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Contra Costa County California

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 San Pablo.

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 Schools.

California Gazetteer | AHGP California

Source: Pacific Coast Business Directory for 1876-78, Compiled by Henry G. Langley, San Francisco, 1875


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