left is one of the earliest of Alameda that I could find. It is a close-up
from a map made in 1844
- five years before the gold rush. It is almost hard to even recognize
Alameda in the map, because, for one thing, Alameda was not an Island
then. The canal that connects the San Antonio Creek with the San
Leandro Bay had not been dredged (see
map of 1884 for canal proposal). Alameda is the area on the map
roughly between the labels "S. Antonio" (San Antonio Creek) and the
label "San Leandro" (San Leandro Bay). Bay Farm is seen here
below the "San Leandro" label, and is virtually all marsh, except for a
tiny land area (white area here on map).
I think one reason there is not much of a distinction
between "San Leandro Bay" and the San Leandro Creek on this map, is
because at this time they probably were more one unit, but quickly
changed -- as upstream logging in the Oakland Hills, which began in
earnest around 1844, had major physical impacts on this area.
somewhat surprising, due to the difference from today, is the strong
indication of a very sharp Alameda shoreline along the San
Francisco Bay, very steep, almost appears as a cliff in the map's rendition.
The postcard at the right, circa 1909, of South Shore, seems to support
this -- as it very clearly shows a very large and steep drop from the
Alameda mainland down to the San Francisco Bay's shore, at least in the
area seen in the postcard. Naturally this would have been well before
the South Shore landfill, which occurred at a much later time.
Lake Merritt hasn't been "made" yet
. It was made in 1869.