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December 6, 2016 > Notable local recognized in naming of Tri-City Health Center

Notable local recognized in naming of Tri-City Health Center

Submitted By Gil Garza

On August 8, 2016 the Washington Township Museum of Local History participated in the opening of a new Tri-City Health Center located at the historic Five Corners of Fremont. Prior to the opening, representatives of the Tri-City Health Center visited the museum to talk about the history of the area. Irvington Dave was brought up as one of the more elusive historical figures. Articles about Dave have been written by Phil Holmes, one of the Tri-CityÕs most prolific local historians. The story goes that Elias Lyman Beard brought two African-American men with him to California in May of 1849. The trio ended up in Washington Township. It is said that the two African-Americans established a saloon and place to eat at Five Corners, an early Bay Area crossroads.

For several reasons, this is a difficult chapter of local history to tell. The history of African-Americans, women, Native Americans, Asians, and many other groups were often overlooked or excluded from the historical narrative. Even as the area began to flourish, documentation of events was sparse or simply went unrecorded. Another important factor was the unique conditions of the time. California was in a period of transition from Native American control to Spanish, then to Mexican and finally a U.S. Territory under military control.

Established norms on the East Coast and in the southern U.S. were left behind in this western land of opportunity. This unique set of conditions provided the opening for Dave and his colleagues to make use of the five corners location to service the high level of migration and travel around the Bay Area and gold rush areas of California. After reviewing available material (albeit sparse) on this subject, the Tri-City Health Center felt that Irvington DaveÕs name would work well as a commemoration of the entrepreneurial spirit and vision shown at the early formation of this great state. Everyone at the museum agreed. The new facility was created to meet community health needs without regard to income.

Wishing to participate and contribute to local history, the Tri-City Health Center has made a very generous donation to the Washington Township Museum of Local History. The $5,000 donation will help the museum purchase a large format high resolution scanner and printer. This needed piece of equipment will play a key role in archival work to digitize museum collections. Run by volunteers, this non-profit operation relies on contributions to maintain its important work in our community.

Everyone at the museum would like to thank Tri-City Health Center for its help to share the past of this historically rich community.

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