For those who couldn’t get to Woody Minor’s Aug. 26 walk around Mastic (due to the fine weather, the America’s Cup, etc.), here are some highlights of Minor’s history, which he contributed to a recent edition of the Alameda Architectural Preservation Society newsletter.
The Alameda subdivision “was laid out in 1907 on the site of a grand 19th-Century estate.” The tract’s nine blocks extended north from Pacific Avenue east of Constitution Way, in the vicinity of Eighth and Ninth Streets. “No other neighborhood in Alameda reveals the bungalow’s birth so clearly,” writes Minor.
The neighborhood got its name from the Mastick family, who owned a 22-acre estate on the Island. The family came to Alameda in 1864, the year trains began running on the San Francisco & Alameda Railroad. Mastick sat on the board of directors of the railroad, was a lawyer and had his home build on a train stop — Mastick Station, on Railroad (Lincoln) Avenue, between Eighth and Ninth streets.
He also served multiple terms on the Board of City Trustees—a forerunner of the City Council. He helped improve the infrastructure of the Victorian city, including a sanitary sewer system and a municipal power system. These and other achievements endeared him to the community, which would later name Mastick School — now Mastick Senior Center — in his honor.
One of his heirs, George H. Mastick — an attorney and member of the library board—helped oversee the development of the family property after the
1906 earthquake. “The influx of residents to the Island City in the aftermath of the earthquake assured brisk sales, and the tract was largely built by World War I,” explains Minor.
This period was also the heyday of the bungalow, or Craftsman cottage — a small, gable-roofed house with a rustic appearance conveyed by
natural materials and a low-to-the-ground profile.
George H. Mastick’s 1889 Queen Anne mansion still stands and is being refurbished by its latest new owners.
According to “San Francisco Call” of February 18, 1901:
– Edwin Baird Mastick died this day after a long illness and was survived by eight children.
– He was born in Geauga County, Ohio, on March 22, 1824, and hence died at 76.
– He married in 1848 after becoming a lawyer.
– He came to California in 1851 via Panama.
– He served on the city’s Board of Trustees for 15 years — and 10 as president.