To make a payment or donation using PayPal, please click here -> PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!

Contra Costa County Historical Society


Our mission is to preserve, protect, and provide public access to the records and heritage of Contra Costa County.



Authors in the Archives Series:
"Highway 21: The Farm Road That Became An Interstate"

History talk and book signing
Saturday, June 16, 2018 2:00 P.M. - 3:30 P.M.

Campbell Theater
636 Ward Street, Martinez

(2 blocks SE of the History Center)

The Contra Costa County Historical Society presents "Highway 21: The Farm Road That Became An Interstate". Local historians John Mercurio and Steve Minnear present an illustrated talk about the fascinating events that characterized life along former CA State Hwy 21, from Martinez to Sunol.

One Intermission. The theater bar will be open before the talk and during intermission. Book signing to follow immediately.

Free Admission and Free Parking.

RSVP is requested. Email us at You may also call us at (925) 229-1042 to reserve your spot.

A $10 donation is suggested at the door. All proceeds benefit the preservation work of the CoCo County archives.

The History Center at 724 Escobar will be open for tours of the County archives from 10am – 2pm.

About the Authors

John Mercurio

John grew up in Concord, CA, attended San Jose State University and earned a BA in Social Science with a concentration in history. John earned a master’s degree in public administration in 1985 and went on to a career in local government, retiring in 2006.

Since 1993, John has served on various boards and commissions including the Concord Planning Commission, Save Mount Diablo, East Bay Regional Park District Park Advisory Committee, and the California Recreational Trails Program Advisory Board. One of John’s most rewarding activities was writing a history of the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District to help celebrate the agency’s 50th anniversary. As a follow up to that work, he was asked to write a series of articles on the history of that agency and the local area. It was in the course of doing the research for these articles that he came to know and appreciate the resources of the Contra Costa County History Center. He currently serves as the President of the Contra Costa County Historical Society and resides in Concord, CA.

Steve Minniear

Steve is the author of Dublin, California: A Brief History which will be released on June 25, 2018. The roads and highway section of the book came about from his collaboration with John Mercurio in 2016 on a history of California State Route 21. He holds a number of positions related to Dublin’s history and heritage. He is president of the Dublin Historical Preservation Association.

Steve retired after 32 years of service with the Federal government in the national security field, including 22 years with the Department of Energy. He has a master’s degree in Government from Georgetown University and received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a member of the Society for Military History and has written over 15 book reviews for the Journal of Military History. Steve is a long time resident of Dublin, CA.

Javascript DHTML Image Web Scroller Powered by

Visit our online book store by clicking here or visit us in person for additional items not sold online.

History Center Hours of Operation and Contact Information

The Contra Costa County Historical Society's History Center is located at:
724 Escobar St.
Martinez, CA
Phone: 925-229-1042
Our normal hours of operation are:

From time to time, we may be open for special events, such as exhibit open houses, or if there is an event in downtown Martinez.

Remember, we are staffed largely by volunteers, so we may not always be open the entire time. To be sure we are open, please call ahead. We are also available via email at "".

Justice and Judges:
The History of the Law in Contra Costa County

Come see the Contra Costa County Historical Society's current exhibit, Justice and Judges: The History of the Law in Contra Costa County. The exhibit is in honor of Judge Richard Arnason and features artifacts and court documents that belonged to him, as well as a brief history of the Judicial system as it has evolved in Contra Costa County.

The exhibit is open to the public during our open hours, Tuesday-Thursday from 9AM to 4PM, as well as the third Saturday of each month from 10AM to 2PM.

About the Exhibit

The Society recently received a substantial donation from the Contra Costa County Superior Court. The donation consists of artifacts and court documents that once belonged to Judge Richard Arnason, who passed away in 2015 at the age of 94. Judge Arnason served as a Superior Court Judge for 49 years, longer than any judge in the history of the county.

He was also the judge in the Angela Davis trial, in 1972, arguably one of the most significant (for both legal and political reasons) cases of the latter 20th century.

The donation was received from Judge Barry Goode, who suggested that an exhibit honoring Judge Arnason would be welcomed. The Society's Executive Director also saw the potential for using the materials to educate the citizens of Contra Costa County, and thus, an exhibit was born.

CCCHS video at Lesher Foundation "Newsmakers" Speaker Series

On November 2, 2015, the Contra Costa County Historical Society was chosen to be the non-profit "partner" for that night's lecture in the "Newsmakers: Lesher Speaker Series" held at the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek. In addition to a generous donation of event tickets to the society, media sponsor KTVU Channel 2 sent a video crew to the Center to make a video highlighting some of our accomplishments. The 2 1/2 minute video was screened to the audience at the event, and a copy of the finished product was given to the Society to use as it sees fit. You may see the video shown that night by clicking on this link.

Looking for a gift for that hard-to-buy for history buff? The History Center offers a wide variety of books, photographs and services that they will just love. A membership in the Contra Costa County Historical Society makes a great gift too. For details on Society membership, whether for yourself or as a gift, please click here.

CCCHS: The Video!

Thanks to the tireless efforts of Board Member Steve James, producer/volunteer Santiago Chen and many other volunteers at the Center, the Contra Costa County Historical Society has released a YouTube video showing the many facets and facilities available to the public at our History Center in Martinez. If you wish to see the video, click on this link.

Topographical Maps for Sale

While cleaning up the map room recently, we came across a number of duplicate copies of our topographical county maps, along with a few that were from outside the county. We are making them available for sale, but please note that the quantities are quite limited and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. For information on what maps available, please click on this link.

Before BART - Electric Railroads Link Contra Costa County, The Book!

CCCHS Past President and Curator of the San Ramon Valley Museum Beverly Lane has extended the great photos and research from our wildly successful exhibit on Electric Trains in Contra Costa County in 2012 into a booklet that the Society is proud to make available to the public. Click here to get more information on the booklet and how to purchase your own copy.

Click here to see a list of the Society's charter members.

You can also see a list of the Society's presidents from 1951 to the present by clicking here.

The Contra Costa County Historical Society's mission is to preserve for the benefit of the people of our County, the relics of our past. We are using the World Wide Web in order to give more of us access to the wonderful stories of the people who lived in our County, so many years ago. The Society hopes that these Web pages will bring the people of Contra Costa's present, closer to those who lived, worked and died in our County and who are, our History.

The current officers and board of directors of the Contra Costa Historical Society are:

Officer Name Home Town Term Expires
PresidentJohn MercurioConcord12/31/2018
1st Vice PresidentDonald BastinEl Sobrante12/31/2019
2nd Vice PresidentOliver BrayMartinez12/31/2019
SecretaryJohn GreitzerMartinez12/31/2019
TreasurerSteve JamesEl Sobrante12/31/2020
DirectorLisa GorrellMartinez12/31/2018
DirectorTara WeberMartinez12/31/2018
DirectorBeverly LaneDanville 12/31/2019
DirectorKathy LeightonByron12/31/2019
DirectorJohn BurghConcord12/31/2020
DirectorAndrea BlachmanMartinez12/31/2020
DirectorScott SaftlerWalnut Creek12/31/2020
Director EmeritusBetty MaffeiWalnut Creek---

Visitors to this site since October 14, 2006:


Leave comments for the webmaster here.