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

Historic McGee-Spaulding District

Berkeley History

Historic McGee-Spaulding District Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, March 7, 2010
1. Historic McGee-Spaulding District Marker
{In the upper right hand of the marker is a photo of a locomotive and building, with the caption "A steam locomotive laying track in 1911 at this site next to the site of the electric lineman's headquarters."}
Inscription.  The District was part of the land granted by the king of Spain in 1820 to the Luis Peralta Family. The land was later purchased from Jose Domingo Peralta by four San Francisco businessmen. In 1855, James McGee (1814-1899), a newly arrived Irish immigrant, purchased and began farming 115 acres east of California Street. McGee was elected to Berkeley's first Board of Trustees in 1878.

In 1876, the Spaulding Tract, west of California Street, was subdivided by the Oakland Land Association and offered for sale in quarter-acre lots. The McGee Tract was surveyed and divided into blocks and roads; The map was filed with the County of Alameda in May 1886. Even after the District was completely subdivided it remained sparsely populated and semi-rural for two decades, with fields of wheat and barley, cows tethered at pasture, and Strawberry Creek running through to the Bay.

After the 1906 Earthquake, people from San Francisco searching for new home sites began moving into the District. It did not become part of the urban pattern until 1912, when the Southern Pacific ran a line of its Red Train electric railway down California Street.
Historic McGee-Spaulding District Marker - Wide View image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, March 7, 2010
2. Historic McGee-Spaulding District Marker - Wide View
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It served commuters to Oakland and San Francisco until 1933.

This island was planted by local residents in 2005, and the plaque was donated by the McGee-Spaulding-Hardy Historic Interest Group.

Berkeley Historical Plaque Project

Erected 2008 by Berkeley Historical Plaque Project.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical month for this entry is May 1886.
Location. 37° 51.756′ N, 122° 16.732′ W. Marker is in Berkeley, California, in Alameda County. Marker is at the intersection of Dwight Way and California Street on Dwight Way. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Berkeley CA 94703, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Longfellow School (approx. ¼ mile away); Garden History (approx. 0.4 miles away); Site of Presentation High School and Convent (approx. half a mile away); Berkeley Veterans Memorial Grove (approx. half a mile away); City Hall Annex (approx. half a mile away); Berkeley High School Industrial Arts and Science (G and H Buildings) (approx. half a mile away); Berkeley High School Alumni: Bobby Seale, Jean Yonemura Wing, Billy Martin (approx. half a mile away); a different marker also named Historic McGee-Spaulding District (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Berkeley.
More about this marker. The marker is located in a landscaped traffic island at the intersection of the 1600 block of Dwight Way and the 2500 block of California Street.
Also see . . .
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 Historic McGee-Spaulding District. Historic Information regarding the District with added vintage photos. (Submitted on July 3, 2011, by Patricia Edwards of Berkeley, California.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on March 24, 2010, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 1,540 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 24, 2010, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.

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May. 13, 2021