The first recorded automobile in Alvarado was reported in the Oakland Tribune on May 7, 1904, when Mr. & Mrs. Merrit came down from Oakland to visit the Sunkel's. The next summer, Mrs. Merrit was back with the following was reported: Mrs. A. Merritt of Seminary Park took Mrs. Sunkel, Miss Sparks and the Misses Nauert out for an automobile ride Sunday in her big steamer, which she runs herself. The ladies were dressed in white and hatless and made a pretty picture as they sped along the roads.
The first recorded automobile accident in Alvarado was reported on September 6, 1906: While returning from a trip to San Jose at about 3 o’clock this morning in a heavy touring car, Leo Rowley of Berkeley, the owner of the machine, and a party of friends were thrown into a ditch about a mile and half east of Alvarado. Rowley was pitched forward over the front wheels of the machine and was instantly killed. The other passengers in the car were uninjured. There were six people in the car.
Two years later another accident was reported on September 21, 1908: An automobile accident outside of Alvarado on the San Jose Highway spilled three men and three women over the road and through a picket fence. Excess speed was cited as the cause of the accident.
Another early accident was reported on September 17, 1909: An automobile party with a badly dilapidated machine was towed into Hayward about 10 o’clock last evening, and told of a thrilling auto accident that took place near Alvarado about two hours earlier. The machine, which was nearly a wreck, is said to have run off the grade and smashed into a telegraph pole, throwing out the occupants. The machine then continued on its mad flight, crashing through the pipeline of the People’s Water Company that is alongside the road for some distance out there. The machine contained five passengers from San Francisco and all were more or less maimed and bruised, but only one had a bone broken it is stated.
I have no idea why all three reported accidents were in September.