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History of Newark, California

The roots of Newark’s community are almost 150 years old. By the time of California’s statehood in 1850, landings along the Bay in the vicinity of today’s City of Newark had already begun to appear. In 1853, Mayhew’s Landing included warehouses for wheat, hay, and coal. This activity triggered interest in the surrounding area and, by 1856, the Mayhew Ranch included 1,500 acres of farmland extending inland to present-day I-880. Less than 20 years later, the Perrin brothers had acquired the old Mayhews Ranch and had extended their holdings to include property stretching from today’s Jarvis Avenue on the north to south of Thornton Avenue. The Perrin brothers’ “development project,” the Green Point Dairy and Transportation Company, although slightly embellished, foretold of things to come for the area. It was the Perrin brothers who first drew up plans to subdivide the Green Point Dairy into a town site (although their project was located west of present downtown Newark in the general vicinity of Thornton Avenue and Jarvis Avenue).

A gentleman by the name of E. Beard started the early swamp reclamation project and patented the land in the area. Mr. Beard needed more capital and in 1872 sold 20,000 acres of swampland for $300,000 to Mr. J. Ross Browne. Mr. Browne outlined his swamp lands project before the State Legislature on February 3, 1872. At this point, Mr. Browne referred to the proposed town site as “Cralvo” or “Cariboo.” Mr. Browne created a circular that was distributed around Europe to promote the swamp lands project. An English capitalist bought an interest in the property and hired Mr. J. Barr Robertson (a Scotsman) to oversee his interests. Mr. Robertson was a director of the California Land Investment Co., Ltd., London, England. Mr. Robertson then bought out the interest that Mr. Browne had in the land. The name ‘Newark’ was chosen by Mr. Robertson, who named it after the castle “Newark” located on Dumbarton Point in Scotland (where the River Clyde enters the North Sea). In 1876, the railroad, together with the Green Point Dairy, were purchased by a San Francisco capitalist, Alfred Davis, and a Comstock millionaire, Jim Fair. Soon, a railroad station, roundhouse, and railroad shop buildings were being erected in the center of Newark in the area between Thornton Avenue, Sycamore Street, and Carter Avenue. Eventually, the railroad was extended north from Newark to Alameda, providing direct ferry service to San Francisco. Newark has retained that sense of self-determination and independence, priding itself on its ability to operate lean and fast. This trait has resulted in benefits to its residents, from its success in securing Newpark Mall, with its jobs, tax revenues, and easily accessible shopping, to completion of the new Dumbarton Bridge and improvements on the Nimitz Freeway. While other cities struggle with internal differences, Newark continually moves forward cohesively, working for the good of the community and it’s residents and businesses. They have come a long way from the early visions of the Perrin Brothers and their Green Point Dairy and Transportation Company.

Union City is a city in the San Francisco Bay Area in Alameda County, California, United States located approximately 20 miles south of Oakland, 30 miles southeast of San Francisco, and 20 miles north of San Jose. Incorporated on January 13, 1959, combining the communities of Alvarado, New Haven, and Decoto, the city has over 72,000 residents today and very diverse population. Alvarado is a California Historical Landmark. The city celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2009. The Cities of Fremont, Newark, and Union City make up the Tri-City Area to the south. The larger City of Hayward surrounds the city to the north. The Tri-City Area hosts many local events, along with programs for the youth.