Past Lectures

Alameda Museum Lectures 2001-Present

Here are the prominent Bay Area authors and historians who have taken part in our series. We have standing room only for most lectures; people respond to our excellent publicity and come from other locales, visiting nearby restaurants and shops and thereby bringing commerce to our historic downtown. Many lectures are sponsored by local businesses and professionals, an indication of the Museum’s strong support in our community.

  • March 29, 2001 “Mortar Madness,” a revelation of the masonry heritage of the island of Alameda, presented by Woody Minor, author of Pacific Gateway, On The Bay and many more.
  • April 26, 2001 “1900 Meets 2000,” Bruce Bradbury, founder of Bradbury & Bradbury Wallpapers in Benicia and global pundit, will plunder B & B’s exhaustive research and archival collection for slides of turn of the 20th century interiors.
  • May 31, 2001 “Imperial San Francisco,” Gray Brechin’s slide exposé about the impact of the Hearsts and other powerful Bay Area families on the environment of California.
  • June 28, 2001 “Victorian Glory,” by Paul Duchscherer, returns to his true love with slides from his new volume from Penguin Books.

  • February 28, 2002 “Our Houses: Residential Architecture in Alameda,” by Woody Minor. Our local hero will use two projectors to take you on a breathtaking cavalcade of Alameda history and houses.
  • March 28, 2002 “A Passion for Pattiani,” an exploration of the work of renowned Alameda builder Alfred Washington Pattiani, presented by Paul Roberts, former Alameda Victorian Preservation Society (now AAPS) President.
  • April 25, 2002 “Storybook Houses,” presented by architect and author Arrol Gellner, who will discuss the captivating architectural styes of the 1920s, with a digression to Stonehenge and Stoneleigh, “a unique tract of Storybook homes in Alameda,” designed by architect Walter W. Dixon for developer Christopher Columbus Howard.
  • May 30, 2002 “Radiant Panes: Alameda Windows from the Victoria Era to the Time of Arts & Crafts,” Alameda glass artist Ken Matthias’ glorious slides are a result of his ongoing meticulous survey of decorative glass on the island. Ken will be introduced by a holographic image of glassmaster Louis Comfort Tiffany.
  • June 27, 2002 “Neon: The Living Flame,” by Mr. Art Deco himself, Michael Crowe, author of Deco by the Bay: Art Deco Architecture in the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • February 27, 2003 “Victorian Polychroming” by expert color consultant Bob Buckter, (aka Dr. Color), whose glorious slides are the result of his two decades of transforming buildings all over California.

  • March 27, 2003 “A. W. Smith: Architect” by Betty Marvin, an Oakland Heritage Alliance member who has made an intense study of Smith and his work.
  • April 24, 2003 “Red Tile Style” by architect Arrol Gellner, who will present juicy slides taken by photographer Douglas Keister, who illustrated this new book from Viking.
  • May 29, 2003 “Early Berkeley,” by Richard Schwartz, author of Berkeley 1900, “the first book to approach a true history of day-to-day life at the turn of the century,” according to Stephanie Manning of the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association.
  • June 26, 2003 “Percy & Hamilton: Color, Texture, and Form” by architectural historian Bill Kostura. In Alameda, their plans won the competition for City Hall. The Sharon Playhouse in Golden Gate Park, the Bourne Wine Cellar in St. Helena, early office skyscrapers, and imposing mausoleums are among their other works that will be discussed.
  • July 31, 2003 “Victorian Classics” by Alex Brammer, who spent ten years feeding his obsession with the fabulous residences of the railroad barons and silver bonanza kings atop San Francisco’s Nob Hill.
  • August 28, 2003 “Queen Victoria Down Under” by Bruce Bradbury, founder of Bradbury & Bradbury Art Wallpapers in Benicia, California and a renowned rake and raconteur.

  • March 25, 2004 “Glass Act” by Alameda glassmaster Ken Matthias, who continues his house-by-house survey of all the decorative glass on the Island. Come and be stunned!
  • April 29, 2004 “Emergence of the Modern in Alameda Architecture: From the Bungalow to the Rancher” by Woody Minor.
  • June 24, 2004 “Julia Morgan: California’s First Female Architect,” by architectural historian Betty Marvin, who will assume the dress and persona of Miss Morgan during her lecture, which will feature her dozen or so structures in Alameda.
  • July 29, 2004 “The Pardee Legacy” by David Nicolai, curator of the Pardee Home in Oakland. David will dress in character and present George Cooper Pardee’s “first person” account of his regime as University of California drum major, Oakland Mayor (1893-95), and California Governor (1903-07)
  • August 26, 2004 “Bernard Maybeck and the Secrets of the Palace” by Gray Brechin, Ph.D. author of Farewell Promised Land: Waking From the California Dream and Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin, published by the University of California Press.

  • March 31, 2005 “The East Bay Then and Now” based on a new book of photographs compiled by writer Dennis Evanosky, and Eric Kos of the Alameda Sun.
  • April 28, 2005 “Nineteenth Century California Interiors” by architect and historian Hank Dunlop, whose slide show on Fernside wowed audiences during our 2003 lecture series.
  • June 30, 2005 “Preservation Power: Tales of the Alameda Architectural Preservation Society,” presented by Christopher Buckley and Company.
  • July 28, 2005 “History and Commerce on the Island,” by raconteur, author, and local historian Woody Minor. This slide show will include book signing of the new edition of Woody’s book “Taking Care of Business.
  • August 25, 2005 “Pattiani Powerpoint” by Paul Roberts, who will show an expanded version of his “Passion for Pattiani” presentation in conjunction with his new book about that prolific Alameda architect.
  • September 29, 2005 “Trains, Ferries, and Trolleys: How Transportation Shaped Alameda” by Western Railroad Museum trolley operator Bruce Singer, and Alameda ferry buff and photo archivist Grant Ute.

  • February 23, 2006 Bruce Singer and Grant Ute ride the rails for part two of their transportation extravaganza: “Ride the Alameda Red Cars” a tour of the Encinal and Lincoln lines of the Southern Pacific’s Alameda Electric Service.
  • March 30, 2006 Curator George Gunn will trot out cobwebbed images that have never seen the light of day as he presents “The Museum Archives Revealed.”
  • April 27, 2006 Melisa Gadreau and Chris Verplanck, architectural historians from Page & Turnbull, will make a PowerPoint presentation about the former Naval Air Station, “Alameda Point: History in Action.”
  • August 31, 2006 “Any Style You Want,” Paul Roberts returns with an investigation into the work of the Newsom Brothers, prominent Bay Area architects who designed the magnificent Carson Mansion in Eureka.

  • February 22, 2007 Alameda author and historian Woody Minor on “The Architecture of Ratcliff,” his new book about a century of East Bay building.
  • March 29, 2007 Leslie Freudenheim, author of Building with Nature: Inspiration for the Arts & Crafts Home, published by Gibb Smith.
  • April 26, 2007 Author and historian Richard Schwartz, author, Earthquake Exodus 1906, published by RSB Books.
  • May 31, 2007 “WPA buildings in Alameda” by historian Gray Brechin, author of New Deal California, U.C Berkeley Press.
  • July 26, 2007 Architect and historian Hank Dunlop, “The Restoration of the Leland Stanford Mansion,” the centerpiece of a fabled state park in Sacramento.

  • April 24, 2008 “Alameda’s Civic Center,” by local author and historian Woody Minor.
  • May 29, 2008 “A Stroll Down Historic Park Street” presented by Dennis Evanosky and Eric Kos, coauthors of San Francisco in Photographs and East Bay Then and Now.
  • June 26, 2008 “Eccentrics, Heroes, and Cutthroats of Old Berkeley,” another magical tome about “Berserkeley” by Richard Schwartz, a Museum lecture circuit favorite.
  • August 28, 2008 “Musing on Modernism” by local author Richard Knight with images from Saarinen’s Quest, his new book for William Stout Publishers. Eero Saarinen was the architect for the St. Louis Arch and other visionary projects.
  • September 25, 2008 “Del Monte: Historic Past, Exciting Future.” Historian Melisa Gaudreau, with Page & Turnbull architects, will discuss the heritage of this official Alameda Landmark. SOM architects will detail its new prospects.

  • March 26, 2009 “Fair, Please” transportation buff and author Grant Ute shows how people came from all over, by ferry, train, cable car, and trolley, to see the wonders of the Panama Pacific International Exposition, AKA the 1915 World’s Fair.
  • April 30, 2009 “A.A. Cohen and Old Fernside,” by architect and historian Hank Dunlop.
  • May 28, 2009 “ A Home in Alameda,” by local author and historian Woody Minor, based on his new book about Victorian era development.
  • June 25, 2009 “Alameda: An Architectural Treasure Chest,” a look at the Island City’s domestic architecture from the Gothic Revival to the Bungalow, presented by Dennis Evanosky and Eric Kos.
  • August 27, 2009 “Just Across the Pond: Oakland Point and the West Oakland Marsh,” by architectural historian Betty Marvin.
  • September 24, 2009 “Alameda Album” an illustrated talk by Paul Roberts based on two recently discovered vintage photo albums from the 1890s.

  • March 25, 2010 Paul Duchsherer: “Beyond the Bungalow.”
  • April 29, 2010 Architect and preservationist Richard Rutter “History of the Alameda Naval Air Station.”
  • May 27, 2010 “Taking Panes,” more glorious images of windows throughout the Island. ending with the stunning “Top Ten,” by Glass master Ken Matthias.
  • August 26, 2010 “A New Deal for the East Bay: Excavating the Buried Civilization of the Great Depression,” by author-historian Gray Brechin.

  • June 30, 2011 “A.W. Meets Queen Victoria” by historian and former AAPS president Paul Roberts on renowned Alameda architect A.W. Pattiani.
  • August 25, 2011 “Victoria’s Legacy in Alameda” by designer and author Paul Duscherer.
  • September 29, 2011 “The Centennial of the Red Train: Vintage Transportation on the Island” by Grant Ute, coauthor of Alameda by Rail.

  • March 29, 2012 “Underneath It All: Alameda Infrastructure,” Alameda Sun publishers and authors Dennis Evanosky and Eric Kos.
  • April 26, 2012 “Designated Monuments of Alameda,” by Judith Lynch, member Historical Advisory Board.
  • May 31, 2012 “Early East Bay Women Architects – Mildred S. Meyers and her Contemporaries,” a talk by Inge Schaefer Horton, author of Early Women Architects of the San Francisco Bay Area: The Lives and Work of Fifty Professionals, 1890-1951.
  • June 28, 2012 “A Century of Public Transportation in San Francisco” Local author and transportation buff Grant Ute on his new book.
  • July 25, 2012 “Veering toward the Craftsman: Designing with Nature,” Arts and Crafts Architecture in Northern California. Another film by Paul Bockhorst Productions. Sponsored by Janelle Spatz, Realtor, Bayside Real Estate.
  • July 26, 2012 “Years of Power: Celebrating the 125th anniversary of Alameda Municipal Power,” behind the scenes in the second city in the entire United States to electrify. Slide show by Woody Minor.
  • August 30, 2012 “Research and Findings” How we discovered the truth about Alameda’s oldest commercial building, the Encinal Saloon, aka Gim’s Chinese Restaurant storage building, by Kevin “the Diligent” Frederick.
  • September 27, 2012 “An Albino Angel’s Resurrection” Architect Richard Rutter tells the saga of one of the airplanes on pylons at NAS.

  • March 28, 2013 Alameda debut of a new film, “Pursuing Beauty, the Architecture of Bernard Maybeck.” Introduced by Peter Fletcher, a graduate of Principia, the college campus designed by Maybeck. Sponsored by Peter Fletcher, Real Estate Broker, Prudential California Realty.
  • April 25, 2013 Andy Pagano Film Festival, with several movies on local history by the late Mr. Alameda. Sponsored by the law offices of Susan Jeffries.
  • May 30, 2013 “More on Maybeck: The Inspiring Saga of the Palace of Fine Arts” by Gray Brechin author of Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin, and many other books and articles.
  • June 27, 2013 Much Ado: Celebrating 75 years of the Altarena Playhouse, a spunky in-the-round group of players holding forth on High Street. Sponsored by Robbie Dileo, President, Alameda Museum.
  • August 29, 2013“The Chicago World’s Fair and the ‘Rise’ of the Skyscraper” by U.C. Berkeley professor and architect Greg Castillo. To prepare for this talk, please read Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that Changed America. Sponsored by Evelyn Kennedy, Realtor Gallagher & Lindsey
  • September 26, 2013 Slide Talk: “Learning from Nature: Tales of two Ansels, Mr. Hall and Mr. Adams.” A glimpse into the life of explorer, photographer, and adventurer Ansel F. Hall, the first chief naturalist and chief forester of the National Park Service. Guiding our glimpse is Alameda resident Johanna Hall, his great grand-daughter. Sponsored by Judith Lynch, member, Alameda Historical Advisory Board.

  • March 27, 2014 “Twenty-seven Years Aglow,” a talk by Alameda architect Richard Rutter, who designed the lighting to celebrate the 50th birthday of the Golden Gate Bridge in 1987. Sponsors: the law offices of Susan Jeffries and the Alameda Architectural Preservation Society (AAPS).
  • April 24, 2014 “Bay Area Copper 1900-1950—Dirk van Erp & His Influence,” by author Gus Bostrom, proprietor of the Craftsman mecca California Historical Design store in Berkeley. Sponsor: Judith Lynch, member, City of Alameda Historical Advisory Board.
  • May 29. 2014 “Old Alameda,” Authors and Alameda Sun publishers Dennis Evanosky and Eric Kos, a slide lecture to entice people to go on the June 14 trolley tour of the three small towns later consolidated into the City of Alameda. The trolley tour benefits the Alameda Museum; to reserve tickets at $50 each, email [email protected]. Sponsor: Peter Fletcher, Broker, Windermere Real Estate.
  • June 26, 2014 “Preserving Our History: The Six Museum Alliance of Alameda.” Art gallery exhibits and talks about the Alameda Museum, the California Historical Radio Museum, the Meyers House, the Naval Air Museum, the Pinball Museum, and the U.S.S. Hornet. Speakers: Steve Kushman, Charlie Howell, Larry Pirack, Michael Schiess, and Kurt Zeigler. Featuring an Alameda Museum walk through by Curator George Gunn. Sponsor: Debra Hilding, docent, Alameda Museum.
  • July 31, 2014 “Living in a Brown Shingle Home,” by architect Lucia Howard, a partner in the innovative firm Ace Architects and coauthor of Shingle Style: Living in a Brown Shingle Home (Rizzoli, 2013). She will elaborate on the history, variety and unique traits of Shingle style homes. Sponsor: Janelle Spatz, Realtor, Bayside Real Estate.
  • August 28, 2014 “Glamour on the Gold Coast,” Historian and author Woody Minor will delve into the origins and architecture of Alameda’s glamorous Gold Coast. Dating back to the railroad era, this leafy shoreline neighborhood boasts Alameda’s most impressive collection of fine homes and garden. To prepare for his talk, attend his annual Woody Walk in the Gold Coast, sponsored by the Alameda Architectural Preservation Society August 24. The boffo combination of the walk and the talk will set you up to really enjoy Alameda Legacy Home Tour September 28, also featuring homes… you know where! Sponsor: Evelyn Kennedy, Realtor, Gallagher & Lindsey, Inc.
  • September 25, 2014 “The 1868 Quake,” by author Richard Schwartz on Hayward fault earthquake that was a mild precursor to what will happen here in the near (or far) future. Includes accounts of people who lived through the devastating 1868 temblor. Sponsor: Johanna Hall, member, Alameda Museum Board of Directors.
  • October 30, 2014 “Six Short Blocks That Are Long on History: A Century on Post Street from the Gold Rush to the 1950s,” Robin Seeley talks about the history and architecture of her Alameda neighborhood. Sponsor: Robbie Dileo, former President, Alameda Museum.
  • November 13, 2014 “Greenleaf House, Dr. Edith Meyers, and 50 years of Girls, Inc.” Local historian Woody Minor on the history and architecture of Greenleaf House, currently the home of Girls, Inc. and named in honor of Dr. Meyers; Janet Thoma will discuss Edith Meyers’ role in organizing and promoting the group and will present a celebration of the first 50 years of helping girls be strong and bold. Girls,Inc. will also have a display in the art gallery through mid-December. Sponsor: Evelyn Kennedy, Realtor, Gallagher & Lindsey, Inc.

  • March 26, 2015, Authors and Alameda Sun publishers Dennis Evanosky and Eric Kos,  the back story of how a homesite became “Alameda’s only park that is a Monument…” or its only Monument that is a park! Sponsor: Johanna Hall, Alain Pinel Realtors
  • April 30, 2015, Author and Designer Paul Duschcherer, celebrating the release of his completely redesigned and expanded book, “Victorian Glory.” Sponsor: Judith Lynch
  • May 28, 2015, U.C. Berkeley graduate historian and Alameda resident Madeleine Seiwald, “Capitalizing on Insanity: The Alameda Park Asylum in Post-Gold Rush California.” Sponsor: Carol Kane
  • June 25, 2015, The Robles family and Ron Mackrodt reveal the fascinating lore of a little known variety of local architecture, “An Ark in Alameda.” Sponsor: Janelle Spatz, Realtor, Bayside Real Estate
  • July 30, 2015, Alameda architect Richard Rutter. Sponsor: The Alameda Architectural Preservation Society (AAPS)
  • August 27, 2015, Alameda author and historian Woody Minor, “Street of Dreams, Central Avenue in Alameda.” Sponsor: Peter Fletcher, Broker, Windermere Real Estate.
  • September 24, 2015, Former Alameda Main Street director and past president Alameda Architectural Preservation Society Paul Roberts, “The Work of Alameda Photographer Edgar A. Cohen,” son of entrepreneur and railroad founder A. A. Cohen, whose estate was developed as the Fernside neighborhood after his mansion burned. Sponsor: Evelyn Kennedy, Realtor, Gallagher & Lindsey, Inc.

  • March 24, 2016 “Development of Transportation in 19th Century California.” Dennis Evanosky and Eric J. Kos. Presented by Evelyn Kennedy, Alain Pinel Realtors, and Alameda Museum Board Member.
  • April 28, 2016 “The Downeasters 1869-1925” Alameda architect Richard Rutter
  • May 26, 2016 “Early pinball art from the ’30s to ’50s” Michael Schiess of the Pacific Pinball Museum
  • June 23, 2016 “History and Mystery: Freemasonry & the Alameda Masonic Temple Island City Lodge, Number 215” Cancelled.
  • July 28, 2016 “A.W. Pattiani: Alameda Designer/Builder” Paul Roberts, former President of AAPS (when it was the AVPS), will return to the story of A.W. Pattiani and the houses he built in Alameda from 1879 through 1902. He will discuss a number of new discoveries that provide insight into Pattiani’s early designs and his contributions to the grand residential street of Alameda, Central Avenue. Paul will also illustrate Pattiani’s short excursion into building a new town (El Verano) from scratch in Sonoma County. Sponsor: Peter Fletcher, Broker, Windermere Real Estate.
  • August 25, 2016 “East End Arts & Crafts” Alameda author and historian Woody Minor. The lecture will focus on Craftsman houses as they developed in the East End, from the bungalows of Robert C. Hillen to residences by Delanoy & Randlett, including designs by architects like A.W. Smith and T.D. Newsom. The talk will also delve into the area’s history, from Indian mounds and Gold Rush cottages to vanished Victorian mansions. Sponsor: Jim Smallman, Alameda Preservationist.
  • September 22, 2016 ”Jack London.” Oakland historians Annalee Allen and Gene Anderson will discuss writer Jack London’s early days in Oakland and Alameda. 2016 is the 100th year since his death at age forty at his Beauty Ranch in Glen Ellen, Sonoma County, California. Sponsor: Evelyn Kennedy, Alain Pinel Realtors, and Alameda Museum Board Member.

  • April 27, 2017 – Alameda’s Hometown Hero – Jimmy Doolittle
    Presented by Secretary of the Alameda Naval Air Museum, Robbie Dileo and Alameda Museum President, Dennis Evanosky. This year is the 75th anniversary of the raid on Tokyo following the bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan. Led by American aviation pioneer James H. Doolittle the mission was carried out by crews aboard 16 B-25 bombers launched from the USS Hornet (CV-8). Learn about Doolittle’s youth in Alameda, his mission to bomb Japan, and his return to Alameda as a celebrated hero.  Sponsor: Alameda Naval Air Museum.
  • May 25, 2017 – Alameda Legends: Over 100 Years of Alameda Sports History
    Former Alameda resident James Francis McGee, a product of private and public schools in the Island City, will speak about his newest book, Alameda Legends, detailing the lives who have impacted Alameda’s sports history. It is a work that honors the past and looks optimistically to the future. McGee will profile various famous Alameda residents from the past and present as he intertwines fate, fame, and the fortuitous fortune of his respectfully named “Legends.” Sponsor: Pacific Coast Community Services.
  • June 22, 2017 – Early Alameda, the Hayloft, and the First Congregational Church
    This architectural gem is the 5th oldest church in Alameda. Ann Beret Johnsen is a 4th generation Alamedan and lives in the family home on Alameda Avenue established in 1881 by her great-grandparents. Her mother Shirley acted as family historian caring for family records, movies, and letters. Ann grew up hearing family stories, which sparked an interest in family and community history. Attending First Congregational Church since she was born, she was asked to serve as Church Historian by the Rev. Larry Schulz a task she enjoys, assisted by Ginny Krutilek, another native Alamedan. Sponsor: Liz Rush, Realtor, McGuire Real Estate.
  • July 27, 2017 – European Roots
    Dennis Evanosky, author and Alameda Sun Editor. On July 17, 1854, Alfred A. Cohen married Emilie Grace Poole Gibbons. The couple moved to Alameda and established an estate on the East End they named Fernside. Alfred and Emilie can both trace their ancestry to England. Their colorful forebears include a man who owned slaves in Jamaica and another who sat on the jury of the only witch trial in Pennsylvania. Join Alameda Museum Board President Dennis Evanosky as he introduces these interesting families and trace their stories from California back six generations to Wilshire and London in England. Sponsor: Evelyn Kennedy, Alain Pinel Realtors, and Alameda Museum Board Member.
  • August 24, 2017 – The East End: ’20s and Beyond
    Alameda author and historian Woody Minor will speak about homes of the ’20s and later in the richly intact neighborhoods of the southeast section of the city. We will see how the bungalow evolved after World War I, interacting with new styles, and witness the Ranch House emerge on the eve of Word War II. Among the notable builders whose work we will encounter are the aristocrats George H. Noble, Noble F. Justice, and P. Royal Haulman along with the incomparable Sid Dowling.
    Sponsor: Peter Fletcher, Broker, Windermere Real Estate.
  • September 28, 2017 – Early Black Pioneers of Alameda
    Rasheed Shabazz grew up on the West End of Alameda. He received his Bachelors in African American Studies and Political Science, and minored in City and Regional Planning, at UC Berkeley. Black history of Alameda is largely unknown and overlooked. Of the scant attention Black Alamedans have received, most focuses on the post- World War II population. This presentation examines the lives of early Black pioneers of Alameda, focusing on housing, community building, and the origins of racialized residential segregation. Sponsor: Evelyn Kennedy, Alain Pinel Realtors, and Alameda Museum Board Member.

  • April 26: The 1920 Park Street Fire – Dennis Evanosky & Eric Kos
    Learn about the fire that wreaked havoc on Park Street on January 8, 1920. Eric Kos and Dennis Evanosky, local historians and publishers of The Alameda Sun, will detail many of the aspects of this long-forgotten fire. They’ll discuss the history of the Alameda Fire Department and show how one of the city’s fire houses narrowly escaped the blaze. Find out how a not-so-timely mishap shut off half the water supply to the area the day before the fire. See how wind whipped the flames that devoured shops and homes along Park Street. Learn how the Southern Pacific Railroad stepped up and helped save the fire from spreading further than it did. The railroad played a key role in saving its Park Street station and the home of one of Alameda’s famed pioneers. Sponsor: Evelyn Kennedy, Alain Pinel Realtors, and Alameda Museum Board Member.
  • May 24: The Man Who Lit Lady Liberty – Richard Schwartz
    As the Statue of Liberty stood unlit and unloved by American politicians in 1886, one of her saviors was creating a theatrical sensation at New York’s Fourteenth Street Theatre. Actor M.B. Curtis, who had achieved overnight success in Sam’l of Posen, a groundbreaking play that transcended the common stereotypes of Jewish characters current at the time, was basking in public accolades at every curtain call when he came to Lady Liberty’s aid. Curtis’s rise to the top of his profession and his resulting fall from grace is a dramatic arc that rivals anything created for the stage. Richard Schwartz is a historian and the author. He lives in Berkeley where he works as a building contractor and documents early Native American sites in the Bay Area. The Man Who Lit Lady Liberty is his fifth book and was recently selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Margaret Herrick Library to be included in their collection.
  • June 28: Carnegie Libraries in Alameda County – Annalee Allen & Gene Anderson
    The lecture will highlight the importance of these places from an historical standpoint and different ways they are continuing to be used. One of 19th-century industrialist Andrew Carnegie’s many philanthropies, these libraries entertained and educated millions. Between 1886 and 1919, Carnegie’s donations of more than $40 million paid for 1,679 new library buildings in communities large and small across America. Sponsor: Liz Rush, Realtor, McGuire Real Estate.
  • July 26: Dirk van Erp , the Great San Francisco Coppersmith – Gus Bostrom
    Gus Bostrom of California Historical Design in Alameda will talk about the work of van Erp. The Dutch American artisan, coppersmith and metalsmith, was best known for lamps made of copper with mica shades, and also for copper vases, bowls and candlesticks. He was a prominent participant in the Arts and Crafts Movement and active in Oakland and San Francisco. In 2014 Gus Bostrom acquired Dirk van Erp’s original tools with a promise to never sell them. He started the Dirk van Erp Foundation, a California nonprofit, to protect van Erp’s tools. After starting this venture in Berkeley, he recently moved both his gallery and The Dirk van Erp Workshop Museum to Alameda in 2016. The Museum is adjacent to the store recreating van Erp’s workshop using his original tools.
  • August 23: Fernside: The Story of a Neighborhood – Woody Minor
    A sequel to last year’s and a tie-in to this year’s Woody Walk, the August lecture will cover the history and architecture of Alameda’s foremost residential tract of the early 20th century. Beginning with an overview of Fernside’s origin as the private estate of railroad magnate A. A. Cohen, we will see how his heirs worked with an Oakland bank to develop the estate as the city’s largest single subdivision. The tract’s rich architectural legacy, from Tudor to Spanish to Ranch, will be amply illustrated with a focus on notable architects and builders, highlighting residential design in the aftermath of the bungalow. Sponsor: Peter Fletcher, Broker, Windermere Real Estate.
  • September 27: In Memory of Alameda: Archives, Public Space, and the Narratives of Alameda, California – Rasheed Shabazz
    Alameda resident and writer Rasheed Shabazz will discuss how Alameda is remembered in a discussion of the city’s archives, monuments, and written histories. Sponsor: Evelyn Kennedy, Alain Pinel Realtors, and Alameda Museum Board Member.


    Join Dennis Evanosky and Eric J. Kos as they explore Alameda’s role in the September 6, 1869, arrival of the transcontinental railroad on A.A. Cohen’s San Francisco & Alameda Railroad. Discover the part that the “Curse of Dead Cow Curve” (if you believe in curses) may have played in stopping the transcontinental trains from running through Niles Canyon and onto San Jose and into San Francisco. Dennis and Eric will tell of the shenanigans that led to the 1882 murder of the man who some say placed the curse on the Western Pacific Railroad’s 1866 attempt to traverse today’s Nile’s Canyon.

    Sponsor: Evelyn Kennedy, Alain Pinel Realtors, & Alameda Museum Board Member.

    Local Author Greta Dutcher known for the Alameda Postcard History Series and Images of America – Alameda presents an illustrated talk on the remaining vintage neon signs in the city of Alameda, with an emphasis on the beauty of neon as an art form; also, the documentation, preservation and restoration of neon signs.

    Sponsor: Liz Rush, Realtor, McGuire Real Estate.

    As founding members of the group The Walking Ghosts of Black History, Watkins and Thompson promote awareness of African-Americans’ roll in the military history of the United States, as well as community service and outreach to veterans and active duty military. The presentation will explore African-American service during war time, with a focus on WWII, as NAS Alameda served a major role in protection of the Pacific.

    Sponsor: Pacific Coast Community Services.

    Former resident James Francis McGee will bring to life images and stories of yester-year during his presentation about Alameda athletic legends of days gone by, with an emphasis on Japanese American players in the ATK League. McGee will honor the many athletes who competed on the field of play for the love of the game throughout the decades.

    This lecture will relate the history of the West End from the first land divisions during the Gold Rush to the present day. Vintage maps and photographs will help us track the first railroads, bathing resorts, and industries. Webster as the West End “Main Street” will receive due note, as will 20th century icons like Neptune Beach, Bethlehem shipyard, the Naval Air Station, and the wartime housing projects. Along the way we will see how the area’s rich history is reflected in its wealth of well-preserved architecture.

    Sponsor: Peter Fletcher, Broker, Windermere Real Estate


All lectures cancelled due to COVID.


All lectures cancelled due to COVID.

  • July 19, 2022 – Alameda Museum Events Workshop
    A conversation about what events you want to see at the Alameda Museum?
  • August 15, 2022 – East Bay Yesterday
    An exploration of East Bay history and amateur historical storytelling with the host and producer of the East Bay Yesterday podcast, Liam O’Donoghue.
  • September 19, 2022 – Latino Heritage Month
    A conversation about Latino identity, history, and politics with George Galvis, executive director of Communities United for Youth Restorative Justice (CURYJ).
  • October 17, 2022 – Museum Exhibitions Workshop
    A conversation about the displays and exhibition at the Alameda Museum.
  • November 17, 2022 – Native American Heritage Month
    A conversation about Indigenous histories, with Corrina Gould, tribal spokesperson for the Confederated Villages of Lisjan.
  • December 5, 2022. – From Haight to Love and Beyond
    A conversation about place names in Alameda, Dennis Evanosky, Editor of the Alameda Post and Rasheed Shabazz.