The Huchiun Ohlone people were the first inhabitants of the land that is today Berkeley. Early in the 1800s, the 47,000-acre ranches of the Peralta family stretched into the hills from San Leandro Creek to El Cerrito Creek. Only a scant 50 years later, newly arrived American settlers established the community of Ocean View on the bay, and in 1860, land nestled into the foothills was dedicated for the establishment of the future University of California. With a university to the east and Ocean View to the west, the threat of annexation by the larger town of Oakland finally brought the two communities together into one, and "Athens of the West," as Berkeley was known, became a municipality in 1878.
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About the Author
Wendy P. Markel initiated the Oakland City Landmark designation of the Claremont Hotel with the help of the Oakland Heritage Alliance. She was president of the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association for three years and is currently a board member of the Berkeley City Club's Landmark Heritage Foundation.