Why Not Own Your Own Home in a Real Edenland?
Rare birdseye view promotional map promoting home sites and real estate investments in the town of Decoto (now Union City), California, toward the south end of San Francisco Bay
The view, drawn by W.H. Bull of San Mateo, artist of a number of bird's-eye views of Bay Area communities.
The view shows the town of Decoto with the streets, Southern Pacific station, Southern Pacific and Western Pacific Main Lines, and much of Alameda County, including Oakland, Hayward, San Leandro, as well as the San Francisco Bay. The view is embellished with yachts, ferries, and San Francisco in the distance.
The view also shows one of the earliest images of the Decoto Masonic Home.
Decoto Masonic Home
The Decoto Masonic Home is shown the foreground. Opened in 1898 in what would later become Union City, this was the such facility of its type, intended to care for Masonic widows and orphans.
Prior to 1898, care for the residents was provided in Sacramento. Forty-one Masons, widows, and orphans were admitted during the first year. The home was constructed on a 268 acre parcel, which was purchased in 1893 for $33,093, with construction of the home between 1896 and 1898. There was a self-sustaining water and power supply on the property and fertile land for farming, producing ample crops to take to the markets of San Francisco. The residents helped with farming, ranching, cooking and preserving to make their home self-sufficient.
The original buildings are still in use.
Decoto / Union City
In 1867, Ezra Decoto, a local landowner sold land to the Union Pacific Railroad, and a settlement grew up around the place, which became a stop on the Transcontinental Railroad. A post office operated in Decoto from 1871 to 1959, with a closure from 1872 to 1875. In 1958, Decoto joined town of Alvarado to form Union City.
The first community in what is now Union City was founded in 1850 by John and William Horner, also called "Union City," after their Sacramento River Steamship, "The Union." In 1854, Union City merged with the nearby community of New Haven (founded 1851) to form the town of Alvarado, named after the former Mexican governor, Juan Bautista Alvarado.
Alvarado was the first county seat of Alameda County, a designation it soon lost in 1865 to San Leandro.
The map is unrecorded. We have been unable to locate another example.