A brief history of the City of Hayward

The City’s History

Hayward was originally known as “Hayward’s” (note the apostrophe), then as “Haywood,” later as “Haywards,” and eventually as “Hayward.” The city was named for William Dutton Hayward, who established a hotel there in 1850.

When William Dutton Hayward was the road commissioner for Alameda County, he used his authority to build a network of roads in what became Hayward. The town “Haywards” was chartered by the state in 1876. In 1910 the city was renamed “Hayward” (the “s” was officially dropped). William Dutton Hayward died in 1891.

Hayward grew steadily in the late 19th century through agriculture and tourism. The city grew tomatoes, peaches, cherries, and apricots, among other crops. Chicken and pigeon farms were also predominant. The South Pacific Coast Railroad that ran between Oakland and San Jose was built but was destroyed in the 1868 earthquake.

World War II brought an economic and population boom to Hayward and surrounding cities, when factories were built to produce military equipment and supplies. Many of the factory workers remained in Hayward after the war.

Satellite communities

Russell City (now the Industrial Park area of the city), Shafer Park, and Mount Eden (a community populated by people from Mt. Eden, Kentucky) were incorporated into Hayward in the 1950s. Stokes Landing, Hayward Heath and Eden Landing were unincorporated townships that are now also part of Hayward.


The city has a total area of 63.7 square miles (165 km2). Some 45.3 square miles (117 km2) is land and 18.4 square miles (48 km2) is water. The Hayward Fault runs through much of Hayward, including the downtown area.

The cities and towns around Hayward include San Lorenzo, Cherryland, Ashland, San Leandro, Castro Valley, Union City, Fremont, Sunol, Fairview, and Pleasanton.

Demographics [per 2010 census]

Officially, Hayward has a population of 144,186, making up a density of 2,261.8 people per square mile. The racial and ethnic makeup of Hayward, per the 2010 census, is: 49,309 (34.2%) White; 17,099 (11.9%) African American; 1,396 (1.0%) Native American; 31,666 (22.0%) Asian [10.4% Filipino; 3.9% Chinese; 3.0% Indian; 2.7% Vietnamese; 0.5% Japanese; 0.5% Korean; 0.2% Cambodian; 0.1% Pakistani]; 4,535 (3.1%) Pacific Islander; 30,004 (20.8%) from other races; and 10,177 (7.1%) from two or more other races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 58,730 persons (40.7%), giving Hayward an aggregate Hispanic/Latino population plurality.


Additional information