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William Dutton Hayward came during the gold rush. He "squatted", as he started to build a house near the creek on the site of the former Polamares School. Guillermo Castro's Vaqueros arrived one day and asked Hayward to leave Castro's land. William left, but Guillermo Castro asked him to purchase a piece of his land. Castro gave Castro the land east of Castro Street (now Mission Blvd.) and the north side of A Street. William Hayward built a magnificent hotel on the property. The hotel was run by Hayward and his wife, who eventually lost it to fire in 1916.
Many cities can't owe their existence solely to card games. Hayward is able to claim this unique distinction and more. William Hayward, a New England shoemaker, was the town's founder. He came to California during the Gold Rush to make his fortune. Hayward bought 40 acres from a prominent landowner and then bought more when the owner lost it all to a card game. Hayward grew slowly on the land and is now the sixth-largest municipality in the Bay Area.