Alamo is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Contra Costa County, California, in the United States. It is a suburb located in the San Francisco Bay Area's East Bay region, approximately 28 miles (45 km) east of San Francisco. Alamo is equidistant between the city of Walnut Creek and the town of Danville. As of the 2010 census, the population was 14,750.
Alamo (from the Spanish álamo, "poplar") was named for the poplar trees that lined San Ramon Creek..As an unincorporated community, Alamo does not have a government of its own. Police services are provided by the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff. Fire and EMS services are provided by the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District..Alamo, with a median household income of $140,561 (as of 2011), is one of the wealthiest communities in the United States.
In August, 2007, a group of citizens launched a new initiative to incorporate the community, the latest in a series of attempts that go back to the early 1960s or before. Previous failed Alamo incorporation efforts always included parts of other nearby unincorporated areas: Alamo-Danville (1964) and Alamo-Danville-San Ramon (1976). This latest Alamo incorporation effort was defeated by referendum in March, 2009.
After Mission San José was founded in 1797, its grazing area stretched throughout the San Ramon Valley. The Mexican land grant Rancho San Ramon was deeded to Mariano Castro and his uncle Bartolo Pacheco in 1833. It covered today's Danville and Alamo. Castro owned the northern half, which included Alamo.
In 1843 much of the Alamo, Las Trampas and Tice Valley areas were granted to brothers Inocencio and José Romero. It was called Rancho El Sobrante de San Ramon. Because of missing title papers, the brothers lost their ranch in American courts in 1857.
During World War II, an Alamo air watch tower was built by the community. Volunteers watched for Japanese war planes round the clock from 1942 to 1945. San Ramon Valley's population totaled 2,126 at that time.
The Alamo Improvement Association (AIA) began in 1953. For 50 years its purpose has been to advance and improve the welfare of properties in Alamo and to preserve the established character of Alamo as an agricultural and semi-rural residential area.
After the war, hundreds and then thousands of new people arrived. Round Hill Country Club opened in 1960 on land that had belonged to the Mott sisters and Grover Squire. In 1964, Interstate 680 was completed through San Ramon Valley, which encouraged even more growth.
Rapid valley growth fueled controversies. In the mid-'60s, one controversy focused on the philosophy of a new, visionary superintendent of the San Ramon Unified School District, Richard L. Foster. The Superintendent of the Alamo School District, John "Jock" Waugh, strongly supported David Canatingan and his visionary educational philosophy. Also, debates about the pace of development led to several votes on cityhood, spearheaded by residents who wanted more local control. An Alamo-Danville incorporation election in 1964 lost 2,086 to 1,958 with "loss of identity for Alamo" a main concern.
Today Alamo is an enclave of green with many homes on lots of 0.5 acres (0.20 hectares) between Walnut Creek and Danville. Its population in 2000 was 15,626. It is governed by the County Board of Supervisors, with the AIA and several active county service areas advising on police, landscape and park issues.
Located at the corner of Danville Blvd. & Jackson Way. This 1 acre park is named in memory of Alamo resident Andrew H. Young who was instrumental in preserving the charm of Alamo.
He served in 1980 as chairman of the county Planning Commission, and as a commissioner from 1977 to 1979 with the San Ramon Valley Area Planning Commission.
Young was a World War II veteran, serving in the Pacific campaign where he assisted in the evacuation of the Chinese Fifth Army from North Vietnam. He retired in 1965 from active reserve as a Navy lieutenant commander.
His participation in the Lafayette Local Government Study Committee in 1966-67 led to that city's incorporation in 1968. His Boulevard of Trees project replanted dying trees along Danville Boulevard in Alamo.
He was on the Tao House study committee in Danville and the steering committee for San Ramon Valley Regional Medical Center. He was an executive director for the Contra Costa County Historical Society, as well its president from 1985-1986 and also was a president of the Alamo Park Foundation.
Located at the corner of Livorna Road & Miranda Avenue, this 4.4 acre community park features a large open-air gazebo, a sand volleyball court, a multi-use sports court, playground structures, large play areas, drinking fountain, restrooms, two barbecue areas, ample grassed area and off-street parking.
During the summer months a series of concerts are held at the park in the early evenings typically over a weekend. The concerts are organized by the Alamo Municipal Advisory Committee.
The park also typically hosts a children's Easter egg hunt each year on Easter Sunday. This is organized by the Rotary Club of Alamo.
Located on the Alamo-Danville Border at 1025 La Gonda Way. This 16.3 acre park has several historic structures and is managed jointly by Alamo and Danville. A barn façade at the park entrance memorializes the park’s former use as a ranch for longhorn steer with the owner being Hap Magee during the years of 1953 and 1985.
Before the cattle ranch, the site was a summer camp for San Francisco orphans, known as Camp Swain. The property was purchased 130 years ago in 1874 by Captain Isaac and Ann Trasker Swain on behalf of an orphanage in San Francisco. The Swains thought the children should have a warm place to go during San Francisco's damp summers. In 1911 the San Francisco Protestant Orphanage first brought their children to Camp Swain. The orphans came to the valley from 1911 to 1952, using the train and then buses. There is a drinking fountain commemorating Camp Swain with a plaque and a brick rendering of children playing.
Today there are picnic facilities, children's water play area, a large meadow with a spectacular heritage oak, dog parks and off-street parking. The park sits near the intersection of the Iron Horse Trail and the Las Trampas to Mt. Diablo Regional Trail.
Interstate 680, running north-south, is the main highway serving the San Ramon Valley. It runs north through cities such as Walnut Creek and Concord, providing access to Wine Country, Sacramento and Lake Tahoe (accessible via Interstate 80). Going south, I-680 passes through cities including Pleasanton and Fremont, ultimately reaching San Jose.
State Highway 24, which intersects I-680 in adjacent Walnut Creek, provides access to San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley via the Caldecott Tunnel running under the Berkeley Hills.
Bay Area Rapid Transit, or BART, offers rapid transit service throughout much of the Bay Area. The Walnut Creek station, the station closest to Alamo, is on the Pittsburg/Bay Point–SFO/Millbrae line, which runs to San Francisco and beyond to San Francisco International Airport.
County Connection's routes 21 and 321, running on weekdays and weekends respectively, provide local bus service along Danville Boulevard in Alamo, south to Danville and San Ramon and north to Walnut Creek, terminating at the BART station.
Alamo schools fall under the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. There are three schools in total; two elementary schools and one middle school: