Just off Washington Blvd near I-680 is the Hirsch property with a barn built in the 1920's. The barn was used for dairy cattle, in both feeding them and milking them.
Dairy was a fairly important industry in Washington Township. At the time the barn was built, there were 40 dairies, by the 1940's that number had risen to 60, and in the 1950's, it had dropped back down to 40. In 1944, dairy was the fourth largest industry in Washington Township.
With housing development taking off in the 1960's, almost all agricultural businesses, including dairies, gave way to homes. The farms and dairies were demolished. The Hirsch barn was the last dairy barn in Washington Township.
Just recently, the City of Fremont deemed the barn as non-historical and demolished it with very little public oversight. Fremont Ordinance 18.175.040 that defines the "power and duties" of the Historical Architectural Review Board (HARB) states, "(e) to participate in the evaluation of buildings, structures and objects 50 years old or older to determine of such buildings, structures and objects have sufficient historical significance and integrity to merit classification as potential register resources or listing as register resources."
In other words, before a building over 50 years old can be demolished, it is supposed to go before HARB, where it is reviewed and public comment is sought. For some mysterious reason, the Hirsch Barn did not pass through HARB.
The City of Fremont failed to follow their own rules when it came to the Hirsch Barn. The historical report written by Architectural Resources Group deemed that the Hirsch Barn was not historically significant only because there was no mention of it in the historical record. The fact that it was the last dairy barn and one of the last remnants of the dairy industry was completely ignored. Architectural Resources Group did not consult with any historical group to see if they knew anything more than was published. Most of the collections at the Museum of Local History are unpublished, so relying only on published sources is sloppy historical research.
The City of Fremont is one of the better cities when it comes to historical preservation. HARB is the only organization of it's type in Fremont, Newark and Union City. It's a shame when Fremont does not follow its rules and allows poor research to condemn a building.