With so much to do and see in the Fremont area, it is easy to understand why very few tourists find themselves stumbling across the Fremont Earthquake Exhibit. This is not a place that typically shows up on popular lists of recommended places to visit, but that is slowly changing. However, locals will tell you that this venue is one of the most fascinating places to visit in the entire city. This is where you go to be fascinated by the famous Hayward Fault.
What is the Hayward Fault?
The Hayward Fault is classified as a geologic fault. Therefore, while it has the ability to generate destructive earthquakes, this does not mean that it actually will. The fault is a whopping 74 miles long, and runs through a few densely populated areas, with Fremont being one of them.
The largest earthquake reported at this location happened in 1868, and is known as the 1868 Hayward Earthquake. It had a magnitude of 7.0, and caused so much damage that it received the nickname of the “Great San Francisco Earthquake.” That is until 1906 when the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake took place on the San Andreas Fault. Interestingly, this quake actually reduced stress on the nearby Hayward Fault by creating an earthquake shadow. Since then, the Hayward Fault has not seen any moderate or severe activity.
About the Exhibit
The exhibit was originally made by the 1906 Centennial Alliance to observe these rare and educational trenches. Unfortunately, the exhibit was scheduled to be destroyed in 2006, as it was deemed unimportant, but Math Science Nucleus felt it was impressive enough to be saved. Most people would question why an old trench was so important to invest a significant amount of funds into to save and renovate.
Well, the renovation was worth every penny because the Tide Pools located at Tyson Lagoon District are actually managed by the Math Science Nucleus. This natural sag pond happens to be part of the Hayward Fault system. So, if it was not for this unique system, Fremont would not have the Tide Pools or the lush rolling hills the city is known for. So, although earthquakes can cause disaster, they can also create beauty, and that makes the fault worthy of saving.
Visiting the Exhibit
The goal of the exhibit is to educate the public on earthquakes as well as the historic development of the area.
The Fremont Earthquake Exhibit is now open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 3 pm. There is talk of building a trail that will start at the Fremont BART Station and end at the Irvington BART Station. Many walking tours are also now including the exhibit as a showcased attraction.
The exhibit also offers guided tours that begin at the Fremont Community Center for $15 per person. Although the tours are really recommended for adults, children are welcome with adult supervision. Each child under 14 years old must have an adult issued to them.
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