The staff at Lake Chabot recently installed thirteen new historical panels that detail the story of the mid-1800s "Water King" Anthony Chabot and the innovative creation and use of Lake Chabot as a water source through the 1970s.
The information was written by the Park District's interpretive staff which leads popular history walks along the reservoir several times a year. The panels replace a previous walking tour that included a paper pamphlet referencing numbered posts. The panels provide a much more enjoyable experience with large color photos and drawings that really depict what life was like for many decades at Lake Chabot. The interpretive panels pay particular homage to the hundreds of Chinese laborers who built the dam and reservoir in the 1870s. Several lost their lives in construction-related accidents.
In addition, the posted material includes information about non-native vegetation that grows in the park, water filtration practices, and aquatic life in the lake, including an interesting (and unsuccessful) experiment using sea lions to manage the fish population. A visitor favorite is a panel that illustrates, through actual photos, the party-like atmosphere of the 1920s and highlights some of the structures still standing.
Historic photos and text were contributed by EBMUD, Oakland Public Library, Alameda County Historical Society, and private citizens with a special thanks to Jacqueline Beggs, author of "A Historical Tour of Lake Chabot".
The easiest way to take the history walk is to park at San Leandro's Chabot Park located at Estudillo Avenue and Sylvan Circle and enter Lake Chabot's West Shore Trail along the paved path. The entire walking tour is about one mile (two-miles roundtrip) with several panels located in close proximity on the other side of the dam.
Giant Water Filters [PDF]
Roots From Another Land [PDF]
Filtration Basins [PDF]