California State Historical Landmarks in Contra Costa County
Properties of historical importance in California are currently designated as significant resources in three state registration programs: State Historical Landmarks, Points of Historical Interest, and the California Register of Historic Places. Below is a list of the State Historical Landmarks for Contra Costa County. This data is provided by the Office of Historic Preservation - California Department of Parks and Recreation and is also available in the California Historical Landmarks Book.
NO. 1002-1 SITE OF GIANT POWDER COMPANY (POINT PINOLE) - Pt. Pinole is the last site of the Giant Powder Company, the first company in America to produce dynamite. Following devastating explosions at their san Francisco and Berkeley sites, the business moved to this isolated location in 1892. Incorporating the established Croatian community of Sobrente, the company town of Giant quickly grew into one of the North Bay's industrial centers. Explosives were produced here until 1960 and were essential to mining, dam and other construction projects throughout the Western Hemisphere.
Location: Giant and Atlas Rds, Richmond NO. 312 JOHN MUIR HOME - This is the ranch home of John Muir, 1838-1914, explorer, naturalist, author and foremost advocate of forest protection and of national parks. The John Muir Trail through the high Sierra, Muir Woods National Monument, and Muir Glacier in Alaska are named for him.
Location: John Muir National Historic Site, 4202 Alhambra Ave, Martinez
USGS Quadrangle Sheet Name: PITTSBURG 15
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places: NPS-66000083 NO. 356 CASTRO HOME - The El Cerrito adobe, as it was known because it was built near the north bank of El Cerrito Creek, was one of the adobes built by the Castro family on Rancho San Pablo. It was destroyed by fire in April 1956.
Location: El Cerrito Plaza, 9800 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito
USGS Quadrangle Sheet Name: RICHMOND NO. 455 DON FERNANDO PACHECO ADOBE - One-quarter mile north of this spot is the site of the adobe house constructed in 1843 by Don Fernando Pacheco. Reconstructed in 1941, it is preserved as a memento of the historic past of Contra Costa County.
Location: Contra Costa Horseman's Association, 3119 Grant St - State plaque located at NE corner of Grant and Solano Way, Concord
USGS Quadrangle Sheet Name: WALNUT CREEK NO. 509 JOAQUÍN MORAGA ADOBE - In 1835 Don Joaquín Moraga, with his cousin Don Juan Bernal, was awarded this grant which they called Rancho Laguna de los Palos Colorados - the adobe was completed in 1841. Don Joaquín was the grandson of José Joaquín Moraga, founder and first commandante of the Presidio of San Francisco.
Location: 24 Adobe Ln, Orinda (private residence)
USGS Quadrangle Sheet Name: BRIONES VALLEY NO. 511 VICENTE MARTÍNEZ ADOBE - In 1849 Vicente J. Martínez built this adobe on Rancho Pinole, which had been granted to Ignacio Martínez in 1836. In 1853, Vicente sold the adobe to Edward Franklin, after whom the canyon in which the adobe was located was named, and the adobe was known as the Franklin Canyon Adobe.
Location: Alhambra Ave and Hwy 4, Martinez
USGS Quadrangle Sheet Name: BRIONES VALLEY
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places: NPS-66000083 NO. 512 ALVARADO ADOBE - Site of adobe house, grape arbor, and gardens built in 1842 by Jesús María Castro for his mother, Dona Gabriéla Berryessa de Castro, widow of Francisco María Castro who had been granted Rancho (Cuchiyunes) San Pablo in 1823. When Dona Gabriéla died in 1851, the adobe became the property of her daughter, Martina Castro de Alvarado, wife of Juan Bautista Alvarado, who was Governor of California from 1836 to 1842.
Location: Civic Center, Alvarado Square, NW corner of San Pablo Blvd and Church Ln, San Pablo
USGS Quadrangle Sheet Name: RICHMOND NO. 515 DON SALVIO PACHECO ADOBE - In 1834 Don Salvio Pacheco was awarded a grant called Monte del Diablo and on June 24, 1835 completed this two-story adobe, the first building to be erected in this valley. Don Salvio gave the land surrounding this adobe to the refugees of the earthquake-flood of 1868, and the community became known as Concord.
Location: 1870 Adobe St at Salvio St, Concord
USGS Quadrangle Sheet Name: BRIONES VALLEY NO. 722 SITE OF THE MURDER OF DR. JOHN MARSH - Dr. Marsh, who practiced medicine throughout the state from his home near Brentwood, purchased Rancho Meganos in 1837. On his way home from Martinez, he was murdered here by ruffians on September 24, 1856.
Location: Across street from 4575 Pacheco Blvd, Martinez
USGS Quadrangle Sheet Name: BENICIA NO. 731 THE OLD HOMESTEAD - This was the first American home in Crockett, located on an earlier Indian village near the Carquinez Straits. Constructed in 1867 by Thomas Edwards, Sr., on land purchased in 1866 from Judge J. B. Crockett, its timbers, some of them brought around the Horn, have been well preserved.
Location: 993 Loring Ave at Ralph Ave, Crockett
USGS Quadrangle Sheet Name: PETALUMA POINT NO. 853 CAPTAIN PEDRO FAGES TRAIL - In 1772 Fages, commandante at Monterey, vainly looked for a way across San Francisco Bay. With Franciscan missionary Juan Crespí, 14 soldiers, a muleteer, and an Indian servant, he trekked along Carquinez Strait, thence eastward nearly to Antioch before turning back. These, the first white men to explore what became Contra Costa County, passed this point and camped near Danville on March 31, 1772.
Location: 856 Danville Blvd at El Portal, Danville
USGS Quadrangle Sheet Name: LAS TRAMPAS RIDGE NO. 904 CHARLES COPELAND MORSE RESIDENCE - C. C. Morse of Ferry-Morse Seed Company fame built this mansion, claimed to be the largest remaining late Queen Anne-style Victorian residence in the City of Santa Clara in 1892. Morse was a pioneer in the seed industry whose work had a substantial impact upon the economic growth of California.
Location: 981 Fremont St, Santa Clara
USGS Quadrangle Sheet Name: CLAYTON NO. 932 MOUNT DIABLO COAL FIELD - This was the largest coal-mining district in California from 1860 to 1914, with five towns-Nortonville, Somersville, Stewartsville, Judsonville, and West Hartley-near twelve major mines. Today the towns are gone, their buildings moved to other communities after the mines closed - the East Bay Regional Park District is preserving mine openings, tailings, railroad beds, and a pioneer cemetery.
Location: Black Diamond Mines Regional Park, from State Hwy 4 take Somersville Rd 3.9 mi S, Antioch NO. 951 LIGHT STATIONS OF CALIFORNIA (THEMATIC), EAST BROTHER LIGHT STATION - East Brother is the oldest wood-frame lighthouse on the West Coast stilll fully operational and still in its historic configuration with functioning equipment. It was one of a group of twelve lighthouses similar but unique in design, built in California during the early 1870's. At the time it was built, it provided both a light and roof signal to guide boats ferrying mail, passengers, and freight between San Francisco and various island ports.
Location: Off Point San Pablo, in Straits of San Pablo, connecting San Francisco and San Pablo Bays
See Also: Statewide Historical Landmarks listed by County
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This file last modified on: Friday, October 15, 2004.
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