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Our Past...Our Future


1839 — Mexican government grants 10,000 acres to Jose Antone Mesa and Miguel Jose Garcia.

1840 — Named New York of the Pacific, possibly because the man who laid out the town, Colonel J.D. Stevenson, was a native of New York.

1870s — First Italian fishermen, Pietro Aiello and brother Rosario, began fishing the river. Word of mouth quickly spread and by 1910 it was recorded that nearly 1,000 Italian fishermen and their families worked the rivers and canneries.


1903 — Town renamed Black Diamond following discovery of coal in the hills 3 miles south of town.

1910 — Columbia-Geneva Steel Company starts operating on a small scale.

1916 — Pacific Gas & Electric was built. The Great Western Electro Chemical Company was established.

1920s — Pittsburg High School opens.

1927 — USS Steel purchased Columbia Steel.


1939 — Great Western Electro Chemical Company merges with Dow Chemical Company.

1942 — Camp Stoneman was built and local industries boomed. For thousands of GIs who went to fight in the Asiatic-Pacific operations during WWII, Camp Stoneman was their last contact in the U.S.

1954 — After the Korean War, Camp Stoneman closed and the property was added to the city of Pittsburg for commercial and residential development. However, as Camp Stoneman closed its doors, so ended those eras of prosperous times in Pittsburg.

1960s — Buchanan Park Swim Center opens and Pittsburg High School’s Creative Arts Center opens. Both were considered to be among the best in the area with state-of-the-art facilities at that time.


1970s — Pittsburg Marina was built, then widely considered the best in the area. It underwent renovations in 2007.

1974 — Los Medanos College opens, providing two-year degrees and transfer programs to East County students, in addition to lifelong learning programs.

1980s — Pittsburg’s vacant land was seen as a gold mine to developers. From 1981 to 2000, Pittsburg experienced a 59 percent increase in population.

1990s — BART extends its lines to its eastern-most point: the Pittsburg/Bay Point station at Bailey Road. Delta View Golf Course becomes a public course, now ranked in the state’s top 25 golf courses. Highway 4 widening project began.


2000s — New HOV lanes added to Highway 4, relieving congestion as Eastern Contra Costa becomes one of the most populous areas of the county. Highway 4 widening projects continued through 2006.

2003 — Pittsburg’s Centennial Celebration year.

2004 — Pittsburg’s Auto Plaza opens on Century Blvd. along Highway 4.

2000-2010 — Pittsburg’s population estimated to grow by 37 percent. New eBART proposed, expanding BART service east another 23 miles, further easing traffic congestion.


The building at 515 Railroad Avenue was purchased in 1997. It was the home to Coast Counties Gas and Electric Company in 1926 and then later became home of the Pittsburg Post-Dispatch newspaper. It was renovated into a modern museum with permanent displays and meeting rooms and was officially opened in 2001.

There are many displays at the museum, including a large wall mural depicting the time when only the Indians were here in this area, through the industrial age to the present. Included in the displays are: a small chapel with a replica of the St. Peter Martyr altar and an 1800s organ; Indian artifacts from the early part of the 1800s; artifacts and photos from the mines in Nortonville and Somersville; a multicultural display featuring the Spanish, Mexican, Italian, African-American, Chinese and Filipino cultures; a replica of the Black Diamond airplane built by Maupin in Pittsburg in 1911; a bridal room displaying the early custom of the trousseau; vacuum tubes from the 1950s radio station KECC; the clock from the old Vogue Theatre; a replica of Dave Gatto’s Saloon and Card Parlor; a mural depicting Fat and Skinny’s Ice Cream Wagon of the 1930s; a sports hall of fame room; a family room featuring Pioneer Pittsburg families; a band room; a Camp Stoneman display; a Mayor’s board; the “Una Storia Segreta” telling the story of the Italian internment during WWII; a doctor’s office; a barber shop; a school room and yearbook displays; old town photos from the early 1900s; the Buchanan Store display and their carriage; an old post office; U.S. Steel Mill displays; a wharf scene; the original Seagrave Fire Engine; an old time soda shop; a seamstress shop; laundry and beauty parlor; items from the various fraternal organizations of the 1900s; an archival library for public use; a display of Pioneer Diary items; old cameras and much, much more.

The museum is open to the public on Wednesdays from 1pm to 4pm and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. to coincide with the Farmer’s Market which is located across the street on the plaza. General membership meetings are held on the premises when announced. Admission is free of charge; however, donations are gratefully accepted.

The Pittsburg Historical Society is a non-profit whose mission is to collect, preserve, exhibit and educate; to provide a basis for research; to invite public participation in programs; to represent the community cultural common wealth; to promote civic pride and tourism; and to advance knowledge and nourish the human spirit by preserving the past.

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