Nestled in the foothills of Mt. Diablo, Concord is the largest city in Contra Costa County with approximately 123,634 residents occupying 31.1 square miles. Its central location offers easy access to San Francisco, Oakland, the Silicon Valley, the redwoods of Northern California, the wineries of Napa Valley, the rugged coastline of Monterey, and the astonishing beauty of the the Sierra mountain range. Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) high-speed trains, local bus services, Amtrak, ferries and international airports provide transportation options for residents, commuters and visitors.
Concord has attracted some of the country’s leading financial and commercial businesses. Affordability, accessibility and a skilled workforce contribute to Concord’s appeal. Concord’s varied housing choices include new homes, apartments, established neighborhoods and townhouses in a broad spectrum of price ranges. Eighteen City parks, a state-of-the-art hospital, a wide variety of restaurants, regional shopping centers, two community centers, a senior center and first-rate weather join the list of Concord’s assets.
Concord is a General Law City and operates under the Council-Manager form of government. The five members of the City Council are elected at large for four-year staggered terms. The Council selects representatives to serve as Mayor and Vice- Mayor for what has traditionally been a one-year term. Under this system, the Council appoints the City Manager and the City Attorney. The departments that make up the city government include City Attorney, Community Development, Economic Development & Base Reuse, Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Office of the City Manager, Parks & Recreation, Police and Public Works.
An Early History of Concord
Once the Town of Todos Santos on the Land Grant of Monte Del Diablo
- A small tribelet of Chupcan (Bay Miwok) Indians were the first know inhabitants of what is today Diablo Valley. Dominated by Mt. Diablo to their south, the Chupcan lived along the valley's streams, which flowed north to the wide tule marshes on the edge of Suisun Bay. They shared the valley and the oak-covered hills with herds of elk, deer and antelope. Salmon filled the streams; grizzly bears roamed foothills.
- In 1772, Spanish explorers, led by Captain Pedro Fages and Father Juan Crespi, became the first Europeans to cross this area. For the next 50 to 60 years, the Spanish would explore Diablo Valley, but not settle in the area.
In 1828, Don Salvio Pacheco petitioned the Mexican government for lands in the valley and received the "Monte del Diablo" land grant in 1834. The 17,921-acre grant covered the valley from the Walnut Creek channel east to the hills and generally from the Mt. Diablo foothills north to Suisun Bay.
- The name "Monte del Diablo" originally had been used by Spanish soldiers to describe a dense thicket (monte) of willows at the north end of our valley. The soldiers believed the thicket was possessed by evil, devilish Man spirits, hence the name "Monte del Diablo," thicket of the devil.
- Don Salvio's son, Fernando Pacheco, was sent immediately to occupy the grant and begin cattle operations on the Pacheco family's new rancho that he managed from an adobe still standing in Hillcrest Park. The family joined him in 1846. Don Salvio's grand adobe, which is still located in downtown Concord on Adobe Street, became the business, social and cultural center of the region.
- Don Francisco Galindo married Don Salvio's daughter, Maria Dolores Manuela. The Galindo's wood frame home stands today near Clayton Road and Galindo Street.
- A new town called Pacheco, adjacent to the rancho, prospered as an industrial and shipping center. Its prosperity, though, was short lived due to fires, flooding and the 1868 earthquake.
- In 1868, Don Salvio Pacheco, his son Fernando and his son-in-law Francisco Galindo created a new town at the center of their rancho. They called their new town Todos Santos (All Saints), and, in 1869, offered free lots to the merchants and residents of Pacheco. Bonifacio Street marked its perimeter on the northwest, East Street on the northeast, Contra Costa Street on the southeast, and Galindo Street on the southwest.
- The name Todos Santos would not identify the new town for long. Within months after Todos Santos had been recorded as the official name of the subdivision, Concord was heralded by the Contra Costa Gazette as the actual name of the town. In an article dated April 17, 1869, the paper congratulated the residents of Concord for adopting such a meaningful name for their new village. They highlighted the harmonious spirit and euphony of this fine name. Despite later published reminders and protests by Fernando Pacheco, Concord became the name of our new town.
By 1879, a population of 300 was reported. It would double by February 1905, when incorporation of the "Town of Concord" was approved by a local eight vote margin.
It would take 35 years for the population to double again. At the beginning of World War II, small town Concord had an extraordinary high school, a modern hospital, five churches, two railroads, a fine library, a central plaza, two cinemas, a full-service downtown commercial area, tree-lined streets, comfortable homes, and a population of only 1,400. The war years brought exposure; the postwar years began a population boom. By 1948, the population had grown to 6,500.
- Today, the farms, orchards, and the old rancho are neighborhoods; the classic old downtown has a multistory skyline. Concord has a diverse population of approximately 130,000 and is the largest city in Contra Costa County. Confident of its future, Concord is especially proud of its rich history.