History of San Lorenzo, California

William Meek's Estate

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William Meek's 2,200 acre farm in San Lorenzo, California, circa 1877.
(From Official and Historical Atlas of Alameda County, 1878)

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The residence seven years after its completion in 1870.
(From Official and Historical Atlas of Alameda County, 1878)

The residence of William Meek today,
Hampton and Boston Roads.

Floor plans of the Meek house
Photos of the interior of the Meek house

The residence of William Meek in San Lorenzo was begun in 1869 and completed in 1870 for $40,000. Meek spent $5,000 on furnishings.

By the time the Meek mansion was under construction Meek had acquired some 3,000 acres. The estate included all of the land between what is now Mission Blvd. and Hesperian Blvd., starting from near the San Lorenzo Creek to just past A Street in Hayward. His former partner, Henderson Lewelling, purchased adjoining land to the north (see 1877 map).

Most of Meek's vast acreage was gradually sold off as residential lots. Real estate brokers touted the evolving community as "Cherryland" because of the many cherry trees planted by Meek. The remainder of Meek's estate was held by the Meek family until 1940, when Dr. Milton P. Ream purchased the last 10 acres and the mansion.

In 1964 the mansion was slated to be razed in preparation for a housing development. The Hayward Area Recreation and Park District (HARD), with citizen backing, bought the estate. In 1973 the Mansion was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

For a number of years the mansion was available to the public for rental for parties and wedding receptions. However, over-use and the need for greater supervision caused HARD to discontinue the rental policy. Restoration of the carriage house was completed in 1995. In May 1996 undertook restoration of the mansion.