Alameda history

 
Last month we met Charles Minturn and A. A. Cohen and leaned the roles their ferry boats played in our history. In this month’s story, we’ll ride the South Pacific Coast Railroad’s ferry boats — Newark, Garden City, Bay City and Encinal. We’ll also learn the interesting fates of two of these ferries.

In 1866, the Western Pacific ran out of money after completing the first 20 miles of track. This forced the railroad to halt construction east of Vallejo Mills in the middle of the desolate canyon along Alameda Creek. The following year, the Central Pacific decided that the route from Sacramento though San Jose to San Francisco was too long. The railroad found it more expeditious to instead run trains to Oakland and then use ferry boats to carry passengers to San Francisco.

This 1867 decision enhanced the role ferries would play in shuttling commuters around the Bay Area.

Alameda’s West End served the railroads well in the 19th century. But the East End also played an important role in their history.

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Broad Brush, your two-sentence local news review. Here are your headlines for the week.

Today’s Island city began life as a peninsula where Native Americans — members of the Ohlone tribe — first lived, more than 3,000 years ago.

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Broad Brush, your weekly, two-sentence local news review. Here’s what happened this week.

A.A. Cohen was a transportation man. He built the San Francisco & Alameda Railroad (SF&A) in 1864. By 1868, Cohen had also acquired interest in the Oakland Railroad and Ferry Company. He sold both. The sale made Cohen a wealthy man who could afford the best. In 1872, He and his wife, Emilie, hired the architectural firm of Wright and Sanders to help them express their affluence.

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Broad Brush, your weekly, local news review. Here are your Alameda headlines for the week.

City Council members have asked Assistant City Manager Liz Warmerdam to serve as Alameda’s interim city manager when the city’s current manager, John Russo, leaves on May 1. The City Council voted unanimously last week to offer Warmerdam, who started her municipal career in Alameda and came back as assistant city manager in 2013, the interim city manager’s job.

Vigilante James Farwell, consul Frederik O’Hara Taaffe, steamboat captain Robert R. Thompson and their families once lived on an estate that today’s Alamedans know as Lincoln Park.

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Broad Brush, your weekly, two-sentence news review. Here are your headlines for the week.

Arthur Weil knows the face of hate. Weil, a former history teacher and Holocaust survivor, spoke before an audience Saturday on the U.S.S. Hornet Museum.

City leaders are set to develop an Island-wide plan to address what one city staffer identified as “the single most debated issue” generated by new development – traffic.