The Chumash are a Native American people who inhabited the central and southern coastal regions of California, in portions of what is now San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties, extending from Morro Bay in the north to Malibu in the south. They occupied three of the Channel Islands: Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel. Modern place names with Chumash origins include Cayucos, Nipomo, Ojai, Pismo Beach, Point Mugu, Port Hueneme, Lake Castaic, Simi Valley and Somis. Archaeological research demonstrates that the Chumash have deep roots in the Santa Barbara Channel area and lived along the southern California coast for millennia, they inhabited the Antelope Valley in Palmdale and traded with the Kitanemuk tribe in the Mojave desert. The Chumash resided between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the California coasts where rivers and tributaries abound. Inside and around the modern-day Santa Barbara region, the Chumash lived with a bounty of resources; the tribe lived in an area of three environments: the interior, the coast, the Northern Channel Islands.
These provided a diverse array of materials to support the Chumash lifestyle. The interior is composed of the land outside the coast and spanning the wide plains and mountains; the coast covers the cliffs and land close to the ocean and, in reference to resources, the areas of the ocean from which the Chumash harvested. The Northern Channel Islands lie off the coast of the Chumash territory. All of the California coastal-interior has a Mediterranean climate due to the incoming ocean winds; the mild temperatures, save for winter, made gathering easy. What villagers gathered and traded during the seasons changed depending on where they resided. With coasts populated by masses of species of fish and land densely covered by trees and animals, the Chumash had a diverse array of food. Abundant resources and a winter harsh enough to cause concern meant the tribe lived a sedentary lifestyle in addition to a subsistence existence. Villages in the three aforementioned areas contained remains of sea mammals, indicating that trade networks existed for moving materials throughout the Chumash territory.
Such connections spread out the land’s wealth, allowing the Chumash to live comfortably without agriculture. The closer a village was to the ocean, the greater its reliance on maritime resources. Due to advanced canoe designs and island people could procure fish and aquatic mammals from farther out. Shellfish were a good source of nutrition: easy to find and abundant. Many of the favored varieties grew in tidal zones. Shellfish grew in abundance during winter to early spring; some of the consumed species included mussels, a wide array of clams. Haliotis rufescens was harvested along the Central California coast in the pre-contact era; the Chumash and other California Indians used red abalone shells to make a variety of fishhooks, beads and other artifacts. Ocean animals such as otters and seals were thought to be the primary meal of coastal tribes people, but recent evidence shows the aforementioned trade networks exchanged oceanic animals for terrestrial foods from the interior. Any village could acquire fish, but the coastal and island communities specialized in catching not just smaller fish, but the massive catches such as swordfish.
This feat, difficult for today’s technology, was made possible by the tomol plank canoe. Its design allowed for the capture of deepwater fish, it facilitated trade routes between villages. Before contact with Europeans, coastal Chumash relied less on terrestrial resources than they did on maritime. Regardless, they consumed similar land resources. Like many other tribes, deer were the most important land mammal. Interior Chumash placed greater value on the deer, to the extent that they had unique hunting practices for them, they dressed as deer and grazed alongside the animals until the hunters were in range to use their arrows. Chumash close to the ocean pursued deer, though in understandably fewer numbers, what more meat the villages needed they acquired from smaller animals such as rabbits and birds. Plant foods composed the rest of Chumash diet acorns, which were the staple food despite the work needed to remove their inherent toxins, they could be ground into a paste, easy to eat and store for years.
Coast live. Native Americans have lived along the California coast for at least 13,000 years; the first settlement started over 13,000 years ago near the Santa Barbara coast. The name Chumash means “bead maker” or “seashell people” being that they originated near the Santa Barbara coast; the Chumash tribes near the coast benefited most with the “close juxtaposition of a variety or marine and terrestrial habitats, intensive upwelling in coastal waters, intentional burning of the landscape made the Santa Barbara Channel region one of the most resource abundant places on the planet”. Before the mission period, the Chumash lived in over 150 independent villages, speaking variations of the same language. Much of their culture consisted of basketry, bead manufacturing and trading, cuisine of local abalone and clam, herbalism which consisted of using local herbs to produce teas and medical rel
José de la Guerra y Noriega
José Antonio de la Guerra y Noriega was a soldier and early settler of California. José de la Guerra was born 1779 at Novales, Spain; as a boy he wished to be a war leader. When he was 13 De La Guerra went to Mexico City in Colonial Mexico, New Spain, to live with his maternal uncle Pedro Gonzales de Noriega, a wealthy merchant. De La Guerra joined the frontier army in 1793, he was appointed a cadet in 1798 at the Presidio of San Diego in Alta California. He was promoted to alférez at the Presidio of Monterey in 1800, was its acting Commandant in 1804. In 1806 he was made lieutenant at the Presidio of Santa Barbara. From 1807 to 1815 he was lieutenant at the Presidio of San Diego, was, for a short time during 1806–1807 the commandant. From 1815, De La Guerra served at Santa Barbara, becoming captain in 1817, he became Commandant in 1827, succeeding José Darío Argüello, promoted to Governor of Alta California. De La Guerra became a Deputy to the Mexican National Congress in 1827. De La Guerra served as Commandant until 1842.
De La Guerra was a Californio popularly known as El Capitán. From land grants and purchases, De La Guerra became owner of over 1/2 million acres in present Santa Barbara, Ventura and Sacramento counties, California; these include Rancho Simi, Rancho Las Posas, Rancho San Julian, Rancho Los Alamos and Rancho El Conejo. De La Guerra married María Antonia Carrillo, daughter of José Raimundo Carrillo, on May 16, 1804, they had four daughters. De La Guerra is buried in the church crypt at Mission Santa Barbara with his wife, his house, called the Casa de la Guerra, still stands and is a historic landmark of downtown Santa Barbara. De La Guerra went down in Californian history as a father of the Californios. In the late 16th century during the time of the Moorish Wars in Spain, the last stronghold held by the Moors was Granada; the Spanish fortress in Granada was commanded by a commander whose name was "De La Vega". Don Juan De La Vega led a battle that led to the annihilation of the Moors and a complete reunification of Spain.
Upon learning of this, King Ferdinand I summoned De La Vega to his court. De La Vega was at first reprimanded for starting his battle against the Moors on a Sunday, forbidden by Spanish law, the King had him kneel and knighted him. Thereupon, changing his name from "De La Vega" to "De La Guerra". Casa de la Guerra Pablo de la Guerra Antonio Maria de la Guerra Alfred Robinson - Anita de la Guerra de Noriega y Carrillo Ranchos of California List of Ranchos of California Fr. Joseph A. Thompson. El Gran Capitan, José De la Guerra, De La Guerra Family Papers, Huntington Library, San Marino, California Narriative of daughter Teresa de La Guerra de Hartnell, 1875 Dana, Richard Henry, Jr. "Two Years Before the Mast"
Spain the Kingdom of Spain, is a country located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula, its territory includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country. Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are part of Spanish territory; the country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar. With an area of 505,990 km2, Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe, the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, the fourth largest country in the European continent. By population, Spain is the fifth in the European Union. Spain's capital and largest city is Madrid. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago. Iberian cultures along with ancient Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian settlements developed on the peninsula until it came under Roman rule around 200 BCE, after which the region was named Hispania, based on the earlier Phoenician name Spn or Spania.
At the end of the Western Roman Empire the Germanic tribal confederations migrated from Central Europe, invaded the Iberian peninsula and established independent realms in its western provinces, including the Suebi and Vandals. The Visigoths would forcibly integrate all remaining independent territories in the peninsula, including Byzantine provinces, into the Kingdom of Toledo, which more or less unified politically and all the former Roman provinces or successor kingdoms of what was documented as Hispania. In the early eighth century the Visigothic Kingdom fell to the Moors of the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate, who arrived to rule most of the peninsula in the year 726, leaving only a handful of small Christian realms in the north and lasting up to seven centuries in the Kingdom of Granada; this led to many wars during a long reconquering period across the Iberian Peninsula, which led to the creation of the Kingdom of Leon, Kingdom of Castile, Kingdom of Aragon and Kingdom of Navarre as the main Christian kingdoms to face the invasion.
Following the Moorish conquest, Europeans began a gradual process of retaking the region known as the Reconquista, which by the late 15th century culminated in the emergence of Spain as a unified country under the Catholic Monarchs. Until Aragon had been an independent kingdom, which had expanded toward the eastern Mediterranean, incorporating Sicily and Naples, had competed with Genoa and Venice. In the early modern period, Spain became the world's first global empire and the most powerful country in the world, leaving a large cultural and linguistic legacy that includes more than 570 million Hispanophones, making Spanish the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese. During the Golden Age there were many advancements in the arts, with world-famous painters such as Diego Velázquez; the most famous Spanish literary work, Don Quixote, was published during the Golden Age. Spain hosts the world's third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Spain is a secular parliamentary democracy and a parliamentary monarchy, with King Felipe VI as head of state.
It is a major developed country and a high income country, with the world's fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and sixteenth largest by purchasing power parity. It is a member of the United Nations, the European Union, the Eurozone, the Council of Europe, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the Union for the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Schengen Area, the World Trade Organization and many other international organisations. While not an official member, Spain has a "Permanent Invitation" to the G20 summits, participating in every summit, which makes Spain a de facto member of the group; the origins of the Roman name Hispania, from which the modern name España was derived, are uncertain due to inadequate evidence, although it is documented that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians referred to the region as Spania, therefore the most accepted etymology is a Semitic-Phoenician one.
Down the centuries there have been a number of accounts and hypotheses: The Renaissance scholar Antonio de Nebrija proposed that the word Hispania evolved from the Iberian word Hispalis, meaning "city of the western world". Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the term span is the Phoenician word spy, meaning "to forge metals". Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean "the land where metals are forged", it may be a derivation of the Phoenician I-Shpania, meaning "island of rabbits", "land of rabbits" or "edge", a reference to Spain's location at the end of the Mediterranean. The word in question means "Hyrax" due to Phoenicians confusing the two animals. Hispania may derive from the poetic use of the term Hesperia, reflecting the Greek perception of Italy as a "western land" or "land of the setting sun" (Hesperia
Ventura County, California
Ventura County is a county in the southern part of the U. S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 823,318; the largest city is Oxnard, the county seat is the city of Ventura. Ventura County comprises the Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, included in the Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA Combined Statistical Area, it is considered the southernmost county along the California Central Coast. It is a separate metropolitan area west of the more populous Los Angeles metropolitan area. Ventura County has been named the "most desirable" place to live in the U. S. by the Washington Post and the U. S. Department of Agriculture in 2015, it is home to several of the safest communities in the U. S. including Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Newbury Park, Moorpark. Overall, crime in the county is 33% lower than California and U. S. rates. Two of the California Channel Islands are part of the county: Anacapa Island, the most visited island in Channel Islands National Park, San Nicolas Island.
Ventura County was inhabited by the Chumash people, who settled much of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties, with their presence dating back 10,000-12,000 years. The Chumash were hunter-gatherers and traders with the Mojave and Tongva Indians; the Chumash are known for their rock paintings and for their great basketry. Chumash Indian Museum in Thousand Oaks has several reconstructed Chumash houses and there are several Chumash pictographs in the county, including the Burro Flats Painted Cave in Simi Valley; the plank canoe, called a tomol in Chumash, was important to their way of life. Canoe launching points on the mainland for trade with the Chumash of the Channel Islands were located at the mouth of the Ventura River, Mugu Lagoon and Point Hueneme; this has led to speculations among archeologists of whether the Chumash could have had a pre-historic contact with Polynesians. According to diachronic linguistics, certain words such as tomolo’o could be related to Polynesian languages; the dialect of the Chumash language, spoken in Ventura County was Ventureño.
Several place names in the county has originated from Chumash, including Ojai, which means moon, Simi Valley, which originates from the word Shimiyi and refers to the stringy, thread-like clouds that typify the region. Others include Point Mugu from the word Muwu, Saticoy from the word Sa’aqtiko’y, Sespe Creek from the word S’eqp’e. In October 1542, the expedition led by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo anchored in an inlet near Point Mugu. Active occupation of California by Spain began in 1769. Gaspar de Portolà led a military expedition by land from San Diego to Monterey, passing through Ventura County in August of that year. A priest with the expedition, Father Juan Crespí, kept a journal of the trip and noted that the area was ideal for a mission to be established and it was a "good site to which nothing is lacking". On this expedition was Father Junípero Serra, who founded a mission on this site. On March 31, 1782, the Mission San Buenaventura was founded by Father Serra, it is named after Saint one of the early intellectual founders of the Franciscan Order.
The town that grew up around the mission and remains named San Buenaventura, although has been known as Ventura since 1891. In the 1790s, the Spanish Governor of California began granting land concessions to Spanish Californians who were retiring soldiers; these concessions were known as ranchos and consisted of thousands of acres of land that were used as ranch land for livestock. In Ventura County, Rancho Simi was granted in 1795 and Rancho El Conejo in 1802. Fernando Tico was granted part of Ventura by Gov. Alvarado. In 1822, California was notified of Mexico's independence from Spain and the Governor of California, the Junta, the military in Monterey and the priests and neophytes at Mission San Buenaventura swore allegiance to Mexico on April 11, 1822. California land, vested in the King of Spain was now owned by the nation of Mexico. By the 1830s, Mission San Buenaventura was in a decline with fewer neophytes joining the mission; the number of cattle owned by the mission dropped from first to fifteenth ranking in the California Missions.
The missions were secularized by the Mexican government in 1834. The Mexican governors began granting land rights to Mexican Californians retiring soldiers. By 1846, there were 19 rancho grants in Ventura County. In 1836, Mission San Buenaventura was transferred from the Church to a secular administrator; the natives, working at the mission left to work on the ranchos. By 1839, only 300 Indians were left at the Mission and it slipped into neglect. Several outhouses were discovered in July 2007 dating back to the 1800s where a new site had been cleared to prepare for development; the area proved to be a treasure trove for archaeologists who braved the lingering smell in the dirt to uncover artifacts that showed heavy utilization by mission inhabitants, early settlers and Spanish and Mexican soldiers. The Mexican–American War began in 1846 but its effect was not felt in Ventura County until 1847. In January of that year, Captain John C. Frémont led the California Battalion into San Buenaventura finding that the Europeans had fled leaving only the Indians in the Mission.
Fremont and the Battalion continued south to sign the Treaty of Cahuenga with General Andrés Pico. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo formally transferred California to the United States in 1848. By 1849, a constitution had been adopted for the California territory; the n
Alta California, known sometimes unofficially as Nueva California, California Septentrional, California del Norte or California Superior, began in 1804 as a province of New Spain. Along with the Baja California peninsula, it had comprised the province of Las Californias, but was split off into a separate province in 1804. Following the Mexican War of Independence, it became a territory of Mexico in April 1822 and was renamed "Alta California" in 1824; the claimed territory included all of the modern US states of California and Utah, parts of Arizona, Wyoming and New Mexico. Neither Spain nor Mexico colonized the area beyond the southern and central coastal areas of present-day California, small areas of present-day Arizona, so they exerted no effective control in modern-day California north of the Sonoma area, or east of the California Coast Ranges. Most interior areas such as the Central Valley and the deserts of California remained in de facto possession of indigenous peoples until in the Mexican era when more inland land grants were made, after 1841 when overland immigrants from the United States began to settle inland areas.
Large areas east of the Sierra Nevada and Coast Ranges were claimed to be part of Alta California, but were never colonized. To the southeast, beyond the deserts and the Colorado River, lay the Spanish settlements in Arizona. Alta California ceased to exist as an administrative division separate from Baja California in 1836, when the Siete Leyes constitutional reforms in Mexico re-established Las Californias as a unified department, granting it more autonomy. Most of the areas comprising Alta California were ceded to the United States in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the Mexican–American War in 1848. Two years California joined the union as the 31st state. Other parts of Alta California became all or part of the U. S. states of Arizona, Utah and Wyoming. The Spanish explored the coastal area of Alta California by sea beginning in the 16th century and prospected the area as a domain of the Spanish monarchy. During the following two centuries there were various plans to settle the area, including Sebastián Vizcaíno's expedition in 1602–03 preparatory to colonization planned for 1606–07, canceled in 1608.
Between 1683 and 1834, Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries established a series of religious outposts from today's Baja California and Baja California Sur into present-day California. Father Eusebio Kino missionized the Pimería Alta from 1687 until his death in 1711. Plans in 1715 by Juan Manuel de Oliván Rebolledo resulted in a 1716 decree for extension of the conquest which came to nothing. Juan Bautista de Anssa proposed an expedition from Sonora in 1737 and the Council of the Indies planned settlements in 1744. Don Fernando Sánchez Salvador researched the earlier proposals and suggested the area of the Gila and Colorado Rivers as the locale for forts or presidios preventing the French or the English from "occupying Monterey and invading the neighboring coasts of California which are at the mouth of the Carmel River." Alta California was not accessible from New Spain: land routes were cut off by deserts and hostile Native populations and sea routes ran counter to the southerly currents of the distant northeastern Pacific.
New Spain did not have the economic resources nor population to settle such a far northern outpost. Spanish interest in colonizing Alta California was revived under the visita of José de Gálvez as part of his plans to reorganize the governance of the Interior Provinces and push Spanish settlement further north. In subsequent decades, news of Russian colonization and maritime fur trading in Alaska, the 1768 naval expedition of Pyotr Krenitsyn and Mikhail Levashev, in particular, alarmed the Spanish government and served to justify Gálvez's vision. To ascertain the Russian threat, a number of Spanish expeditions to the Pacific Northwest were launched. In preparation for settlement of Alta California, the northern, mainland region of Las Californias was granted to Franciscan missionaries to convert the Native population to Catholicism, following a model, used for over a century in Baja California; the Spanish Crown funded the construction and subsidized the operation of the missions, with the goal that the relocation and enforced labor of Native people would bolster Spanish rule.
The first Alta California mission and presidio were established by the Franciscan friar Junípero Serra and Gaspar de Portolá in San Diego in 1769. The following year, 1770, the second mission and presidio were founded in Monterey. In 1773 a boundary between the Baja California missions and the Franciscan missions of Alta California was set by Francisco Palóu; the missionary effort coincided with the construction of presidios and pueblos, which were to be manned and populated by Hispanic people. The first pueblo founded was San José in 1777, followed by Los Ángeles in 1781. By law, mission land and property were to pass to the indigenous population after a period of about ten years, when the natives would become Spanish subjects. In the interim period, the Franciscans were to act as mission administrators who held the land in trust for the Native residents; the Franciscans, prolonged their control over the missions after control of Alta California passed from Spain to independent Mexico, continued to run the missions until they were secularized, beginning in 1833.
The transfer of property never occurr
Juan Bautista Alvarado
Juan Bautista Valentín Alvarado y Vallejo was a Californio and Governor of Las Californias from 1837 to 1842. In 1836, he led a coup that seized Monterey and declared himself governor, backed by other northern Californios, with help from Capt. Isaac Graham and his "Tennessee Rifles". Alvarado declared independence for California but, after negotiations with the territorial Diputación, was persuaded to rejoin Mexico peacefully in exchange for more local autonomy; as part of the agreement, in 1837 he was appointed governor of Las Californias, served until 1842. Alvarado was born in Alta California, to Jose Francisco Alvarado and María Josefa Vallejo, his grandfather Juan Bautista Alvarado accompanied Gaspar de Portolà as an enlisted man in the Spanish Army in 1769. His father died a few months after his birth and his mother remarried three years leaving Juan Bautista in the care of his grandparents on the Vallejo side, where he and Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo grew up together, they were both taught by an English merchant living in Monterey.
In 1827 the eighteen-year-old Alvarado was hired as secretary to the territorial legislature. In 1829 he was arrested along with Vallejo and another friend, José Castro, by soldiers involved in the military revolt led by Joaquín Solis. In 1831 he built a house in Monterey for his mistress, Juliana Francisca Ramona y Castillo, whom he called "Raymunda", to live in. Over the years, the pair had a total of at least two illegitimate daughters whom he recognized and several more he did not recognize, but he never married their mother. During this period Alvarado began drinking heavily. One of his daughters claimed that Raymunda had refused to marry Alvarado because of his excessive drinking. Alvarado supported secularization of the Spanish missions in California, he was appointed by José María de Echeandía to oversee the turn over of Mission San Miguel though Echeandía was no longer governor. The new governor Manuel Victoria rescinded the order and sought to have Alvarado and Castro arrested; the pair fled and were hidden by their old friend Vallejo, who had become adjutant at the Presidio of San Francisco.
However, Victoria was unpopular and Echeandía overthrew his rule and replaced him with Pío de Jesús Pico near the end of 1831. Secularization of the missions resumed in 1833. In 1834 Alvarado was elected to the legislature as a delegate and appointed customs inspector in Monterey. Governor José Figueroa granted Rancho El Sur, two square leagues of land, or about 9,000 acres, south of Monterey, to Alvarado on October 30, 1834. After Figueroa's death in September 1835, Nicolás Gutiérrez was appointed as interim governor in January 1836, he was replaced by Mariano Chico in April, but Chico was unpopular. His intelligence agents told him that yet another Californio revolt was brewing, so he fled back to Mexico, claiming he planned to gather troops against the independent Californios. Instead, Mexico reprimanded him for abandoning his post. Gutierrez, the military commandant, re-assumed the governorship, but like the Mexican governors before him, the Californios forced him, too, to flee; as senior members of the legislature and Castro, with political support from Vallejo and backing from a group of Tennesseans led by Capt.
Isaac Graham, forced Gutierrez out of the country. Alvarado's Californio coup wrote a constitution and adopted a new flag—a single red star on a white background, but neither were used after Alvarado made peace with Mexico. Alvarado, at age 27, was appointed governor, but the city council of Los Angeles protested. Alvarado and Graham went south and negotiated a compromise after three months, avoiding a civil war. However, the city council of San Diego voiced its disagreement with Alvarado's revolt; this time, the Mexican government was involved and there were rumors that the Mexican Army was ready to step in. Alvarado was able to negotiate another compromise to keep the peace. Mexico reneged on the agreement and appointed Carlos Antonio Carrillo, popular among the southerners, governor on December 6, 1837; this time, civil war broke out and after several battles, Carrillo was forced out. Mexico relented and recognized Alvarado as governor. Alvarado married Doña Martina Castro on August 24, 1839 in Santa Clara, but didn't attend his own wedding having his half-brother, Jose Antonio Estrada, stand in for him.
Though he claimed to be detained in Monterey on official business, it was rumored he was drunk and unable to function. After the wedding, Alvarado lived with his bride in Monterey, but continued on with mistress, who lived nearby; the process of secularization of the missions was in its final stages, it was at this time that Alvarado parceled out much of their land to prominent Californios via land grants. Though he took no land for himself, he did however, trade his Rancho El Sur to John B. R. Cooper in exchange for Rancho Bolsa del Potrero which he subsequently sold back to Cooper, he purchased Rancho El Alisal near Salinas in 1841 from his former tutor William Hartnell. In April 1840 a report of a planned revolt against Alvarado by a group of foreigners, led by former ally Isaac Graham, caused the governor to order their arrest and deportation to Mexico City for trial, they were however, acquitted of all charges in June 1841. In 1841, political leaders in the United States were declaring their doctrine of Manifest Destiny, Californios grew concerned over their intentions.
Vallejo conferred with Castro and
Alameda County, California
Alameda County is a county in the state of California in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,510,271, making it the 7th-most populous county in the state; the county seat is Oakland. Alameda County is included in the San Francisco Bay Area; the Spanish word alameda means either, "...a grove of poplars...or a tree lined street" a name used to describe the Arroyo de la Alameda. The willow and sycamore trees along the banks of the river reminded the early Spanish explorers of a road lined with trees. Although a strict translation to English might be "Poplar Grove Creek", the name of the principal stream that flows through the county is now "Alameda Creek." Alameda County is included in the San Francisco–Oakland–Hayward, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, included in the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area. The county was formed on March 25, 1853, from a large portion of Contra Costa County and a smaller portion of Santa Clara County; the county seat at the time of the county's formation was located at Alvarado, now part of Union City.
In 1856, it was moved to San Leandro, where the county courthouse was destroyed by the devastating 1868 quake on the Hayward Fault. The county seat was re-established in the town of Brooklyn from 1872-1875. Brooklyn is now part of Oakland, the county seat since 1873. Much of what is now considered an intensively urban region, with major cities, was developed as a trolley car suburb of San Francisco in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; the historical progression from Native American tribal lands to Spanish Mexican ranches to farms and orchards to multiple city centers and suburbs, is shared with the adjacent and associated Contra Costa County. The annual county fair is held at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton; the fair runs for three weekends from June to July. Attractions include horse racing, carnival rides, 4-H exhibits, live bands. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 821 square miles, of which 739 square miles is land and 82 square miles is water.
The San Francisco Bay borders the county on the west, the City and County of San Francisco, has a small land border with the city of Alameda due to land filling. The crest of the Berkeley Hills form part of the northeastern boundary and reach into the center of the county. A coastal plain several miles wide lines the bay. Livermore Valley lies in the eastern part of the county. Amador Valley continues west to the Pleasanton Ridge; the Hayward Fault, a major branch of the San Andreas Fault to the west, runs through the most populated parts of Alameda County, while the Calaveras Fault runs through the southeastern part of the county. Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge A 2014 analysis by The Atlantic found Alameda County to be the fourth most racially diverse county in the United States—behind Aleutians West Census Area and Aleutians East Borough in Alaska, Queens County in New York—as well as the most diverse county in California; the 2010 United States Census reported that Alameda County had a population of 1,510,271.
The population density was 2,047.6 people per square mile. The racial makeup of Alameda County was 649,122 White, 190,451 African American, 9,799 Native American, 394,560 Asian, 12,802 Pacific Islander, 162,540 from other races, 90,997 from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 339,889 persons: 16.4% Mexican, 0.8% Puerto Rican, 0.2% Cuban, 5.1% Other Hispanic. As of the census of 2000, there were 1,443,741 people, 523,366 households, out of which 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living within them, 47.0% married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 35.2% were non-families. 26.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.3% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.31. In the county, the population was spread out with 24.6% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 33.9% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, 10.2% who were 65 years of age or older.
The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 96.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.00 males. The median income for a household in the county was $55,946, the median income for a family was $65,857. Males had a median income of $47,425 versus $36,921 for females; the per capita income for the county was $26,680. About 7.7% of families and 11.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.5% of those under age 18 and 8.1% of those age 65 or over. In 2000, the largest denominational group was the Catholics; the largest religious bodies were Judaism. The Government of Alameda County is defined and authorized under the California Constitution, California law, the Charter of the County of Alameda. Much of the Government of California is in practice the responsibility of county governments such as the Government of Alameda County, while municipalities such as the city of Oakland and the city of Berkeley provide additional non-essential services.
The County government provides countywide services such as elections and voter registration, law enforceme