Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Pleasanton in Alameda County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Alviso Adobe

Alviso Adobe Community Park

 
 
Alviso Adobe Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, November 6, 2009
1. Alviso Adobe Marker
Inscription. Built in 1854, the Alviso Adobe is one of the few adobe structures remaining in the Bay Area. Declared a California Historic Landmark in 1954, the building stands relatively unmodified since the 1920s.

The adobe was in continuous use from 1854 until the Meadowlark Dairy closed in 1969. During the dairy period, workers took their meals in the kitchen and dining room of this building.
 
Erected 2009 by Alviso Community Park. (Marker Number 510.)
 
Location. 37° 39.624′ N, 121° 54.744′ W. Marker is in Pleasanton, California, in Alameda County. Marker can be reached from Old Foothill Road near Foothill Road. Click for map. Marker is located next to the Adobe. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3465 Old Foothill Road, Pleasanton CA 94588, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Francisco Solano Alviso Adobe (here, next to this marker); Alviso Adobe Community Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Meadowlark Dairy - The Dairy Silo (within shouting distance of this marker); Meadowlark Dairy – Dairy Bunkhouse (about 300 feet away, measured
Alviso Adobe and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, November 6, 2009
2. Alviso Adobe and Marker
in a direct line); Meadowlark Dairy – Dairy Manager’s House (about 300 feet away); Rancho El Valle de San Jose (approx. 1.5 miles away); Gold Creek (approx. 2.1 miles away); The Pleasanton Hotel (approx. 2.1 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Pleasanton.
 
Additional comments.
1. Rancho Santa Rita
The first documented inhabitants of the land were the Ohlone People. Hard rock mortars are still found on the site.

In 1797 Mission San Jose was established.

In 1821 Mexico received its independence from Spain and the Missions were secularized and the Mission lands were given as land grants to favored Mexican citizens. In 1839 the Amador-Livermore Valley, formally grazing land of the Mission San Jose, was divided up into four large rancheros; Rancho San Ramon, Rancho Las Positas, Rancho el Valle de San Jose and this area, Rancho Santa Rita. The grantee, Jose Pacheco never lived on the ranchero, choosing to keep his residence in San Jose. In the early 1850’s this area was acquired by Francisco Solano Alviso and in 1854 this adobe was built.

By 1881 ownership
Close-Up of Photo on Marker image. Click for full size.
3. Close-Up of Photo on Marker
Tenant farmers Peter and Henriette Kroeger, with daughter Lena in front of Alviso Adobe, Circa 1900

Photo: Courtesy of Amador Livermore Valley Historical Society Museum
had changed again and the local water company assumed ownership. The land was occupied by tenant farmers. In 1919 the Meadowlark Diary began operations on the site. In 1969 the dairy operations ceased and in 1993 the land was acquired by the City of Pleasanton and in 2008 the Alviso Adobe Community Park was opened.
    — Submitted November 17, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.

2. Description on Informative Panel Seen in Photo #11
Adobes, once common throughout early California, were built with materials available on-site

The Alviso Adobe, constructed in 1854, is actually two adobe structures connected only on the exterior. The larger adobe has three rooms and provided the main living space; the other structure may have first been used as a barn and then converted to a kitchen and dining area. The building, with its thick adobe walls, was designed to stay comfortably cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It was sited close to fresh water and took advantage of the commanding valley views. The majority of the improvements we see today date from the 1920s Meadowlark Dairy period.

The adobe walls vary in brick sizes. The most common brick size in 2 3/4" high x 22" wide x 11" deep. The interior wall surfaces are covered in plaster
Alviso Adobe image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, November 6, 2009
4. Alviso Adobe
and whitewash. The exterior walls were clad in cement plaster to protect the adobe.
    — Submitted November 17, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.

3. Additional Informative Panels
In addition to the Informative Panel seen in Photo #11, there are three other panels on display. The first details the restoration of the adobe, the second one highlights the California Ranchos and the third is of the Ranch Families. Photos also accompany the text on these panels.

Restoration:
Over time, the Alviso Adobe was modified to meet the needs of its occupants. The structure suffered some damage in the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and concrete arches were added to buttress the south wall. The building’s biggest changes occurred in the 1920s when it became an integral part of the dairy operation and was modified to provide shower/toilet facilities, a kitchen and dining area for workers.

Since the 1920s very few changes have been made to the building. Unoccupied since the late 1960s, the adobe fell into disrepair. A major stabilization effort by the City of Pleasanton in the late 1990s halted further deterioration. Recent improvements include seismic stabilization, some structural reinforcement, a new roof, restoration of the bathroom and shower area,
Alviso Adobe image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, November 6, 2009
5. Alviso Adobe
and rehabilitation of interior finishes to evoke the building’s 1920 character.

California Ranchos
Ranchos and cattle formed the backbone of early California’s economy. The historic Alviso Adobe represents a type of building typically found during the Californios period, after the Missions disbanded in the 1830s. The missions offered parcels of pasture land to qualified applicants. Requirements to gain title to a land grant were to build cattle corrals, a dwelling and to plant an orchard.

The main marketable item produced on the ranches were cattle. For the Indians who had been under the guide of mission priests, life on the ranchos was similar to what it had been with the missions. They tended herds and helped raise crops.

Ranch Families
From 1880 up until 1919, the property was leased for tenant farming. Peter and Henrietta Kroeger leased the Alviso Adobe from 1899 to 1912. Use of the land seems to have shifted from animal husbandry to farmstead during this time.

Walter M. Briggs bought the property in April 1919 and developed it into the Meadowlark Dairy. Robert H. Dana became the manager, accompanied by his wife Sarah. As a young girl, their daughter Doris Dana Tobias began participating in the dairy’s operation milking, pasteurizing, and bailing hay.

Jannes and Janna Takens, who came from Holland, began working
Alviso Adobe image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, November 6, 2009
6. Alviso Adobe
at the dairy in 1950. They leased the Meadowlark Dairy from 1960 – 1969.
    — Submitted November 18, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.

 
Categories. AgricultureIndustry & CommerceNotable BuildingsSettlements & Settlers
 
Interior of Main Room image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, November 6, 2009
7. Interior of Main Room
First Bedroom image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, November 6, 2009
8. First Bedroom
The original adobe had three rooms. The two side rooms were used for sleeping quarters, while the large room was a gathering space for the family.
Second Bedroom image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, November 6, 2009
9. Second Bedroom
Interior Viewing Window of Adobe Bricks image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, November 6, 2009
10. Interior Viewing Window of Adobe Bricks
Construction image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, November 6, 2009
11. Construction
This informative panel is posted in the main room of the adobe.
See Comment #2
Photo Displayed on Informative Panel image. Click for full size.
12. Photo Displayed on Informative Panel
Courtesy of National Park Service
Photo Displayed on Informative Panel image. Click for full size.
13. Photo Displayed on Informative Panel
In 1900 the adobe had few door or window openings, likely resembling its original form.
Courtesy of Alameda-Livermore Valley Historical Society
Photo Displayed on Informative Panel image. Click for full size.
14. Photo Displayed on Informative Panel
Kroeber family outside the adobe, ca.1906
Courtesy of Amador-Livermore Valley Historical Society
Photo Displayed on Information Panel image. Click for full size.
15. Photo Displayed on Information Panel
A major remodeling in 1925 included plastering the exterior, a concrete floor and porch, and a bathroom.
Courtesy of Amador-Livermore Valley Historical Society
Alviso Adobe image. Click for full size.
16. Alviso Adobe
This photo is on display at the "Museum on Main Street" The left section of the building is the original adobe. The right section is the former barn which later was converted to a kitchen and dining area.

"The Francisco Alviso Adobe is located on lands that were once part of Rancho Santa Rita, first granted to Jose Delores Pacheco in 1839. The Alviso family purchased the land and built the existing adobe in 1854. Francisco Alviso and his wife Miranda raised their 12 children at this site. In an agricultural census from 1860, Mr. Alviso stated that he owned 200 acres of unimproved land, 7 horses, 30 milch cows, and 100 other cattle. Archival research suggests that he was running a dairy, possibly the first in the area"
Source: The Museum on Main Street Display
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 1,843 times since then and 10 times this year. This page was the Marker of the Week Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.   3. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.   4. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.   5. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.   6. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.   7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Paid Advertisement