Manuscript Map of Newark, California, Pre-Dating The First Printed Map of the City
Finely executed manuscript map of Newark, California, which would appear to be the manuscript prototype for Britton & Rey's manuscript map of Newark, the earliest printed map of the town.
The map covers a portion of the City of Newark, being the first part developed in 1875-76. The map is generally bounded by Cedar Blvd., Mowry's Landing, Plummer's Landing and Mayhew's Landing.
The present map is one of two maps created in 1875 and 1876, which reflect the original town plan of the city, at the time when Alfred Davis and Jim Fair had acquired the lands in the area and completed a railroad to the town. It is the earliest surviving manuscript survey of the City of Newark.
The vast lands of the Mission San Jose included what was to become the city of Newark. Ten years after the secularization of the missions in 1834, Augustin Alviso and Tomas Pacheco were granted the 13,000 acre "Rancho Potrero del los Cerritos. A section along the bay, called "The Potrero", containing "Mission Landing", was purchased by E. Lyman Beard in 1850, to supplement his vast holding in the area, much of which was basically marshlands. Beard planned to reclaim large tracts of the land for development. The landing, which had been constructed by the missionaries, using Indian labor to facilitate the landing of supplies carried across the bay, would be a vital link in carrying out this plan.
Beard added several warehouses and enlarged the wharf before he ran out of money, and was forced to sell the landing in 1854, to Capt. Joseph Mayhew. The Captain renamed the sixty odd acres "Mayhew's Landing". By this time the landings along the south-east section of the bay and their fleet of flat bottomed scows became vital links between the truck farming regions of southern Alameda Country and the San Francisco markets. Mayhew's Landing included warehouses for wheat, hay, and coal. This activity triggered interest in the surrounding area and by 1856 the Mayhew Ranch included 1,500 acres of farmland.
Less than 20 years later, the Perrin brothers had acquired the old Mayhews Ranch and extended their holdings to include property stretching from today's Jarvis Avenue on the north, to south of Thornton Avenue. The Perrin brothers' "development project," the Green Point Dairy and Transportation Company, foretold of things to come for the area. It was the Perrin brothers who first drew up plans to subdivide the Green Point Dairy into a town site (located in the general vicinity of Thornton and Jarvis Avenues).
Beard's reclamation project languished. In 1872, desperate for capital, Beard sold 20,000 acres to J. Ross Browne. Browne outlined his reclamation project before the state legislature on February 3, 1872. Mr. Browne called the proposed town site as "Cralvo" or "Cariboo." Browne created a circular that was distributed around Europe to promote the project. An English speculator bought an interest in the property and hired Mr. J. Barr Robertson (a Scotsman) to oversee his interests. Robertson was a director of the California Land Investment Co., Ltd., London, England. Robertson in turn bought Browne's remaining interest in the land. The name 'Newark' was chosen by Robertson, who named it after the castle "Newark" in Port Glasgow, Scotland (where the River Clyde enters the Atlantic Ocean).
In 1875 work began on a railroad through the area of the townsite. That project was under-financed and never progressed beyond initial grading. In 1876, the railroad, together with the Green Point Dairy, were purchased by San Francisco businessman Alfred Davis and Comstock millionaire, Jim Fair. They not only completed the South Pacific Coast Railroad, from Dumbarton Point south all the way to Santa Cruz, but also moved the town site to coincide with the curve on the railroad where the tracks turned south toward San Jose. Shortly thereafter, a railroad station, roundhouse, and railroad shop buildings were being erected in the center of Newark in the area between Thornton Avenue, Sycamore Street, and Carter Avenue. Eventually, the railroad was extended north from Newark to Alameda, providing direct ferry service to San Francisco.
The completion of the railroad precipitated additional development in Newark. Hotels and stores were soon erected, along with some of the first manufacturing industries, including a railroad car building firm operated by Thomas and Martin Carter and a foundry which later manufactured Wedgewood stoves. These enterprises joined the production of salt, which had been underway in the Newark area since the 1850s. Acquisitions and mergers of salt production companies throughout the Bay area ultimately resulted in formation of the Arden Salt Company, predecessor to Leslie Salt Company and today's Cargill Salt.
The map is a unique survival.