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History Walks

Saturday, April 7: West Berkeley Artisans & Industries. Led by Jana Olson.
A walking tour showing examples of artisans and industries operating in Southwest Berkeley between Dwight Way and Ashby Avenue.

Saturday, April 14: The Berkeley Drinks District. Led by Robert Johnson. Numerous breweries, wineries and gallerias have sprung up in a historic industrial area near Gilman Street in West Berkeley. We will explore some of these new enterprises as well as hear about the historic industries, some of which are still going. Modern construction and a new farm give further vitality to the area.

Saturday, May 5: 31 Houses and Their History. Led by Barbara Tapp.
See this area in Ocean View from an artist’s eye. Visit locations painted by the guide and observe the history, architecture and changes that have taken place over the years.

Saturday, May 19: Berkeley Square. Led by Charles Wilson and John Aronovici.
Secrets of the attempted move of the state capital, The Circle, The Tunnel and Marin Avenue. Walking on paved streets, some hills.

Saturday, June 2: The Arrival of the University. Led by Steven Finacom.
A hundred fifty years ago, the State of California chartered the University of California. In 1873 the University formally moved to the Berkeley campus, which had been conceived in the 1860s by the private College of California. Although almost no structures remain from that early era in east Berkeley, there are many other physical remnants and reminders of the origins and early years of the campus. Our guide worked for three decades in the University planning offices, and is a past president of BHS. Walk is mainly on paved paths and sidewalks, some of them steep.

 A printable flyer is HERE. A printable order form is HERE

Tours start at 10 am and end by approximately 12 noon. Sometimes they are slightly longer, so some extra time should be allowed in case the walk meets an informative passerby or dwells at an interesting site. Tours are limited to 30 paying participants unless noted otherwise. Pre-paid reservations are required and tickets are not refundable. Tours are conducted in rain, shine or Berkeley fog and are wheelchair accessible unless otherwise noted.

Keep a record of your order. E-mail addresses and telephone numbers are very important for last-minute changes and confirmations. You will be sent an e-mail or we will mail confirmations with starting points.

If you have suggestions for future walking tours, please contact the tour organizers at or leave a message on the BHS phone answering machine.

For last-minute reservations, call 848-0181 between 1 and 4 pm on the Thursday or Friday before the tour to determine meeting place and sign up if there is an opening.

By signing up for any of these walks, all participants agree to the following: “To the fullest extent allowed by law, I agree to waive, discharge claims, and release from liability the Berkeley Historical Society (BHS) and its officers, directors, agents, and tour leaders from any and all liability on account of, or in any way resulting from injuries and damages, whether caused by my own negligence or the negligence of the BHS or its officers, directors, agents, or tour leaders, in any way connected with a BHS activity. I understand and intend that this assumption of risk and release is binding upon my heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, and includes any minors accompanying me on the activity.”

The BHS, a volunteer organization, appreciates your support.

BHS offers walking tours in the spring and fall. For year-round walks featuring local history, you might wish to check these sites:


Information about past walks is in the Web Archive.


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1931 Center Street - Berkeley, CA 94704
Get Directions: (510) 848-0181