Explore Pinole’s ranching history
at May 17 PHS program at Kaiser
The Early Ranches of Pinole will be the program at the Pinole Historical Society’s
next membership meeting on Friday, May 17, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in conference rooms 2A and 2B of
the Kaiser Permanente Medical Office Building.
As this is our annual meeting, PHS members will elect directors of the society.
The upper and lower Pinole Valley attracted 19th-century settlers whose livelihood depended on
farming and ranching. The geography of rolling hills and fertile soil produced a ranching culture
that drove Pinole’s economy before and after the town’s incorporation in 1903.
Cattle drives and caravans of hay and grain wagons from the valley hinterland were familiar sights for Pinoleans.
This yearly parade came along Tennent Avenue through downtown to the bay-front railroad, warehouse, and wharf
complex called Pinole Landing. The practice continued until the mid 1940s and 1950s.
Surrounding dairy farms provided locals with milk, butter, and cheese. However, in the 1920s and 1930s,
tomatoes became the new cash crop of the Pinole Valley. By the 1950s and 1960s, the tomato fields and
cattle-covered hillsides were replaced with homes, as Pinole became part of the new suburbia.
The streets of Pinole are a roll call of hard-working pioneer ranch names — Martinez, Tennent,
Fernandez, Ellerhorst, Fitzgerald, Simas, Rose, Faria, Scanlan, Buckley, Silva, and Mohring.
Visit the new PHS exhibit, The Early Ranches of Pinole, at the Pinole Library.
There are some interesting artifacts from Pinole’s early history on display.
This third exhibit joins our two permanent exhibits.
The Pinole Library was honored for its extraordinary support of historic preservation activities in Pinole on May 17, 2012,
at the Pinole Historical Society Annual Membership Meeting at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Office Building.
Librarians Ian Richards and Tim Madigan, and Friends of the Library board member Elaine Sturtevant, were recognized for their
efforts in preserving the city’s history.
In addition to allowing the PHS to use three of the library’s exhibit cases,
there are photo exhibits of old Pinole and a photo exhibit featuring images from the Pinole Police
Department’s archives on the library’s walls. The latter display was assembled by former
Pinole Police Commander Matthew Messier, who gave two wonderful presentations to PHS members in recent years.
The PHS and the Pinole Library are working on more history programs for our community.
on city's website
The city of Pinole’s website is featuring several historical videos
of interest to Pinole residents, courtesy of Pinole Community TV.
These videos may be enjoyed on your computer from the
City of Pinole’s website:
• PCTV Historic Walking Tour series
• Interview with Jack Meehan and Tom Cutino
• George Vincent’s 2010 walking tour of Historic Downtown Pinole
• George Vincent’s 2011 walking tour of Historic Downtown Pinole
• Interview with Ed LeFebvre
• Interview with Charlotte Shea
• Interview with Alex Clark
• Pinole Historical Society Book Signing Ceremony
• 2011 Veterans Day Memorial and Flag Retirement Ceremony
• 2010 Veterans Day Memorial and Flag Retirement Ceremony
• 2009 Veterans Day Memorial and Flag Retirement Ceremony
• 2008 Veterans Day Memorial and Flag Retirement Ceremony
• Growing up Pinole
Clyde Maskal made a 13-minute slideshow of the 2012 Veterans Day Memorial and Flag Retirement
Ceremony from many of the photos he took at the event.
Click here to view Clyde’s slide show.
Listen to audio of
February 18, 2010
Det. Sgt. Matt Messier of the Pinole Police Department gave a fascinating presentation on the history
of the Pinole Police Department, with particular emphasis on the 1929 murder of Pinole Constable
Arthur (Jerry) McDonald during the robbery of the Rodeo branch of the Bank of Pinole.
Listen to Det. Sgt. Messier's presentation.
Then and Now”
The most-recently installed PHS exhibit at the Pinole Library features photographs from Pinole’s past and present.
This exhibit joins our permanent exhibit featuring artifacts, photos, and memorabilia from our city’s history.
The PHS thanks the Pinole Library for the exhibit space.
Library hours are Monday (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Wednesday (2 to 8 p.m.), Friday (noon to 5 p.m.), and Saturday (noon to 5 p.m.).
at monthly PHS
The PHS Board of Directors meets on the second Wednesday of every month from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the
Pinole Senior Center. At these meetings the board discusses policies and procedures, receives reports, and plans events
The public is welcome at these meetings and may speak on any item on the agenda. There is also a public-comment time
at the beginning of each meeting for people to speak on items not on the agenda.
See the new Pinole Police History page on the city’s website.
You will learn about Wild-West shootouts, cattle drives downtown, 1920s gangsters, World War II sabotage,
Fiesta Del Pinole riots, and other historical events you had no idea had occurred!
Learn about Pinole’s first lawmen, like saloon-owning Constable John Collins and rough-and-tumble Arthur McDonald,
who was killed during a shootout in 1929. See how the Pinole Police Department grew from one famous, ticket-writing
motorcycle cop to a professional, modern police force. Read about the three officers who paid the ultimate sacrifice
for this community when they took on violent criminals.
The new Pinole Police History page is full of
great, colorful stories and fun pictures! You will feel like you’re walking through time!
The PHS thanks supporter Tom Parsons, who was kind enough to make
Google Map of the Pinole Historic Walking Tour.
Check out Tom’s handiwork here.