“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

San Leandro in Alameda County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

Roots From Another Land

Lake Chabot Historical Walk

Roots From Another Land Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, February 3, 2014
1. Roots From Another Land Marker
Captions: Tree-of-Heaven (Ailantus altissima) (l), Eastern arborvitae cedar (Thuja occidentalis) (r), The Chinese laborers planted non-native cedars and Atlanthus, “Chinese Tree-of-Heaven” found throughout the park. (bottom left.).
Inscription.  Many of the trees surrounding you have foreign roots, each with its own tale. In 1868 the Hayward Journal described Chabot’s plans to encircle the reservoir with “walnut, hickory nuts, butternuts, and other eastern and foreign nut trees.” These transplants may have included the exotic palms before you.

The tree enclosed by the fences is a cork oak (Quercus suber), native to southwest Europe and northwest Africa. In 1892 Portuguese “vaquero: Frank Silva worked for the Contra Costa Water Company and could have planned this tree for his wine bottling.

In the 1910s Frank C. Havens, of People’s Water Company, imported millions of eucalyptus seedlings that sprouted into the towering trees around you. This get-rich-quick craze that spread throughout the San Francisco area touted the tree for timber, medicine, erosion, and fire control. The pros and cons of this Australian native continue to be debated, raising the larger question of how introduced species affect local flora and fauna.

Oakland author Jack London also invested in the Eucalyptus trend, eventually planting 65,000 trees. The Eucalyptus
Roots From Another Land Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, February 3, 2014
2. Roots From Another Land Marker
Timber Company secured his endorsement for a brochure “Jack London and Eucalyptus” to entice more investors.
Erected 2012 by East Bay Regional Park District.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Asian AmericansHorticulture & Forestry.
Location. 37° 43.935′ N, 122° 7.73′ W. Marker is in San Leandro, California, in Alameda County. Marker can be reached from Estudillo Avenue, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1799 Estudillo Avenue, San Leandro CA 94577, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Memorial to the Chinese Laborers (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Giant Water Filters (about 300 feet away); Lake Chabot Historical Walk (about 300 feet away); Filtration Basins (about 400 feet away); A Zoo, a Monkey, and a Mansion Here Too! (approx. 0.3 miles away); Tunnel No. 1 Control Shaft (approx. 0.3 miles away); Yem-Po: Chinese Labor Camp (approx. 0.3 miles away); Taming the Waters’ Flow (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Leandro.
More about this marker. The one mile Lake Chabot Historical Walk begins at the parking lot at the end of Estudillo Avenue. This marker is about 200 yards from the beginning of the trail.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on February 9, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 453 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 9, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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Jun. 4, 2020