In the agricultural community of Irvington, grapes ripened in the vineyards of the 600-acre Palmdale Winery and farmers harvested wheat. Then, the 1906 earthquake destroyed the winery and the fields became orchards producing almonds, apricots, olives and more. Part of the Washington Township, Irvington became a district of the newly formed city of Fremont on Jan. 23, 1956.
1. Bay Street Coffee Co.
4000 Bay St.: Housed inside the two-story red brick Clark's Hall, completed in 1889, this cafe features large windows, comfortable sofas, an ornate tin ceiling and historical photographs. Sip a macchiato or an iced latte, or snack on a croissant, a blueberry muffin or a glazed doughnut. (510) 353-9590.
4000-B Bay St.: Take the stairs on the side of Clark's Hall to reach this little gem of a community theater, with its intimate space. See Frederick Knott's "Dial M for Murder," directed by Angie Higgins, Sept. 17 through Oct. 16. $15-$22. (510) 683-9218, www.broadwaywest.org.
3. Armadillo Bay
4004 Bay St.: Fashionable women shop at this boutique for something special that everyone else isn't wearing. Owner Alberta Greiner Dodge chooses pieces by Roam and other clothing lines, as well as jewelry from France, Love & Toast's prickly pear lip balm and mandarin tea lotion and Lollia's perfume, bath and body products. (510) 656-2422.
4. Irvington Monument
Bay Street (at Fremont Boulevard): Constructed in 1917 to curtail speeding traffic at the Five Corners intersection, this monument, ironically, became a traffic hazard after being hit by several cars. In 1991, Fremont and the Irvington Business Association moved the refurbished monument to its current location.
5. Irvington Plaza Park
Adjacent to the Irvington Monument: Between a row of benches and underneath a pair of trees inside the Irvington Plaza Park, a marker with a plaque denotes the A.F. "Andy" Anderson Memorial Plaza. The inscriptions highlight the civic contributions of Anderson, who served on Fremont's first Planning Commission.
6. Rix House
4071 Bay St.: Originally the residence of Alfred Osgood Rix and wife Angie McDavid Rix, this 1852 Gothic Revival today houses Cynthia's Tea Garden, a traditional, English style tea room. Some people pop in for a cuppa and scones, while others opt for a lunch tea, afternoon tea or high tea. (510) 490-7760.
Free parking in lot adjacent to and behind Clark's Hall. Bay Street is undergoing a major renovation which is scheduled to be completed in mid-October.
By car: From S.F.: Cross the Bay Bridge and merge on to Interstate 880 south toward Alameda/San Jose. Take the Stevenson Boulevard exit and turn left on Stevenson Boulevard. Turn right on Fremont Boulevard and turn right on Bay Street.
GOOD TO KNOW
Peruse the Irvington Farmers' Market for produce such as peaches, watermelon, corn, broccoli, honey, breads, pastries and bouquets of flowers. Chapel Way at Bay Street. 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Sun., year round. www.pcfma.com.