ACHS plaques at county courthouse
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The Alameda County Historical Society (ACHS) is a non-profit with the mission "to foster and encourage interest in the history of Alameda County; to publish and to aid in the publication of materials designed to preserve historical data and to increase the general knowledge of the history of the county; to provide opportunities for sociability among members of the Society; and to encourage coordination and cooperation with other history organizations." 1 As part of this mission, ACHS places informational plaques at various historic points of note around Alameda County.



Plans were discussed in November 1913, for an ACHS. Librarian Charles Greene, A.A. Denison, secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, and others met to form a society "which shall have for its object the conservation of the ancient document, relics and records pertaining to the early history of the county." 2 They hoped to get a room at city hall to store the items.

It's not clear exactly when they formed, but in 1914, they were helping with the Oakland public museum. 3 By 1916, they were working with the Boy Scouts to place plaques at historic sites around Oakland. 4

Members included Augustin Macdonald (president c.1917 and c.1934-1939), 5 H. A. Lafler, 6 and Anna Keefe (secretary c.1916). 7

There were mentions of the ACHS as late as 1950-1951, 10 but after that it seems to have gone quiet. A 1951 article suggests the ACHS could be revamped and take part in the educating school children about the history of the county. 11


After some years idle, about 1965, people decided to re-form the ACHS. An obituary 8 of Leonard Verbarg (aka The Knave) refers to him as one of the founders of ACHS; another article refers to him as "the society's founding president." 9 Others involved in the early years of the re-formed ACHS include Henrietta Perry (executive secretary, -1971), librarian Peter Conmy (executive secretary, 1971-), judge John S. Cooper (president, 1971) 12, judge Donald K. Quayle, Rev. William Abeloe (director, c.1966-1967) and Louis Stein.

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Links and References

  1. Alameda County Historical Society website
  2. Promoting Historical Order Oakland Tribune November 28, 1913
  3. What To See in Oakland by Ethel Moore Oakland Tribune December 5, 1914
  4. Boy Scouts for History | To Erect Bronze Landmark Oakland Tribune September 10, 1916
  5. Spot Where Crespi Saw Bay Found Oakland Tribune March 27, 1917
  6. Activities Planned Oakland Tribune March 13, 1915
  7. Anna Keefe Oakland Tribune February 7, 1916
  8. Leonard H. Verbarg Columbus Herald March 24, 1984
  9. 50-Year Journalist Cited for Contributions The Republic July 13, 1981
  10. Harbor Homes P-TA Oakland Tribune April 26, 1950
  11. County's Store The Knave Oakland Tribune February 11, 1951
  12. A Red Letter Day Oakland Tribune October 31, 1971