The Cities of Alvarado, Centerville and Decoto

by Anthony Gualco

I was always interested in history and early on had many history books in my library, the two I read the most were Will & Ariel Durant's History of Civilization. I also read William Shearer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.

I grew up on a farm in Alvarado on Fair Ranch Road. I would drive tractors and sometime I would stop and look around and wonder what Alvarado looked like in 1850. But that was before the Internet and all I could do was wonder what it was like.

I started my history quest by trying to locate my father's entry into the United States. My father emigrated to the U.S. in December 1920. My mother emigrated to the U.S. inOctober 1920. They did not know each other the time. They met and married in the early 1930's.

I found my father in the 1930 census. He was working on an Italian cooperative farm near the Bell Ranch Bridge in today's Fremont. The ranch was located on today's Decoto Road at the Alameda Creek. But I was confused that he was included in the Alvarado census when he was located in Fremont.

What I found raised more questions about the history of Washington Township. There were eight towns in Washington Township at this time. Each town had one elementary school (Decoto would be the first town to add a second elementary school in 1950). There was a ninth elementary school, which was not located in a town, but rather a school district. This was the Alviso School District, which was located between Centerville and Alvarado. This district was sometimes claimed by Centerville, and other times by Alvarado. The towns of Washington Township were the same as their elementary school districts. This left Alviso with a school and no town.

But there also old districts of Washington Township that were originally set out as Mexican Land grants, and this had a sway on the Alviso District, which was largely in the Potrero de los Cerritos land grant, which encompassed almost all of Alvarado.

So, I continued my search for knowledge of old Washington Township. It became an obsession that I researched, refined several times and finally completed early this year.

Anthony Gualco, May 26, 2022, E-mail Anthony

About this Website

This website showcases the research of Anthony Gualco into three no longer existing cities in Southern Alameda County, California, USA. Anthony has gathered historical information about these cities that have been annexed by other entities and no longer exist.

Most of the information is documented in PDF (portable document format) files, originally created with Microsoft Word or Power Point apps. There is one spreadsheet showing names of Alvarado inhabitants with biographies and the years they were alive. Alvarado, being the birth place of Anthony, receives the most attention with a number of chapters and an over 1500 page collection of history and newspager clippings.

Diane Louise Silva George (b.1943-d.2018) organized and uploaded Anthony's work about the city of Alvarado, Alameda County, California In 2014. It is preserved in several iterations by the Internet Archive. After her death in 2018, the content manager software bacame out of date, and stopped working. Anthony's work was collected, reorganized and uploaded to this same URL in 2022 by Diane's husband. Centerville History, Decoto History and Stories were supplied by Anthony and added to the collection.

Bill George

Updated 6/16/22 | Email

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