Historical Markers in
Contra Costa County, California

(Port Chicago) Disaster "...What we see and have before us is not a river, but much water in a pond" 110 Escobar 1124 Ferry Street 1923 Miss Graham's Riding Academy 1923 Orinda Improvement Association 1923 The Fire House 1925 Orinda Union School 1958 The Orinda Library 210 Buckley 215 Marina Vista 216 Buckley 224 Buckley 225 Buckley Street 236 Buckley 236 Escobar 3220 Alhambra 335 Talbart 410 Alhambra 413 Talbart 413-419 Marina Vista 415 Escobar 424 Alhambra 502 Alhambra 516 Alhambra 534 Talbart 535 Talbart 605, 607 & 615 Talbart 608 Talbart 614 Richardson 624 Talbart Street 634 Talbart 700 Alhambra 736 Ferry Street 815 Marina Vista "I was truly there and did my part to the end." -- Addie Mae Cance, former shipyard worker A Community of Flower Growers A Lost World A Retreat in the Hills A Window into the Past A.J. Young House Al Zampa Memorial Bridge Alamo Cemetery Alamo Grammar School Alvarado Park Alves House Antioch Fibreboard Company Antioch High School Cupola Anza Expedition Campsite 101 Anza Expedition of 1776 Arrival of the Strip Mall Art and Culture in the City Austin Root House, 1919 Bank of America Bank of Pinole Bank of Richmond Barnett House Beniamino Bufano Bergamini Building Bibber House Billeci Family Home Birthplace of Antioch Birthplace of The Martini Black Diamond Black Diamond Way Blackhawk Ranch Quarry Blooming Business Bolla House Borland Home Botelho Home Botelho's Island & Creek Confluence Bradley Bros. Shop Bridge over Walnut Creek Bristol Bay Sail Gill Netter Broad Spreader of Seed Spreader Wagon Broadway Shopping Center Broadway Shopping Center Bryant Station Site Bryer/Nail House Buehler House By Land and By Sea Byer/Nail House Byron Cabral House Cabral/Foster House California & Nevada Railroad California and Nevada Railroad California Theatre California's Big Water Projects: How Did We Get Here? Capt Hewitt Home Capt. Joseph R. Walker Captain Joseph R. Walker Captain Pedro Fages Trail Carnegie Library Carquinez Strait Center of Town Central Fire Station Central School Cerrito Creek Cerrito Theater CinéArts Theatre City Hall City Hall 1951 & American Red Cross Building City Hall 1981 City Hall Apartment Building City of Antioch War Dog Memorial City of Richmond Employees World War II Memorial City Park & Walnut Festival Civic Art Theatre ("Nuthouse") Civic Arts Theatre ("Nuthouse") Clay, Kilns & Brick Clayton Clayton Cash Store Clayton Museum Educational Garden Close Family Property Cohen-Vecki House Contra Costa Civic Theatre Contra Costa College Site Contra Costa County Courthouse Contra Costa Florist Cooley House Corridors of Change Cowboy Country Crockett World War I Veterans Memorial Dairy Country Dangerous Work Danville Grammar School Danville Hotel Territory De Anza Expedition 1775-1776 De Martini Winery Dedicated to the Family of Don Ignacio Martinez Dedicated to the Founders of Todos Santos Dedicated to the Pony Express Deodar Cedars Did You Know that Orinda Once Had a Railroad? Disaster Dole House Downtown Traffic Downtown Traffic Dr. John Marsh Dredges Dynamic Wartime Port East Brother Light Station Eddy House El Cerrito Hills El Cerrito Public Library El Cerrito's First Mayor El Cerrito's Music Scene El Cerrito's Nightlife El Rey Theatre El Sobrante Chevrolet Service El Sobrante's First Bank El Sobrante's First Full-service Post Office El Toro Elam and Margaret Brown Home-Site Elworthy House Endeavor Hall Eugene O'Neill Eugene O'Neill: A Moon for the Misbegotten Eugene O'Neill: Long Day's Journey into Night Eugene O'Neill: The Iceman Cometh Eugene O'Neill: Carlotta and Gene Eugene O'Neill: O'Neill in Danville Eugene O'Neill: The Nobel Prize Eugene O'Neill: The Tao House Plays F & AM - Antioch-Brentwood Lodge #175 Building Fairmont School Farmall Tractor - c. 1925 Farming & Ranching in Clayton Farms and Dairies Federal Relocation of Italians in America During World II Fernandez Mansion - 1894 Ferries and Frieght on San Francisco Bay Fire Truck Park First Church of Christ, Scientist First City Hall of Richmond First Danville Fire Station First National Bank First Presbyterian Church of Danville, 1875 First Settlement of Lafayette First Supermarket/Foster's Freeze Flagpole Forced Removal Former Anti-Aircraft W.W. II Barracks Former Masonic Lodge Site Francisco Galindo Home From an Accident to a Preserve Fry's Food Stores and Fry's Electronics Funeral Home Geils Building God's Acre Greenhouse Portal Hacienda de las Flores Hagstrom's Market Hap Magee Ranch Harlan's Livery Stable Harry Ells School Hercules Powder Works Chinese Laborers Memorial Hilson's Historic Cerrito Creek Historic Rancho Boundary Line History of Marsh Creek Springs History of Ramona Park Holy Ghost Festa Home of County Supervisor Hook Building Hook Family Hookston Station Historic Exibit Independent Mine "It was a real workhorse." -- Jim Cannon, Marketing Director, Levin-Richmond Terminal Corp James Rankin James Rankin James Root House Japanese Nurseries Joaquin Murrieta Joe DiMaggio's Birthsite Joe Foster House John and Abby Marsh John Muir Home Joseph Joachin Moraga Judge Duncan's Courtroom July 4, Anno Domini, 1951 Keller Ranch Kirsch Home Kitty Milk Bar Lafayette Grammar School Lafayette House Lafayette Town Hall Lamorinda Vietnam Memorial Lawrence Garage Leech House & Medical Clinic Lefty Gomez Field Liberty Bell Replica Little Italy Live Oak Cemetery Lommel's Creamery & Greyhound Bus Depot Macedo Ranch Main Street, 1910 Main Street, 1921 Marazzani Boarding House Martinez Public Library Martinez Train Depot Martinez Troops-In-Transit Canteen Martinez-Benicia Ferry Masonic Temple Master Craftsmen Mauzy Plumbing McCauley House McDonald's Drug Store McNamara-McMahon Building McNear Warehouse Meet the Many Faces of Jim Howe Miner Ranch Moraga Barn Moraga Station Moraga Train Station Morgan House Mount Diablo Mount Diablo Beacon: Mount Diablo Coal Field Mount Diablo State Park Mt Diablo State Park National Treasures Native Peoples of the East Bay Neustaedter House Nut Bowl Fountain Oakland, Antioch & Eastern Railway Old Antioch's Railroads "Old Borges Ranch" Old Fire Hall Old Marsh Creek Springs Old Moraga Townsite Oldest Commercial Building Oliver's Hardware & Service Station Original Alamo School Bell Original Costanza Macaroni Factory Original Pizzamenti Family Home Park Theatre Pellegrini Home and Fish Company Perry House Pioneer Cemetery Pioneer Store Pittsburg Post Dispatch Building Pony Express Pony Express Ferry "Carquinez" Port Chicago Port Chicago Naval Magazine Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial Post Office Quarries Ramona Theatre Ranchos San Pablo and San Antonio Boundary Monument Ranchos to Ranches Rankin Building Reinharts's Building & Clock Remnants from Days Gone By Richmond Native Sons/Daughters of the Golden West Veterans Memorial Richmond Shipyards Riverview Union High School Rodgers Ranch Rogers Hotel Rolling Ridge Ranch Rosie the Riveter Memorial Rust San Ramon Branch Line San Ramon Union High School San Ramon Valley Bank San Ramon's Pioneers Santa Fe Railway Sherburne Building Shuey/Podva House Sidney Flat Site of Bickerstaff House Site of Giant Powder Company Site of Historic Brentwood Hotel Site of Pioneer American Settler William Rust's Blacksmith Shop Site of Rogers Hotel Site of the J.M. Jones House Somersville Townsite Southern Pacific R.R. Depot Southern Pacific Railroad Depot SS Red Oak Victory St. Mary's Catholic Church St. Paul's Episcopal Church (Walnut Creek, California) St. Paul's Mission Chapel State Theatre Stege Sanitary Stone Valley Stopped by Impenetrable Marshes Stow Building Streetcars in El Cerrito Summertime Fun in El Cerrito Tassajara School The 'IT' Club The Adobe Houses of Victor Castro The Avenue The Burlington Hotel The Cannery Lady The Christian Brothers Winery The Clayton Club The Clayton Post Office "The Corners" & Oak Saloon The Critchett Hotel The Crossroads The De Anza Expedition in Rodeo The deLaveaga Station The Dole House The Eucalyptus Grove The Ford Assembly Building The Grange and Fraternal Hall (1874) The Growler Saloon – Goethals Building The Hay Schooner Carlotta The Home Front Legacy The Industrial Core The Japanese in El Cerrito, a Timeline The Joaquin Moraga Adobe The Joel Clayton House The Lincoln Highway in San Pablo The Little Hill The McCoy Cook House The Migrating Delta The National Bank of Martinez The Old Homestead The Only Train Stop in Clyde The Orinda Theatre, 1941 The Pony Express The Railroad Put Alamo on the Map The Richmond Supply Company Building The San Joaquin: A River Runs Dry The Santa Maria Chapel, 1892 The Schooner Forester "The Sentinel" The Six Bells & Cerro Square The Tatcan People The Vicente Martinez Adobe - 1849 The Woman's Club of Antioch Town Hall Tres Ranchos Del Sur Tres Ranchos Historical Site Valley Mercantile Veterans Memorial Building Veterans Memorial Building Vicente Martinez Adobe "Victory ships were a bigger, complicated ship." Violet's Walnut Creek and Mt. Diablo Central Hotel Walnut Creek Grammar School Walnut Creek Library Walnut Creek Meat Market Walnut Creek Methodist Church Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church Walnut Growers; Processing Plant War Boomtown War Veterans of Walnut Creek Viet Nam Memorial Wartime Changes Way Side Inn Welcome to Richmond What Are Those Towers For? What Happened Here? Where the Deer and the Antelope Play Whitegate Farm Willow Spring School II Women's Club of Walnut Creek Clubhouse Women's Club of Walnut Creek Clubhouse Women's Westside Improvement Club “The Steelworker in Pittsburg”
California is home to the world's tallest tree, a coast redwood named Hyperion. The tree, which stands over 379 feet tall, was discovered in Redwood National Park in 2006.
Contra Costa County, located in Northern California, has a rich and diverse history that dates back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, such as the Miwok and Ohlone people, who thrived off the region's natural resources and lived in harmony with the land. The arrival of Spanish explorers and missionaries in the 18th century marked a significant shift in the region's history.

In 1772, the Spanish established the first European settlement in the area, known as Mission San Francisco de Asís (also called Mission Dolores), which was part of the larger Alta California mission system. The mission's purpose was to convert the indigenous people to Christianity and ensure Spanish control over the region. During this period, Spanish settlers also established ranchos, large land grants that became the foundation of the region's agricultural economy.

The 19th century brought significant changes to Contra Costa County. With the Mexican War of Independence in 1821, Spain's influence in the area waned, and Mexico gained control. During this time, Mexican rancheros maintained control over their land, but American settlers began to arrive in increasing numbers, lured by the promise of fertile land and economic opportunities.

The discovery of gold in nearby Coloma in 1848 triggered the California Gold Rush, drawing countless fortune seekers to the region. This influx of people led to the rapid growth of towns and settlements in Contra Costa County, as well as the construction of transportation infrastructure like railroads and canals. Agriculture, particularly wheat and fruit orchards, grew in prominence, and the region became known for its agricultural output.

In 1850, California officially became a state, and Contra Costa County was established as one of the original 27 counties. Over the years, the county continued to develop and urbanize, with industrialization bringing new opportunities and challenges. Today, Contra Costa County is a thriving and diverse region known for its proximity to the San Francisco Bay Area, beautiful landscapes, and vibrant communities.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Contra Costa County, California.

  • 1772: Spanish explorers first arrive in the area of Contra Costa County.
  • 1821: Mexico gains independence from Spain and the land becomes part of Mexico.
  • 1849: Contra Costa County is formed as one of California's original 27 counties.
  • 1850: Martinez becomes the first county seat.
  • 1855: The county seat is moved to San Ramon.
  • 1857: The county seat is moved again, this time to Martinez permanently.
  • 1868: The Central Pacific Railroad arrives in the county, enhancing transportation and growth.
  • 1928: Construction of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge begins, connecting Contra Costa County to San Francisco.
  • 1941: The Concord Naval Weapons Station is established, playing a significant role in World War II and the Cold War.
  • 1972: BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) extends into Contra Costa County, providing a new mode of transportation.
  • 1991: The devastating Oakland Hills Fire impacts parts of Contra Costa County.
  • 2002: Contra Costa County celebrates its 150th anniversary.