Alviso Adobe Community Park
Based around an interpretive center in the restored 1850s adobe home of Francisco Solano Alviso, the seven-acre Alviso Adobe Community Park traces Amador Valley history back to an Ohlone Indian settlement which existed in 3420 B.C.E. (1; 2; 3). The adobe was restored and furnished based on its use in 1920 as part of the Meadowlark Dairy, and the milking barn and bunkhouse house an activity center and interpretive displays featuring historical artifacts. The park offers a 50-seat amphitheater, demonstration areas, a butterfly garden and walking paths, and grounds featuring 95% native plant species including those used by the Ohlone in food and medicine. The park also offers tours and school programs, as well as summer day camps and camp counselor training in outdoor skills (2).
Backstory and Context
History of the Park Land
The Ohlone people had a permanent settlement on the site of the Alviso Adobe Community Park as early 3420 B.C.E., and visitors to the park can still observe a grinding rock used during this time period (2; 4). When Spanish missionaries established Mission San Jose in the late eighteenth century, they claimed the land for cattle grazing. After the missions were closed following Mexican independence form Spain (1824), the seven acres became part of the 12,000-acre Rancho Santa Rita, granted to Jose Delores Pacheco in 1839 (1; 4).
Francisco Solano Alviso purchased two hundred acres of the property and constructed the first adobe house in Pleasanton Valley (and one of the first buildings in the Amador Valley) sometime between 1844 and 1854 (2; 3; 4). Alviso named his home Alisal (The Sycamores), where he and his wife, Miranda, raised twelve children together (3; 4). Alviso's farm was most likely a dairy, possibly the first in the area (4).
The adobe and surrounding property became home to Meadowlark Dairy from 1919-1969, the first certified dairy in Alameda County and one of the first in the state of California (1; 2; 4). Workers lived in a bunkhouse, took their meals in the adobe's kitchen and dining room, and worked in the milking barn (2; 4). When the City of Pleasanton acquired the site, the restoration was set for the early years of the Meadowlark Dairy (2).
Historic Marker Inscription:
Francisco Solano Alviso Adobe
This building, erected in 1844-46 by Francisco Solano
Alviso, was the first adobe house to be built in the Pleasanton Valley. It was
originally called Alisal-The Sycamores. Following the Battle of Sunol Canyon,
General John C. Frémont withdrew to this building, which became his
headquarters for several days. (Marker Number 510) (3).