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History Walking Tours

As part of our commitment to educate and inform about local history, we have been presenting series of walking tours around Alameda since 2022. Join award-winning Historian Dennis Evanosky for leisurely walks that will leave you with a greater appreciation and understanding of Alameda’s history. We explore a wide range of topics including early residents, architecture, the environment, transportation, cultures, and other topics of historical significance. View information from our previous tours.

Alameda Post - Alameda Post's award-winning Historian, Dennis Evanosky
Dennis Evanosky leads a history walking tour near one of Alameda's lagoons in February, 2023. Photo Adam Gillitt.

Each tour meets at the time, date, and location stated and will end where it started. Each walk will cover 90–100 minutes over 1–2 miles. We suggest you wear comfortable shoes as well as sunblock, and bring water. Mobility devices, strollers (kids under 6 are FREE!), and well-behaved (or especially cute) dogs are always welcome.

The money raised from ticket sales goes to support our expenses incurred running a nonprofit news and information source to serve Alameda. We hope you will join us and have some fun learning about Alameda’s history!

Upcoming Tours

2024 Tour Schedule

Park Street Business District

Park Street has been the center of Alameda’s business district since the railroad came to town in 1864. Join Alameda Post Historian Dennis Evanosky for a walk to discuss the history of many of the vintage commercial buildings that are still in use today. We’ll learn what is hiding behind some of the modern facades, and what buildings are no longer standing. Highlights will include the Artesian Waterworks, the Masonic Temple, and the original Bureau of Electricity building that stood at the corner of what is now Otis Drive. The tour will end at back at the Alameda Museum, where volunteers will offer a special tour of the collection.

Read More

Railroads, Streetcars Shaped Park Street in the 19th Century

Lecture

Thursday, February 15, 2024, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Trying again: Thursday, February 22, 2024, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Tours

Sunday, February 18, 2024, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Get tickets now.
Sunday, February 25, 2024, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Get tickets now.

Meet

Outside Alameda Museum, 2324 Alameda Ave.

Webster Street Business District

Join Dennis Evanosky and Adam Gillitt of the Alameda Post for an informative stroll down Webster Street. They will describe how the byway—originally called Euclid Street—grew, largely thanks to baths that thrived on Alameda’s Bay shore, Learn about the Britt family and their impressive hotel. See what happened when the Croll family arrived. Learn how the street grew thanks, in large part to the arrival of A. A. Cohen’s 1864 railroad and the coming of the South Pacific Coast Railroad 14 years later.

Lecture

Thursday, March 7, 2024, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Tours

Sunday, March 10, 2024, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Get tickets now.
Sunday, March 17, 2024, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Get tickets now.

Meet

Webster Street Healing Garden

Original Town of Alameda

Take a walk through where it all started: The 1854 Town of Alameda. Learn how the copycat name of the town reflected how the founders hoped to bring the county seat here. See what attracted Gideon Aughinbaugh and William Worthington Chipman to this spot. Stand at the spot of the “High Street surprise” and see what role that street played in the founders’ plans. We’ll meet the Christensen and Saroni families and learn what role the disastrous winter of 1861-’62 and the 1864 arrival of the railroad played in the town’s losing the role the founders hoped it would play.

Lecture

Thursday, March 21, 2024, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Tours

Saturday, March 23, 2024, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Get tickets now.
Sunday, March 31, 2024, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Get tickets now.

Meet

Fountain at Encinal Avenue and High Street

Utah Construction — South Shore and Bay Farm Island

Dennis Evanosky and Adam Gillitt will explore how Alameda lost its tidelands and its San Francisco Bay shoreline. Learn about the pair of men who got their hands on almost every inch of Alameda and Bay Farm’s San Francisco Bay shoreline and tidelands. When they learned that had that could not carry out their grandiose plans, they sold everything to Utah Construction.  Utah delivered Alameda’s environment a one-two punch when they created South Shore and Harbor Bay Isle. Learn about the political developments that led to these developments and see first-hand how they unfolded.

Lecture

Thursday, April 11, 2024, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

South Shore Tours

Saturday, April 13, 2024, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Get tickets now.
Sunday, April 21, 2024, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Get tickets now.

Meet

Rittler Park, corner of Otis Drive and Grand Street

Bay Farm Island Tours

Sunday, April 14, 2024, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Get tickets now.
Saturday, April 20, 2024, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Get tickets now.

Meet

At the end of Veterans Court by the water

Grand Street — Otis Drive to Santa Clara Avenue

Stroll along the Gold Coast’s main thoroughfare with Adam Gillitt and Dennis Evanosky. Learn how Leviathan and Linnet streets became Grand Street and Santa Clara Avenue. Grand Street offers an open-air textbook of the architectural styles that made Alameda so attractive. (None of them “Victorian,” by the way.) Dennis will describe the shoreline as it once was and discuss how Utah Construction changed everything (with the voters’ approval).  We’ll stop at and enjoy what Alameda Museum’s retired curator George Gunn calls a “string of pearls.” We’ll also visit a street whose residents politely asked that the attic of a nearby famous house be removed so they could enjoy the morning light. Did they succeed? We’ll find out.

Lecture

Thursday, May 2, 2024, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Tours

Saturday, May 4, 2024, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Get tickets now.
Sunday, May 12, 2024, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Get tickets now.

Meet

Rittler Park, corner of Otis Drive and Grand Street

Neptune Beach and Central Baths

Trace what little remains of the Coney Island of the West with Dennis Evanosky and Adam Gillitt. The resort opened its doors as Newport Swimming Baths in 1877, 40 years before the Strehlow family invited bathers to Neptune Beach. Visitors in 1878 would be served by 200 dressing rooms stock full of 1,200 bathing suits, as well as a conservatory with glass sides and a seating capacity for 300 persons. We’ll take a first-hand look at Neptune Beach that entertained thousands from 1917 to 1939. When it closed, McKay Avenue was carved on the footprint of the roller coaster. We’ll see how the street’s name heralded the arrival of the Merchant Marines.

Lecture

Thursday, May 16, 2024, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Tours

Saturday, May 18, 2024, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Get tickets now.
Sunday, May 26, 2024, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Get tickets now.

Meet

McKay and Central avenues

Fernside and A.A. Cohen

Adam Gillitt and Dennis Evanosky will take you through the East End’s Fernside neighborhood. They will show you where Alfred A. Cohen family’s homes once stood. Dennis will discuss the important role the family patriarch played in the arrival of the transcontinental railroad in Alameda. We’ll meet his wife Emilie Gibbons’ influential family as we trace the stories of both families’ presence in Alameda. Emilie passed away in 1924 at the age of 91, and the children sold the estate to developer Fred Wood. He created the Fernside we know today.

Lecture

Thursday, June 6, 2024, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Tours

Sunday, June 9, 2024, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Get tickets now.
Saturday, June 15, 2024, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Get tickets now.

Meet

Lincoln and Versailles avenues

Alameda’s Changing Shoreline

Dennis Evanosky and Adam Gillitt will trace the boundaries of the former peninsula of Alameda and show how (and why) Alameda became the “Island City.” Until 1902, Alameda was a headland. The Army Corps of Engineers had other plans. They hired Alameda’s own Hermann Krusi, whose San Francisco Bridge Company turned the first “spade” of earth on Feb. 18, 1889. Learn about the surprising plans the Corps of Engineers had for the canal that Krusi dug and how they, thankfully ran out of money (and interest) to carry those plans out.

Lecture

Thursday, June 20, 2024, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Tours

Saturday, June 22, 2024, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Get tickets now.
Sunday, June 30, 2024, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Get tickets now.

Meet

Nob Hill Foods by the water

Alameda Point / NAS Alameda

This month the Alameda Post features a two-part walk around the former Naval Air Station. The Navy dredged San Francisco Bay and used what its machines drew from the Bay floor to create its air station. Dennis and Adam will discuss how the Navy covered two existing airports and closed a third one nearby. Along the way, they will show you how Alameda Point evolved from where Jimmy Doolittle’s Raiders left for Japan, where a number of aircraft carriers docked, and seaplanes took to the air. We’ll also check out a number of buildings once used by the Navy and see how they fit into today’s Alameda Point.

Lecture

Thursday, July 11, 2024, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

North of Tower Avenue Tours

Saturday, July 13, 2024, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Get tickets now.
Sunday, July 28, 2024, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Get tickets now.

Meet

Main Street Entrance, by the plane on a stick

South of Tower Avenue Tours

Sunday, July 14, 2024, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Get tickets now.
Saturday, July 20, 2024, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Get tickets now.

Meet

Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal

Northern Waterfront — Marina Cove Waterfront Park to Shoreline Park

This walk takes us along Brooklyn Basin’s shoreline. Dennis and Adam will discuss the history of the basin, how it got its name, and the role it played in history that stretches back to the Ohlone presence here. The Alaska Packers and Encinal Terminal both called the basin’s shoreline home and played significant roles in the West Coast’s maritime history. We’ll stroll past the sites of these former seafaring giants and learn more about them when we see the historical plaques on the Wind River property. Three yacht clubs call this shoreline home, two of them transplants, one a homebody to the estuary. We’ll visit Shoreline Park, where we can appreciate the transformation of this area from industrial to residential.

Lecture

Thursday, August 1, 2024, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Tours

Saturday, August 3, 2024, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Get tickets now.
Sunday, August 11, 2024, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Get tickets now.

Meet

Clement Avenue and Stanton Street

Third Street — Taylor to Pacific Avenues

This month’s Alameda Post walk begins on the old shoreline near the site of Alameda founders William Worthington Chipman and Gideon Aughinbaugh’s very expensive and unsuccessful “Peralta Wharf.” South Pacific Coast Railroad’s trains rolled by this spot from 1878 to 1906. The Southern Pacific Railroad’s Big Reds stepped in and carried their passengers by here from 1911 to 1938. Our walk will take us north on Third Street to Pacific Avenue. Had we walked down Third before 1877, we would have been on Kellogg Street instead. A. A. Cohen created the Town of Woodstock in 1864, he named this street for his wealthy benefactor, John Grover Kellogg, who made his fortune striking gold coins.

Lecture

Thursday, August 15, 2024, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Tours

Saturday, August 17, 2024, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Get tickets now.
Sunday, August 25, 2024, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Get tickets now.

Meet

Central Avenue and Third Street

Caroline, Weber, and Hawthorne Streets

Dennis Evanosky and Adam Gillitt will show off the Gold Coast’s “West End” this month. We’ll check out some magnificent homes on Caroline, Weber and Hawthorne streets. When we visit Weber Street, Dennis will present a live and in-person then-and-now moment with a large photograph of Caroline Dwinelle’s impressive home and gardens. And, yes, Caroline Street bears Caroline’s name. She was the widow of town founder William Worthington Chipman and wife of John J. Dwinelle when the home was built.  Did you know that Hawthorne Street was first named for a woman? We’ll learn the name and speculate who it might be.

Lecture

Thursday, September 5, 2024, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Tours

Sunday, September 8, 2024, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Get tickets now.
Saturday, September 14, 2024, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Get tickets now.

Meet

Central Avenue and Caroline Street

Portola Avenue and Burbank Street

September’s tours, the last of the Post’s “baker’s dozen,” will also include a walk through “Craftsman-style heaven” along palm-tree-lined Portola Avenue, Burbank Street and Eighth Street. Caroline’s son Willie Chipman, was behind developing these streets. The tract was once home to Schuetzen Park and a velodrome. Dennis will explain the interesting meaning of “Schuetzen” and why many found the park loud, raucous, and even dangerous. Skippy peanut butter was born here, and the homes coincided with the automobile’s growing popularity. This led to some of these homes sporting garages, some of the first in Alameda.

Lecture

Thursday, September 19, 2024, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Tours

Saturday, September 21, 2024, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Get tickets now.
Sunday, September 29, 2024, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Get tickets now.

Meet

Portola Avenue and Burbank Street

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