Is Bay Farm Island an Island?
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
"Walk Along the Water"
© Oakland Museum of California, used with permission.
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