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Castro Valley: 12/16/07

Castro Valley

The community to the north of us is Castro Valley. It's the place we spent most of our free time and where Sean goes to school. It's the place I look at through my kitchen window when I'm working from home.

So when I heard there was a pictorial history book on Castro Valley, I had to have a copy. Castro Valley by Lucille Lorge, Robert Phelps and Devon Weston is part of the Images of America series by Arcadia Publishing. Although these books are print on demand, I've noticed that Borders has started to stock copies of the books that cover local communities.

Castro Valley, once home to the Ohlone (page 9), began its modern transformation into a thriving community as part of Rancho San Lorenzo. Bad debts eventually resulted in the ranch being broken up into what's now San Lorenzo, Castro Valley and Hayward.

As a parent with an almost school aged child, the story of Castro Valley's first school made me nod and smile. Most of the students lived on the Hayward side of things but the school was in Castro Valley. Unable to afford to build its own school, Hayward residents stole the school in the middle of the night and carted it back on a wagon to the Hayward side of things (page 22). In the unincorporated area of Fairview the school tug of war continues.

Most of the book though is dedicated to the photographic history of the last century when Castro Valley was a thriving hatchery and later booming bedroom community to post WWII families. Castro Valley in it's current form really took shape in the late 1950s, early 1960s when the strip mall and the mini golf course were built (page 117).

I have thoroughly enjoyed this book and have already read it twice cover to cover.

Comments (2)

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Comment #1: Tuesday, December, 18, 2007 at 07:42:24

Kate Everingham

Hi - I work for Arcadia and enjoyed your comments. I wanted to let you know that our books are not print on demand. We have 5,000 titles in print, publish 600+ a year and both Borders and Barnes & Noble stock most of our books and are big customers of ours. You can see and buy all of our books on many websites, including our own at"

Comment #2: Tuesday, December, 18, 2007 at 10:18:47


That was my initial impression too but a number of the smaller independent booksellers I frequent told me that they couldn't stock the book because it was print on demand. Two months ago when I was trying to purchase my copy I ended up having to go through to get a copy. Since then, I have seen copies of it and others in the series at Borders."

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