The October calendar is filling up with history events, lectures and tours.

On Oct. 9, at the Laurel Bookstore, a local history lecture will feature Dennis Evanosky, author of "Oakland's Laurel District," and Hale Sargent, ranger for the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, which has been designated by Congress as significant to the nation's history. The lecture will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the bookstore, 4100 MacArthur Blvd.

Those attending will receive a free copy of "Many Worlds: Native Life along the Anza Trail," a new children's activity book published by Heyday Books.

Then on Oct. 13, ranger Sargent will lead a five and a half mile walk along the Anza Trail corridor described in Spanish historical files that date back to the 1700s. The walk begins at 10 a.m. and lasts until 2 p.m.

Today we know this area as East Oakland. The tour begins at the Peralta Hacienda Historical Park, 2465 34th Ave., and is co-sponsored by the group Oakland Urban Paths. Find out more at www.oaklandurbanpaths.org.

In 1776, Capt. de Anza led the first Spanish colonizing expedition to the Bay Area from Mexico. During that trek, his group passed through the region that would one day become Alameda and Contra Costa counties. On the famous expedition led by Anza were men, women and children who were of mixed African, European and Native American ancestry, and members of the Peralta family.

To learn more about the Anza National Historic Trial, go to www.nps.gov/juba or call 415-623-2344.


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On Oct. 18, the Hotel Oakland, a local historical landmark, is celebrating its 100th birthday. From 1912 to 1943, it was considered Oakland's finest hostelry and was an important social center for the East Bay. Guests included presidents Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover, as well as other dignitaries, such as Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Sarah Bernhardt, Jean Harlow and Mary Pickford.

Walter Bliss and William Faville, prominent architects from that era, designed the square block, U-shaped hotel building in the Renaissance palazzo-inspired style. Bliss and Faville also designed the opulent furnishings, tapestries and carpets. The elegant hotel faced 13th Street, between Harrison and Alice streets.

During World War II, the facility served as a military hospital. After the war, it became a veterans treatment center and then, after a decade of uncertainty, it was converted to senior housing. Although damaged in the 1989 earthquake, its historic status enabled federal funds to help make repairs.

Reservations for the birthday event are limited. Contact the Oakland Heritage Alliance at 510-763-9218 for more information, or go to www.oaklandheritage.org.

Free downtown walking tours, sponsored by the Oakland Tours Program and the city of Oakland, continue every Wednesday and Saturday through the month of October. There are eight different itineraries, including Old Oakland, City Center, Chinatown, Preservation Park, and Uptown to the Lake.

For dates and starting places, go to www.oaklandnet.com/walkingtours, or call the tour hotline at 510-238-3234. Reservations are recommended but not required. All tours start at 10 a.m. and last approximately 90 minutes.