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Concord, California History



The area of Concord, California has a rich and vibrant past, with notable characters as an important part of the story. Concord and the surrounding area will still remember its significant history from its origins on a land grant called Monte del Diablo to the critical core of the Bay Area it is today.


The first settlers of Diablo Valley were a small tribe of Bay Miwok Indians (native to Northern California) from the Chupcan tribe, where herds of deer, elk, wolf, and antelope roamed. The tribe lived along the rivers overflowing with salmon and shared the valley with the wildlife. Captain Pedro Fages and Father Juan Crespi led a party of Spanish explorers into the region in 1772 and they were the first outsiders to join. Over the next 50 or so years, the Spanish continued to visit the valley but did not settle there. By the 1810s, the Chupcans had been on missions in San Jose and San Francisco and vanished from the area.


In 1828, Don Salvio Pacheco applied for land in the valley in Mexico and in 1834 received a land grant of 17,921 acres called "Monte del Diablo," a term used by Spanish soldiers to describe the valley area. The grant stretched east to the hills along the Walnut Creek river, and north to the Bay from the Mount Diablo foothills.


Fernando Pacheco, the son of Don Salvio, occupied the grant and started a cattle-raising company on the new Rancho of the family; there, the Pacheco family joined Fernando in 1846. Don Salvio 's grand adobe has become a focal point as the region's business and social hub and is still in downtown Concord. The abode of Don Fernando, built on the hills some miles north, is now a registered historic landmark. A new town named Pacheco quickly grew up next to Rancho but fell in tough times due to floods, fires, and the earthquake of 1868.


In 1868 a new town was founded by the Pacheco men and called it Todos Santos (All Saints). The next year, in 1869, the inhabitants and merchants of Pacheco were offered the town free of charge, but the name Todos Santos did not last long. Citizens of the town adopted the name "Concord" as the official name of their new settlement; it was declared on April 17, 1869, by the Contra Costa Gazette. The name Concord was praised for the name's harmonious spirit, as Concord means "harmony." Despite the written reminders of the name Todos Santos by Don Fernando, the name Concord persisted.


Concord 's new town was established in the 1870s, as businesses opened along Salvio Street and around the town square. By 1879 the population of Concord had reached 300.


The 1900s saw the expansion of residential space. Mount Diablo Union High School opened in 1901. The school will become the longest continuously running high school in California. Joseph Boyd became Concord's first Mayor in 1905. By the same year, 1905, the population of Concord had doubled again, and on 5 February 1905, the incorporation of the "Town of Concord" was formally approved by a margin of two votes.


Over the next 35 years, the population will increase again. Small town Concord had a full-service commercial downtown area and a pleasant residential lifestyle by the start of World War II. Concord was declared a California City with a population of 6,500 in 1948.


The 1950s and 1960s saw an explosion of growth as the original downtown declined, but new construction was underway. The First Concord Summer Jazz Festival was held around this period, and the original town square was formally renamed Todos Santos Plaza.


Concord saw tremendous growth and transition from the 1970s through the 1990s and into the end of the millennium. BART operations came to the city, the Concord Pavilion was built, June Bulman became the first woman mayor, the Tishman Building opened to become the tallest high-rise of Contra Costa, the City introduced its Art in Public Places and Gateway Art Programme, Brenden's 14-screen movie theater megaplex opened and an elevated BART line extended to North Concord, among other notable events.


New millennium for the 2000s sees Concord, now Contra Costa County's largest city, with a diverse population reaching 125,000.

The city’s social, artistic and economic developments continue, with more on the way.

This amazing attraction is located near the following must-see sights in Concord, California:

  • Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Concord

  • Mount Diablo State Park

  • Briones Regional Park

  • Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve

  • The Ruth Bancroft Garden & Nursery

  • Heather Farm Park

  • Pixieland Amusement Park

  • Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial

  • Iron Horse Regional Trail

All of these wonderful attractions are located just a short distance from our location at 1261 Locust Street in Walnut Creek, California!

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