Washington Township, Alameda County, California

Last updated
Washington Township (in green, lower left) within Alameda County as of 1878 Map of Alameda County 1878 LARGE.jpg
Washington Township (in green, lower left) within Alameda County as of 1878

Washington Township is a former township of Alameda County, California in the San Francisco Bay Area region, which includes the present day cities of Union City, Fremont, and Newark. [1] The first permanent settlement in the area was Mission San José, established in 1797. The township was formed in 1853, and named for president George Washington. [2]

Contents

History

Events leading to the formation of the township began in 1797 with the establishment of Mission San José by the Spanish. Many Ohlone Native Americans settled at the mission to work, ending their traditional village life of hunting and gathering. In 1834, Mexico released California's Native Americans from the control of the mission system, as well as giving the mission property to caretakers. [3]

Several Mexican land grants were given from this area. Fulgencia Higuera received a grant known as Rancho Agua Caliente in 1839. Andrews Pico and Juan B. Alvarado were granted the outer lands of Mission San José, known as Rancho Ex-Mission San José, in 1846, but it was taken from them by California courts in 1859. Thomas Pacheco and Augustin Alviso received Rancho Potrero de los Cerritos in 1844, and José de Jesus Vallejo received Rancho Arroyo de la Alameda (which extended into Eden Township) in 1842. [2]

The California gold rush beginning in 1848 brought many prospectors to travel through the Mission San José area to the mountains, making the Mission an important trading site. [4]

In 1849, California became a United States territory, and when California achieved statehood in 1850, the area became part of Santa Clara County. In 1853, Alameda County was formed from portions of Contra Costa and Santa Clara Counties, and was divided into six townships including Washington. [2] Alvarado in present-day Union City was designated as the county seat. [4]

Geographical features

Washington Township is bounded to the west by the San Francisco Bay, and to the east by a mountain range that includes the 2,520-foot-tall Mission Peak. Alameda Creek runs from east to west through Niles Canyon, which was used as a passage for the first transcontinental railroad. [1]

Alameda Creek is the most important stream in Alameda County and the Township. From this Creek is derived the name of the County. Alameda Creek was the former boundary between Contra Costa and Santa Clara Counties during the period from 1850, when Contra Costa and Santa Clara Counties were formed, to 1853 when Alameda County was carved from these two Counties. The portion of Washington Township south of Alameda Creek is the only part of Alameda County that is not derived from Contra Costa County. [5] :17,26

Related Research Articles

Fremont, California City in California, United States

Fremont is a city in Alameda County, California, United States. It was incorporated on January 23, 1956, from the annexation of Centerville, Niles, Irvington, Mission San José, and Warm Springs. The city is named after John C. Frémont, an American explorer and former US Senator and Military Governor of California.

Alameda County, California County in California

Alameda County is located in the state of California in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,510,271, making it the 7th-most populous county in the state and 20th most populous nationally. The county seat is Oakland. Alameda County is included in the San Francisco Bay Area, occupying much of the East Bay region.

Contra Costa County, California County in California, United States

Contra Costa County is located in the state of California in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,049,025. The county seat is Martinez. It occupies the northern portion of the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, and is primarily suburban. The county's name is Spanish for "opposite coast", referring to its position on the other side of the bay from San Francisco. Contra Costa County is included in the San Francisco–Oakland–Berkeley, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Interstate 680 (I-680) is a north–south auxiliary Interstate Highway in Northern California. It curves around the eastern cities of the San Francisco Bay Area from San Jose to Interstate 80 at Fairfield, bypassing cities along the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay such as Oakland and Richmond while serving others more inland such as Pleasanton and Concord.

Niles Canyon

Niles Canyon is a canyon in the San Francisco Bay Area formed by Alameda Creek, known for its heritage railroad and silent movie history. The canyon is largely in an unincorporated area of Alameda County, while the western portion of the canyon lies within the city limits of Fremont and Union City. The stretch of State Route 84 known as Niles Canyon Road traverses the length of the canyon from the Niles district of Fremont to the unincorporated town of Sunol. Two railroads also follow the same route down the canyon from Sunol to Niles: the old Southern Pacific track along the north side, now the Niles Canyon Railway, and the newer Union Pacific track a little to the south. At the west end of the canyon are the ruins of the Vallejo Flour Mill, which dates to 1853.

Murray Township, Alameda County, California

Murray Township was a township located in what is now the Livermore Valley portion of Alameda County, California, including the present day cities of Livermore, Dublin, and Pleasanton, and the census-designated place of Sunol.

Eden Township, Alameda County, California

Eden Township is a former township of Alameda County, California in the San Francisco Bay Area region, which includes the present-day cities of Hayward and San Leandro, as well as the unincorporated census-designated areas of Ashland, Castro Valley, Cherryland, Fairview, and San Lorenzo. It was created from a group of Mexican land grants that were added to Alameda County when the county was established in 1853. Today there are several public and private agencies serving the region.

Alameda Creek

Alameda Creek is a large perennial stream in the San Francisco Bay Area. The creek runs for 45 miles (72 km) from a lake northeast of Packard Ridge to the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay by way of Niles Canyon and a flood control channel.

Centerville Pioneer Cemetery

The Centerville Pioneer Cemetery, also known as the Centerville Presbyterian Cemetery or Alameda Presbyterian Cemetery, located at the corner of Post Street and Bonde Way in Fremont, California, was officially designated a State cemetery in 1858 or 1859, depending upon the source, and was listed in the California Register of Historic Resources in 1976. At the time the cemetery was established, the location of the cemetery was known as Washington Township, Alameda County, California, which was then made up of the villages of Mission San Jose, Irvington, Warm Springs, Centerville, Niles, Newark, Alvarado and Decoto. In time all eight villages became towns of the same names, and both the church and cemetery were renamed to reflect their location in the town of Centerville.

The Berreyesa family is a prominent Californio family of Northern California. Members of the family held extensive rancho grants across the Bay Area during 18th and 19th centuries. Numerous places are named after the family, including the Berryessa district of San Jose and Lake Berryessa in Napa County.

Rancho Rinconada del Arroyo de San Francisquito was a 2,230-acre (9.0 km2) Mexican land grant in present-day Santa Clara County, California given in 1841 by Governor Juan Alvarado to María Antonia Mesa. The name means "ranch at the bend in San Francisquito Creek".

Rancho Las Uvas was a 11,080-acre (44.8 km2) Mexican land grant in present-day Santa Clara County, California given in 1842 by Governor Juan Alvarado to Lorenzo Pinedo. The name means "ranch of the grapes" and is derived from an abundance of wild grapes along the area's main watercourses. The grant was 3 miles west of present-day Morgan Hill, and covered the hilly area drained by the Uvas Creek and Llagas Creek, and is the site of present-day Uvas Reservoir.

Santa Clara County, California County in California, United States

Santa Clara County, officially the County of Santa Clara, is California's 6th most populous county, with a population of 1,781,642, as of the 2010 census. The county seat and largest city is San Jose, the 10th most populous city in the United States, California's 3rd most populous city and the most populous city in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Hale Creek

Hale Creek is a short stream originating in the foothills of Los Altos Hills, California in Santa Clara County, California, United States. Its source is in the Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve upstream and east of Neary Quarry. The creek flows northeasterly 4.6 miles (7.4 km) through the cities of Los Altos Hills, Los Altos, and Mountain View before joining Permanente Creek.

Rancho Agua Caliente was a 9,564-acre (38.70 km2) Mexican land grant in present-day Alameda County, California given in 1836 by Governor Nicolás Gutiérrez to Antonio Suñol and Fulgencio Higuera, and confirmed in 1839 by Governor Juan Alvarado to Fulgencio Higuera. The name means "warm water" and refers to the warm springs located in the foothills a short distance south of Mission San José. The grant is just south of present-day Fremont.

Rancho La Natividad was a 8,642-acre (34.97 km2) Mexican land grant in present-day Monterey County, California given in 1837 by Governor Juan B. Alvarado to Manuel Butrón and his son-in-law, Nicolás Alviso. Rancho La Natividad and Rancho Los Vergeles were adjoining ranchos along Gabilan Creek north of present-day Salinas. The headquarters of each rancho were close to the entrance to the pass through the Gabilan Range to San Juan Bautista. The Rancho La Natividad grant encompassed present-day Natividad.

Rancho San Emidio was a 17,710-acre (71.7 km2) Mexican land grant in present-day Kern County, California given in 1842 by Governor Juan Alvarado to José Antonio Dominguez. The grant was located along San Emigdio Creek in the northeastern foothills of the San Emigdio Mountains, between Santiago Creek on the west and Pleitito Creek on the east.

Rancho Ex-Mission San José was a 30,000-acre (120 km2) Mexican land grant in present-day Alameda County, California given in 1846 by Governor Pio Pico to Andrés Pico and Juan B. Alvarado. The grant derives its name from the secularized Mission San José, and was called ex-Mission because of a division made of the lands held in the name of the Mission—the church retaining the grounds immediately around, and all of the lands outside of this are called ex-Mission lands. The grant extended to the lands of present-day Fremont including the former towns, now districts of Centerville, Irvington and Mission San Jose.

Washington Township Museum of Local History (Fremont, California)

Washington Township Museum of Local History is a historical museum located in Fremont, California. The two historical organizations, the Mission Peak Heritage Foundation (MPHF) and Washington Township Historical Society (WTHS), formed the Museum of Local History Guild to focus on education, archival research and preservation of the historical resources of Washington Township. The Washington Township was created in 1853 from the southwestern part of Alameda County. For many decades, Washington Township consisted of agricultural fields dotted with eight towns, many now part of Fremont and some with local historians publishing their stories. The eight towns were the town of Newark, the two towns that became Union City, viz., Alvarado and Decoto, and the five towns that became Fremont, viz., Centerville, Niles, Mission San Jose, Irvington, and Warm Springs.

References

  1. 1 2 "A Brief History of Washington Township | Washington Township Museum of Local History". museumoflocalhistory.org. Retrieved 2019-09-25.
  2. 1 2 3 Country Club of Washington Township (Calif.) (1904). History of Washington Township, Alameda County, California. Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center. [Niles? Calif.] pp.  5-6.
  3. Carruthers, Carrie (2000). Washington Township: A pictorial history. Fremont, CA: Washington Hospital Healthcare Foundation. ISBN   0970507208.
  4. 1 2 Halley, William (1876). The centennial year book of Alameda County, California. Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center. Oakland, Cal[if.] : W. Halley. pp.  57, 481–490.
  5. Thompson & West (1878). Official and historical atlas map of Alameda County, California (Bicentennial 1976 ed.). Fresno, CA: Valley Publishers. ISBN   0913548340.

37°33′15″N121°59′57″W / 37.55417°N 121.99917°W / 37.55417; -121.99917