Home to main campus of Cal State, East Bay, Hayward is the sixth largest city in the Bay Area. Back in 4000 B.C. the first inhabitants of the region were the Native American Ohlone people. By the 19th century, Hayward was part of a Spanish land grant. After Guillermo Castro lost his acreage in a card game, William Dutton Hayward bought a parcel and constructed a large 100-room resort hotel. The surrounding land then came to be called "Hayward's".
Hayward grew steadily throughout the late 19th century with an economy based on agriculture and tourism. Crops were tomatoes, potatoes, peaches, cherries and apricots, processed by the Hunt Brothers Cannery. It’s said that this area always smelled of tomatoes for three months of the year! In other kitchen-related history, the Hayward shore of the Bay was developed into extensive salt evaporation ponds, with Leslie Salt at the helm.
When the San Mateo–Hayward Bridge opened in 1929, Hayward was finally connected to San Francisco peninsula. BART came in 1972 and today Hayward is still a busy commuter location.
Little-known Hayward facts:
Like Oakland and Fremont, Hayward is one of the most highly diverse areas in the East Bay; its residents include Hispanics and Latinos, Native Americans, Filipinos, Chinese, Indians, Vietnamese, Japanese, Koreans, Cambodians and other groups. This makes for some delicious casual eating, including Off the Grid, a regular Monday night food truck event with live music.