Contra Costa County
Contra Costa County. Organized 1850. Bounded north by the
Straits of Carqninez, Suisun Bay and the San Joaquin River, east
by San Joaquin County, south by Alameda, west by Alameda and the
Bay of San Francisco, and northwest by valuation of property for
1874, $7,665,950. County seat, Martinez. Principal towns,
Antioch, Clayton, Concord, Nortonville, Pacheco, Somerville and
Resources, agricultural and mineral, both of high character.
Contra Costa is most favorably situated for trade and the
exportation of its products. The peak of Monte Diablo, the most
prominent object observed. In approaching the harbor of San
Francisco, rises from the center of the county, and is richly
stored with valuable minerals, coal being the principal, but
copper and quicksilver are also found.
Coal is mined extensively, and from the northern spurs of Monte
Diablo comes the chief supply of fuel for the bay and river
steamers, and the manufactories of the State. The monthly
product is about 20,000 tons. The principal mines are the Black
Diamond at Nortonville, and the Pittsburg, Union and Central at
Somersvllle, only one mile distant, other mines in other
localities are now opening. The plains, valleys and hillsides
are exceedingly fertile, and agriculture and grazing are
conducted with great success.
Contra Costa has navigable water on three of its sides,
rendering communication with other parts of the State most
convenient, and cheap transportation for all of its products.
Two railroads, aggregating fourteen miles of track, are
constructed for carrying the coals of Monte Diablo to the
navigable waters of Suisun Bay. Two lines of proposed railroad
will run through Contra Costa County. One of these, having its
starting point between Bantas and Ellis stations, on the C. P.
R. R., and its terminus at Oakland, is partly graded, and will
encircle the county on three of its sides. The other is a
narrow-gauge road, which the farmers of Contra Costa and Alameda
Counties propose to build from Livermore to Martinez, following
a level grade a distance of about 35 miles.
In 1874 an excellent road was built to the summit of Monte
Diablo, which has now become a favorite resort for visitors,
anxious to witness the grand panoramic view presented.
Officers: Thomas A. Brown, County Judge; Lewis
C. Wittenmeyer, Clerk; Hiram Mills, District Attorney; Mark B.
Ivory, Sheriff and Tax Collector; George J. Bennett, Recorder
and Auditor; John R. L. Smith, Treasurer; James Foster,
Assessor; Russell Eddy, Surveyor; Edwin W. Hiller, Coroner and
Public Administrator; Alfred Thurber, Superintendent Public
California Gazetteer |
Source: Pacific Coast Business Directory for 1876-78, Compiled
by Henry G. Langley, San Francisco, 1875