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History Walks

Spring 2017 Walking Tours

Saturday, April 22: Stories of Police Chief August Vollmer. Led by Professor Will Oliver
The walk will visit many of the spots in Berkeley where many of Vollmer’s achievements occurred which led to him being called “The Father of American Policing.” Starting in downtown at the police station, the walk will encompass the downtown area and continue to some of North Berkeley sites in the Vine and Shattuck area. Flat walking with moderate distance. Dr. Oliver has just written a book about Berkeley’s famous police chief entitled : August Vollmer:The Father of American Policing.

Saturday, April 29: The Hidden History of the Japanese-American Community in South Berkeley. Led by Jil Shiraki
In 1941, Berkeley’s Japanese Americans operated over 70 businesses, such as nurseries, florists, markets and cleaning services, scattered throughout the city. With over 1,300 Nikkei restricted to living in the southwest region of town, the neighborhood was filled with children, students, social and cultural activities. In 1942, this community, among 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry were forcibly removed from the West Coast and incarcerated in America’s concentration camps for the duration of World War II. When they returned, they felt as though no one knew they had gone missing. Discover what was lost and what remains of the Japanese American community and cultural heritage in the South Berkeley neighborhood. The tour is hosted by Jill Shiraki of Preservinig California’s Japantowns, a statewide effort to document historic resources of pre-world War II communities. Support and participation is provided by local Japanese American community members.

Saturday, May 6: North Cragmont Tales. Led by John Underhill
Hear tales of North Cragmont people, little known facts about Cragmont rock and Remillard Park. Cross the Cragmont “Swamp.” Was there a British agent living in Berkeley? An intimate look at a beautiful Berkeley garden. Some steep paths with uneven stairs and narrow unpaved pathways. Not wheelchair accessible

Saturday, May 13: Marin Avenue North: Early 20th Century Berkeley Hills. Led by Paul Grunland
Revisit one of Berkeley’s most delightful neighborhoods – charming homes built by famed architects and builders, winding contoured streets, creeks, rock outcroppings, City parks and pathways. Someclimbing but generally level. Not wheelchair accessible. NOTE: Those individuals who Specifically registered last Fall for this tour (not season tickets) which was cancelled may attend free. Just write free on the registration form.

Saturday, May 27: The New Deal Nexus in Berkeley. Led by Harvey Smith
The walk will explore Berkeley High School’s Community theater, Civic Center Park, Farm Credit Bank Building, and remarkable mosaic murals on U.C. Campus.

A printable registration form is HERE

A printable flyer with order form for these walks is HERE

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.

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