Early Hayward: 05/29/11
Recently read two books about the local history of the area where I'm now living. The first of those two books is Early Hayward by Robert Phelps.
I grew up in a suburb of San Diego that could trace its history back only about two decades before I was born. It's history is within living memory of my grandfather and father. This lack of history is part and parcel of being the child of baby-boomers in a western state.
As it turns out I'm now living in a home that's only as old as I am but its adjacent to areas that have a longer history being the former ranch of Guillermo Castro and before that native American lands.
With that in mind and being relatively new to the area I crave local history. Early Hayward by Robert Phelps, a history professor at nearby Cal State East Bay, outlines the timeline of Hayward from the time it was just a hotel run by William Hayward on Castro's land at the corner of what's now A and Main, through the city being "Haywards" to ultimately dropping the s and becoming Hayward.
The photographs from the local historical society are the best parts of the book. There are also a few maps and it is fun compare modern day street layout to what it used to be like. For instance, I learned that my street used to be Cemetery Road. That's a much more descriptive name given that the street changes name at a cemetery just up the hill.
I own the Castro Valley book from the same series but Early Hayward I borrowed from my local library.