Is Bay Farm Island an Island? 

The farms of Bay Farm IslandBay Farm Island was actually a marshy peninsula with a narrow upland that was an island only during extreme high tides. The west end of Bay Farm Island has been a part of Alameda since the early days of settlement, connected by a bridge across the mouth of San Leandro Bay to Alameda proper. The rest--all marshland--was unincorporated county land until it was purchased by Oakland in 1926.

First settled in the 1850s, Bay Farm Island was famed for its asparagus, hops, and other field crops grown there through the 1960s. But by the 1920s, the emblems of urban growth began to replace the marshes: the runways and hangars of Oakland Municipal Airport, the fairways and greens of Alameda Municipal Golf Course, the first residential subdivision, and the first paved highway, busy with traffic. Bay Farm Island today gives little hint of the setting that gave rise to its name.

Woodruff Minor

Oakland Museum of California Logo  "Walk Along the Water"
  Oakland Museum of California, used with permission.

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