We are pleased to welcome back the Contra Costa County Historical Society
Please join us on Thursday, October 20th, for presentations by two CCCHS members who will discuss Powder Works and Hot Springs!
Contra Costa County is large and varied. In October, we welcome two authors who will be sharing with us their knowledge and insights into two of our cities, Hercules and Byron.
Hercules sprang into being in the 1880s as a result of the California Powder Works moving its operations out of San Francisco; their leading product was – you guessed it, Hercules. Byron is home to the somewhat well-known and historical Byron Hot Springs, a now-abandoned resort that was a retreat that attracted many movie stars and famous athletes in the early 1900s.
There is so much more to learn about each of these cities. Each of our presenters are published authors (see full bios below), and will have a selection of their books available for sale that evening.
Seating will be limited, so please RSVP to hold a space. There is no charge to attend and light refreshments will be served.
Meet the CCCHS: The Contra Costa County Historical Society’s mission is to preserve, protect, and provide public access to the records and heritage of Contra Costa County. You can learn more about the Society by visiting their web site, www.cocohistory.org, or in person:
724 Escobar Street, Martinez
T-W-T 9 am to 4 pm, 3rd Sat 10 am – 2 pm
How Did Contra Costa County Get Its Name?
Contra Costa County was one of the original 27 counties of California, created in 1850 at the time of statehood. The county was originally to be called Mt. Diablo County, but the name was changed prior to incorporation as a county. The Spanish language name means “opposite coast”, because of the County’s
location opposite San Francisco.
Carol A. Jensen
Carol has been fascinated with local history since the early 1960s. A native of eastern Contra Costa County, Carol is a history graduate of UC Santa Barbara. She delights in discovering cultural ephemera and documenting the cultural history of the area in which people lived, visited, or worked in California.
Member of the East Contra Costa Historical Society, the Contra Costa County Historical Society, the John Marsh Historic Trust (among others), Carol is the author not only of Byron Hot Springs, but also books on Brentwood, East Contra Costa County, The California Delta, Lake Tahoe’s West Shore, Contra Costa County Maritime History, and Lake Tahoe Through Time – as well as having authored multiple articles for various periodicals and scholarly journals.
Stephen Richard Lawton
Stephen is a third-generation Californian who traces his interest in history to family stories of early Los Angeles.
His degree in Economics from the University of California in 1976 led him first to the Southern Pacific Railroad. As a marketing officer, he had the rare privilege of surveying how California was shaped by its basic industries. His first view of the Hercules Powder Works was from the cab of a locomotive.
For twenty years, Steve and his wife have made their home in a restored, historic house in the old Hercules Village on San Pablo Bay. He co-authored this work to honor the memories of both the few bold industrialists and the many ordinary workers, and their families, who made Hercules and Pinole their home.