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November 2, 2010 > History: Patterson and Anderson Landings

History: Patterson and Anderson Landings

Before the advent of rail, shipping was the only way for local farmers to get their produce to market in San Francisco. Small boats called Scow-Schooners plied the waters of the San Francisco Bay, able to navigate the shallow creeks and sloughs. Farm goods were shipped to San Francisco, and manufactured goods-such as building supplies, clothes, and general merchandise-were shipped to the East Bay.

Union City had one set of landings on Alameda Creek. John Horner built a landing with warehouses about 1851, later selling it to Mr. Benson. Later, it operated for many years under the ownership of Richard and James Barron. Next to this landing was another, built by James Stokes. Both of these landings were used to support the towns of Union City and Alvarado. Union Landing shopping center is named after these landings.

There were two additional landings in Union City, but not much has been mentioned about them in local history.

George Patterson owned a large farm in what is now Fremont; his house and a section of his land currently known as Ardenwood Regional Park. To ship his goods to market, Mr. Patterson created a landing on a branch of Coyote Hills Slough, just east of the northern part of Coyote Hills, then known as Cerritos Hills. Mr. Patterson owned a section of land that connected his large property to the slough for the landing. Just to the east of Patterson landing, Mr. Anderson owned property on the slough and he built Anderson Landing. Both of these landings are located in what is now Union City.

There is some confusion in historical resources, thinking of the two landings as the same. The "Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State" has a reference to Anderson Landing, but it just says "see Patterson Landing." A U.S. Geological Survey map from 1899 shows Patterson Landing, but has no mention of Anderson Landing. The Thompson and West Atlas from 1878 shows both landings and the property around them.

Locating where these landings existed can be done by comparing the 1878 map and a modern map. Marsh Road is the road that ran from Alvarado to Newark, now called Union City Boulevard. Comparing this road from the 1878 atlas to a modern map shows that the bends in the road happen at about the same place. Using the location of the railroad tracks and Lowry Road confirms that the bend in the road shown in 1878 is about the same as the bend shown on the modern map. Using the locations of Coyote Hills and the small hill just north of Coyote Hills, to further pin point the area, the location of the landings can be marked with some certainty.

There is a gap in the housing developments along Union City Boulevard, just south of Dolores Drive. This undeveloped land is about where the landings were located. The slough is dried up and there is no trace of it or the landings of the past.

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