Then and Now

In the way back old days, the missionaries from Mission San Jose used to follow a trail that led through Patterson Ranch to a landing they used to buy stores from boats from San Francisco. In 1854, Captain Joseph Mayhew bought the ranch and the landing took his name. In the 1860s, Mayhew's land changed hands a few times and shipbuilder Francis C. Jarvis bought it. George Patterson owned a ranch that is now Ardenwood Park. In 1850, Origin Mowry bought a ranch a few miles south and created Mowry's Landing.

The name "Newark" did not come from the city in New Jersey. It was named by a Mr. J. Barr Robertson, a Scotsman who was a director of the California Land Investment Co., Ltd., London, England. He chose the name from the castle "Newark" in Port Glasgow, Scotland. But Newark didn't start even thinking about becoming a town until the railroads started taking an interest in the area in 1875. The first aspect of the town contained a railroad station, a roundhouse, railshop building and then a hotel. This area was right around Carter Street.

Take Thornton Ave off of 880 and head west. After the bend, you'll reach Sycamore St. Turn left. Take your first right at Carter Ave. Just on the other side of the tracks at your left and right is the spot. If you came up Carter from Sycamore, the hotel stood on the left, just before the tracks. Across Carter Ave., the street's namesakes, Thomas and Martin Carter set up shop building trains for the narrow gauge.


Below is a photo looking across the tracks and down Carter Ave. On the right is the Newark Hotel. On the left, the dark building is the Carter Brothers' shops. In front of it is the Newark Depot. The photo was taken around 1908. The "now" color photo is what the same view looks like today. It's difficult to tell with these photos, but the house directly at the end of Carter Ave, right in the middle of the photo, is the same in both photos.



Below: Just on the other side of the tracks, close to where I was standing when taking the above photo, there was the Dugan Hotel.

Dugan Hotel
Below: The Newark Pavillion (Cherry and Thornton) was a meeting place even in the 1800s. The "now" photo shows my best guess as to where the "then" photo was taken from.
Newark incorporated into a city in 1955, which is a pretty wild story in itself. Below is a photo of the first police officers of the city of Newark being sworn in by Mayor Siliman. In the "now" photo, I'm standing in the same spot as officer Bill Morrison (second from left) who later became a popular police chief of Newark for a number of years. The location is the corner of Rich and Sycamore. Detail of little interest: although it's not visible in my cropped "then" photo, the street signs of Rich and Sycamore had Sycamore on the bottom. Now Rich is on the bottom. Below: You may be asking yourself "What does the old police station look like now?". Interestingly, the building is still there. Even more interestingly, there is an adult store where the original station was.
Police Police now
Old aerial images

The photo below was taken around 1945. Here's what I never knew. Dairy Ave used to curve to the left and turn into Lincoln Ave, which is now Newark Blvd. Around the area of the park near Cedar and Newark Blvd was the first town school built in 1865, Lincoln School (named after some dead president or someone). Photos of that school will come in later installments of this page. A man named Munyan was one of the real instigaters of that school and old time Newarkers will remember that there was, long ago, a Munyan School in Newark. "Old Town" was the original shopping district of Newark. When the city started to expand there were terrible fights amongst the old timers (led by Johnny Santos, my bus driver in 1st grade and was mayor at the time) and those who wanted to expand. The shopping center at the corner of Cedar and Thornton, Newark Square, was the cause of the near breakup of the city!

Below: By 1954, there was a lot of growth north of Thornton Ave, but the town still looked the same.
Just a couple years later and more changes coming quickly. For those Newakites who remember how things were, notice in the photo below that the houses on and around Darvon St (Vista Manor) have been built, but that Darvon goes straight into Thornton Ave. When Highway 17 was built in 1957, the Thornton Ave offramp caused Darvon to curve to the right and around to Thornton. Then, later, when K-Mart was put in, Darvon ended into the parking lot (as it still does, for whatever store is there now).


Go to San Francisco Then and Now

Go to San Francisco Cliff House Then and Now

Go to Alviso Then and Now