|Home||The Historical Society||How to Join||Shadi History Room||How You Can Help||Contact Us|
El Cerrito in print
California Family History Material; Soberanes, Irene; 1956; ~130 pages; University of California Library. This manuscript contains a significant amount of genealogical information on several of the families that came to California as part of the Anza expedition. It includes material on the Bernal, Berreyesa, Castro, Galindo, Higuera, Pacheco and Soberanes families.
Casas and Courtyards; by Helen S. Giffen; 1955; 153 pages; Alameda County Library. This book has descriptions of a number of the Spanish Adobes in California, including Victor Castro’s Adobe in El Cerrito.
Castro Adobe Fire; by Earl Scarbrough; 1961; 3 pages; reference pamphlets file at the El Cerrito Library. A description of the 1956 fire that destroyed what remained of the Castro Adobe. The fire occurred shortly before construction was to start on the original El Cerrito Plaza and on the day after a feasibility study on preserving the Adobe had commenced.
The Chessmen; by Ken Kokka; 2002; film/DVD - 18 minutes; Contra Costa County Library. This film tells the fictional story of the changing of the guard at a Japanese nursery. It is based on the short story by Toshio Mori. It was filmed at the Sakai and Oishi nurseries in Richmond, where the oldest greenhouses in California were located when the film was made.
The Chung Mei Home and Ming Quong Home; produced by Philip Chan; 2003; film/DVD - 15 minutes; Contra Costa County Library. This film was produced for the joint reunion in 2003 of the Chung Mei home for boys of Chinese descent and the Ming Quong home for girls of Chinese descent. It includes a number of vintage pictures of the homes and residents.
The City of El Cerrito, California; by Judson C. Clark; 1962; 18 pages; reference pamphlets file at the El Cerrito Library. A description of the organization and operation of the City of El Cerrito.
City of El Cerrito: on shaky ground city maps; by the Association of Bay Area Governments; 1995; 4 maps; Berkeley Public Library. A map showing seismic hazard levels in the area.
Coast Lines Depots; by Lee Gustafson & Phil Serpico; 1996; 240 pages; University of California Library. This book includes a good physical description of the Santa Fe Railway line that traversed El Cerrito in its short journey between Richmond and Oakland.
Commemorative History of St. Jerome Church and Its Times; by Lewis Vincent; 1992; 44 pages; Parish Office at St. Jeromes Catholic Church. This work is a description of the first 50 years of the St. Jerome Catholic Church and its parish.
A Continuing History of Contra Costa County; a compendium of articles from the Tri-Valley News; 1976; 110 pages; Contra Costa County Library. A series of articles published over a number of weeks that describe the history and growth of all parts of Contra Costa County.
Contra Costa Cities and Towns - El Cerrito, 1934 - 1988; compiler unknown; 1988; 120 pages; Contra Costa County Library. This volume is an interesting collection of news stories clipped from local newspapers.
Contra Costa Cities and Towns - El Cerrito (Supplement), 1948 - 1990; compiler unknown; 1990; 100 pages; Contra Costa County Library. This volume is an interesting collection of documents produced by the City of El Cerrito and news stories clipped from local newspapers.
Contra Costa County from The Resources of California magazine; no author given; 1898; 20 pages; Richmond Public Library. An early illustrated look Contra Costa County. It is largely promotional.
Contra Costa County California as Reviewed Under the Vitascope - Index ; by The El Cerrito Historical Society; 2007; this document can be found here. An index to the text and photos in the book. Using the index is slightly complicated, as the book does not have page numbers.
Contra Costa County California as Reviewed Under the Vitascope; by William L. Metcalfe; 1902; 112 pages; Contra Costa County Library. The author in 1901 set off across the county with his pencil and pad handy and his photographers in tow to record what he saw and heard. Although it is clear that the subjects in many cases subsidized the printing of material about them, it is an interesting work and provides a great snapshot of Contra Costa County at that time. The original is rare; the 1994 reprint is more common.
Contra Costa County - Historical and Biographical; by the Historic Record Company; 1926; 1100 pages; Contra Costa County Library. This book includes about 250 pages of history, followed by a chronology of events from 1858 through 1926, followed by about 700 pages of biographies, many with pictures, of various persons who lived in Contra Costa County.
Creek & Watershed Map of Richmond & Vicinity; Oakland Museum of California; 2006; 2 pages; University of California Library. A wonderfully detailed and informative map of the creeks and watersheds in Richmond and El Cerrito; however, for unknown reasons, the map has arbitrarily assigned new names to several creeks.
Diseño del Rancho de San Pablo; by James A. Forbes; 1830; 1 page; this document can be found here (2 megs.) A wonderful map of Rancho San Pablo from 1830, the original captions are in Spanish. Ana Dominguez has kindly translated the captions into English, providing a remarkable look into how Rancho San Pablo and its original landforms were viewed in those days. The name “Forbes' Map” is sometimes used to refer to this document.
Early History of Richmond; by Evan Griffins; 1938; 11 pages; Contra Costa County Library, also the Griffins family has kindly allowed us to reproduce the document here. An amazing amount of Rancho San Pablo history is packed into this 11-page document. CLICK HERE to download
Early History of Richmond (Supplement to); by Evan Griffins; 1939; 8 pages; Contra Costa County Library, also the Griffins family has kindly allowed us to reproduce the document here. An amazing amount of information about Rancho San Pablo settlers is packed into this 8-page document.CLICK HERE to download
Japanese Nurseries; in El Cerrito and Richmond: "Click here to see the a statement by the National Park Service on the significance of the history of the Japanese American flower industry in Contra Costa County." The document is attached.
Journey to a Distant Shore; by Frances Conley**; 1984; 99 pages; reference pamphlets file at the El Cerrito Library. This work tells the story of the first Mexican settlers who came to California. It includes an excellent bibliography/reading list.
Kensington - Past and Present; by the Kensington Improvement Club; 2000; 136 pages; Contra Costa County Library. Pictures and stories of Kensington over the years.
Landslides of the Berkeley Hills; from Alan Kropp & Associates; 1995; 1 page; one document is available. This excellent map from Alan Kropp & Associates clearly shows landslide hazard areas in northern Berkeley, Kensington, and southern El Cerrito. Click here (341K) to see a 1995 version of the map.
The Last Whistle; by Jack R. Wagner; 1974; 135 pages; Contra Costa County Library. A book about the Ocean Shore Railroad. This book contains the only known reference in print to the Bates & Borland Company, which ran a quarry in El Cerrito in early times.
The Little Hill; by George D. Miner (Richmond School District); 1957; 18 pages; Contra Costa County Library. A book for primary-grade children about the origins of El Cerrito.
Living with Flowers; by Gary Kawaguchi; 1995; 120 pages; Oakland Public Library. The history of the California Flower market, the wholesale market where all the Bay Area Japanese flower growers, including those from Richmond and El Cerrito, sold their flowers.
The Long Road to Rancho San Pablo; by Frances Conley**; 1989; 34 pages; Contra Costa County Library. The story of Francisco Castro, whose herds of cattle once roamed the entire northeast shore of San Francisco Bay. It begins with the family’s departure from Sinaloa, Mexico as part of the Anza expedition and continues forward to the eventual establishment of Rancho San Pablo.
Melange and Fault Rocks Exposed in and Around An Abandoned Quarry At The Schmidt Lane Recycling Center, El Cerrito, California; by John Wakabayashi, Ph.D., and Edmund W. Medley, Ph.D.; 2002; 17, 3, and 29 pages. This somewhat technical but quite interesting document has a detailed description of the very fractured and jumbled mass of rocks that underlies our hills in El Cerrito. It was included in an Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists field trip in 2002. Click here to download the main document (795K); click here to download Appendix A, which describes the larger geologic context of California tectonics, bimrocks, and fault rocks (42K); and click here to download Appendix B, which establishes some guidelines to characterization of Franciscan melanges and other bimrocks (705K).
Mexican Land Grant Cases in Contra Costa County; by George C. Collier; 1977; 103 pages; Contra Costa County Library. “This book is a good source of information on the various Mexican land grants in Contra Costa County and the litigation pertaining to them. It can also be found here (5M).”
Mira Vista Golf & Country Club - Founded in 1920 as the Berkeley Country Club today's Mira Vista Golf and has seen a number of changes over the years. Click here to see George Collier's 1977 article on Mira Vista and his research notes on Mira Vista.
A Narrative History of Contra Costa County; by George C. Collier; 1983; 172 pages; Contra Costa County Library. A wide-ranging history of the county that pays particular attention to the land grants and also provides information on the islands in San Francisco and San Pablo bays.
Not at Home on the Home Front; by Donna Graves; 2004; 380 pages; Richmond Public Library. This monograph consists of interviews with Japanese-Americans and Italian-Americans who were sent to internment camps or had friends who were sent to internment camps during World War II.
Noticias de la Nueva California; by Francisco Palóu; 1874; 4 volumes; University of California Library. In Spanish, a history of Alta California and the Franciscan missions during the time of Father Palou's association with them. It contains Palóu 's account of the writings of many of the early Spanish explorers of California as well as many important documents. It includes: "Copia del diario que se formó en el registro que se hizo del puerto de San Francisco" (Mar. 20-Apr. 5, 1772”; Father Juan Crespi’s description of the 1772 trip when he, Lt. Pedro Fages, and some others were the first Europeans to visit and map El Cerrito and much of the East Bay. The English version is "Historical memoirs of New California ".
The Numbered Roads in Rancho San Pablo ; El Cerrito Historical Society; 2007; 2 pages; this document can be found here . In the years before any cities were incorporated in Rancho San Pablo, the County built the roads and gave numbers (rather than names) to those roads. This document uses today's names to describe where the old numbered roads ran.
Of Walking Beams and Paddle Wheels; by Harlan & Fisher; 1951; 157 pages; Contra Costa County Library. This book is a chronicle of San Francisco Bay ferryboats.
The Ohlone Way; by Malcolm Margolin; 1978; 190 pages; Contra Costa County Library. An excellent description of how the Ohlone Indians (including our local tribe, the Huchiun) lived before the Spanish arrived. It has a wonderful bibliography.
Old Bars, Restaurants, and Businesses in El Cerrito; Click here to see a list of a number of old businesses in El Cerrito. This list was built up from old directories, promotional materials, and the memories of old-timers. At the top there is a key for the type of businesses. The list runs from the south (including a few spots of note in Albany) to the north and includes businesses off San Pablo Avenue as well as on San Pablo Avenue. Cross streets along San Pablo Avenue are indicated. Corrections and additions are welcome.
Old California Houses: Portraits and Stories; by Marian Randall Parsons; 1952; 145 pages; Contra Costa County Library. This book contains descriptions of many of the original Spanish adobes in California (and their occupants), including Victor Castro’s Adobe in El Cerrito.
Old Times in Contra Costa; by Robert Daras Tatam; 1996; 201 pages; Contra Costa County Library. Text and vintage pictures describing Contra Costa County scenes and events in earlier times.
The Open Space and Conservation Element of the General Plan ; by the Tri-Cities Citizens Advisory Committee on Open Space and Conservation; 1973; 110 pages; University of California Library. A report to the cities of El Cerrito, Richmond, and San Pablo to i) help identify and protect the natural resources of the area and ii) encourage growth in the areas where it is most suited.
Outline History of Eskaton Hazel Shirley Manor ; by Art Schroeder; 1986; 10 pages; Contra Costa County Library. A history and description of the genesis and evolution of the Eskaton Hazel Shirley Manor senior housing development and the key persons involved in the effort.
An Overview of the Huchiun Band of The Ohlone Along the San Pablo Bay; by Michael Ali (Cherokee); 2003; 50 pages; Richmond Public Library. A description of the life and culture of the local Indian groups before the Spanish arrived.
The Parks and open spaces in El Cerrito have seen enormous changes over the years. Serveral revealing documents have been put together over the years that despribe how the parks system has evolved. Click here to see a 1954 Oakland Tribune article about plans for parks. Click here to see the 1964 Plans for Parks. Click here to see a 1966 review of current parks and proposed enhancements. Click her to see excerpts from a 1979 analysis of El Cerrito's Parks and Recreation system.
Photographing the Second Gold Rush; by Dorthea Lange; 1995; 86 pages; Contra Costa County Library. A description in pictures and text of the area from Oakland to Richmond as it absorbed more than 100,000 people who came to the area to work in the Richmond shipyards from 1941 until 1945.
The Politics of a Canine Landscape - Point Isabel Regional Park; by Suzanne Jeanne Arca; 1992; 185 pages; Richmond Public Library. A senior thesis at the College of Environmental Design, UC Berkeley.
Pre-Americans at Play in Contra Costa County; by Bernard Freeman; 1987; 37 pages; Contra Costa County Library. A description of the games played in California by its residents before the Gold Rush.
A Proposal for the Development of the East Shore Tidelands of San Francisco Bay ; Prepared for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company by Victor Gruen Associates; 1963; 42 pages; Richmond Public Library. The Santa Fe Railway purchased the San Francisco Bay tidelands between Emeryville and Richmond in the first part of the 1900s. This document reviews prior proposals to develop the East Shore tidelands and then proposes a colossal plan to fill most of the East Bay tidelands in the area and develop office, residential, recreational, commercial, and industrial spaces.
Preliminary Historic Resources Inventory, Contra Costa County; by the Contra Costa County Planning Department; 1976; 80 pages; Contra Costa County Library. This volume contains tabular information about the type and nature of historic places and sites across the county.
Rancho El Sobrante Map; Referees appointed by the Supreme Court of California; 1909; 1 page; this document can be found here (1.7 MB). This map shows the borders of and landowners in Rancho El Sobrante as set down by the Court at the close of the final court case regarding land ownership in Rancho El Sobrante.
Rancho San Pablo Map ; Referees appointed by the Supreme Court of California; 1894; 1 page; this document can be found here (2.9M). This map shows the borders of and landowners in Rancho San Pablo as set down by the Court at the close of the final court case regarding land ownership in Rancho San Pablo.
Rancho San Pablo Map - - Southeast portion; Referees appointed by the Supreme Court of California; 1894; 1 page; this document can be found here (1.8 MB). This map shows the borders of and landowners in the southeast corner of Rancho San Pablo (the El Cerrito area) as set down by the Court at the close of the final court case regarding land ownership in Rancho San Pablo.
Rancho San Pablo Map - Western portion ; Richmond Incorporation Committee; 1903; 1 page; this document can be found here (1.5M ). This map shows the portion Rancho San Pablo west of San Pablo Avenue and south of San Pablo Creek marsh. Of the greatest importance is that this map clearly shows all the “tideland” or “water” lots and the identifying nomenclature assigned to each one. At some point in the late 1800s or early 1900s the tidelands between the San Pablo Creek marsh and the Alameda County line were surveyed as if they were on dry land (or the bay was filled). This information is not shown on many maps. Many of the early legal descriptions of Richmond include references to the tideland or water lots.
Rancho San Pablo Partition Final Land Owners ; excerpted Joseph C. Whitnah's A History of Richmond ; 1944; 6 pages. Click here to see the list of landowners in Rancho San Pablo per Judge J. C. B. Hebbard's Decree of Partition in March of 1894. While the list does not total exactly the 17,938 59/100 acres partitioned out by Judge Hebbard (it's about 4% short), it is nonetheless a very useful reference.
Records of the El Cerrito branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; by the NAACP El Cerrito branch; 1970-78; 3 cartons; University of California Library. Records and documents relating to the activities of the El Cerrito NAACP branch.
Red Trains in the East Bay; by Robert S. Ford; 1977; 351 pages; Contra Costa County Library. This book is the definitive work on the Southern Pacific’s interurban railroad network, the “Red Trains”. It includes a short section on the Southern Pacific’s plan to build a line that extended to the north as far as Richmond (via Carlson Boulevard) as a branch off of the line that ran down Solano Avenue.
Report on Proposed Park Reservations for East Bay Cities; by Olmsted & Hall; 1930; 40 pages; Contra Costa County Library. This is the famous Olmsted-Hall report which was the basis for the creation the East Bay Regional Park System.
Richard Stege, Entrepreneur from Days Gone By in Contra Costa County - Volume 3; by Nilda Rego; 2005; 192 pages; Contra Costa County Library. A compendium of articles written by Nilda Rego for a weekly column in the Contra Costa Times newspaper.
Richmond, Arsenal of Democracy ; by The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders and Helpers of America; 1947; 103 pages; Richmond Public Library. An interesting look, from the perspective of a key labor union, at the overnight transformation of the City of Richmond into an industrial powerhouse during World War II.
Richmond Independent newspaper, Special Souvenir Edition; edited & compiled by the Women’s Improvement Club; 1910; 44 pages; Richmond Public Library. This work includes a number of interesting stories & articles about the Richmond area in the early days.
Richmond: the Early Years; by Independent Printing; 1960; 20 pages; Richmond Public Library. A large-format booklet about the Richmond area’s early years and development.
Richmond: the Pittsburg of the West; by the Richmond Chamber of Commerce; 1907; 60 pages; Richmond Public Library. As befits the era and author, a rose-colored view of the City of Richmond, touting the city’s land, industry, people, location, and future prospects.
Richmond - Windows to the Past; by Susan D. Cole; 1980; 96 pages; Contra Costa County Library. Pictures and vignettes about early Richmond, including perhaps the best information available on the Belgum family’s Grande Vista Sanitarium, which was located near the mouth of today’s Wildcat Canyon Regional Park.
The Richmond Shipyard Railway from Western Railroader magazine; by Francis E. Guido; Sept. 1981 issue #491; 8 pages; reference pamphlets file at the El Cerrito Library. A short description of the Richmond Shipyard Railway, which ran from Emeryville to the Richmond shipyards in the latter years of World War II.
Richmond Streetcars from Western Railroader magazine; by Erle C. Hanson; Nov. 1957 issue #217; 14 pages; reference pamphlets file at the El Cerrito Library. A brief description of the East Shore and Suburban Railway, which ran from the Richmond - San Rafael ferry all the way to the El Cerrito/Albany City line on San Pablo Avenue. This article has a number of errors that were corrected in Mr. Hanson's subsequent work The East Shore and Suburban Railway.
The Rifle Range in El Cerrito - This article from the January 1939 edition of the California Guardsman magazine describes the construction and early configuration of the rifle range in Wildcat Canyon. In subsequent years targets were set up across the canyon on the east side of Wildcat Creek to provide gunnery practice for tose honing their skills on larger weaponry. Click here to read the article.
San Pablo Avenue Historic & Cultural Pavers: Click here to download a copy of the brochure that describes each of the 28 pavers that were installed in May, 2011 along San Pablo Avenue. (Designed to be printed on 8 1/2 by 14 inch paper.)
Santa Fe - Steel Rails Through California; by Donald Duke & Stan Kistler; 1963; 184 pages; Contra Costa County Library. This book includes a few pictures of the Santa Fe Railway line that traversed El Cerrito in its short journey between Richmond and Oakland.
A Selective History of the Codornices - University Village; by Warren F. Lee and Catherine T. Lee; 2000; 412 pages; Contra Costa County Library. A good reference on the development of Albany’s University Village and on the part of the Richmond Shipyard Railway that traversed the area during World War II. It includes an extensive chronology.
The Seismic Safety Study for the General Plan ; by the Tri-Cities Citizens Advisory Committee on Seismic Safety; 1973; 199 pages; Richmond Public Library. A report to the cities of El Cerrito, Richmond , and San Pablo on earthquake hazards and recommended measures to reduce those hazards.
Shellmounds of the San Francisco Bay Region; by W. C. Nelson; 1909; 48 pages; Richmond Public Library. An overview of the various Indian shellmounds found in the Bay Area.
A Short History of Contra Costa County; by Harold E. Davis; 1965; 67 pages; Contra Costa County Library. A description of Contra Costa County with a focus on early history, land grants, and founding of cities. It has a chronology of Contra Costa County up to 1941 and also a list of all Spanish, Mexican, and U.S. Military governors of California.
Soil Survey of Contra Costa County; by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service; 1977; 170 pages; Richmond Public Library. This book has a comprehensive description of the various soils found in Contra Costa County.
Some Historical Data on Camp Herms; by Victor Linblad; 1958; 16 pages; the Mt. Diablo Silverado Council of the Boy Scouts of America has kindly allowed us to make this document available here. This document is a thorough review of the development of Camp Herms during its first 30 years.
The Spanish and Mexican adobe and other buildings in the nine San Francisco Bay counties, 1776 to about 1850; George Whiting Hendry and J.N. Bowman; 1945; 7 volumes; University of California Library. This document contains a wealth of information about most of the old Spanish and Mexican-era buildings in the nine Bay Area counties that were erected from the time of the Anza expedition until California became a state
Stories of Albany; by Catherine Janes Webb; 1983; 192 pages; Contra Costa County Library. Pictures and vignettes of life in Albany from the early days up to 1983, when the book was published.
The Story of Albany; by the Albany Police & Fire Civil Service Club; 1947; 98 pages; Contra Costa County Library. Pictures and stories of Albany from the early days up through World War II.
The Story of Chung Mei; by Charles R. Shepard; 1938; 264 pages; Berkeley Public Library. The story of the efforts by Charles R. Shepard in the first part of the 1900’s to create the only shelter and residential home in the East Bay for abused and abandoned Chinese boys.
The Story of Contra Costa County ; by the Richmond Schools Department; ca. 1950; 44 pages; El Cerrito Historical Society collection. A decent history of Contra Costa County from pre-Spanish times up to the Gold Rush but the miserable living conditions the Spanish created for the Indians are papered over. The last 16 pages are stories written primarily by sixth-grade students in the district. There are some typographical errors in the document.
The Story of Contra Costa County California; by the Contra Costa County Development Association; 1936; 28 pages; Contra Costa County Library. This large format, color promotional booklet presents a very rosy picture of the county’s development, facilities, and activities.
The Story of Contra Costa County for Boys and Girls; by Wilma G. Cheatham; 1942; 229 pages; Contra Costa County Library. A textbook for grade school children about Contra Costa County. It includes a good California and Contra Costa County chronology.
The Story of Rancho San Antonio; by Daisy Williamson De Veer; 1924; 93 pages; Contra Costa County Library. The story of Rancho San Antonio, the lands granted to the Peralta family, which ran from San Leandro on the south to Cerrito Creek on the north.
The Story of Rancho San Pablo from Overland Monthly magazine; by John Francis Sheehan, Jr.; November 1894, V24 No. 123; 7 pages; University of California Library, A good (although somewhat rambling and politically incorrect) description of the 40+ year long Rancho San Pablo land case. This case stalled development in the Kensington-El Cerrito-Richmond-San Pablo area until 1894. [Editor’s note: Bret Harte was the first editor of this magazine.]
The Story of Richmond; by Lee Fridell; 1954; 165 pages; Contra Costa County Library. A dated but very good textbook that describes Richmond and other west county towns including El Cerrito in the 1950’s. It includes an interesting section on El Cerrito aviation pioneer Pierre Allinio.
The Story of Richmond Schools; by Walter T. Helms; 1958-59; 10 pages; Richmond Public Library. A compilation of several articles about the Richmond Schools originally printed in the Richmond Museum Association’s publication The Mirror.
The Vegetation Cover of the San Francisco Bay region in the Early Spanish Period, by William C. Clarke, an M.A. Thesis at UC Berkeley, June 1959, 220 pages. This document is an amazing resource regarding how the land appeared when the first Spanish Explorers arrived and how some of their comments should be interpreted. Much of it is based on the maps, records, and diaries created by the first explorers of the area.
Sundar Shadi; by Tom Nixon; 1994; film/DVD - 40 minutes; Contra Costa County Library. This home-made production, originally shot on 8mm film, is an informal interview and conversation with the well-known Sundar Shadi about his garden and the various holiday displays he created
A Survey of Kensington; by the Kensington Improvement Club; 1966; 24 pages; Contra Costa County Library. A description of the physical and social characteristics of Kensington. It has a good chronology regarding Kensington.
A Survey of Kensington; by the Kensington Improvement Club; 1978; 54 pages; Contra Costa County Library. A description of the physical and social characteristics of Kensington. It has a good chronology regarding Kensington.
Tales from the Iron Triangle; by James Polese; 1995; 88 pages; Contra Costa County Library. An enjoyable description of boyhood days in the 1920’s in the Richmond area.
TEPCOWARE from American Craft magazine; by Joseph Heaven & Steve Selvin; Aug/Sept 1982; pages 16-19; American Craft has kindly allowed the Historical Society to reproduce the article here (all .pdfs): p.1 p.2 p.3 p.4 This is an excellent article about the Technical Porcelain and Chinaware Company. “TEPCO” was for many years the largest employer in El Cerrito. The office and factory were located behind City Hall, at Manila Avenue and Kearney Street.
Topaz Consumers’ Cooperative, Second Anniversary Edition; by the Topaz Consumers’ Cooperative, 1944, 219 pages.. This is an image of the book put together by the cooperative organization at the Topaz internment camp in Utah during World War II. The Topaz camp is where most Japanese from Western Contra Costa County were interned. This book provides the most detailed look that exists about the operation of the coop and the internees. It is almost entirely in Japanese but is currently being translated. The book was provided by area native Meriko Maida. You can download a copy from here; it’s about 15 mg.
You can download a copy of the English translation of the first section of the book from here; it’s about 5 mg.”
Topographical Map of Contra Costa County (Mt. Diablo Base & Meridian) ; Compiled for the Board of Supervisors; 1871; 1 page; this document can be found here (3.9M). This map shows Contra Costa County with M.D.B. & M. lines. Under M.D.B. & M. mapping/surveying, the county is divided into 6-mile square quadrants centered on Mt. Diablo . A place 8 miles south and 13 miles east of Mt. Diablo is in the T2SR3E quadrant [“township 2 south range 3 east”; “township” and “range” are just part of the nomenclature and have no intrinsic meaning], meaning that it is in the “2nd” 6 miles south of Mt. Diablo and the “3rd” 6 miles east of Mt. Diablo. A place 2 miles north and 4 miles east of Mt. Diablo is in the T1NR1E quadrant [“township 1 north range 1 east”], meaning it is in the “1st” 6 miles north of Mt. Diablo and the “1st” 6 miles east of Mt. Diablo. El Cerrito is in T1NR4W. (The “townships” referred to in this mapping system are entirely different than the townships set up for political and administrative purposes when Contra Costa County was established.)
Tract maps; various authors; 1894+; each map 1 - 4 pages; County Recorders Office. These maps describe subdivisions as they were originally submitted to the county for approval. The subdivisions were not always built as the maps indicated.
Tracts and Subdivisions in El Cerrito - Click here to see a list of all the subdivisions in El Cerrito and the surrounding area. It was compiled from records at the Contra Costa County Recorder's Office. Link
Valley Division Vignettes; by J.L. Krieger; 1983; 254 pages; University of California Library. This book includes a few pictures and the derivation of the station names on the Santa Fe Railway line that traversed El Cerrito in its short journey between Richmond and Oakland.
Victor Castro: Stranger in a Familiar Land ; by Robert Brady; 2008; 20 pages. Click here to see an excellent review and analysis of the forces that led to the disintegration of the once-vast landholdings of Victor Castro.
Views of the Castro Adobe; by various photographers; 1956; 8 pages; University of California Library. Photographs of the Castro Adobe taken shortly before it was destroyed by fire in 1956.
The Way We Were; collaborative effort; 1996; 62 pages; Richmond Public Library. Brief autobiographies of a number of the Japanese families who owned and worked in nurseries in the El Cerrito and Richmond areas. It was written as part of a reunion of the growers in 1996.
The Will of Julia Β. Castro/Petition for Final Distribution; Julia B. Galpin, Executrix; 1902; 26 pages; this document can be found here. Victor Castro was widowed twice but he was survived by his third wife, Julia Townsend Lupton Beardsley Castro. Not surprisingly the documents indicate that John Davis, William Rust and Thomas Conlon were the appraisers of the estate.
** Frances & Earl Conley are an authoritative source of information on the Castro family. They have developed a deep and comprehensive knowledge of the history of the Castro family through their translations of a number of Spanish works into English and their multiple trips to Mexico to research the Castro family.
© El Cerrito Historical Society 2018 All Rights Reserved
No part of this website or any of its images or contents may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without
the prior written consent of the author, unless otherwise indicated for stand-alone materials.