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All About The History of Lafayette, California

Lafayette (formerly La Fayette) is a city in Contra Costa County, California , USA. As of 2010, the population of the city was 23,893. It was named after the Marquis de Lafayette, the French army hero of the American Revolutionary War.


Lafayette's history began more than 10,000 years ago when the Saclans, a sub-group of Miwok, settled here in a number of villages. In 1797, the Saclans fought a battle with the Spaniards on what would later become Lafayette soil.


A forty-four families' wagon train went through the Donner Pass only days in 1847 when the related Donner party was led by Elam Brown, a first Yankee settler in Contra Costa county. When Brown arrived, he bought a Mexican land grant of 3,329 acres called Rancho Acalanus, which is nearly all Lafayette today. In February 1848 he founded the first of three homes and became the first town in the central county of Contra Costa.


Brown became a farmer with his friend Nathaniel Jones. Brown built his own gray horse-drawn mill, fatigued from his journey to San Jose in 7-10 days at the nearest peak. Brown chose to build a steam-powered plant on Lafayette Creek on First Street with business going well. When that mill was built, at the present intersection of Diablo Blvd. Mt. and Moraga Road, the commercial center of Lafayette began to develop. Such first companies were a blacksmith shop, pub, store and place.


During the 1850s, red wood harvested wood was transported to Martinez to San Francisco, and Moraga was transportated to Martinez. On this long journey, Lafayette was the ideal place to rest, cook, drink and fix your wagons.


Benjamin Shreve came to Pioneer Store 1910 Lafayette after failing to make a fortune in the Gold Rush. He built and ran Lafayette's first school. In 1857 Shreve became postmaster of the town and he decided to give it a name. It was previously called Acalanus, a different spelling of the land grant, but the town wanted an identity of its own. Previously assumed names were DogTown, Brown's Corner, Brown's Mill, Acalanus, and Centerville. He requested the name Centerville, but it was rejected because there was another Centerville in the state. He used La Fayette, his second option. The expression "Lafayette" was converted in 1932 into the current terminology. At the beginning of the 1860s, the Poney Express passed through the city to wait for a new horse at the intersection of Mount Diablo Blvd and Moraga Lane, and the biggest historic occurrence was in Lafayette. Until the post-World War 2 construction boom many houses were built there, it remained a quiet farming village.


As the rest of San Francisco Bay Area, Lafayette is characterized by a Mediterranean climate, however, the climatic differences can be striking: in lafayette and its neighboring cities during the summer temperatures can increase beyond 100 ° F (38 ° C), whereas the hills west and bay areas remain cooler to 20 ° C. Summers are cool , dry and very sunny; winters are cool, and sometimes frozen (although they may be foggy in the morning).

This amazing city is perfect for kids and boasts the following must-see sights in Lafayette, California:

  • Chabot Space & Science Center 

  • Tilden Regional Park

  • Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park

  • Joaquin Miller Park

  • Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve

  • Briones Regional Park 

  • Regional Parks Botanic Garden

  • Las Trampas Regional Wilderness Park 

  • Roberts Regional Recreation Area

All of these wonderful attractions are located just a short drive from our location near Downtown Walnut Creek, California on Locust Street. Stop by for a visit anytime!

City view
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