Welcome . . .

Berk Hist Soci
Berkeley Historical Society and the Berkeley History Center
are located in the Veterans Memorial Building, 1931 Center Street, Berkeley, CA 94701
berkhist@sbcglobal.net MAILING: BHS, Box 1190, Berkeley CA 94701
(510) 848-0181

Visit the History Center, browse the exhibits and publications
and join us in preserving Berkeley's heritage.

Welcome Exhibits Tours / Events Membership
  Anniversary Party    
RESOURCE LINKS: City of Berkeley Bay Area History California History
UC Berkeley Local Media Arts / Culture Preservation / Genealogy

BHS' History Center
contains space for exhibitions, a library, and an archive. It is staffed by Volunteers who

Discover and collect documentary materials Preserve and conserve the collections for future generations Organize the collections so they are accessible Provide reference and referral services Assist visitors with research Organize exhibitions, walking tours and social events Conduct and publish oral history interviews Present lectures, concerts, and workshops Produce and show films and videos Write a quarterly newsletter Publish books, pamphlets, & postcards Publish this web page Write a Berkeley Voice newspaper column (news from 75 years ago)
The Berkeley Historical Society (BHS) is a non-profit all-volunteer organization that serves as a primary resource for the collection and preservation of local history.The Berkeley Historical Society was established during the 1978 Berkeley Centennial Celebration.
The BHS History Center is open Thursdays through Saturdays, from 1 to 4 p.m.; Free admission, wheelchair accessible. We are across the street from Berkeley's Civic Center/Martin Luther Park, and two blocks from the downtown Berkeley BART station.XXXX
Yahoo Map Bay Area Rapid Transit (B.A.R.T. AC Transit Bus

Walking tours
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Berkeley & the Wars:
A Look Back at local Military Sites

Led by Steve Finacom and John Aronovici
Berkeley ‘s military connections date to Civil War veterans coming west and the founding of the University with Federal funding that required military training for male students. Generations of soldiers, veterans and military organizations have left their local mark. Guides Steven Finacom and John Aronovici will lead through one-time Downtown and UC campus military sites, from Berkeley’s National Guard Armory to an artillery park, with special attention to May, 1933, when Berkeley hosted a gathering of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) (Union veterans of the Civil War). We’ll finish with a special showing of memorabelia from local GAR organizations.

Saturday, April 26, 2008
The Elmwood, or“I Ain’t Gona Work on Kelsey’s Farm No More”
Led by Dale Smith
This walk takes us through John Kelsey’s Farm, where he grew the Elms of Elmwood. The Elmwood is one of the oldest commercial districts in Berkeley, little changed from the 1920s. A tight compact business district, it serves the surrounding community with a surprising range of goods and services. This was one of the earliest areas in Berkeley to have a business quota system. The walk will take us through residential side streets where homes of the early settlers still stand as well as the “main drag”.

Saturday, May 10
Northbrae Trolleys
Led by Phil Gale
his walk will explore the relationship between the early electric street railroads and the real estate interests in the Northbrae area. Who were the big players in the area? Why is Marin Avenue laid out straight up the hill? Why are so many streets named after counties? This walk will involve some stairs and steep grades, al- though all will be on public rights of way. It is not suitable for handicapped people.

Saturday, May 17, 2008
Panoramic Hill Trails, Steps and History
Led by Ron Sipherd
Defined by Strawberry Canyon and Hamilton Gulch, Panoramic Hill’s contrasting qualities of proximity to the university and steep, difficult terrain have made it unique among Berkeley neighborhoods since 1888. The tour will explore both aspects and (from the outside) the homes of doctors, professors, and eccentrics who lived there. Visit Ron’s Web site http://www.well.com/~ronks/pix/panowalk to learn more about this walk. Sipherd has spent many weekends climbing and descending its slopes and collecting neighborhood lore. This walk is strenuous and not easily wheelchair accessible. Bring water.

Saturday, May 31
McGee Tract
Led by Paul Grunland
BHS walk leader since 1997, Grundland will lead a walk prepared by the McGee-Spaulding-Hardy Historic Interest Group through three historic neighborhood tracts, including St. Joseph the Workers Church, where, Father Harry Morrison, the first President of the Berkeley Historical Society, was pastor.

Saturday, June 14, 2008
Bonus Tour: New Cal Libraries
Led by Manuel Erviti, Interim Head of the Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library, and Deborah Rudolph, librarian at the Starr Library
For those subscribing to at least three Spring 2008 Walking Tours, this is a free tour of recent Cal buildings, Hargrove Music Library and the CV Starr East Asian Library. It is led by Manuel Erviti, Interim Head of the Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library and Deborah Rudolph librarian at the Starr Library. Hargrove Music Library (2004) is the number one academic music library in the US; this high-tech building houses 190,000 volumes of music, books and periodicals, more than 50,000 records, manuscripts and other rare materials. The C.V. Starr East Asian Library (2007), part of the Chang-Lin Tien Center for East Asian Studies, pro- vides a central home for the University’s renowned collections focused on East Asia.

To download a Walking Tours PDF, click here.

Tours start at 10 a.m.
and end approximately at 12:00 noon, and are limited to 30 paying participants unless noted otherwise.
Pre-paid reservations are required and are non-refundable. Tours are conducted in rain, shine or Berkeley fog and are wheel chair accessible unless noted otherwise.
The non-refundable donation for each tour is $8 ea. for BHS members and $10 ea. for the general public.
Season special total is $20 for members, $30 for general public. BHS memberships are $20/individual and $25/family.

PLEASE MAKE YOUR CHECK PAYABLE TO THE Berkeley Historical Society P.O. Box 1190, Berkeley, CA 94701-1190
Email address and telephone number are very important for last minute changes and confirmations. Confirmation e-mail or postcards will be sent to you with information on the meeting place for your subscribed tour(s). For last minute reservations, please call 848-0181 between 1 and 4 PM on the Thursday or Friday before the tour to determine a tour’s available capacity. If you have a suggestion for a future walking tour, please mail it to this address. The BHS, a volunteer organization, appreciates your support.


April 27 - September 27
Berkeley, A City of Firsts


On Grand Opening exhibit day, Mayor Tom Bates will discuss, “What happens in Berkeley today is conventional wisdom in the rest of the country tomorrow.” Berkeley has long been a leader in innovations: The Police Department established scientific policing, the Fire Department pioneered use of smoke blowers; the Berkeley Unified School District voluntarily integrated the schools; and the City has led the way in peace initiatives, banned Styrofoam, provided health benefits for domestic partners of employees, and made inroads in energy conservation. The University of California, the Berkeley National Lab, the Ecology Center, the Center for Independent Living, and many local organizations and individuals have all contributed to the growing list of “Berkeley Firsts.”

Sunday, April 27, 2008 . . . 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Regular hours are Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays,
from 1- 4 p.m.

Past Exhibits . . .
Civic institutions and schools Folk music posters Transportation systems Berkeley postcards Oakland-Berkeley fire of 1991 Japanese-American experience Berkeley’s literary scene Treasures from the archive Vietnam War era Disability rights movement Louis L. Stein collection of photographs and memorabilia History of the Berkeley Historical Society Great fire of 1923 Berkeley artists Berkeley, then and now Berkeley’s ethnic heritage The decade of 1900-1910 From the Attic Sather Tower Recent acquisitions George Berkeley and the naming of Berkeley, California Berkeley 125th anniversary photo exhibit Early women of Berkeley Bohemian Berkeley City of Berkeley Police Department Fermenting Berkeley 75 Years Ago Vanishing Victorians Berkeley in the 1930s


Sunday, May 4, 1 to 5pm

33rd Spring House Tour and Garden Reception
Architectural Discoveries Along the Stately Avenues of Berkeley’s Famous Brown-Shingle Neighborhood . . . featuring houses by Julia Morgan, Bernard Maybeck, John Hudson Thomas, George T. Plowman, Walter H. Ratcliff, Jr., Albert Dodge Coplin, Clarence Casebolt Dakin, McDougall Bros., Cunningham Bros., Albert Joseph Mazurette, and more.

Order tour tickets online
(please specify House Tour & number of tickets) Or use the ticket order form to order by mail. House docents receive complimentary admission to the tour. To volunteer, contact baha@berkeleyheritage.com. All rights reserved. Photograph © Daniella Thompson

We're have turned 30 and
The 30th Anniversary party was held at the historic Hillside Club on April 6, 2008. The free, community event was sponsored by many. Featured are some celebration highlights. If you were in the group photo, please visit us at the BHS Center, or email us with your name.

Acme Bread
Albany Bowl
Allen Stross
Andy Liu
Anonymous Donor
Bobby G’s Pizzeria
Berkeley Bowl
Berkeley Community Media
Berkeley Daily Planet
Berkeley Natural Grocery
Bette’s Ocean View Diner
Berkeley Opera
Bread Workshop
Builders Booksource
Café Clem
Café Fanny
Casa Latina
Cheese Board
Chuck Wollenberg
Coffee Market
Country Cheese
Ed Herny
Freight and salvage
Gioia Pizza
HeyDay Books
Hillside Club
Homemade Café
John Aronovici
Juan’s Place
KNA Copy Center
la Mediterranee
La Note
La Pena Cultural Center
Lawrence Hall of Science
Lisa Bullwinkle
Margo Lind
Mark Coplan
Mi Tierra
Monterey Market
Narsai David
Oakland Zoo
Peets Coffee
Picante Restuarant
Rialto Elmwood
Red and White Fleet
S.F. Museum of Modern Art
St. John’s Presbyterian Church
The Craftsman Home
Toots Sweets
Semifreddi’s Bakery
UC Berkeley Art Museum
UC Pacific Film Archive
Venezia Restaurant
Virginia Bakery
Whole Foods


Your membership in the Berkeley Historical Society helps maintain the quality of our programs and operations, and supports the vitality and cultural life of Berkeley. Society members receive a quarterly newsletter and other event notifications, and are entitled to discounts on events and purchases. Memberships make wonderful gifts. Share the benefits of Membership with your family and friends. Annual dues:

Individual $20 Family $25 Contributor $50
Professional $100 Sponsor $100 Benefactor $500

Please make checks payable to the Berkeley Historical Society, and mail to P.O. Box 1190, Berkeley, CA 94701.


The Berkeley Historical Society depends on support from the community to preserve, collect and archive Berkeley history. There are several ways you can contribute to the BHS:
Volunteer your time or services Donate archival material Donate Gifts of Stock or through Estate Planning Sponsor an event, exhibition, publication, or public program.
Call us at (510) 848-0181 for more information. Your contributions are tax-deductible.

Welcome . . .

Berk Hist Soci
Berkeley Historical Society and the Berkeley History Center
are located in the Veterans Memorial Building, 1931 Center Street, Berkeley, CA 94701
berkhist@sbcglobal.net MAILING: BHS, Box 1190, Berkeley CA 94701
(510) 848-0181

Visit the History Center, browse the exhibits and publications
and join us in preserving Berkeley's heritage.

Welcome Exhibits Tours / Events Membership
  Anniversary Party    
RESOURCE LINKS: City of Berkeley Bay Area History California History
UC Berkeley Local Media Arts / Culture Preservation / Genealogy

Board of

AnaLuisa Coplan

John Aronovici
Phil Gale

Judy Kennedy

Carole Bennett-Simmons

Tom Edwards
Ken Cardwell

Steven Finacom

Ed Herny

Elaine Hutsinpiller

Margot Lind

Pamela Morgan

Greta Olsen


Dale Smith

Allen Stross

Resource Links

Note: Web links are a subjective assessment of merit or interest. Inclusion does not imply endorsement
by the Berkeley Historical Society. Send comments and corrections to Web editor Nelly Coplan.

City of Berkeley

Berkeley Public Library

Berkeley, A City in History by Charles Wollenberg, 2002)

Berkeley Police Department and its history

Berkeley Fire Department and its history

Berkeley Unified School District, Berkeley High School, and BHS alumni information

People’s Park and its history

Tilden Regional Park

Berkeley Chamber of Commerce

Downtown Berkeley Association

Berkeley Living.com

Berkeley Convention & Visitors Bureau

Restaurants in the Berkeley Area

Stories about Berkeley from Bay Area Backroads

Bay Area Traveler: East Bay Neighborhoods, from SF Gate

1906 streetcar film "A trip to Berkeley, Cal." can be viewed by searching for "Berkeley" at Early Films of San Francisco, 1897-1916 (part of American Memory from Library of Congress)

The History of KRE Radio, by John F. Schneider

Free Speech Movement Digital Archive from UC Berkeley Libraries

Free Speech Movement Archives (FSM-A)

Berkeley Free Speech Movement (photos by Ron Enfield)

Berkeley Vietnam Veterans Memorial (inaugurated November 11, 1995, at the Berkeley Historical Society, by Country Joe McDonald and then-mayor Shirley Dean - see also Mayor Tom Bates)

Mark Kitchell’s film Berkeley in the Sixties (from California Newsreel)

Berkeley in the Seventies, "A History of Progressive Electoral Politics," by David Mundstock

Berkeley Campaign Art, also by David Mundstock

San Francisco Fire Department Response to the Berkeley Conflagration of September 1923 and Response to the Oakland-Berkeley Hills Conflagration of October 1991


Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association (BAHA)

Berkeley Farms dairy history (now in Hayward, CA)

Berkeley Horticultural Nursery (since 1922)

Berkeley Partners for Parks

The Berkeley Party and The Berkeley Public Community Forum

Berkeley Path Wanderers Association, and Karen Kemp watercolors of Berkeley paths

Bicycle-Friendly Berkeley Coalition

Center for Independent Living (co-sponsor of a 1997 BHS exhibit, "Berkeley Leads: Thirty-Five Years of Disability Rights", which Beth Haller documented in these photographs, and which BHS then-board member Ken Duffy wrote about in this article)

Claremont Resort & Spa history

Ecology Center

Peet’s Coffee & Tea history

Graduate Theological Union

Pacific School of Religion

Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley history, and biography of Thomas Starr King

St. John's Presbyterian Church history (since 1907)

Bay Area History

Alameda County page of the California USGenWeb Project

Alameda Co. page for RootsWeb.com

Sidewalk Contractor Stamps (by Lincoln Cushing)

Map of the East Bay showing routes of the Key System (1911) (large file, may be slow to load)

Panoramic Maps page from the Library of Congress, including a 1909 map of Berkeley

Article about San Pablo Avenue from the Lincoln Highway Association, California Chapter

AC Transit History

East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) History

abagOnline (Assoc. of Bay Area Governments; other city/county information)

African American Museum and Library at Oakland (AAMLO)

Chinese Historical and Cultural Project (San Jose)

C.E. Smith Museum of Anthropology and Yema-Po exhibit (19th Century Chinese labor camp at Lake Chabot)

GLBT Historical Society (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender)

Dunsmuir Historic Estate

Children’s Fairyland

John Hudson Thomas site by Jim Stetson

Bernard Maybeck a Wikipedia article

John Marsh and the Marsh House

Julia Morgan a Wikipedia artcle

Pardee Home Museum

Rosie the Riveter Trust (for the Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond)

Golden State Model Railroad Museum (located in Point Richmond)

Western Railway Museum, Rio Vista Junction, Solano County, California, features a 22-acre museum campus and operating historic rail cars, many originally from Berkeley.

San Francisco Museum

San Francisco Historical Society

San Francisco Architectural Heritage

San Francisco Digital Library

San Francisco Genealogy

San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers (in Golden Gate Park) and its history

San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park (National Park Service)

San Francisco Maritime National Park Association

Golden Gate Tall Ships Society

S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien (National Liberty Ship Memorial)

Bay Area 2000 (San Francisco: The First 150 Years), special of SF Gate

San Francisco Chronicle History , special of SF Gate

San Francisco Chinatown History

San Francisco Early Films, 1897-1916

Broadcast history of the San Francisco Bay Area, by John F. Schneider

The Fillmore Museum

Golden Gate Bridge historical photos

New Bay Bridge and Bay Bridge history

Albany Library Historical Photograph Collection

Alameda Museum

Belmont: A History of

Burlingame History

Contra Costa Historical Society

El Cerrito History

Fairfax History

Fremont Museum of Local History

Fort Ross: History of the Russian Settlement (Sonoma County)

Marin History Museum

Oakland: City of

Oakland Heritage Alliance

Oakland Public Library

Point Richmond History Association

Richmond Museum of History

San Anselmo Historical Museum

San Francisco BayArea Creek Guide

Santa Rosa - The Founders

Sausalito Historical Society

San José History

San Mateo County History Museum

Stanford University History and the Stanford Historical Society


California History
California Historical Society

California Preservation Foundation

Oakland Museum of California: History Department and the Gold Rush web site, the museum’s major 1998 exhibit

California State Railroad Museum

California’s Cultural Resources (CERES)
California Historical Radio Society (restoring and moving into KRE studio in Berkeley)

California Heritage Collection (digital images)

Yahoo: California History

California Genealogy (USGebWeb)

California historical and genealogical resources (from James Stevenson Publisher)

Los Angeles: Past, Present, & Future (from USC Libraries)

San Diego Historical Society

University of California, Berkeley
UC Berkeley Home Page and general history page

Days of Cal / A Virtual Tour through UC Berkeley’s History (Bancroft Library)

History of UC Berkeley (by Scott Trimble)

California Monthly and sample articles: "Bygone Berkeley" (by Joe Eskenazi), "Building the Big C" (by Steve Finacom), and "Bohemian Berkeley" (by Donald Gutierrez)
History of Berkeley’s International House

UC Berkeley Libraries

Berkeley Digital Library SunSITE

The Lawrence Hall of Science


Virtual Reality Panoramas of UC Berkeley Campus (requires Quick Time VR), part of the Geo-Images Project from the UCB Geography Dept.

Aerial photos of UC Berkeley campus and environs

Kite Aerial Photography (many images of Berkeley and UC)

Local Media
Berkeley Community Media

Berkeley Daily Planet

Daily Californian

Berkeley Voice

Oakland Tribune

East Bay Express Online
Free Radio Berkeley

KPFA Radio, KPFA history, Pacifica Radio Foundation, and Pacifica Radio Archives

KALX Radio and KALX Live

The Berkeleyan

SF Gate (San Francisco Chronicle)

San Francisco Bay Guardian


Local Arts and Culture
"How Berkeley Can You Be?" annual parade and festival (September)

Solano Stroll annual parade and festival (September)

SF Gate eGuide: Art

Berkeley Art Museum + Pacific Film Archive

Berkeley Art Center

Berkeley Arts Festival

Berkeley History Center

Judah L. Magnes Museum

Kala Art Institute (facilities for fine art printmaking, photography, book arts, and electronic multimedia)

The Crucible (an educational collaboration of arts - industry - community)

Pro Arts (organizers of annual East Bay Open Studios)

J.F.K. University Arts Annex

Traywick Gallery

Sculpture Site | A New Leaf Gallery

Paintings of several West Berkeley locales by Carla Markwart

David Lance Goines graphic arts posters and writings

Docs Populi - Poster Art Archive from Inkworks Press

Harrod Blank and his art cars Camera Van and Oh My God! (also see ArtCar Fest)

The BraBall, a sculpture project by East Bay artist Emily Duffy

Transformation: The Art of Joan Brown (web site from BAM/Oakland Museum exhibit)

Article about Berkeley sculptor Douglas Tilden by former BHS board member Ken Stein, published here by Deaf World Web

Center for Accessible Technology - Arts

g. Paul Bishop (archives of longtime Berkeley photographer)

Berkeley Symphony Orchestra

Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra

Berkeley Opera

The Cerrito Theater

Library of Congress

Family Search.org A free service of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

The Smithsonian Institution

National Archives & Records Administration

Conservation OnLine (CoOL)


Yahoo: U.S. History

UC Berkeley Museum Informatics Project

History Computerization Project

History Today

The History Net (National Historical Society)

The American Civil War Homepage

National Japanese American Historical Society

American Historical Society of Germans From Russia (AHSGR)

General Land Office Records (Bureau of Land Management)

National Archives’ Genealogy Page

Ellis Island (American Family Immigration History Center - search for records)

Ellis Island Immigration Museum

USGenWeb Project

African American Museum and Library at Oakland (AAMLO)

African American Genealogical Society of Northern California

Chinese Historical and Cultural Project (San Jose)

East Bay Genealogical Society


Cyndi’s List (genealogy links)

WorldGenWeb Project

Ancestry.com and message boards

Genealogy.com and GenForum message boards

The Genealogy Home Page

The Seeker’s Genealogy Page

Kansas Heritage and the Kansas State Historical Society

Chicago Historical Society

History and Politics of New York City

Lower East Side Tenement Museum

Everton’s Family History

Irish Ancestors (ireland.com /The Irish Times)

UK Ancestors

Welcome . . .

Berk Hist Soci
Berkeley Historical Society and the Berkeley History Center
are located in the Veterans Memorial Building, 1931 Center Street, Berkeley, CA 94701
berkhist@sbcglobal.net MAILING: BHS, Box 1190, Berkeley CA 94701
(510) 848-0181

Visit the History Center, browse the exhibits and publications
and join us in preserving Berkeley's heritage.

Welcome Exhibits Tours / Events Membership
  Anniversary Party    
RESOURCE LINKS: City of Berkeley Bay Area History California History
UC Berkeley Local Media Arts / Culture Preservation / Genealogy

Many thanks to the City of Berkeley for hosting the Berkeley Historical Society website.
Site maintained by CoplanPixels.com