Richmond’s south shoreline was still largely undeveloped in 1931


Above is an aerial view of the Port of Richmond in 1931, marked by the buildings at lower center extending into the newly dredged shipping channel.

Behind the port, the privately managed Parr Terminal, are two of the primary reasons the shipping facility was built:

The Ford Motor Plant (1931, the plant may still be under construction in this photo)

and the Felice and Perrelli Canning Company (1930).

The two buildings today are still standing and have been renovated, but at the time this photo was taken they were still new and an early industrial development on this portion of the city’s waterfront. There are no buildings around or behind them on the shoreline. The undeveloped shoreline behind the two factories and guarded by a breakwater would become Kaiser Shipyard No. 2 just a decade later. Today it is the Marina Bay residential development and boat harbor.

The wooded area visible south of what is now Marina Bay was the site known as Stege, a former estate and settlement that once had aspirations of officially becoming its own town.

Looking to the south (the top third of the picture), you can see how sparsely populated the land is north of Berkeley. Sunset View Cemetery in El Cerrito is visible, as are Albany Hill and Point Isabel (the point is connected to the shore by a thin dirt strip here, but in those days it became an island at high tide. It was also a popular spot for duck hunting). The Campanile on the UC Berkeley campus is at the far right. Also, Mount Diablo is visible in the background here.

Chris Treadway