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April 2, 2008 > Book review: Images of America: Union City

Book review: Images of America: Union City

By Robert A. Garfinkle

Images of America: Union City, by Timothy Swenson, (Arcadia Publishing) 2008. Pp. 128. Price $19.95 (trade paperback; ISBN 978-0-7385-5809-7).

Local historian, Timothy Swenson, has created another one of those popular local history books. Almost the entire book consists of historical photographs accompanied by, in most places, extensive caption text explaining where the photograph fits in the history of present-day Union City.

I have lived in Union City since 1973, been a part of the development of the city, and yet from the pictures in this book, I learned a lot about the early history and prominent people of the townships of Decoto and Alvarado that merged to form Union City in Jan. 1959. Swenson begins by telling about the settlement of the area during the gold rush era, the history of Alvarado and driving forces that made this area the first county seat for the newly established Alameda County in 1853. Decoto formed along the transcontinental railroad tracks at the base of the hills. Swenson ties it all together with the merger of these two small towns to form Union City on January 13, 1959.

Several companion books published by Arcadia Publishing cover townships that became Fremont and surrounding East Bay communities. The Arcadia Publishing series have created a well received niche of brief local history.

Union City, $19.99, Arcadia Publishing
Available at local retailers (Keith's Collectibles, 37573 Niles Blvd., Fremont (510) 676-7523 in Niles has a comprehensive selection of Arcadia Publishing books), local history museums, online bookstores or through Arcadia Publishing at or (888) 313-2665.

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