Bay seniors wondering if there’s any place around here that has not been malled over might want to drive 5 miles east of Fremont to Niles. This pioneer village was built in the 1850s as a junction for the Southern Pacific Railroad. (A wild west train still runs from Niles to Sunol). In 1912 Charlie Chaplin opened his Essanay Movie Studios in Niles and If things had turned out differently Fremont could have been a movie capital. Niles is also the twee-est town east of Carmel with dozens of antique shops and a formal tea shop where you can get a proper spot of tea. Although the last time I was there a local tavern was hosting a party of Hells Angels.

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