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city, Alameda county, western California, U.S. Lying south of Oakland on San Francisco Bay, it forms part of the East Bay metropolitan strip characterized by suburban developments, commercial trading centres, and waterfront industries. The region was explored by the Spanish in the 1770s. Once part of the Mexican land grants Ranchos San Leandro (1839) and San Antonio (1820), San Leandro was known as Squatterville when prospectors settled there after the 1849 Gold Rush. Laid out in 1855, it began as a horticultural centre and was the county seat until 1872; though agriculture has given way to services and warehousing, the city still celebrates an annual cherry festival (first held in 1909). Manufacturing is also important. Casa Peralta, built in 1901, is a city museum. San Leandro is adjacent to Oakland International Airport. Inc. city, 1872. Pop. (1990) 68,223; (2000) 79,452.