Lafayette (formerly La Fayette) is a town in Contra Costa County, California , USA. As of 2010, the population of the city was 23,893. It was named after the Marquis de Lafayette, the French army hero of the American Revolutionary War.
Lafayette's history began more than 10,000 years ago when the Saclans, a sub-group of Miwok, settled here in a number of villages. In 1797, the Saclans fought a battle with the Spaniards on what would later become Lafayette soil.
In 1847, Elam Brown, one of the first Yankee settlers in Contra Costa County, was driving a fourteen family wagon train through the Donner Pass just days before the ill-fated Donner party. When Brown arrived, he bought a 3,329 acre Mexican land grant called Rancho Acalanus, which is now almost all of Lafayette today's Lafayette. In February 1848, he built his first of three houses, making it the first community in central Contra Costa County.
Brown and Nathaniel Jones, his neighbor, became farmers. Tired of a 7-10-day trip to San Jose to the nearest mill, Brown built his own horse-drawn grist mill. With business going well, Brown decided to build a steam-powered mill on Lafayette Creek near First Street. After the construction of the mill, the commercial center of Lafayette began to grow at the present intersection of Mt. Diablo Blvd. and Moraga Road. These first businesses were a blacksmith's shop, a bar, a general store, and apartment houses.
During the 1850s, redwood lumber harvested in Canyon and Moraga was transported to Martinez for shipment to San Francisco. Lafayette became the ideal place for people to rest, eat , drink, and repair their wagons on this long journey.
Benjamin Shreve came to Pioneer Store 1910o Lafayette after he failed to make a fortune in the Gold Rush. He built and ran the first school in Lafayette. In 1857 Shreve became the town's postmaster, and he decided to give him his name. It used to be called Acalanus, another spelling of the land grant, but the town wanted its own identity. Previously assumed names were Dog Town, Brown's Corner, Brown's Mill, Acalanus, and Centreville. He asked for the name of Centerville, but it was rejected because there was another Centerville in the state. So he made use of his second choice, La Fayette. It was changed to today's spelling, "Lafayette," in 1932. The most historic event that took place in Lafayette was in the early 1860's, when the Pony Express crossed the city to stop for a fresh horse at what is now the intersection of Moraga Road and Mt. Diablo Blvd. It remained a quiet farming village until the post-World War II construction boom when a lot of houses were built here.
Lafayette is separated from Greater Berkeley and Oakland by the Berkeley Hills (and the Caldecott tunnel below), a geographical boundary within the East Bay that also represents interesting meteorological, cultural and political distinctions. Like the rest of the San Francisco Bay Area, Lafayette has a Mediterranean climate ( Köppen climate classification Csa); however, the climatic differences may be striking: during the summer , temperatures may rise above 100 ° F ( 38 ° C) in Lafayette and its surrounding cities, while the areas west of the hills and closer to the bay remain up to 20 degrees cooler.
Summers are warm , dry and very sunny (although there may be foggy mornings); winters are cool and damp, with occasional freezes. Most of the annual rainfall is in the winter, although there are still plenty of clear days during that time. The record high temperature is 115 ° F (46 ° C) as set in July 1972. The record low temperature is 19 ° F (−7 ° C) set in December 1990. The region directly east of the hills is generally known for its more suburban or rural atmosphere and features rolling, grassy hills that highlight a more peaceful and domestic atmosphere. The Lafayette Reservoir is located in the southwestern part of Lafayette, and the Briones Regional Park extends into the northern part of Lafayette. The Lafayette wildlife communities include mixed forests and oak forests.
Lafayette, California is home to some amazing sites that any discerning visitor should definitely check out on their next visit:
Lafayette Community Park
Lafayette Reservoir Recreation
Lafayette Community Garden and Outdoor Learning Center
Temple Isaiah of Contra Costa County
Hank & Frank Bicycles
Cambiati Wellness Programs
The Hideout Kitchen & Cafe
Olympic Blvd Staging Area
Lafayette Park Hotel & Spa
After visiting these lovely places make sure to stop by and say “Hello” to us at 1261 Locust Street in Walnut Creek, California!