EL CERRITO’S ROAD TO CITYHOOD
By Matt Larson. Photos courtsey of El Cerrito Historical Society.
German immigrant William Rust opens a blacksmith shop in
Contra Costa, near the county line.
The Eastshore & Suburban Railway begins from the county line
through Stege to Richmond.
William Rust is appointed postmaster of the district
between Stege and Ocean View, thus the no-name
new post office was designated “Rust.”
Reps from Pullman, Rust and Stege
discuss joining together as a sixth class city, to
which Richmond responds with a failed effort
to annex all unincorporated area south
of it’s border, and “saloon interest” are
blamed for the rejection.
Footbridge on Richmond St. over the north fork of Cerrito
Creek. ECHS collection, courtesy of the Colford-Smith family.
Richmond attempts the annex again, now also including San Pablo,
eventually acquiring Pullman and Stege communities only.
As county line residents draft an incorporation petition, real estate
interests meet in San Francisco to strategize opposition.
County supervisors approve placing incorporation of the county-line area on the ballot, despite
real estate investors’ opposition, which excluded Richmond Annex and the
Berkeley Park (today’s Kensington).
On August 8th incorporation is approved by a 158
to 131 vote. Population of the new sixth class city
estimated at between 1,500 to 2,000 people.
El Cerrito’s name comes from “Serrito de San Antonio” (Little hill
of St. Anthony.) 1861 Carlton Watkins photo, LL Stein collection.