ALA-60 at Crow Canyon Road and Castro Valley Boulevard
Mortar Count: 44
Open
Canyon Middle School
Mortar Count: 8
Open
Chinese Tree of Heaven
Mortar Count: 18
Open
Garin Park, east spur
Mortar Count: 2
Open
Garin, single morta
Mortar Count: 1
Open
Gossip Rock
Mortar Count: 5
Open
Hill 1424
Mortar Count: 4
Open
Jalquin Vista Park
Mortar Count: 16
Open
Mid-Walpert Village
Mortar Count: 32
Open
North Knoll, Chinese Tree of Heaven
Mortar Count: 12
Open
North Walpert Camp
Mortar Count: 2
Open
North Walpert Lookout
Mortar Count: 2
Open
Rockwall to Campsite
Mortar Count: 8
Open
Ryan’s Hideaway
Mortar Count: 24
Open
South of Prayer Circle
Mortar Count: 1
Open
Stonebrae, 16th hole
Mortar Count: 5
Open
SW Walpert Ceremonial Site
Mortar Count: 22
Open
Upper Palomares Canyon
Mortar Count: 1
Open
Upper Shady Canyon
Mortar Count: 1
Open
Upper Ukraina
Mortar Count: 29
Open
Walpert Ridge Lookout
Mortar Count: 19
Open

Territory: Yrgin

The Yrgin, an Ohlone tribelet, controlled the San Lorenzo Creek watershed on the east side of San Francisco Bay. Yrgin territory included the present day cities of Hayward and Castro Valley and extended from the bayshore to the heights of Walpert Ridge. Walpert Ridge gives every indication of being a religious/ceremonial center. Rock walls, rectangles, prayer circles, and other features are scattered across Walpert’s “high country.” We have no clue as to what, if anything, went on there, but we do know that Walpert Ridge possesses extensive views that encompass much of the central and south Bay Area. This is a place, like Mt. Diablo, where one can have the sense of being on top of the world, looking out over creation.

Some of the sites on Walpert Ridge are owned by the East Bay Regional Park District but held in “land bank” status. Others are on land held by private owners. One should secure permission before visiting any of them.

Randall Milliken suggests in A Time of Little Choice that the Yrgin and the Jalquin may have been the same people. He does not represent this possibility on his tribelet maps in Native American History Studies for the Los Vaqueros Project: A Synthesis, which we follow here.

GarinSingleMortar

Garin, single morta

Garin, single mortar1 bedrock mortar next to the trail under a tree.Was this little camp a traveler’s rest stop?Bob’s right hand just about spans the mortar’s mouth.One should secure permission before visiting this site.

16thHole

Stonebrae, 16th hole

Stonebrae, 16th hole5 bedrock mortars on the 16th hole at Stonebrae golf course.Fore! At least they saved this site, a fate not shared by three others that had the misfortune to lie in the path of the Stonebrae development. That’s three we know about. There may have been more.Two of the mortars here are bowls […]

AgapiusGrafitti

Gossip Rock

Gossip Rock5 bedrock mortars, possible cupules and incisions.This is one of the rare archaeological sites identified by East Bay Regional Parks. It’s listed right there on the map for Garin/Dry Creek Pioneer Park. Be sure to sit here for a while. Enjoy the south-facing rock and the view of Mission Peak.Jim studies a mortar on […]

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SW Walpert Ceremonial Site

SW Walpert Ceremonial Site.22 bedrock mortars and stone circle placementsElevation 1365 ft.There are extensive views from here.Bob heads for the knob.A closer view of the site. The South Bay lies at its feet.Note the erosion and wear on these two old bowls. Their recessed, “Olla” rims are typically associated with boiling water or food preparation, […]

Hill1424

Hill 1424

Hill 14244 bedrock mortars, partial stacked rock rectangle, and other rock alignments.This site is named for its elevation, which is marked on the topographic map that covers Walpert Ridge.There’s a rockwall enclosure here, although it’s hard to make out in places. Perhaps some of it has been removed or buried.This prayer circle is nearby. Bob […]

UpperPalomaresCanyon

Upper Palomares Canyon

Upper Palomares CanyonOne bedrock mortarElevation 1450 feetThis rock sits below a spring box, which itself lies directly below the Rockwall to Campsite site. The mortar is a no-doubt-about-it cone six inches wide and six inches deep.One should secure permission before visiting this site.

JV4

Jalquin Vista Park

Jalquin Vista Park16 bedrock Mortars, many with recessed “Olla” rims3 housepitsElevation 1194 ft.What’s in a name? The City of Hayward may think this site was in Jalquin territory, but we believe the Yrgin controlled all of the Walpert Ridge “high country.”This is a great site with extensive views. You can drive right up to it.Note […]

UpperShady2

Upper Shady Canyon

Upper Shady CanyonOne bedrock mortar and a possible rock cairnElevation 953 feetThanks to Nick the Scout for leading us to this site.This site offers a commanding view.Note how the mortar rim is raised in a “fat lip” configuration.

MidRidgeVillage

Mid-Walpert Village

Mid-Walpert Village32 bedrock mortars, rock wall alignments, numerous cupules and grinding slicks.A low, stacked-rock rectangle on a slope just below the crest of Walpert Ridge dominates this site. Could it have been a sheepherder’s corral? What, for paralyzed sheep? So who would have stacked these rocks if not the Yrgin residents of the small village […]

UpperUkraina

Upper Ukraina

Upper Ukraina29 bedrock mortars at and around a creek confluence.Ukraina was the final and only safe home for Agapius Honcharenko, Ukrainian patriot and Greek Orthodox priest who was harassed by Tsarist police and special agents across Europe and America on account of his pro-Ukrainian and anti-Russian writings. That he found a safe haven on Walpert […]