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September 16, 2009 > Russell City's history explored in new book

Russell City's history explored in new book

Submitted By Heather Mellon

Local writer Maria Ochoa has teamed up with the Hayward Area Historical Society to produce a new photographic history book titled Russell City (published by Arcadia Publishing) which looks back on the legendary bayside community. Join the author for a book-signing party on Thursday, September 17 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Hayward Area Historical Society at 22701 Main Street in downtown Hayward. The occasion will include live music courtesy of Bay Area Blues Society: Caravan of All-Stars.

Between 1853 and 1964, on the western shore of what is now the City of Hayward, there existed a small rural community. This pictorial history traces the role that this region, which became known as Russell City, played in the development of the East Bay. An annual reunion picnic, begun in 1978, serves as a reminder of the community once built and then tossed to the winds.

"The city may be gone, but the memories live on," says one former resident.

Highlights of the new Russell City book include the story and images of the largest salt production region in the US during the 19th and early 20th centuries, a look at Joel Russell, for whom the town was named, and an exploration of faith-based institutions which were integral to the residents of Russell City. The book also shows Ray Charles, Big Mama Thornton and Lowell Fulson who all played the clubs in Russell City during their respective careers.

Maria Ochoa, Ph.D., is a long-time Hayward resident whose family frequented Russell City to attend Spanish-language mass. Ochoa has collected oral histories and photographs from former residents of Russell City for many years. Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States. The Hayward Area Historical Society collects, preserves and interprets the history of Hayward, San Lorenzo, Castro Valley and the Cherryland and Ashland communities.

The book is now available at Hayward Area Historical Society's Museum Corner Store, open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 22701 Main Street in downtown Hayward.

For more information, call (510) 581 0223 or visit www.haywardareahistory.org.

Russell City Book-signing Party
Thursday, September 17, 2009
5 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Hayward Area Historical Society
22701 Main Street, Hayward
(510) 581 0223
www.haywardareahistory.org

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