Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Lewis Clement, founding chicken rancher in Castro Valley

"Lewis Clement, founding chicken rancher in Castro Valley"

On Jun 19, 2021 "Rick Kelly" cv4wheeler4@gmail.com wrote:

... Castro Valley, California is about 15 miles from downtown Oakland. Historically, it is mostly known as the 2nd largest chicken ranching community in California history, from about 1905-1950. It turns out that Lewis [Metzler] Clement was one of three people responsible for the start of chicken ranching in town, in fact in a 1938 presentation he was (indirectly, but reliably) identified as the founder of the movement. Nowadays, he gets no credit, I mean to change that. ...

"In 1899 Clement retired to a farm in Castro Valley on one of the lots of former boss James Strobridges’ Laurel Farm subdivision and set about raising chickens. He had a windmill and water tank installed in 1899, the following year he erected a 117-foot-long chicken barn. Clement lived in town for the rest of his life, passing in 1914. His one surviving son (two died as children) and his grandson were famed for early radio transmissions between Hawaii and California in 1914."
—From 'Mapping the Evolution of Castro Valley' by Rick Kelly

When the Recorder's office opens, I will figure out exactly which one of Jim Strobridge's Laurel Farm lots he set his farm up on (pretty sure it was lot 14 or 15).

Subdivision of Laurel Farm, 1884
Tract map of [James H.] Strobridge's land as subdivided in 1884

... I have also attached the newspaper clippings that document Clement's building out his chicken ranch in town.

Castro Valley Chicken Rancher Clement
Castro Valley Chicken Rancher, Clement.

"For Peacherinos"
For Peacherinos
Courtesy of Rick Kelly.

Lewis Metzler Clement, portrait c. 1910
Lewis Metzler Clement, portrait c. 1910
Courtesy of the Bruce C. Cooper Collection.