration of 100 years." A writer was contracted to write an outline for the book, but when the writer submitted an outline that included a section on housing discrimination in San Leandro, the project was canceled.

Despite its history of housing discrimination, according to the 2000 census, San Leandro is now a diverse community, with whites comprising just over 50% of the population, Asians 23%, Hispanics 20% and African Americans 10%.

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July 4, 2007

Significance of Historical Sites in San Leandro

On January 26, 2000, Community Services Director (now Library Services Director) David Bohne submitted a staff report to City Manager John Jermanis entitled, "Historical Sites in San Leandro and Their Significance." Here is an opportunity to learn about the history of San Leandro as we celebrate the independence of the United States.

The complete text of the staff report is shown below. The photos below were taken in 2007 and are not part of the original report.

CITY OF SAN LEANDRO

STAFF REPORT


Date: January 26, 2000
To: John Jermanis, City Manager
From: David R. Bohne, Community Services Director
Subject: Historical Sites in San Leandro and Their Significance

SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATION

This report is for information only, and no action is required.

BACKGROUND

The Library-Historical Commission has identified a variety of historical sites in San Leandro. The attached list is of sites that exist today.

DISCUSSION

1. Alta Mira Clubhouse
Alta Mira Clubhouse, San Leandro
The first brick house built ill Alameda County, the Peralta home was constructed in 1860 by W. P. Toler for Ignacio Peralta, an early San Leandro Spanish settler. The bricks were handmade from the Alameda Brickyard Slough. The original cost of the home was $3,000. It boasted a four-acre garden surrounded by an ornate iron fence, with a horseshoe-shaped main drive extending to E. 14th Street. The next owner, A. C. Peachy, bought the property in 1875 and added a wooden wing to the rear and front porch. It was covered with stucco in 1909 and was owned by C. L. Best before the Alta Mira Club acquired it in 1926. The home is California Landmark No. 285, and is also registered in the National Register of Historic Places. This was the final home of Ignacio Peralta.

2. Casa Peralta - 384 West Estudillo Avenue
The Casa Peralta was constructed in 1901 and has not been modified since exterior additions were added in 1925, which included many external and additional features of Spanish architecture. Some of the foundations and first floor may pre-date 1901 as remnants of the first dwelling built on this site around 1869; however, the most visible basic structure is that built in 1901. - The entrance and porch are decorated with tiles and adobe bricks from the original Antonio Maria Peralta adobe home in Oakland, dating to 1853. The interior of the Main Building remains exactly as it was designed in 1901. A few dormer windows have been added to the roof for decoration. The principal importance of this site derives from the Peralta family descendents who lived here: Ludovina Peralta Ivey, Maria Peralta Toler, and Herminia Peralta Dargie. The grounds are enhanced by three trees planted by the founder of the Golden Gate Park, John McLaren. The trees were called the "The Three Graces." The house is presently owned by the City and houses our City museum. City docents lead tours of the house and grounds.

3. Little Brown Church
The First Presbyterian Church was always known as "The Little Brown Church" to its members. Rev. James McKinney Alexander dedicated the church in April, 1867. It was the third church building constructed in San Leandro and is the oldest such structure remaining. The church stood on Clarke Street near W. Joaquin. In 1880, a room 12 x 16 feet was added to the church. This addition was the Sunday School and it is the building that you see today. The sanctuary portion of the building was moved to the Ashland area in 1935. It stood near Fairmont Hospital and was used as a church for the Latin community. In the early 1960's the site was needed for a new freeway, and the original Little Brown Church was demolished. The Sunday School building remained behind on Clarke Street. When the Clarke Street lot was sold, this Sunday School Wing was offered to the San Leandro Historical Society, provided that the building be moved. It was placed temporarily on a site on W. Estudillo and then moved to its current home on the back lot of Casa Peralta. Since the wing is all that remains of the original church, this portion is fondly known today as "The Little Brown Church." The redwood building seats about 50 people, its antique door and four stained glass windows are original. It is used by the San Leandro Historical Society as a meeting place.

4. Daniel Best House -1315 Clarke Street
Daniel Best House, 1315 Clarke Street, San Leandro
The Daniel Best home was built in the late 1870's by Joseph Demont. (It is noted that the assessor's office gave a probable 1900 construction date.) The second owner of the building, in 1886, was Daniel Best, an early developer of steam tractors and plows. His tractor firm eventually evolved into the Caterpillar Tractor Co. The home is a two-story Italianate Victorian with 15 rooms and a cellar. Occupying three City lots, the property also includes a large, old-fashioned garden, a Victorian carriage house, and a workshop. The wrought-iron fence was handmade in 1894. Daniel Best lived in the home until his death in 1922. At one time the Best House was a Bed and Breakfast Inn.

5. Manuel Garcia Home -1106 Hyde Street
This home of the first prominent Portuguese settler in San Leandro was built in 1875. Manual Garcia left the Azores aboard a whaling ship when he was only a boy of nine. In 1864, at the age of 14, he jumped ship in San Francisco Bay and ultimately settled in San Leandro. Garcia was the town's first dentist and one of the earliest businessmen. The home was used as both a residence and a business establishment. The original structure has been altered considerably as a result of various renovation projects, including the removal of a front porch and the addition of a side door.

6. Captain William Roberts Home - 526 Lewelling
This building is of notable historic significance as well as architectural value. There is no record of its construction date, but the house is noted on a map of early San Leandro circa 1878. The style is in the second French Empire tradition of Victorian period construction, but the addition of stucco over the original siding lessens its architectural value. Captain Roberts arrived in San Leandro in 1850 and established one of the first bay landings and produce wharves in the county. He built up a thriving trade in grain, vegetables, fruits, hay, and cattle at his landing. This home represents an era of San Leandro history which goes back 130 years - an era of bay landings, oyster beds, grain wharves, hay schooners, lumber shipments from San Leandro redwoods, fruit orchards, salt ponds, cucumber fields, general stores, and family life. Currently, there are plans for a hotel on the property with the house preserved and used for the caretaker or office.

7. Southern Pacific Railroad Station - 801 Davis Street
This railroad station was built in 1898. From the beginning, San Leandro was an important station. Southern Pacific's records show an agency and telegraph office located here as early as the 1870's. It is reminiscent of the single most important factor in the growth and development of San Leandro, the coming of the railroads in the late 19th century. The station is one of the last such buildings that served farmers and commuters in California before the arrival of autos and electric railways. Various interior alterations were made in 1953.

8. Little "Shul" - 642 Dolores (rear)
This is the first synagogue in San Leandro and possibly in the East Bay area. It is the fourth house of worship built in San Leandro and is in excellent condition. In 1889, $1 was paid by the San Leandro Hebrew Congregation for the land at 59 Chumalia Street upon which the Shul was built. The early Jewish residents who formed the San Leandro Hebrew congregation were prominent businessmen arid civic leaders. Sunday School classes arid religious services were held at the Little Shul for many years, attracting Jewish families from Hayward to Richmond. As San Leandro's population swelled during Second World War, it was obvious to the membership of the Little Shul that changes were needed. In 1949, construction of a larger synagogue began on this site. The Little Shul was moved from the Chumalia location by the Congregation of Temple Beth Sholom and beautifully restored at its present location behind the Temple Beth Sholom.

9. Holy Ghost Chapel and IDES Hall - 790 Antonio
Holy Ghost Chapel and IDES Hall, San Leandro
This site has been a Portuguese Community Center since 1889 and has been used ever since for the Holy Ghost celebration on Pentecost Sunday. The chapel was built in 1895. The initials I.D.E.S. translate as Brotherhood of the Division Spirit. The I.D.E.S. hall and chapel of Alvarado Street received its charter in 1882. The man most responsible for its establishment was Joseph Frances Focha. Born in the Azores, he immigrated to the United States aboard a whaling vessel. He and many other Azorean settlers in the San Leandro area raised funds for this land and this chapel and hall as a place to hold celebrations. Joseph and two of his brothers erected the buildings. The Holy Ghost Festa has been held here since 1882. The Holy Ghost Association moved from Dutton Avenue to the IDES Hall (originally an old barn) in 1889.

10. Tree at corner of Juana and Bancroft Avenues
This unusually shaped tree marks the site of the Gooch Estate and is considered to be of historical interest to many San Leandro citizens.

11. Best Building - Estudillo and East 14th Street
The Daniel Best Building had its formal opening on April 1, 1911. This neo-classical building was of mat-glazed terra cotta with a reinforced steel structure. The E. 14th Street side had an eight-foot arcade supported by 16-foot pillars. The arcade's floor was tiled and French glass was used throughout. The wainscoting of the lower floor and the stair entrances were of imported marble. The Best Building was restored to most of its former glory in 1973-1974 by the Best Building Partnership.

12. 308 West Joaquin Avenue. ,
The house on this site, built in 1896, is typical of California homes built in the 1890's. Its architecture is commonly referred to as the San Francisco style, which combines a variety of Victorian characteristics. Often, only the "freaks" and/or magnificent mansions of a given period are preserved, rather than the common homes that more accurately reflect an architectural and historical period. This "strick style" example of San Francisco architecture combines the scollops, stained glass, bay window and porch ornamentation into a conservative version of the Queen Anne design built during the Victorian period.

13. 1363 Hays Street
The blacksmith shop fronting on Hays Street and located at the rear of 308 West Joaquin Avenue has educational value as an illustration of one of the many home craft endeavors common to the turn of the century and since given way to mass productions.

14. 857 Estudillo Avenue
This home, built around 1890, is a reminder of a typical family home around the turn of the century. The house reflects elements on Italianate design with its bracketed rusticated corner quoins and pedimented window hoods. The carport is a modern addition.

15. 678 Juana Avenue
678 Juana Avenue, San Leandro - a Victorian home
This refurbished Victorian home adds flavor and color to the city. Because of the intriguing color combinations used, restored Victorian homes have been referred to as painted ladies. Victorian architecture as such does not really exist. It is a merging of a number of styles combined in many different ways. This house is a combination of Queen Anne and Eastlake, a style that was very popular from 1870 to 1890. The house, built in 1890, has boxed eaves and channel rustic siding.

16. 397 Maud Avenue
397 Maud Avenue, San Leandro
The comparatively plain house on this site is one of many built in the 1880's. It is an early Italianate style with a bay window, channel siding and a partial Mansard roof. The roof design represents the second empire styling, popular from the 1860's to the 1880's. During its restoration, the owners discovered two roof lines, leading to speculation that the present house may be an enlargement of an earlier structure. This one probably was built around 1880.

17. 310-312 Warren Avenue
The style of this structure, Queen Anne Revival, is the most frequently encountered form of Victorian architecture .. The house was built circa 1900 and is not pure in design as it exhibits details of other styles such as Eastlake and Romanesque. . The house was converted to two units in 1954.

18. 659 Estudillo Avenue
659 Estudillo Avenue, San Leandro - a Modern Colonial Revival home
This home is an example of the Modern Colonial Revival style. Notice the boxed eaves, oval window, mitered comers, and porch columns. The siding is lap and rustic. The garage is new and added in 1960. The house was built circa 1910.

19. Orchard Street Neighborhood (Kanaka Lane),
1348 Orchard Street
1349 Orchard Street
1350 Orchard Street
1364 Orchard Street
1376-78 Orchard Street
1427 Orchard Street
1470 Orchard Street
The historical-architectural value of these properties lies in their combination as a "period neighborhood." The area was settled and built by Portuguese immigrants. The sign reads "Orchard Avenue" but many know this street as "Kanaka Lane" or "Little Portugal." The names recall the settlers, who came from the Azores (Western Islands), the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii), and Portugal. San Leandro is infinitely richer for its Portuguese heritage. The people form a close-knit community. Family ties, religious beliefs, common language, and valued traditions are respected and honored. Like other ethnic groups, today's Portuguese strive to preserve their proud heritage despite great population shifts and ever-growing assimilation.

20. 444 Harlan Street
444 Harlan Street, San Leandro -home with a water tank house
Once, water tank houses like this example were far more common than they are today. The water tank is located at the rear of this property and originally was used to store water from a well below. It is typical of Northern California water tanks in that it has a "house" built around the tank - a pleasing architectural bonus not found in rural areas.

21. 383 Preda Street
This structure represents part of Northern California's unique vernacular architecture. Unlike most rural water tanks, this is enclosed by a "house," quite detailed in structure and style. Such water tank houses are rapidly disappearing from East Bay urban areas and should be preserved for their educational value, as well as for architectural attention.

22. 254 Callan Avenue
This structure represented part of Northern California's unique vernacular architecture. Unlike most rural water tanks, this is enclosed by a "house," quite detailed in structure and style. Such water tank houses are rapidly disappearing from East Bay urban areas and should be preserved for their educational value, as well as for architectural attention. This structure was torn down during the early 1980's.

23. 647 Juana Avenue - Redwood Trees
Redwood tree at 647 Juana Avenue, San Leandro
The redwood trees (Sequoia sempervirens) on this site and on the grounds of Bancroft Junior High School are over a century old and represent the last sizable redwoods that once covered much of the East Bay hills. Many early San Leandro buildings were constructed from local redwood. Early descriptions of this area did not mention any large tall trees. We must assume that these redwoods were not indigenous to this site.

24. 651 Juana Avenue - Redwood Trees
The redwood trees (Sequoia sempervirens) on this site and on the grounds of Bancroft Junior High School are over a century old and represent the last sizable redwoods that once covered much of the East Bay hills. Many early San Leandro buildings were constructed from local redwood. Early descriptions of this area did not mention any large tall trees. We must assume that these redwoods were not indigenous to this site.

25. Old Lamplighter's Home - 28 Dabner Street
Old Lamplighter's Home, 28 Dabner Street, San Leandro
The "Dabner's Addition," currently Dabner Street, was originally filed with Alameda County on May 16, 1871, just prior to San Leandro's incorporation in 1872. A study of county records revealed that the first house built in that new addition was built around 1872 on the northeasterly corner of Dabner and Davis Streets. The original owners were Mr. and Mrs. P. Mattos. Mr. Mattos was the new town's first official "lamplighter" for that neighborhood. In 1921, the home was moved back 75 feet to its present location at 28 Dabner Street. Prior to World War II, the house was owned by a Japanese family and used as a church when the family was sent to a relocation center. The home was also owned by the Mario Polvorosa family. The house is a two story wood frame structure. Its foundation is constructed of handmade brick and the house itself lies on 6 x 6 timbers on the brick foundation. Dabner Street was named for John Pimental Dabner who came from the Azores to San Leandro in the 1860's.

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June 6, 2007

History Walk Marks Historic San Leandro Sites

At a dedication at Casa Peralta on June 2, 2007, Library-Historical Commissioner Frederick A. Reicker, Mayor Tony Santos, and City Manager John Jermanis dedicated the recently completed History Walk (West Estudillo Pedestrian Improvement Project and San Leandro History Walk). The History Walk includes a designated path and street improvements from the San Leandro BART Station to downtown San Leandro via West Estudillo Avenue. The History Walk also includes signs at 12 historic sites around the downtown area and four other signs that discuss the Ohlone people, Spanish ranchos, agriculture, industry, transportation, and Cherry Festivals.

Mayor Tony Santos Finishes His Remarks
Mayor Tony Santos completes his remarks at the dedication.

Guests at the dedication included Councilmembers Diana Souza, Joyce Starosciak, Michael Gregory and Jim Prola, former Mayor Shelia Young, former City Councilmember Bill Jardin, State Senator Ellen Corbett, San Leandro Chamber CEO Diana Gentry, City Commissioners Charlie Gilcrest, Dale Reed, Donna Reed, Shirley McManus, AC Transit Directors Elsa Ortiz and Rocky Fernandez, Jo Cazenave from Representative Pete Stark's office, and San Leandro School Board Trustees Linda Perry, Stephen Cassidy and Mike Katz-Lacabe.

Guests were entertained by the St. Felicitas School Children's Choir performing San Leandro is Where the Heart is (San Leandro's Centennial Song) and Consider Yourself from the musical Oliver.

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May 17, 2007

Historical Preservation Survey from 1974

In April 1974, Ecumene Associates produced a Historical Preservation Survey for the City of San Leandro. The report recommended protection for a list of historically significant sites under the City's Historical Preservation Ordinance. Below is the text of the report without any of the illustrations.

HISTORICAL PRESERVATION SURVEY

Prepared for the
City of San Leandro

Ecumene Associates
Hayward, California
April 25, 1974

INTRODUCTION

This report is intended to provide information to the citizens of San Leandro, the Historical Cultural Advisory Commission, and the City Council regarding the historical-architectural-educational resources available in the City of San Leandro. Specifically, the report presents a list of sites that Ecumene Associates recommend for protection under the newly enacted Historical Preservation Ordinance and an enumeration of additional sites that might be considered for preservation by other parties or agencies. In addition, the report includes a short account of the growth of San Leandro, illustrated with historical maps, a list of sites that might be marked with informative signs, and some recommendations for future attention to the historical geography of the area.

METHODOLOGY OF THE SURVEY

Files of historical houses prepared by the Oakland chapter of the Junior League were used by Ecumene Associates as a starting point in this investigation. The files were found to be incomplete or inaccurate in many cases and were therefore used only to prepare a tentative master list of sites to be surveyed. Other sites were added to the master list at the suggestions of interested San Leandro citizens and in the course of historical research. A survey form was then completed and photograph taken of each of the one hundred and twenty sites on the list. Special attention was given to the unique architectural characteristics of the structure, if any, and to whatever historical-educational value it may possess.
Ecumene Associates based its review of the historic architecture of structures on three principles: (1) good architectural design; (2) suitability of architectural style; and (3) compatibility with surrounding structures. Of particular interest were sites that reflected feelings for the indigenous and the traditional and that extended and complemented the existing remnants of local heritage.
It is noted here that a complete sample of styles appropriate for architectural education should include the following: (1) California Mission (pre 1830); (2) Spanish adobe (1830-1870); (3) ready-cut "salt box" houses (1870-1890); (4) "Monterey" adobe (1860's); (5) Gold Rush commercial (1850-1890); (6) Victorian (1880-1900); (7) California bungalow (1900-1920); (8) Mexican adobe (l920-l940); (9) Old English revival (1920-1940); (10) concrete modern (1920-1940); and modern California ranch style (1940-present). However, no adequate examples of the mission, Monterey, or California adobe styles could be found, and examples of the bungalow, Mexican, English, concrete modern, and ranch styles were far too plentiful throughout the city to be considered for legal preservation protection at this time. Therefore, the lists assembled for this report include predominately Victorian and other turn of the century housing styles that are irreplaceable and becoming scarcer as the city continues to develop.
Using the methods and criteria stated above, fourteen sites were selected from the master list, designated as first priority, and recommended for inclusion under the Historical Preservation Ordinance. The second priority list includes sites that might be considered for inclusion under the ordinance at a future time or that might be considered for preservation and/or renovation by interested private parties. The third priority list includes the remaining old structures that were considered for but rejected from the first two lists. Research undertaken for this report also permitted identification of the following: (1) three unique water tank houses;
(2) three trees of special interest; (3) six sites of historical but not architectural importance; and (4) a group of sites that could be designated as an historical neighborhood.
Indian sites were purposely left off these lists until such time as local Native American organizations may discuss with city officials the posting and preservation of these sites. The Department of Archaeology at San Francisco State University has records of all known Indian sites in San Leandro and will make this information available to city personnel upon request.


INTRODUCTION

On April 25, 1974, Ecumene Associates submitted to the City of San Leandro a report entitled "Historical Preservation Survey." The following is a supplement to that report. The supplement is intended to provide information to the citizens of San Leandro, the Historical-Cultural Advisory Commission and the City Council regarding implementation of the newly enacted Historical Preservation Ordinance No. 74-12. Specifically, this report presents the background information and rationale used in identifying the historically or architecturally significant structures suggested by the Historical-Cultural Advisory Commission for inclusion within the compass of the ordinance.

A review of most older structures in the City was undertaken by Ecumene Associates in April. Three priority lists of potentially significant sites were presented to the Historical-Cultural Advisory Commission for its consideration. The initial review was based on the following criteria: suitability of architectural style, good architectural design, compatibility with surrounding environments and historical significance. Of particular interest were sites that reflected feelings for the indigenous and the traditional and that extended and complemented the existing remnants of local heritage.

It is noted here that a complete sample of styles appropriate for architectural education should include the following: (1) California Mission (pre-1830); (2) Spanish adobe (1830-1870); (3) ready-cut "salt box" houses (1870-1890); (4) ''Monterey'' adobe (1860's); (5) Gold Rush commercial (1850-1890); (6) Victorian (1880-1900); (7) California bungalow (1900-1920); (8) Mexican adobe (1920-1940); (9) Old English revival (1920-1940); (10) concrete modern (1930-1940); and (11) modern California ranch style (1940-present). However, no adequate examples of the mission, Monterey, or California adobe styles could be found and examples of the bungalow, Mexican, English, concrete modern, and ranch styles were far too plentiful throughout the city to be considered for legal preservation protection at this time. Therefore, the lists assembled for the first report include predominantly Victorian and other turn-of-the-century housing styles that are irreplaceable and becoming scarcer as the city continues to develop.

It is emphasized that the first survey and the list of sites presented here deal with examples representative of the common, ordinary aspects of life in early San Leandro rather than the unusual or exceptional. The intent is that students and other citizens will be afforded glimpses into the city's heritage by supplementing their reading and viewing of old photographs with examination of these real artifacts.

Historical preservation of individual buildings and groups of structures has proven valuable to property owners and citizens of the following California communities:

  • San Francisco: Jackson Square and Ghirardelli Square

  • Los Gatos: Old Town complex

  • Saratoga: Old Town restoration

  • San Juan Bautista

  • Bakersfield: Old Town

  • Sacramento: Old Town

  • Monterey restoration

  • San Diego: Old Town

  • Alameda Victorians

In each of these communities, citizen interest in local heritage has been expressed through the adoption of ordinances that encourage organized methods of preservation or restoration. In like manner, the Historical Preservation Ordinance of San Leandro is a means of reviewing the potential removal of historically or architecturally important buildings and of considering alternative uses of them before demolition is permitted.

It is recommended that the sites here listed as being of architectural or historical interest be preserved through implementation of the Historical Preservation Ordinance and that the approved list be reviewed periodically and modified as deemed appropriate. Later review of the list might consider in more detail the possibility of including selected examples of mid-20th century architectural styles, such as the California bungalow and concrete modern styles of the 1930's and 1940's.

DESCRIPTION OF RECOMMENDED PRESERVATION SITES
CITY OF SAN LEANDRO

1. Alta Mira Clubhouse
This brick structure was built by W. P. Toler for Ygnacio Peralta in 1860. It was sold in 1875 to A.C. Peachy, who added a wooden wing to the rear and a front porch. It was covered with stucco in 1909 and was owned by C. L. Best before the Alta Mira Club acquired it in 1926. The building is California Registered Landmark No. 285. For further information, see Andrew Eggum, "Peralta Home (New Alta Mira Club)," unpublished paper, San Leandro City Library.

2. 384 W. Estudillo - Casa Peralta
This structure, built in 1901 by a daughter of Ygnacio Peralta, is presently owned by the city and houses the Cultural-Historical center. It was remodeled from its original Victorian design into a Spanish style villa in 1925-26. Current status and plans for the building may be found in the Masterplan Report, Casa Peralta, City of San Leandro, 1974.

3. 400 block of Estudillo Avenue - Little Brown Church
This building, now boarded up and obscured by vegetation, is a classroom wing of the First Presbyterian Church of San Leandro. Rev. James McKinney Alexander dedicated the church in 1869. It was the third church building constructed in San Leandro and is the oldest such structure remaining. At present, there is community concern about the future of this building because it may be moved or demolished to make room for projected expansion of the Clarke Convalescent Hospital. For more information, see the Morning News, February 9, 1966, Page 4, and Harry Schaffer, "Saga of San Leandro," Studies in Local History, Vol. 13, 1973, page 71.

4. 1315 Clarke St. - Daniel Best Home
The popularly referred to "Best Home" was built in the early 1870's by Joseph Demont (it is noted that the assessor's office gave a probable 1900 construction date). The second owner of the building, in 1886, was Daniel Best, a San Leandro entrepreneur. Further information about Daniel Best may be found in Schaffer: see also Viola Webster, ''Days of Daniel Best," in William Halley, ed. Centennial Yearbook of Alameda County, 1876.

5. 1106 Hyde St. - Manuel Garcia Home
(corner of Hyde and Chumalia)
This home of the first prominent Portuguese settler in San Leandro was built in 1875. Garcia was the town's first dentist and one of the earliest businessmen including barber, ganker and fanner. The home was used as both a residence and business establishment. The original structure has been altered considerably as a result of various renovation projects, including the removal of a front porch and the addition of a side door. Information about Garcia's arrival in San Leandro (1864) is in Schaffer, Page 45 and San Leandro Recollections, March, 1972, Page 15.

6. 526 Lewelling - Capt. Roberts Home
This building, as is the case of the Garcia home, is of notable historic significance as well as architectural value. There is no record of its construction date, but the house is noted on a 1878 map of early San Leandro. The style is in the second French empire tradition of Victorian period construction, but the addition of stucco over the original siding lessens its architectural value. In 1850, Capt. Roberts lived at what is now known as Robert's Landing. He, was one of many squatters in that era who later became prominent community citizens. Further information about Roberts is in R.R. Stuart, San Leandro, A History, 1951.

7. 801 Davis - Southern Pacific Railroad Station
This railroad station, built in 1898, is now used as a freight office by the Southern Pacific Transportation Company. It is reminiscent of the single most important factor in the growth and development of San Leandro, the coming of the railroads in the late 19th century. The station is one of the last such buildings that served farmers and commuters in California before the arrival of autos and electric railways. For information, contact the State Board of Equalization and refer to S.P. Public Utility No. 872-1-90A, Parcel 2.

8. 642 Dolores (rear) - Little "Shul"
This is the first synagogue in San Leandro and possibly in the East Bay area: The building has been removed from its original location at 59 Chumalia Street to its present site behind the Beth Sholom Synagogue. It is the fourth house of worship built in San Leandro and is in excellent condition. Further information is in Schaffer, Pages 56 and 68 and Saga, Page 53.

9. 790 Antonio - IDES Hall. and Holy. Ghost Chapel
(Corner of Alvarado Street)
This site has been a Portuguese community center since 1882 and has been used annually ever since for the Holy Ghost celebration on Pentecost Sunday. The Holy Ghost Association moved into the IDES Hall (originally an old barn) in 1882. The chapel was built in the same year. Official records are kept at the U.P.E.C. offices.

10. Tree at Corner of Juana and Bancroft Avenues
This unusually shaped tree marks the site of the Gooch Estate and is considered to be of historical interest to many San Leandro citizens.

11. 1300 East 14th Street - Best Building
This white terracota-faced building with elegant classic revival ornamentation on the upper floor is typical of business buildings constructed at the turn of the century. It was built in 1910 by Daniel Best. It housed a bank and a theater and is presently the home of a savings and loan company.

12. 308 W. Joaquin Avenue
The house on this site, built in 1896, is typical of California homes built in the 1890's. Its architecture is commonly referred to as the San Francisco style, which combines a variety of Victorian characteristics. Often, only the "freaks" and/or magnificent mansions of a given period are preserved, rather than the common homes that more accurately reflect an architectural and historical period. This "stick style" example of San Francisco architecture combines the scollops, stained glass, bay window and porch ornamentation into a conservative version of the Queen Anne design built during the Victorian period.

13. 1363 Hayes Street
The blacksmith shop fronting on Hays Street and located at the rear of 308 West Joaquin Avenue, has educational value as an illustration of one of the many home craft endeavors common to the turn of the century and since given way to mass production.

14. 857 Estudillo
This structure, recently featured in Brightside (a Daily Review Saturday Supplement), is under restoration. Built circa 1890, the house reflects elements of Italianate design with its bracketed or rusticated corner quoins and pedimented window hoods. Except for the carport addition, it presents an accurate picture of a typical family home at the turn of the century.

15. 678 Juana
This well-cared for example of Victorian architecture with its boxed eaves and channel rustic siding is representative of the "Eastlake" style combined with the Queen Anne tradition, a melding that was popular from 1870-1890.

16. 397 Maud
The comparatively plain house on this site is one of many built in the 1880's. Its features include a partial Mansard roof, a bay window, and channel siding but not the fancy ornamentation of the later Queen Anne style. The Mansard roof represents the second empire styling of the 1860 to 1880 period.

17. 310-312 Warren
The style of this structure, Queen Anne Revival, is the most frequently encountered form of Victorian architecture. The house was built circa 1900 and is not pure in design as it exhibits details of other styles such as Eastlake and Romanesque.

18. 241 Joaquin
This modest home is a sample of the Salt Box style popular from 1880 to 1890. The house was built in 1885.

19. 659 Estudillo
This home is an example of the Modern Colonial Revival style (1915). Notice the boxed eaves, oval window, mitered corners and porch columns.

20. 525 Estudillo
Here is a sample of early 20th century combination of styles. The building has elements of the modem colonial style with porch pillars and gabled dormers along with elements of Queen Anne style represented by keyhole windows.

21. Orchard Street Neighborhood (Kanaka Lane)
The historical-architectural value of these properties lies in their combination as a "period neighborhood." The area was settled and built by immigrants from Portugal and Hawaii, many of whose descendants still reside in the neighborhood.

22. 444 Harlan Street
23. 383 Freda Street
24. 254 Callan Avenue
These structures represent part of Northern California's unique vernacular architecture. Unlike most rural water tanks, these are enclosed by a "house", often quite detailed in structure and style. Such water tank houses are rapidly disappearing from East Bay urban areas and should be preserved for their educational value, as well as for architectural attention.

25. 1931 Pacific Avenue - Monkey Puzzle Tree
This ornamental tree from South America (Araucaria imbricata) is becoming rare in its mature form. Like house styles, tastes in ornamental vegetation change. This species, planted in front of many homes at the turn of the century, has since been replaced by other types of ornamental vegetation. This is the best example of this species in San Leandro.

26. 647 Juana Avenue
27. 651 Juana Avenue
Redwood Trees
The redwood trees (Sequoia sempervirens) on these sites and on the grounds of Bancroft Junior High School are over a century old and represent the last sizable redwoods that once covered much of the East Bay hills. Many early San Leandro buildings were constructed from local redwood.

28. Old Lamplighters Home (28 Dabner Street)
This home is 108 years old and was the first house built in the new incorporated City of San Leandro. The original owners were Mr. and Mrs. P. Mattos. Mr. Mattos was the new town's first official "lamplighter" for that neighborhood. It's original location was the northeastern corner of Davis and Dabner Streets. In 1921 the home was moved back 75 feet to its present location at 28 Dabner St. The house is a two story wood frame structure. It's foundation is constructed of handmade brick and the house itself lies on 6 x 6 timbers on the brick foundation. Dabner Street was named for John Pimentel Dabner who came from the Azores to San Leandro in the 1860's.


REFERENCES
Bourna, J.N. "The Peraltas and their Houses," California Historical Society Quarterly, Vol. 30, No. 3, 1951.

Eggum, Andrew. "Peralta Home (New Alta Mira Club)," unpublished paper, San Leandro City Library.

Gebhard, David, et al. A Guide to Architecture in San Francisco and Northern California. Santa Barbara: Peregrine Smith, 1973.

Kirker, Harold. California' s Architectural Frontier: Style and Tradition in the 19th Century, San Marino: Huntington Library, 1960.

Shaffer ,Harry E. A Garden Grows in Eden. San Leandro Centennial Committee, 1972.

--------. "Saga of San Leandro," Studies in Local History, Vol. 13, 1973.

Stuart, R.R. San Leandro...A History. San Leandro: First Methodist Church, 1951.

Webster, Viola. "Days of Daniel Best," in William Halley, ed. Centennial Yearbook of Alameda County. Oakland, 1876.

EO:cbr (10)
8/13/74
8/14/74 (Revised)
1-26-79 (Revised)
2-17-81 (Revised)

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February 4, 2007

San Leandro's Official Centennial Song

Here are the lyrics to San Leandro's Official Centennial Song:

San Leandro Is Where My Heart Is
And I'd love to return again
Where peaceful days went by in sunshine, And
flowers bloomed to blend with the soft bay winds and
clear blue skies when we began to know, San Leandro
the hills are calling, with the
sounds of the days gone by.
Friends started, to last a liftime as we
follow our path leading home again;
Mem'ries' path leads us home again.
San Le-gain

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November 15, 2006

History of San Leandro City Council and Mayors

The first municipal election for the Board of Trustees of the Town of San Leandro was held in May 1872 and its first resignation came less than a month later. At that time, elections were held every year and the Board of Trustees consisted of five members who elected one of the members as Board President.

Familiar names like J.A. Estudillo, and Talcut P. Cary (who donated the land for the public library) were elected before 1892, when San Leandro began holding elections once every four years in April. C.L. Best was elected in 1904 and Allen E. Pelton was elected in 1916.

In 1927, the titles were changed from Board of Trustees to City Council and the Board President became the Mayor of the City.

In 1940, Helen L.C. Lawrence was elected to the City Council and in May 1941, she became the first Portuguese Mayor of a city in the United States.

Jack Maltester was first elected to the City Council in 1956 and became Mayor in 1958. In 1962, Maltester became the first Mayor elected directly by the residents of San Leandro instead of the City Council. Mario Polvorosa was appointed to the City Council in 1965. Maltester was re-elected in 1966, 1970, and 1974. Maltester was forced to leave office after term limits were enacted and he had served as Mayor for 20 years.

Former City Councilmembers have gone on to serve on the San Leandro School Board (Linda Perry), the San Leandro Personnel Relations Board (William Jardin and Kent Myers), San Leandro Mayor (Ellen Corbett, John Faria, Shelia Young, and Tony Santos), Oro Loma Sanitary District (Howard Kerr), California State Assembly (Johan Klehs and Ellen Corbett), and California State Senate (Ellen Corbett).

Below is a complete history of the City Council/Board of Trustees for the City/Town of San Leandro from 1872 to present:

BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE TOWN OF SAN LEANDRO
CHARTERED MARCH 21, 1872

Key
* Signifies person was ELECTED to office
+ Signifies person was APPOINTED to office to fill a vacancy between elections

May 13, 1872 – 1st General Municipal Election
* Ammerman, Isaac A. – 1st President elected by the Board
* Collingridge, Joseph
* Covell, A.T.
* Hazelhurst, William
* Huff, S.

Resigned
William Hazelhurst – June 10, 1872

Replaced
+ W.T. Thrasher – June 10, 1872 - replaced Hazelhurst


May 5, 1873 – 2nd General Municipal Election
* Baldwin, Alex
* Collingridge, Joseph – 2nd President elected by the Board
* Covell, A.T.
* LaGrange, M.C.
* Payne, George H.


May 4, 1874 – 3rd General Municipal Election
* Covell, A.T.
* Demont, Joseph – 3rd President elected by the Board
* LaGrange, M.C.
* Price, Jacob
* Reid, William W.


May 3, 1875 – 4th General Municipal Election
* Baldwin, Alex
* Covell, A.T. – 4th President elected by the Board
* Demont, Joseph
* Estudillo, J.A.
Smith, George – tie vote with S. Huff, installed but defeated in run-off election

Run-Off election
* S. Huff – May 29, 1875 - defeated George Smith in run-off election

Resigned
A.T. Covell – September 8, 1875

5th President elected by the Board
Joseph Demont – October 4, 1875

Resigned
Alex Baldwin – March 6, 1876

Replaced
+ William W. Reid – March 20, 1876 - replaced Covell


May 1, 1876 – 5th General Municipal Election
* Demont, Joseph – elected President by the Board
* Estudillo, J.A.
* Huff, S.
* LaGrange, M.C.
* Reid, William W.


May 7, 1877 – 6th General Municipal Election
* Demont, Joseph – elected President by the Board
* Estudillo, J.A.
* Huff, S.
* LaGrange, M.C.
* Reid, William W.


May 6, 1878 – 7th General Municipal Election
* Christie, O.H. – 6th President elected by the Board
* McIntyre, R.
* Meyer, Fred
* Powell, H.C.
* Stone, T.N.

May 5, 1879 – 8th General Municipal Election
* Christie, O.H. – elected President by the Board
* Dasher, Samuel
* Knowles, J.S., Sr.
* Morehouse, L.C.
* Smith, George


May 3, 1880 – 9th General Municipal Election
* Cary, Talcut P.
* Crane, H.F. – 7th President elected by the Board
* Knowles, J.S., Sr.
* Morehouse, L.C.
* Parker, R.


May 2, 1881 – 10th General Municipal Election
* Cary, Talcut P.
* Crane, H.F. – elected President by the Board
* Knowles, J.S., Sr.
* Quinn, J.E.
vacancy because of tie vote

Run-Off election
* Robert Parker – May 21, 1881 - won run-off election

Discharged
Robert Parker – September 20, 1881 - moved from Town and was discharged

Replacement
+ S. Huff – September 20, 1881 - replaced Parker

Deceased
J.S. Knowles, Sr. – November 15, 1881 - passed away

Replacement
+ O.H. Christie – December 5, 1881 - replaced Knowles


May 1, 1882 – 11th General Municipal Election
* Cary, Talcut P.
* Christie, O.H. – 8th President elected by the Board
* Dickenson, F.S.
* Kirkman, E. – elected but declined to serve
* Matz, Henry

Replacement
+ Thomas Goodman – May 15, 1882 - replaced Kirkman

Discharged
O.H. Christie – August 7, 1882 - moved from Town and was discharged

Replacement
+ M.L. Rawson – August 7, 1882 - replaced Christie

Elected
Talcut P. Cary – August 7, 1882 - 9th President elected by the Board

Discharged
Henry Matz – January 8, 1883 - moved from Town and was discharged

Replacement
+ Ira H. Bradshaw – February 5, 1883 - replaced Matz


May 7, 1883 – 12th General Municipal Election
* Crane, H.F.
* Eber, H.F.
* Goodman, Thomas
* Huff, S.
* Rawson, M.L. – 10th President elected by the Board

Resigned
S.Huff – November 12, 1883

Replacement
+ H.C. Powell – November 12, 1883 - replaced Huff


May 3, 1884 – 13th General Municipal Election
* Conner, F.C.
* Crane, H.F.
* Goodman, Thomas
* Powell, H.C. – 11th President elected by the Board
* Reid, William W.

May 4, 1885 – 14th General Municipal Election
* Collins, A.J.
* Garcia, M.J.
* Goodman, Thomas
* Knowles, J.S.
* Rawson, M.L. – 12th President elected by the Board


May 3, 1886 – 15th General Municipal Election
* Collins, A.J.
* Garcia, M.J.
* Goodman, Thomas – 13th President elected by the Board
* Hansen, N.L.
* Reid, William W.

Resigned
William W. Reid – March 7, 1887

Replacement
+ David Ury – March 7, 1887 – replaced Reid


May 2, 1887 – 16th General Municipal Election
* Bryant, F.
* Eber, H.F.
* Gallet, J.A.
* Rawson, M.L. – 14th President elected by the Board
vacancy because of a tie vote

Run-Off election
M.J. Garcia – May 23, 1887 - won run-off election

Elected
J.A. Gallet – November 7, 1887 - 15th President elected by the Board

Resigned
M.L. Rawson – November 7, 1887

Replacement
+ J.M.C. Platt – November 7, 1887 - replaced Rawson


May 7, 1888 – 17th General Municipal Election
* Bryant, Fred – 16th President elected by the Board
* Downie, George
* Peters, W.S.
* Price, J.
* Quinn, J.E.

Resigned
J. Price – December 17, 1888

Replacement
+ L.C. Morehouse – December 17, 1888 - replaced Price


May 6, 1889 – 18th General Municipal Election
* Cary, A.B.
* Estudillo, J.M.
* Garcia, M.J.
* Gray, B.D. – 17th President Elected by the Board
* Hawes, B.C.


May 5, 1890 – 19th General Municipal Election
* Cary, A.B.
* Eber, H.F.
* Estudillo, J.M.
* Gray, B.D. – reelected President by the Board
* Hawes, B.C.


May 4, 1891 – 20th General Municipal Election
* Bryant, Fred – 18th President elected by the Board
* Gray, B.D.
* Rideout, C.Q.
* Sturtevant, N.G.
vacancy because of a tie vote

Run-Off election
* W.H. Gray – May 16, 1891 - won run-off election


May 2, 1892 – 21st General Municipal Election
* Eber, H.F. – 19th President elected by the Board
* Goodman, Thomas
* Hansen, N.L.
* Quinn, J.E.
* Sturtevant, N.G.

November 8, 1892
Special Charter amendment election changed Town to CITY OF SAN LEANDRO and placed City election requirements under the General Laws of the State of California. Elections hereafter held every even-numbered year in April and the terms of office are four (4) years.


December 23, 1892 – 22nd General Municipal Election – all terms to April 1894
* Dawborn, C.A.
* Eber, H.F. – reelected President by the Board
* Estudillo, J.M.
* Goodman, Thomas
* Hansen, N.L.


April 9, 1894 – 23rd General Municipal Election
* Bettencourt, M. (4 year term by lot)
* Bilger, F.W. (2 year term by lot)
* Cary, Talcut P. (4 year term by lot)
* Eber, H.F. (2 year term by lot)
* Gray, B.D. – 20th President elected by the Board (2 year term by lot)

Resigned
F.W. Bilger – January 7, 1895

Replacement
+ George Downie – January 7, 1895 - replaced Bilger


April 15, 1896 – 24th General Municipal Election
Bettencourt, M.
Cary, Talcut P.
* Downie, George
* Eber, H.F.
* Gray, B.D. – reelected President by the Board


April 11, 1898 – 25th General Municipal Election
* Cary, A.B.
Downie, George
Eber, H.F.
* Gallet, J.A.
Gray, B.D. – reelected President by the Board


April 9, 1900 – 26th General Municipal Election
Cary, A.B.
* Eber, H.F.
Gallet, J.A. – 21st President elected by the Board
* Quinn, J.E.
* Ritter, M.V.

Resigned
M.V. Ritter – October 21, 1901

Replacement
+ John F. Hopper – October 25, 1901 - replaced Ritter


April 14, 1902 – 27th General Municipal Election
* Barbeiro, J.I.
Eber, H.F. – 22nd President elected by the Board
* Hopper, John F.
* Lynch, O.J.
Quinn, J.E.


April 11, 1904 – 28th General Municipal Election
Barbeiro, J.I.
* Best, C.L.
* Gill, John J.
* Hoerst, Ed
Lynch, O.J. – 23rd President elected by the Board


April 9, 1906 – 29th General Municipal Election
Best, C.L.
* Eber, F. Budd
Gill, John J. – 24th President elected by the Board
Hoerst, Ed
* Santana, John M.


April 13, 1908 – 30th General Municipal Election
Eber, F. Budd
* Gill, John J. – reelected Chairman by the Board (title changed to Chairman)
* Rideout, C.Q.
Santana, J.M.
* Toffelmier, L.J.

Resigned
C.Q. Rideout – September 14, 1909

Replacement
+ F.C. Stoakes – September 20, 1909 - replaced Rideout


April 12, 1910 – 31st General Municipal Election
* Andrade, M.J.
* Coleman, C.L.
Gill, John J. – reelected Chairman by the Board
* Schmidt, Fred
Toffelmier, L.


April 8, 1912 – 32nd General Municipal Election
Andrade, M.J.
Coleman, C.L.
* Gill, John J. – reelected Chairman by the Board
* Rogers, M.S.
* Schmidt, W.F.


April 8, 1914 – 33rd General Municipal Election
Gill, John J. – reelected Chairman by the Board
* Reichsroth, H.L.
Rogers, M.S.
Schmidt, W.F.
* Sehorn, W.A.

Resigned
W.F. Schmidt – August 31, 1915
W.A. Sehorn – August 31, 1915

Replacement
+ J.A. Gallet – August 31, 1915 - replaced Schmidt
1 vacancy existing (Sehorn)

Resigned
M.S. Rogers – September 2, 1915
Replacement
+ A.L. Rogers – September 2, 1915 - replaced Sehorn
1 vacancy existing (M.S. Rogers)

Resigned
John J. Gill – September 13, 1915

Replacement
+ John J. Gill – September 20, 1915 - replaced himself

Elected
J.A. Gallet – September 20, 1915 - 25th Chairman elected by the Board

Resigned
H.L. Reichsroth – October 12, 1915

Elected
John J.Gill – October 18, 1915 - 26th Chairman elected by the Board
2 vacancies existing (M.S. Rogers and Reichsroth)

Replacement
+ F. B. Granger – November 1, 1915 - replaced M.S. Rogers
1 vacancy existing (Reichsroth)


April 12, 1916 – 34th General Municipal Election
* Geisenhofer, Michael (4 year term)
* Granger, Farley B. (4 year term)
* Pelton, Allen E. – 27th Chairman elected by the Board (2 year term)
* Rideout, Charles, Q. (4 year term)
* Rodrigues, M.P. (2 year term)


April 8, 1918 – 35th General Municipal Election
Geisenhofer, Michael
Granger, Farley B.
* Pelton, Allen E. – reelected Chairman by the Board
Rideout, Charles Q.
* Toffelmier, L.J.


April 12, 1920 – 36th General Municipal Election
* Dalziel, Mrs. S.A.
* Granger, Farley B.
Pelton, Allen E. – reelected Chairman by the Board
* Reichsroth, H.L.
Toffelmier, L.J.

April 10, 1922 – 37th General Municipal Election
Dalziel, Mrs. S.A.
* Duck, Edwin
Granger, Farley B.
* Pelton, Allen E. – reelected Chairman by the Board
Reichsroth, H.L.

April 7, 1924 – 38th General Municipal Election
* Bronstein, Howard
* Davies, W.O.
Duck, Edwin – 28th Chairman elected by the Board
Pelton, Allen E.
* Reid, F.J.

Resigned
Allen E. Pelton, – April 17, 1924 - resigned effective April 21, 1924

Replacement
+ L.H. Bill – May 5, 1924 - replaced Pelton

Resigned
W.O. Davies – January 4, 1926

Replacement
+ Chester A. Gossett – January 4, 1926 - replaced Davies


April 12, 1926 – 39th General Municipal Election
Bronstein, Howard
* Hall, George, W.
* Landis, Herbert L.
Reid, F.J.
* Theyson, August C. – 29th Chairman elected by the Board

Resigned
Howard Bronstein – April 19, 1926
F.J. Reid – April 19, 1926

Replacement
+ Oscar F. Chichester – April 27, 1926 - replaced Bronstein
+ Andrew Miller – April 27, 1926 - replaced Reid

Resigned
August C. Theyson – September 7, 1926

Replacement
+ J. Dalziel – September 7, 1926 - replaced Theyson

Elected
Herbert L. Landis – September 7, 1926 - 30th Chairman elected by the Board

Resigned
Oscar F. Chichester – June 20, 1927

Replacement
A.P. Brown – July 11, 1927 - replaced Chichester


August 1, 1927
Titles changed from Board of Trustees to CITY COUNCIL and from Chairman of the Board of Trustees to MAYOR of the City. Mayor still chosen by members of the City Council from among their numbers.

Resigned
J. Dalziel – October 3, 1927

Replacement
+ William Richardson – October 17, 1927 - replaced Dalziel


April 9, 1928 – 40th General Municipal Election
* DeCou, Jerry W. – 31st Mayor elected by the City Council
* Gill, John J.
Hall, George W.
Landis, Herbert L.
* Miller, Andrew


April 13, 1930 – 41st General Municipal Election
DeCou, Jerry W. – reelected Mayor by City Council
Gill, John, J.
* Kientz, Edward B.
* Landis, Herbert L.
Miller, Andrew


August 31, 1931 – Special Election to Recall all Members of the City Council
* DeCou, Jerry W. – reelected Mayor by City Council
* Kientz, Edward B.
* Landis, Herbert L.
* Lee, W.B.
* Nashman, Albert

Recalled
John J. Gill
Andrew Miller

NOTE: This recall election resulted from an order by certain members of the City Council to have the activities of Marshall Joseph F. Peralta investigated.

Resigned
W.B. Lee – October 21, 1931

Replacement
+ Roland Esteves – November 4, 1931 - replaced Lee


April 11, 1932 – 42nd General Municipal Election
* Derry, Earl
* Holshauser, William
Kientz, Edward B.
Landis, Herbert L.
* Weldon, George – 32nd Mayor elected by the City Council


April 9, 1934 – 43rd General Municipal Election
* Billings, R.L.
Derry, Earl – 33rd Mayor elected by the City Council
Holshauser, William
* Thomas, A.B.
Weldon, George

Resigned
William Holshauser – October 7, 1935

Replacement
+ C.L. Orendorff – October 7, 1935 - replaced Holshauser

Resigned
George Weldon – November 4, 1935

Replacement
+ Helen L.C. Lawrence – December 2, 1935 - replaced Weldon

April 13, 1936 – 44th General Municipal Election
Billings, Raymond L. – 34th Mayor elected by the City Council
* Derry, Earl
* Groves, James F.
* Lawrence, Helen L.C.
Thomas, A.B.

Resigned
Raymond L. Billings – May 3, 1937 - resigned to accept appointment as City Manager

Replacement
+ C.L. Orendorff, – May 3, 1937 - replaced Billings

Elected
Earl Derry – May 3, 1937 - 35th Mayor elected by the City Council


April 11, 1938 – 45th General Municipal Election
Derry, Earl – reelected Mayor by the City Council
Groves, James F.
Lawrence, Helen L.C.
* Orendorff, C.L.
* Thomas, A.B.


April 8, 1940 – 46th General Municipal Election
* DuTiel, Mark – 36th Mayor elected by the City Council
* Groves, James F.
* Lawrence, Helen L.C.
Orendorff, C.L.
Thomas, A.B.

Resigned
Mark DuTiel – May 21, 1941

Elected
Helen L.C. Lawrence, – May 21, 1941 - 37th Mayor appointed by the City Council
1 vacancy existing

Replacement
+ Edwin L. Smith – June 2, 1941 - replaced DuTiel


April 14, 1942 – 47th General Municipal Election
* Dalton, Phil
Groves, James F.
* Knick, Thomas O.
Lawrence, Helen L.C. – reappointed Mayor by City Council
* Thomas, A.B.


April 11, 1944 – 48th General Municipal Election
* Groves, James F.
Knick, Thomas O. – 38th Mayor appointed by the City Council
* Lawrence, Helen L.C.
* Magnat, Ernest P.
Thomas, A.B.


April 9, 1946 – 49th General Municipal Election
Groves, James F.
* Knick, Thomas O. – reelected Mayor by City Council
Lawrence, Helen L.C.
Magnat, Ernest P.
* Musson, Richard H.

Resigned
James F. Groves – November 17, 1947

Replacement
+ William Swift – November 17, 1947 - replaced Groves

Resigned
Helen L.C. Lawrence – January 5, 1948

Replacement
+ Jack D. Maltester – January 5, 1948 - replaced Lawrence


April 13, 1948 – 50th General Municipal Election
* Bellini, Joseph O. – 39th Mayor elected by the City Council
* Dunnigan, Halsey E.
Knick, Thomas O.
Musson, Richard H.
* Seeley, Leonard – elected Vice Mayor by the City Council

December 16, 1949
Special Charter Amendment Election changed size of the City Council from five (5) members to seven (7) members.

Resigned
Joseph O. Bellini – December 19, 1949 - resigned from position of Mayor, not from City Council

Appointed
+ Kenneth A. Burge – December 19, 1949 - 6th member of City Council per Charter Amendment
+ William E. Dunning – December 19, 1949 - 7th member of City Council per Charter Amendment

Elected
Halsey E. Dunnigan – December 19, 1949 - elected Vice Mayor by City Council
Leonard Seeley – December 19, 1949 - 40th Mayor elected to City Council


April 4, 1950 – 51st General Municipal Election
Bellini, Jospeh O.
* Cannizzaro, Antone
Dunnigan, Halsey E. – reelected Vice Mayor by City Council
* Knick, Thomas O.
* Musson, Richard H.
Seeley, Leonard
* Swift, William – 41st Mayor elected by the City Council

Resigned
William Swift – April 16, 1951 - resigned from position of Mayor, not from City Council

Elected
Halsey E. Dunnigan – May 7, 1951 - reelected Vice Mayor by City Council
Thomas O. Knick – May 7, 1951 - 42nd Mayor elected by the City Council


April 8, 1952 – 52nd General Municipal Election
* Bellini, Joseph O.
Cannizzaro, Antone
* Dunnigan, Halsey E. – reelected Vice Mayor by the City Council
Knick, Thomas O. – reelected Mayor by the City Council
Musson, Richard H.
Swift, William
* Vlahos, Sam J.

August 11, 1952
Special Charter Amendment Election provided for creation of six (6) Councilmanic Districts to be as equal as possible in registered voters. Six (6) City Councilmen to be nominated from districts and one (1) to be nominated from the City at large. All to be elected by the electorate At Large. Nominees at large and nominees from
odd-numbered districts to be elected at next General Municipal Election. Nominees from even-numbered districts to be elected at next succeeding General Municipal Election.

Note: All names will be followed by a number in parentheses to designate the Councilmanic District from which that person was nominated. The letters ‘AL’ will designate the At Large position.


November 21, 1952
Ordinance No. 887 New Series established the 1st Councilmanic Districts


April 13, 1954 – 53rd General Municipal Election
Bellini, Joseph O. (2)
* Dunnigan, Halsey E. (3) – reelected Vice Mayor by the City Council
* Kant, Alvin W. (5)
* Knick, Thomas O. (AL) – reelected Mayor by the City Council
* Swift, William (1)
Vlahos, Sam J. (4)
vacancy (6)

Vacancy filled
+ James R. Frazier (6) – April 20, 1954 - filled vacancy caused by Councilmanic Districts


March 26, 1955
Ordinance No. 968 New Series changed Councilmanic District boundaries
because of Foothill Manor and Halcyon area annexations.

Resigned
Joseph O. Bellini (2) – July 11, 1955 - resigned but resolution not accepted

Resignation Declination
Joseph O. Bellini (2) – July 18, 1955 - resignation declined by resolution

Withdrawn Resignation
Joseph O. Bellini (2) – July 25, 1955 - withdrew resignation

Elected
Halsey E. Dunnigan (3) – August 1, 1955 - 43rd Mayor elected by the City
Council
Alvin W. Kant (5) – August 1, 1955 - elected Vice Mayor by the City Council

Resigned
Halsey E. Dunnigan (3) – February 6, 1956

Elected
Alvin W. Kant (5) – February 20, 1956 - 44th Mayor elected by the City Council
Sam J. Vlahos (4) – February 20, 1956 - elected Vice Mayor by the City Council
1 vacancy existing (3)


April 10, 1956 – 54th General Municipal Election
* Bellini, Joseph O. (2)
* Frazier, James R. (6)
* Gill, Valance (4)
Kant, Alvin W. (5)
Knick, Thoms O. (AL) – 45th Mayor elected by the City Council
* Maltester, Jack D. (3) – elected Vice Mayor by the City Council (see CC 1948,
* Swift, William (1) CSB 1954)


October 28, 1957
Ordinance No. 1093 New Series changed Councilmanic District boundaries
because of Washington Manor and Mulford Gardens annexations.


April 8, 1958 – 55th General Municipal Election
Bellini, Joseph O. (6)
Frazier, James R. (4)
Gill, Valance (2) – elected Vice Mayor by City Council
* Kant, Alvin W. (1)
* Maltester, Jack D. (AL) – 46th Mayor elected by the City Council
* Swift, William (5)
* Taylor, Robert J. (3)

Resigned
Joseph O. Bellini (6) – June 9, 1958

Replacement
+ Kenneth G. Cheatham (6) – June 30, 1958 - replaced Bellini (see BZA 1957)


April 12, 1960 – 56th General Municipal Election
* Cheatham, Kenneth G. (6)
* Gill, Valance (2) – reelected Vice Mayor by the City Council
Kant, Alvin W. (1)
Maltester, Jack D. (AL) – reelected Mayor by City Council
* Suerstedt, William F. (4) – (see P/C 1958 and BZA 1958)
Swift, William (5)
Taylor, Robert J. (3)

May 2, 1960
Ordinance No. 1265 New Series established new Councilmanic District boundaries per Charter requirement.


February 16, 1961
Special Charter Amendment Election provided for abolishment of At Large City Councilman position and created position of Mayor to be nominated and elected At Large at the same time as nominees for City Council from odd-numbered Councilmanic Districts.


April 10, 1962 – 57th General Municipal Election
Cheatham, Kenneth G. (6)
Gill, Valance (2) – reelected Vice Mayor by City Council
* Kant, Alvin W. (1)
* Maltester, Jack D. – 1st Mayor elected by electorate
Suerstedt, William F. (4)
* Swift, William (5)
* Taylor, Robert J. (3)


April 14, 1964 – 58th General Municipal Election
* Borre, Louis J. (6) - (see CSB 1955)
Kant, Alvin W. (1)
Maltester, Jack D. – Mayor
* Pomares, Gregory V. (2)
* Suerstedt, William F. (4)
Swift, William (5) – elected Vice Mayor by the City Council
Taylor, Robert J. (3)

Resigned
Louis J. Borre (6) – October 4, 1965 – moved from City

Replacement
+ Mario J. Polvorosa (6) – November 1, 1965 - replaced Borre


January 7, 1966
Ordinance No. 66-3 established new Councilmanic District boundaries per Charter requirement.


April 12, 1966 – 59th General Municipal Election
* Kant, Alvin W. (1) – elected Vice Mayor by the Council
* Maltester, Jack D. – Mayor
* Polvorosa, Mario J. (6)
Pomares, Gregory V. (2)
Suerstedt, William F. (4)
* Swift, William (5)
* Taylor, Robert J. (3)


April 9, 1968 – 60th General Municipal Election
Kant, Alvin W. – reelected Vice Mayor by the City Council
Maltester, Jack D. – Mayor
* Polvorosa, Mario J. (6)
* Pomares, Gregory V. (2)
* Suerstedt, William F. (4)
Swift, William (5)
Taylor, Robert J. (3)

Resigned
Robert J. Taylor (3) – November 4, 1968 - resigned at the request of the City Council

Replacement
+ Joseph F. Gancos (3) – December 2, 1968 - replaced Taylor

Deceased
William Swift (5) – February 6, 1969 - passed away

Replacement
+ LeRoy V. Woods (5) – March 17, 1969 - replaced Swift


April 14, 1970 – 61st General Municipal Election
* Coppa, Joseph J. (3)
* Kant, Alvin W. (1) – reelected Vice Mayor by the City Council
* Maltester, Jack D. – reelected Mayor by electorate
* Nahm, Al (5)
Polvorosa, Mario J. (6)
Pomares, Gregory V. (2)
Suerstedt, William F. (4)


January 10, 1972
Ordinance No 72-1 established new Councilmanic District boundaries per Charter requirement.


April 11, 1972 – 62nd General Municipal Election
Coppa, Joseph J. (3)
* Gill, Valance (2)
Kant, Alvin W. (1) – reelected Vice Mayor by the City Council
Maltester, Jack D. – Mayor
Nahm, Al (5)
* Polvorosa, Mario J. (6)
* Suerstedt, William F. (4)


September 10, 1973
Ordinance No. 73-59 established new Councilmanic District boundaries by population per Supreme Court decision.

Deceased
Alvin W. Kant – December 4, 1973 - passed away

Replacement
+ Myron E. Temple (1) – December 27, 1973 - appointed to replace Kant

Elected
William F. Suerstedt – December 27, 1973 - elected Vice Mayor by City Council


April 9, 1974 – 63rd General Municipal Election
* Coppa, Joseph J. (3)
* Frazier, Faith (1) (see Library 1962)
Gill, Valance (2)
* Maltester, Jack D. – reelected Mayor by electorate
Polvorosa, Mario J. (6)
* Seymon, Gunther (5)
Suerstedt, William F. (4)


April 9, 1974
Charter amendment adopted limiting City Council members to two consecutive terms.

Elected
Mario J. Polvorosa (6) – May 5, 1975 - elected Vice Mayor by the City Council.


April 13, 1976 – 64th General Municipal Election
Coppa, Joseph J. (3)
Frazier, Faith (1)
* Gill, Valance (2)
* Landis, L.N. “Judge” (4)
Maltester, Jack D. – Mayor
Seymon, Gunner (5)
* Soares, Richard D. (6)

Elected
Joseph J. Coppa (3) – April 20, 1976 - elected Vice Mayor by the City Council

Elected
Valance Gill (2) – April 11, 1977 - elected Vice Mayor by the City Council


April 11, 1978 – 65th General Municipal Election
* Frazier, Faith (1)
* Gill, Valance – 47th Mayor – 2nd Mayor elected by electorate
* Klehs, Johan (3)
Landis, L.N. (4)
* Seymon, Gunner (5) – elected Vice Mayor by the City Council
* Soares, Richard D. (6)
Vacancy (2) – [Gill resigned from District 2 seat]

Replacement
+ Donald W. McGue (2) – April 24, 1978 - appointed to replace Gill
(see CSB 1974)

Elected
Faith Frazier (1) – May 7, 1979 - appointed Vice Mayor by the City Council


April 8, 1980 – 66th General Municipal Election
Frazier, Faith (1)
Gill, Valance – Mayor
Klehs, Johan (3)
* Landis, L.N. (4)
* McGue, Donald W. (2)
Seymon, Gunner (5)
* Soares, Richard D. (6)

Elected
L.N. Landis (4) – May 19, 1980 - appointed Vice Mayor by the City Council

Designation
Richard Soares – May 4, 1981 - appointed Vice Mayor

April 13, 1982 – 67th General Municipal Election
* Gill, Valance – reelected Mayor by electorate
* Jardin, William F. “Bill” (5)
* Karp, David (1)
Landis, L.N. “Judge” (4)
McGue, Donald W. “Don” (2)
Soares, Richard D. “Rich” (6)
* Suchman, Edwin J. “Ed” (3)

Designation
Don McGue – May 3, 1982 - appointed Vice Mayor

Designation
Bill Jardin – May 2, 1983 - appointed Vice Mayor


April 10, 1984 – 68th General Municipal Election
Gill, Valance (Mayor)
* Glaze, Robert H. “Bob” (4)
Jardin, William F. “Bill” (5)
Karp, David (1)
* McGue, Donald W. (2)
* Santos, Anthony B. (6)
Suchman, Edwin J. “Ed” (3)

Designation
Dave Karp – May 7, 1984 - appointed Vice Mayor

Designation
Ed Suchman – May 6, 1985 - appointed Vice Mayor


April 8, 1986 – 69th General Municipal Election
* Faria, John E. (1)
Glaze, Robert H. “Bob” (4)
* Jardin, William F. “Bill” (5)
* Karp, David S. “Dave” – Mayor
McGue, Donald W. “Don” (2)
Santos, Anthony B. “Tony” (6)
* Suchman, Edwin J. “Ed” (3)

Elected
Robert H. Glaze (4) – May 5, 1986 - appointed Vice Mayor by the City Council

Elected
Anthony B. Santos (6) – May 4, 1987 - appointed Vice Mayor by the City Council

April 12, 1988 – 70th General Municipal Election
* Faria, John E. – Vice Mayor (1)
Glaze, Robert H. (4)
Jardin, William F. “Bill” (5)
Karp, Dave – Mayor (At Large) (1)
* Perry, Linda (2)
Santos, Anthony B. “Tony” (6)
Suchman, Edwin J. “Ed” (3)

Appointed
John E. Faria – May 2, 1988 - appointed Vice Mayor by the City Council.

Appointed
Linda Perry – May 15, 1989 - appointed Vice Mayor by the City Council.


April 10, 1990 – 71st General Municipal Election
* Corbett, Ellen M. (5)
Faria, John E. (1)
Glaze, Robert H. “Bob” (4)
* Karp, Dave - Mayor (At Large) (1)
Perry, Linda – Vice Mayor (2)
* Polvorosa, Julian P. (3)
Santos, Anthony B. “Tony” (6)

Appointed
Robert H. Glaze – May 7, 1990 - appointed Vice Mayor by the City Council.

Appointed
Robert H. Glaze – May 6, 1991 - appointed Vice Mayor by the City Council.


April 14, 1992 – 72nd General Municipal Election
Corbett, Ellen (5)
Faria, John E. (1)
Karp, Dave – Mayor (At Large) (1)
* Kerr, Howard (4)
* Myers, Kent W. (6)
* Perry, Linda (2)
Polvorosa, Julian P. (3)

Appointed
John Faria (1) – May 4, 1992 - appointed Vice Mayor by the City Council.

Appointed
Julian Polvorosa (3) – May 3, 1993 - appointed Vice Mayor by the City Council.

Deceased
Karp, Dave – May 30, 1993 - passed away.

Appointed
John Faria (1) – June 7, 1993 - appointed Mayor by the City Council through the next election (April 1994).

Appointed
Paul Nahm – June 28, 1993 - appointed to fill vacancy in District 1 (created by the appointment of John Faria to Mayor).


April 12, 1994 – 73rd General Municipal Election
* Corbett, Ellen M. – Mayor (At Large) (5)
* Galvan, Gordon A. (1)
Kerr, Howard (4)
* Loeffler, Garry A. (5)
Myers, Kent W. (6)
Perry, Linda (2)
* Polvorosa, Julian (3)

Appointed
Kent Myers – May 2, 1994 - appointed Vice Mayor by the City Council.

Appointed
Howard Kerr – May 1, 1995 - appointed Vice Mayor by the City Council.


March 26, 1996 – 74th General Municipal Election (first consolidated Election with Alameda County)
Corbett, Ellen M. – Mayor (At Large) (5)
Galvan, Gordon A. (1)
* Glaze, Bob (4)
Loeffler, Garry A. (5)
* Lothrop, Joanne M. (6)
Polvorosa, Julian (3)
* Young, Shelia (2)


June 3, 1997 – Special Municipal Election
Re: Special Tax for Emergency Medical Services – Measure “J”

“An Emergency Medical Services (EMS) tax approved to continue and fund emergency fire dispatch, fire apparatus based paramedics, and other EMS related programs which will support the delivery of emergency medical services requiring basic and advanced life support, in a yearly amount of $9.90 per family/benefit unit, with an annual adjustment based on the Consumer Price Index with total adjustments not to exceed $5.10.”

Approved by electorate.


June 3, 1998 – 75th General Municipal Election
Galvan, Gordon A. (1)
Glaze, Bob (4)
Loeffler, Garry A. (5)
Lothrop, Joanne M. (6)
* Nardine, Glenda (3)
Young, Shelia – Mayor (At Large)

Vacancy
Shelia Young elected Mayor, leaving District 2 seat vacant

Measure “H” – Gun Tax
Provides for a business license fee for firearms dealers based upon gross receipts. Approved by electorate.

Appointed
Gordon A. Galvan (1) – July 27, 1998 - appointed Vice Mayor by the City Council

Appointed
+ Surlene Grant – August 3, 1998 - appointed to fill vacancy in Council District 2 (created by election of Shelia Young to Mayor).

Appointed
Gordon A. Galvan (1) – May 3, 1999 – re-appointed Vice Mayor by the City Council


November 7, 2000 – 76th General Municipal Election
Galvan, Gordon A. (1)
* Glaze, Bob (4)
* Grant, Surlene G. (2)
Loeffler, Garry A. (5)
Nardine, Glenda (3)
* Santos, Anthony B. “Tony” (6)
Young, Shelia – Mayor (At Large)

Measure “F” – Run-Off Elections for City Council and Mayor
Requires the City to conduct run-off elections for the offices of Mayor and Council Member if candidates do not receive 50% plus one of the votes cast for that office. Approved by electorate.

Measure “G” – Repeal of Real Property Transfer Tax.
Not approved by electorate. (Real Property Transfer Tax was not repealed.)

Appointed
Bob Glaze (4) – May 1, 2000 - appointed Vice Mayor by the City Council

Appointed
Bob Glaze (4) – May 7, 2001 – re-appointed Vice Mayor by the City Council

Resigned
Gordon A. Galvan (1) – June 2, 2001 -- resigned from the City Council.

Appointed
Orval Badger (1) – July 23, 2001 -- appointed by City Council to replace Galvan.


March 4, 2002
Ordinance No 2002-03 established new Councilmanic District boundaries per Charter requirement.

Appointed
Bob Glaze (4) – May 6, 2002 – re-appointed Vice Mayor by the City Council.


November 5, 2002 – 77th General Municipal Election
* Badger, Orval “OB” (1)
Glaze, Bob (4)
Grant, Surlene G. (2)
* Stephens, Bill (5)
Santos, Anthony B. “Tony” (6)
* Nardine, Glenda (3)
* Young, Shelia – Mayor (At Large)

Appointed
Bob Glaze (4) – May 5, 2003 – re-appointed Vice Mayor by the City Council.

Appointed
Orval “OB” Badger (1) – May 17, 2004 – appointed Vice Mayor by the City Council.

November 2, 2004 – 78th General Municipal Election
Badger, Orval “OB” (1)
* Grant, Surlene G. (2)
Nardine, Glenda (3)
Stephens, Bill (5)
* Santos, Anthony B. “Tony” (6)
Young, Shelia – Mayor (At Large)

No candidate for the District 4 City Council seat received 50%+1 of the votes for that office as required by the Charter. A run-off election was scheduled between the two candidates with the highest number of votes for the District 4 Council race in the General Election.

February 8, 2005 – Special Run-off Election
Badger, Orval “OB” (1)
Grant, Surlene G. (2)
Nardine, Glenda (3)
*Joyce Rutledge Starosciak (4)
Stephens, Bill (5)
Santos, Anthony B. “Tony” (6)
Young, Shelia – Mayor (At Large)

Appointed
Orval “OB” Badger (1) – May 2, 2005 – re-appointed Vice Mayor by the City Council.

Appointed
Surlene G. Grant (2) – May 1, 2006 – appointed Vice Mayor by the City Council.

June 6, 206 - Primary election
Michael Gregory (1) elected to City Council
Bill Stephens (5) re-elected to City Council

November 7, 2006 - 79th General Municipal Election
* Gregory, Michael (1)
Grant, Surlene G. (2)
* Souza, Diana (3)
Starosciak, Joyce (4)
* Stephens, Bill (5)
* Santos, Anthony B. “Tony” – Mayor (At Large)

Posted by mike at 12:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 5, 2006

"Not a Genuine Black Man" now in stores

Not_a_Genuine_Black_Man.jpgNot a Genuine Black Man, Brian Copeland's autobiographical account of growing up black in all-white San Leandro, is now in (some) stores. The book's release date was/is July 11th, but some stores have it available already. So go and buy it!

The book is based on his one-man show, though it contains more details about San Leandro's history of discrimination. Early reviews on Amazon.com are glowing. They call it touching and humorous, it makes you laugh and cry - just like the reactions people have had to his show.

The book may also stand as the only serious account of this period in San Leandro's history. Earlier, the City of San Leandro commissioned an outline for a book on its history, but apparently cancelled the project when the writer proposed to write about housing discrimination in San Leandro during the 60's and 70's (see White Washing History in San Leandro).

If you haven't caught Copeland's show during its long run in San Fracisco, keep checking here as I hear he may do a few more shows later in the year, and of course we'll write about them if that's the case. There should also be book signings in the Bay Area later on.

More info on http://www.briancopeland.com/

Update: A World of Books at Pelton Center received copies of Copeland's book last week but has already sold out. More are scheduled to arrive on Monday, July 10, 2006.

Posted by marga at 9:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack