Saturday’s walking tour will cover Alameda’s lost baths and Neptune Beach.
You might have heard of Neptune Beach, but did you know ten other baths once stretched along Alameda’s south shore? The Newport Swimming Baths opened its doors in 1877, 40 years before the Strehlow family invited bathers to Neptune Beach. These are all evident in the hand-drawn maps that show how these baths evolved over time.
J. P. Wonderlich took over Newport in 1878. According to one account he “at once commenced elaborate improvements that included 200 dressing rooms, 1,200 bathing suits, a conservatory with glass sides, with a seating capacity for 300 persons, and other and many luxuries.”
Alameda’s Changing Shoreline
Saturday June 18 — Alameda’s Baths and Neptune Beach.Join Dennis Evanosky to explore the site of former resorts built along Alameda's shoreline, including the Terrace Baths, the Cottage Baths, and Neptune Gardens, which became Neptune Beach, “The Coney Island of the West” over a two-and-a-half hour walking tour. We will meet at entrance of McKay Avenue on Central Avenue at 10 a.m.
The same year that Wonderlich was fixing up the Newport Baths, R. Haley and C. A. Edson opened the Terrace Baths, which boasted 240 dressing rooms, several rooms for hot salt-water baths and no fewer than 4,000 bathing suits.
Haley and Edison lighted the premises with twenty-two gas-lamps, each with a dazzling 80-candle power. Other baths included the Long Branch Swimming Baths, reportedly the largest of them all, with comfortable rooms and elegantly appointed grounds.
Late 19th and early 20th century beachgoers also enjoyed the waters at Sunny Cove, Sandy Beach, and Green Arbor baths, and more!
Award-winning historian and Alameda Post editor Dennis Evanosky will introduce Saturday’s tour participants to all ten baths that once lined Alameda’s south shore (including, of course, Neptune Beach). He will also explain how rowdy marksmen once met nearby to show off their skills and how a bicycle racecourse took over the rifle range for a time.