The Year in Review: 1917

Editor Note: The plan for this week was to write an article on early Martinez leader and orchardist Matthew Barber whose 1870s home on Barber Lane still exists and looks fabulous in restoration.  However, the flu struck this writer on Christmas Eve and basically wiped out the last week of 2017 and continues to mess […]

More Street Names South of the Trestle

“Following last week’s query concerning street names in Muir Oaks, Bob Latchaw, a resident of the area for many years, called to tell us that Milden Road was derived from the developers’ names Milburn and Dennis. But he didn’t know the origin of other names in the area. He did, however suggest how we might […]

Nancy Fahden: Martinez Bocce Pioneer

Nancy Fahden made her mark on Martinez history several years before she became the first woman elected to the County Board of Supervisors sparking a huge change in the composition of the Board and its goals for the county.  It was she who started the process that not only brought bocce ball back to Martinez […]

Nancy Fahden – First Woman CC County Supervisor

Martinez native Nancy Cardinalli Fahden had no intention of making history by becoming the first woman on the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors.  In 1976 she recruited a neighbor, Bill Wainwright, to run against an entrenched incumbent who was one of five middle-aged business men on the board. But at the last minute Wainwright withdrew […]

Matthew Barber and His Name on the Street Where He Lived

Editor’s Note: This column appeared in the November 1, 1983 edition of the News-Gazette Martinez is rich with old houses that have a history we can still locate in the old books of the people who built them and those pioneers’ contributions to our city.  One of these is the home on Barber Lane, still […]

Our Town: The Loving Preservation of Matthew Barber’s Home

Cindy and Greg Francisco grew up in the Muir Meadows development off Center Avenue in Martinez.  In 1998 when they had been married for five years, they decided it was time to move out of a condo into a home where they could raise a family.  While they looked in Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill and […]

Street Names in the Northwestern Hills

One of the first areas of the city outside of the flat downtown core to be settled in the 1850s was the northwestern hills overlooking Escobar, Marina Vista and Ferry Streets. According to Charlene Perry in her posthumous book, the second edition of  ‘MARTINEZ  A Handbook on Houses and History’, “Island Hill” was the place […]

The True Heart of Martinez

(Editor’s Note:  At this time in our history when so many people, so many families, are needing and receiving help and support in Texas and in Florida because of two terrible hurricanes, it seems appropriate to celebrate the best of the generous spirit of people even in small and unheralded ways and even when it’s […]

Downtown Street Names: First Smith, Then Jones And More

Editor’s Note  Harriett Burt Editor’s Note:  This the second in a series of Charlene Perry columns documenting how early Martinez got its street names.  For those interested in how at least some streets were named south of the original southern city boundary at G Street, there will be satisfaction in future columns.  Having worked our […]

Street Numbers and Signs: Quite A Project in 1920-21

Walking or driving around town, it is easy to assume that street signs and house and building numbers have been there since the town was founded in 1848-49 or at least shortly thereafter.  But in fact, it was not until the town was 70 years old that the Martinez Chamber of Commerce pressured the City’s […]