Before that, what is now Fremont was an unincorporated portion of Alameda county called Washington Township. The landscape was family farms and the occasional small town that served them.
It was the mid-1950s and Hayward was annexing land on it's Southern edges. The new Nimitz freeway was being built South from Oakland to San Jose. Citizens of the small towns looked around and saw that development was coming, and that it was up to them to take control of it.
Union City and Newark had established industrial tax bases and incorporated while the remaining towns debated incorporation. Finally the five remaining towns became a city - the city of Fremont, the name chosen after the pathfinding general of the same name who camped by Mission San Jose many years ago.
This cache honors and celebrates Fremont's five founding towns.
- Centerville - Located in the center of Washington Township, Centerville's main street was an important stop on the San Jose - Oakland stageline. It also intersected the mission road, leading to a landing in Coyote Hills. Local farmers were able to ship their goods from this area. Initially the railroad only ran along the shoreline of the bay. A three-mile spur was laid from Centerville to Newark. It was used by a single horse-drawn rail-car, similar to the one you can see at Ardenwood Farm today. Washington High School was established in 1891. It was the second high school district in California. Prior to its establishment, students attended a private school in Oakland - over 20 miles away. Students originally attended classes in the basement of the Masonic Hall. In 1893 a new school opened, built on land donated by G. W. Patterson and other landowners.
N 37 33.458 W 122 00.361
These coordinates put you outside a lodge. Near the entrance is a cornerstone. On the cornerstone is a year (A) and a four digit number that is not a date (B).
- Irvington - Irvington was the sophisticated, intellectual part of town. The Independent, the township’s first newspaper, was published in this area. The Washington College of Science and Industry, the town’s first private college, founded in 1871, was located in Irvington. It educated men and women, closed in 1883 and reopened as a Christian college. With a decline in enrollment due to the opening of public high schools, it closed again in 1894 and reopened as the Curtner Seminary for Young Ladies but was destroyed by a fire in 1899. The Anderson Academy, a military school, was built on the site, and operated from 1900 to 1914, when the schoolmaster retired. In 1940 mammoth fossils were found in Bell Quarry. Wesley Gordon, a Hayward teacher, organized boys, ages 8 – 17 years old, to excavate the site. The “Boy Paleontologists” spent two years digging out over 29,000 bone fragments, including some from a saber-toothed tiger and the complete skull of a four-horned antelope (Tetrameryx Irvingtonesis). A collection of these fossils is currently housed at the Math Science Nucleus, on the corner of Eggers and Fremont Blvds.
N 37 32.020 W 121 56.988
These coordinates put you in a small park named for a large building in New York City. From this park you can look down the hill towards the bay landing and up the hill towards the mission. On the sign is a year (C).
- Mission San Jose - Mission San Jose was built in an effort to close the gap between the missions on the El Camino Real. Father Fermin de Lasuén dedicated the site on June 11, 1797. The adobe church was begun in 1805, and completed four years later. 21 Ohlone children were the first baptized at Mission San Jose, in 1798. Father Narciso Durán, a Franciscan priest, ran the Mission from 1806 to 1833. Under his leadership the Mission thrived. The Ohlone were taught how to play a variety of instruments, and trade relations were established with foreign sea captains sailing into San Francisco Bay. Mission San Jose was the most profitable and self-sufficient mission. Mexico’s independence and the private distribution of mission lands, led to the disintegration of the mission system. By 1846 Mission San Jose sat vacant. The discovery of gold, in 1848, brought many people through the mission area. Shops were set up in the abandoned adobe buildings, and one pioneer, E. L. Beard purchased the mission and moved his family into their new residence! In 1851 the Archdiocese of Oakland petitioned the government for return of Church property. They managed to evict Beard in 1858, and restored the church. Mission San Jose collapsed during an earthquake in 1868. A new church was built upon its site. The rebuilding of the original adobe Mission began in the 1970s. Mission San Jose, also known as St. Joseph’s Church, was dedicated on June 11, 1985 … 188 years after its founding.
N 37 31.946 W 121 55.200
These coordinates put you in front of a historic brick building sporting a brass plaque. The four digit year that the building was built is (F). The four digit year that the plaque was dedicated is (G).
- Niles - In 1841 Jose Vallejo, one of the original Mexican land grant holders, built a flourmill, known as Vallejo’s Mill. Customers traveled great distances to the mill, as it was one of only a few flourmills during that time. Hotels, bars, and restaurants were built to accommodate these travelers. This area was known as Vallejo Mills. Thirty years later, the arrival of the railroad drastically changed Vallejo Mills. The town’s name was changed to Niles in honor of railroad officer, Judge Addison C. Niles. The town grew around the railroad; businesses developed, visitors came to see Niles Canyon (whose walls rise to 1,400 feet above the canyon floor) and Alameda Creek (which meanders over 40 miles on its way to San Francisco Bay), and campgrounds and picnic areas were created. Niles later became the home for pioneers of the early days of the film industry. Many of the Broncho Billy and Charlie Chaplin movies were filmed in Niles.
N 37 34.607 W 121 58.721
These coordinates put you in front of a diamond shaped section of sidewalk that has two words and a date carved into it. One of the words is "Niles". The full four digit date is (D). Note: this date is 1869. Slightly to the north is another diamond shaped section that shows a building and three words. The date on this section starts with 19 and the full four digit date is (E).
- Warm Springs - Warm Springs was named for the natural hot springs in the area. In 1850, Clemente Columbet purchased the area and moved a building from San Jose to found the Warm Springs Resort and Spa. This resort could house 200 people and was a place where people could come to gamble, boat on an artificial lake, and hunt in the woods. Private bathing tubs were filled with the natural, warm, medicinal waters. Columbet also planted a vineyard on the property, winning prizes at the 1856 State Fair. The 1868 earthquake cooled the waters and destroyed many of the buildings. The property was sold with the intention of reopening the spa. However, Leland Stanford (governor of California) was impressed with the vineyards and purchased the property. After the death of their son, the Stanfords devoted their efforts to the university named in his honor and deeded the vineyard to Leland’s brother, Josiah. The family ended up selling the property in 1923. After a series of owners, it was purchased by Rudolf and Fred Weibel in 1940. This father and son rebuilt the winery where it remained active until urban development squeezed it out in 1985.
N 37 29.493 W 121 54.331
These coordinates put you at Rancho Higuera Historical Park. At the coordinates is a green sign fastened to a gatepost. There are two large numbers on the green sign, one above the other. This two digit number, top digit followed by the bottom digit, is (H).
A few calculations...
X = B + C + E + G + H.
Y = X + X + 9037. place a decimal point after the two leftmost digits.
Z = A + C + D + F + H + 28. place a decimal point after the leftmost digit.
The actual cache is at 37 Y, 121 5Z. It was hidden with the permission and cooperation of the Fremont City Park Department. It is near a large green lawn. If you do not find yourself in such a place, something is wrong.
The 5 digit checksum of X is 17.
The 5 digit checksum of Y is 26.
The 4 digit checksum of Z is 19.
The 15 digit checksum of the coordinates is 64.
BuckyD supervised the site and cache selection.
Chipino drove the effort forward and served as liaison with the City of Fremont.
Fremont Claassens wrote the descriptions of the villages that Fremont coalesced out of.
WalruZ made, checked and double-checked the multi cache, and probably messed it up anyway.