If you are around Hayward one day, I don't think you should pass up the opportunity to visit the Hayward Museum. The museum is a place where you can learn about the past, and how things were before. It doesn't matter how old you are, there is something just for you.
The Hayward Museum is located at 22701 Main St., (at the corner of C Street) Hayward Ca. The telephone number is (510) 581-0223. The Museum is open 11:00 to 4:00 on weekdays, and 12:00 to 4:00 on Saturdays The admission is $1 for adults and seniors, and 50 cents for children.
While you are in the museum, you can see a restored 1923 Seagrave fire engine, and a number #10 hand pumper. The Hayward Fire Department was started in 1865. It was the earliest in Alameda County. There are fire uniforms and tools used by well known Hayward firemen.
There is also a display of the Hayward Police Department which includes an old fingerprint kit and a jail record book from 1934. I think it's interesting to look at the names and see if I might know someone.
The Museum building was once the old Hayward Post Office. There is a section of the Museum with a recreation of the Post Office with the original post office boxes and mail dated 1935. There is an old mail bag, mail box and uniform. There is even a photograph of a mailman. The building is beautiful. It is made of bricks, and really stands out in its surroundings.
There is information on William Hayward, the founder of Hayward. And pictures of the old Hayward Hotel. People from San Francisco used to come to Hayward for a vacation. That seems funny to me because now it is the other way around.
The Museum is operated by the Hayward Area Historical Society. They have many volunteers, including a librarian, who is there on Mondays that can help you find things in yearbooks, and other books from the past. The Promotion Director, Lois Over, was very helpful in helping me find information.
The Museum has three changing exhibits each year, including the Christmas Toys exhibit and the exhibit that is there right now about life in the 1950's.
I interviewed my Grandpa, Charles Stringent, and he told me about some attractions that were once in Hayward, but are no longer here. First he told me about a place called Garin Ranch. It was where Cal State University is now. It was a stage coach stop. The Garins used to own all the area around that. They ranched apricots. The building was torn down in 1966, to put the road to the college in. The building was 109 years old. My Grandpa said that when it was being torn down, he went there and got some of the wood from the building, and he has built things out of it for our family.
He also told me about the old Hayward Union High. It was one of the nicest buildings in Hayward. They have a big exhibit about it in the Museum. There were beautiful pillars in the front of the school. The students raised a lot of money to help save them. The builder said that the pillars could not be saved, and unfortunately they were destroyed. The money that was raised went to an artist to make a Bas Relief picture of the high school. The picture is on display in the Hayward Historical Museum.
Hayward once was covered with tomato fields, greenhouses, orchards and farms. You can see pictures of these and much more at the Museum.
Did you know that Hayward once was the carnation producing capital of the United States and maybe even the World?
The drawing of old Hayward High is reproduced with permission of the Hayward Historical Society. Click here for a larger version of the drawing.
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