In 1859 and 1860, two churches were built in Alvarado: a Presbyterian Church organized primarily by Charlotte Cornell and a Methodist Church organized primarily by Julia Thompson.
The Presbyterian Church is well documented with pictures of the first church building and detailed in a number of local histories. The Methodist Church is documented when it was built, but little is found in local histories that detail the church after 1860 and nothing of its location.
The church was built in 1859, using lumber brought in by steamship to Union City Landing. The first services were held on December 17, 1859 with Rev. Peck of San Francisco, Rev. M. C. Briggs, and Rev. C. Cushman leading the services.
A newspaper article from the "Sacramento Daily Union" of November 25, 1871, says "A church at Alvarado, Alameda County, has been turned into a bar room, the spirits being dispensed from the pulpit, which serves as a counter." Given that it is documented that the Presbyterian Church still existed after 1871, this article must refer to the Methodist church.
An article from the "San Francisco Call", from June 16, 1900, provides even more detail, "A fire, which for a time threatened to destroy the town of Alvarado, was discovered about 2 o’clock this morning in the rear of A.L. Fitzell’s drug store. Before the flames were extinguished by the volunteers who answered the alarm, the buildings belonging to the Ralph estate and occupied by the drug store, I.V. Ralph’s furniture store and a restaurant were destroyed. One of the burned buildings was formerly the Alvarado Methodist Church, but had been remodeled a number of years ago."
The Ralph store was located on the east side of Levee Street (now Union City Boulevard). The Sanborn map of 1908 shows a building on Levee Street with a drug store. After the fire, the area was rebuilt, and it is safe to assume that the drug store was rebuilt in the same location. A Sanborn map from 1887 does not show the drug store, but it does show a building just to the north, that is listed as a saloon and is long enough to have been a church.
This would place the Methodist Church on the east side of Union City Boulevard, just south of the old Central Bank building that sits on the corner of Smith and Union City Boulevard.
There is one photograph of Union City with Alvarado in the background that shows two church steeples. One is clearly the Presbyterian Church and the location of the second steeple just about where it should be if the research above is correct.