Chronology of Concord History
(as of January 2002)
Prehistory: Bay Miwok Indian Period
- Chupcan Indian tribelet occupies Diablo Valley.
- Oak, pine, and willow trees proliferated across the valley and foothills.
- Bear, elk, deer and coyote roamed the area. The streams teem with salmon.
1770′s: First Europeans cross Diablo Valley
- Captain Pedro Fages and Padre Juan Crespi lead party in 1772.
- Lt. Col. Juan Bautista de Anza, Padre Pedro Font and Lt. Joachim Moraga lead party in 1776.
1810′s: Indians disappear from Valley
- Chupcan Indians are missionized at San Jose and San Francisco missions.
1820′s Spanish Exploration Continues
- Spanish expeditions explore but do not settle the valley.
1830′s: Mexican Land Grants Assigned
- Don Salvio Pacheco receives Monte del Diablo Land Grant. His uncle, Don Miguel Pacheco, received the adjacent Arroyo de las Nueses y Bolbones land grant, which included all of Concord’s Ygnacio Valley.
- Don Salvio sends his son, Fernando, to occupy his land as the Rancho Monte del Diablo. Don Miguel’s widow, Dona Sanchez, occupies theirs as Rancho San Miguel.
1840′s: Transition Begins
- Salvio Pacheco Adobe is built in 1846. Pacheco and Galindo families move to Rancho Monte del Diablo.
- Gold Rush exposes valley to “Americans.”
- Small pueblo forms around/near Salvio Pacheco adobe for families of rancho servants and vaqueros. Includes small store and school.
1850′s: Americanization of the Valley Occurs
- Towns of Pacheco and Clayton are founded. Intra-valley traffic traverses Rancho Monte del Diablo.
- Galindo home (1856) and Fernando Pacheco adobe (1851) built.
- Soft Coal mines established in northeast Diablo foothills.
- Lime deposits discovered on/near southeast boundary of Rancho Monte del Diablo. Become first commercially exploitable lime to be quarried in California.
- U.S. Land Commissions revalidate Salvio Pacheco’s ownership of Rancho Monte del Diablo.
1860′s: Todos Santos Town Established
- Floods and fires ravage town of Pacheco.
- Early “American” pioneers settle on land around rancho. Some purchase land from Salvio Pacheco.
- Pachecos and Galindo layout town of “Todos Santos” diagonally across Pacheco – Clayton Road near Salvio Pacheco Adobe (1868). They record it officially with Contra Costa County (1869).
- Name “Concord” is used immediately by new settlers to re-identify town of Todos Santos.
1870′s: The New Town Rises
- First businesses form along Salvio Street and around town square.
- American school, first public building, established on Grant Street (demolished in 1892).
- First (of 13) saloons opens.
- First church, Queenof All Saints, opens near corner of Salvio and East Streets in 1876. It would move in 1953.
1880′s: Initial Commercial Growth
- Hotels, blacksmiths, livery stables, banks, and small retail established.
- Fire Hall, the second — now oldest surviving — public building built on Mt. Diablo Street. It would later become City Hall and Police Department and be moved twice.
- Telephone service begins.
- Second church, First Presbyterian, opens near corner of Galindo and Pacheco Streets in 1883. It would move in 1906.
- Third church, First Christian, opens on corner of Fernando (present Concord Blvd.) and Mt. Diablo Street in 1889. It would move in 1955.
1890′s: First Major Expansion
- Southern Pacific Railroad crosses southwest edge of town.
- Blum and Wittenmeyer survey/establish major new town addition between Southern Pacific and original town.
- New “Victorian” Concord School (initially a grammar school, then a combined grammar and high school) built between Willow Pass Road and Salvio Street in 1892.
- Odd Fellows Hall (IOOF) building moved from Pacheco to site on corner of Salvio and Colfax Streets in 1896.
- The Martinez-Pacheco-Clayton stagecoach line makes stops at the Henry Ivey Livery Stable on Salvio St.
1900′s: Offically “Concord” and Residential Expansion Occurs
- Town of Concord officially incorporated with State (1905). Blacksmith Joseph Boyd becomes first mayor.
- Mount Diablo Union High School Campus opens in 1905. It would become longest continually operating large high school in California.
- Oakland & Antioch Electric Railroad crosses northeast side of town.
- Residential land development begins.
- Streets graveled/paved. Sewers installed. Saloon operations curtailed.
1910′s: Growth Slows
- Five industrial “company” towns established north and southeast of town: Nichols, Bay Point/Port Chicago, Clyde, Avon and Cowell.
- Major fire sweeps downtown (1917). Resulting effects on land use there are still apparent.
- Carnegie Foundation grant funds construction of first autonomous library.
1920′s: Agricultural Period Continues and Now a Transportation Hub
- Ranches, farms and dairies thrive. Planting of walnut, almond, olive and fruit orchards intensifies. Three railroads and state highway service town.
- U.S. Airmail Field established on West Street at Clayton Road (initially as Weather Alternate – then as a Primary field). First transcontinental commercial airline flight transits there.
- Chamber of Commerce supports NORCAL airline operations from Mahoney Field (on Clayton Road near Sacramento Northern electric railroad depot) to Los Angeles area. Flights last one month.
- David Brubeck, world renown jazz pianist, born in family home on Colfax Street.
1930′s: Quiet Time
- First Concord Hospital opened by Nurse Edna Haywood.
- Pergola, considered longest in world at that time, built around downtown park. Wisteria plantings grow to festoon the pergola.
1940′s: The War and a “Bedroom” Community
- U.S. Navy opens munitions supply operations near Port Chicago. Naval Magazine Port Chicago later expands southeast through local ranches and dairies along entire northeastern edge of town.
- Concord Army Airfield opens west of downtown. It becomes Buchanan Field Airport after war.
- Largest ever U.S. conventional munitions explosion occurs at Naval Magazine Port Chicago (1944). There is heavy damage in Concord.
- Catherine Galindo succeeds her husband as Concord treasurer. She later becomes town’s first woman to hold local elective office in her own right.
- Concord chartered as a California City (1948).
- Concord-area population grows from approximately 1,500 to approximately 10,000. Commuting to area industries and to “The City” (San Francisco) begin.
- Bertha Romaine, principal of Mt. Diablo Union High School (1917 – 1948) retires. She had “built” high school.
- Mt. Diablo Unified School District formed. It includes areas outside of Concord.
- Queen of All Saints School opens as first parochial elementary school in Contra Costa County.
1950′s and 1960′s: Growth Explodes and Deterioration of Downtown
- Residential subdivisions built everywhere.
- Shopping centers developed in outlying areas near homes.
- Park & Shop and Sun Valley Mall open as major regional shopping destinations.
- Significance of area agricultural begins to diminish.
- Willow Pass Road extended southwest to Sun Valley Mall.
- Original downtown begins to deteriorate.
- New city hall built on Parkside Drive at Willow Pass Road. It was later replaced by a newer, adjacent Civic Center complex.
- First Concord Summer Jazz Festival held in Concord Boulevard Park.
- Original town square officially renamed Todos Santos Plaza.
1970′s and 1980′s: Recovery Begins
- Redevelopment Agency and Area formed.
- Concord Pavilion established.
- BART operations begin through Concord. U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson participated in ground breaking ceremonies held at Concord. Car Maintenance facility located in Concord.
- Roslie Sher becomes first women elected to Concord City Council. June Bulman becomes first women selected as mayor.
- Salvio Pacheco Square building (aka Heritage Square), and Bank of America Technical Center Campus open in downtown.
- Tishman Building opens and is tallest high-rise in Contra Costa County.
1990′s: Recovery Continues and Public Art and Politics Create Turmoil
- City adopts Art in Public Places and Gateway Art Program. Heritage Gateway (Spirit Poles) and Plaza renovation bring national attention and cause major upheaval. New city council elected.
- New city council embroiled in issues concerning gender, integrity (Mashore and Campbell), and development for new theater.
- New police facility opened.
- Spirit Poles areremoved.
- Elevated BART line extends to north Concord; Port Chicago Highway extended south to Clayton Road.
- Naval Weapons Station Concord deactivated. U.S. Army leases “Tidal Area.”
- Brenden’s 14 screen movie theater megaplex opens as new anchor in downtown.
- Ruth Galindo, last descendant of founding Galindo/Pacheco families dies (Dec 1999).
2000’s: New Millennium
- City is now the largest in Contra Costa County. Population approaches 125,000.
- Mount Diablo Hospital merges with John Muir Hospital of Walnut Creek.
- Planning for Galindo House and Gardens begins.
- Legacy luxury apartment complex begins in downtown.