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July 24, 2012 > Hayward Summer History Walk

Hayward Summer History Walk

By M. J. Laird
Photos By Courtesy of Hayward Area Historical Society

Frank Goulart, a local attorney with a background in performing arts, will lead the second of three Hayward Summer History Walks on Saturday, July 28, focusing this time on the Hayward Hotel, anchor during the City's heyday as a resort destination.

Built by the city's founder, William Hayward, the hotel offered more than 100 rooms with dining, billiards, and bowling, attracting visitors from San Francisco and Oakland seeking to bask in Hayward's Mediterranean-like weather.

Hayward, a Massachusetts boot maker who traveled around Cape Horn to San Francisco for fortune in the California gold fields, became the first American to live in the Hayward area owned by Guillermo Castro. He arrived after gold mining attempts failed and squatted on Castro's land, ultimately buying 115-2/3 acres for $4,048.33 1/3, setting up shop at what became A and Main Streets, a main thoroughfare with a stagecoach stop. The hotel later became the area's post office. When the hotel burned in 1923, the City immediately purchased its first fire engine.

During the two-hour walk, Goulart, who has lived in Hayward since age seven, will incorporate city history in his talk; William Hayward's life is inseparable from his namesake.

Several renovations transformed the hotel during its 71-year history from its beginning in 1852 as a 28-foot by 30-foot building to its status as the major hotel and establishment of the area.

Hayward Area Historical Society has conducted history walks for more than a decade, attracting a range of attendees from the historically inquisitive to those with strong Hayward roots. On a recent Hayward Union High School tour led by Goulart, 50 people walked with him, many school graduates and attendees whose stories enriched and deepened the sense of its history.

"I appreciate most hearing the stories from people who have contributions to make on history walks. Their stories are priceless in helping get a complete sense of history," says Goulart.

On a Hayward Hotel walk a few years back, Goulart recalls showing a Civil War picture of Union Calvary mustering at the Hayward Hotel. The picture riled a man claiming to be a direct descendant of General Robert E. Lee, leader of the Confederacy. In his tirade, the man blamed California gold for financing the war. Goulart plans to include the same picture this time, among others.

When Banning Fenton led history walks in the 1990s, Goulart and his wife renovated the Linekin House, a historic site in downtown Hayward; Fenton ended his walk at the site. Goulart recounted with pride their efforts to create a functional office building for his legal practice and his wife's counseling practice that honored history.

When Fenton, due to ill health, was unable to conduct a tour in 2004, Fenton asked Goulart to step in; he has continued ever since. Some day, Goulart says, his passion for local history coupled with the knowledge he has acquired may lead to a book or two. In the meantime, he will continue to conduct the tours. The third outing will be Saturday, August 25, and focus on the theory of Native American burials in the Downtown area.

The Summer History Walk begins at 10 a.m. - free Hayward Area Historical Society members - costs $5 for adults and $3 for seniors. Participants are encouraged to bring water and sunscreen and wear walking shoes. For more information, contact the Hayward Area Historical Society at (510) 581-0223 or online at

Summer History Walk
Saturday, July 28
10 a.m.
Hayward Area Historical Society
22380 Foothill Blvd., Hayward
(510) 581-0223
Adults: $5; seniors: $3
Free for HAHS members

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