Great Value for Alameda Landlords
The island Alameda occupies what was originally a peninsula connected to Oakland. Much of it was low-lying and marshy, but on higher ground than the peninsula and adjacent parts of what is now downtown Oakland were home to one of the largest coastal oak forests in the world. The area was therefore called Encinal, Spanish for "forest of evergreen oak". Alameda is Spanish for "grove of poplar trees" or "tree-lined avenue", and was chosen in 1853 by popular vote.
The inhabitants at the time of the arrival of the Spanish in the late 18th century were a local band of the Ohlone tribe. The peninsula became part of the vast Rancho San Antonio granted in 1820 to Luis Peralta by the Spanish king who claimed California. The grant was later confirmed by the new Republic of Mexico upon its independence from Spain.
Over time, the place became known as Bolsa de Encinal or Encinal de San Antonio.
The city was founded on June 6, 1853, and the town originally contained three small settlements. "Alameda" referred to the village at Encinal and High Streets, Hibbardsville was at the North Shore ferry and shipping terminal, and Woodstock was on the west near the ferry piers of the South Pacific Coast Railroad and the Central Pacific. Eventually, the Central Pacific's ferry pier became the Alameda Mole, featuring transit connections between San Francisco ferries, local trollies and Southern Pacific (formerly Central Pacific) commuter lines.
The first post office opened in 1854. The first school, Schmermerhorn School, was opened in 1855 (and eventually became Lincoln School), Encinal School was opened in 1860 (and closed in 1980). The San Francisco and Alameda Railroad opened the Encinal station in 1864. The Encinal area was also known as Fasskings Station in honor of Frederick Louis Fassking. Encinal's own post office opened in 1876, was renamed West End in 1877, and closed in 1891. The West End area was originally called Bowman's Point in honor of Charles G. Bowman, an early settler.