Home The Historical Society How to Join Shadi History Room How You Can Help Contact Us
  About El Cerrito
Photo Timeline
Historical Narratives
Walking Tour

Places of Interest
EC in Print
Board Members
The Castro Adobe
Chung Mei Home
Preservation Updates


Visit Our New Walking Tour
of Historic El Cerrito

Our town was home to quarries, gambling and nightlife. Since the 1940s El Cerrito has been accurately known as a “City of Homes.” As you walk along San Pablo Avenue, notice the Historic-Cultural Pavers that dot the sidewalk, providing much historical information.
Click here to visit our Walking Tour Page!


Featured Historical Narrative

Story by Mervin Belfils

In the late 1920's, if a parent's child got into almost any type of trouble at all, he was sent to the woodshed by the man of the house. On Halloween night the parents were more lenient but even then some of the kids got out of hand and were punished later when word got around the next day about the damage they had caused.

One of the things they would do would be to go down to San Pablo Avenue and grease the streetcar tracks for a couple of hundred feet. They would wait for the streetcar off the side of the road and when the car got close, they would run out and pull the trolley pole down cutting off the juice. The conductor would get out and put the trolley back on the wire and start to pull out. The wheels of the streetcar would just spin and the car would not move. Then the conductor would get his bucket of sand and small shovel and go along sprinkling it over the rail to obtain traction. It was very hard to get going again if there was a trailer, which was another attached car.

In those days when one purchased a new tire it was wrapped in a long narrow paper about three inches wide. This was wrapped overlapping each fold all the way around the tire and indicated the tire was new. The kids would wrap any old abandoned tire with toilet paper and put it out on the Avenue.
(story continues)

Web Design - Debbie Weeks

Mira Vista Clubhouse