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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Albany in Alameda County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Albany Waterfront History (Pre-1900)

 
 
Albany Waterfront History (pre-1900) Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, June 2, 2021
1. Albany Waterfront History (pre-1900) Marker
Inscription.  Before the Ice Age waned about 10,000 years ago, this area was part of a wide valley through which the Sacramento River flowed on its way to the Pacific Ocean near the Farallon Islands. The river spilled over a waterfall at the Golden Gate headlands. Rising sea levels filled the valley, creating San Francisco Bay. Creeks carrying eroded material from the Berkeley Hills helped to build marshy flatlands along the shore near ancient hilltops like Fleming Point, Albany Hill, and Point Isabel.

When Europeans reached the Albany area, a crescent of sandy beach swept south from Fleming Point's sandstone bluffs to Berkeley. Codornices and Marin Creeks flowed to a large tidal marsh east of Fleming Point- the youthful Albany Salt Marsh across Buchanan Street is a remnant, shifted north by Bay fill. The Bay lapped close to the foot of Albany Hill. Middle Creek flowed into Cerrito Creek amid willows on the northeast side of Albany Hill, just above where Cerrito Creek entered another large salt marsh. Although channelized and culverted, these creeks remain.

Domingo Peralta built his home on Codornices Creek, near the north border of

Albany Waterfront History (Pre-1900) Marker - wide view image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, June 2, 2021
2. Albany Waterfront History (Pre-1900) Marker - wide view
The subject marker is visible on the right, while the marker for post-1900 history is visible on the left.
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his holdings. Vincente Castro, son of the Spanish grantee to the north, built his adobe on Cerrito Creek, at the south edge of the Castro holdings. El Cerrito de San Antonio (Little Hill of Saint Anthony) was named like the rancho for Luis Peralta's patron saint. An older name of Fleming Point was El Cerrito del Sur (Little Hill of the South).

Layers of discarded shells and rocks used for grinding seeds are reminders that Ohlone Indians, called Costanoans (coast people) by the Spaniards, lived on the north side of Albany Hill. In 1820, the Spanish crown granted longtime soldier Luis Peralta the land from San Leandro Creek north to Cerrito Creek. The northern portion passed to his son Domingo Peralta, who like other rancheros lost his land to squatters and lawsuits soon after the 1849 Gold Rush. One newcomer who paid Peralta for land was John Fleming, a San Francisco butcher. To graze cattle, Fleming in 1853 bought the island-like hill cut off by Codornices Creek's tidal slough. The point took on Fleming's name.

Completion of railroad tracks along the shoreline in 1878 attracted industry, but cut residents off from the waterfront. These Southern Pacific Railroad tracks remain, next to the freeway. However, the rival Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad acquired most of the shore and tidelands. The Santa Fe Railroad remained the main property owner

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on Albany's waterfront until the 1990s (although their tracks ran inland, along today's BART route).

The East Bay's population boomed after the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. When wagons from Berkeley began dumping garbage at the Albany waterfront, housewives turned out to block them. The protest spurred incorporation in 1908, with the name Ocean View - quickly changed to Albany to avoid confusion with other Ocean Views, including West Berkeley.

 
Erected by City of Albany, California Coastal Conservancy, East Bay Regional Park District.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EnvironmentNative AmericansRailroads & StreetcarsSettlements & Settlers.
 
Location. 37° 53.373′ N, 122° 18.693′ W. Marker is in Albany, California, in Alameda County. Marker is on Buchanan Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Albany CA 94706, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Albany Waterfront History(Post-1900) (here, next to this marker); Rose Wave (approx. half a mile away); Site of Albany's First City Hall (approx. 0.7 miles away); Site of Garbage Wars (approx. ¾ mile away); Site of Miller's Barn (approx. 0.8

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miles away); Ranchos San Pablo and San Antonio Boundary Monument (approx. 0.8 miles away); Cerrito Creek (approx. 0.8 miles away); El Cerrito Hills (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Albany.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 2, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 2, 2021, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 44 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 2, 2021, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.

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Jun. 12, 2021