Tales of Contra Costa County

Our members provide a great source of knowledge related to historical issues. Many of their articles have appeared in the Monthly Bulletins and are reproduced here for your information.

As our list of essays has grown quite large, we have recently grouped them into a number of categories. To browse the list of essays in a particular category, just click on the category name, and a list of the essays in that category will appear.

Superior Court Judge Bray was the co-founder of the Contra Costa Historical Society. During the late 1930's and early 40's, Justice Bray gave a series of weekly radio addresses over Station KLX from Oakland, California. Since his essays cover a variety of the categories here, we have kept his addresses in their own category at the bottom of this list.

James Witt Dougherty and the Dougherty ValleyBeverly Lane
The Pacheco Farm Journals Of Thomas C. FinneyDean McLeod
The Strange Mountain Man of Mount DiabloBill Mero
Gold and the Harlans of San Ramon ValleyBeverly Lane
Myths, Legends and Facts, the Final Days of James KirkerBill Mero
The Mysterious Mr. LeidesdroffBill Mero
Love, Life and Death on the California Frontier: A Woman's Life in Old Contra CostaBill Mero
May's Electronic Make-OverRichard Ogar
Captain Joseph R. Walker, Shadow MasterREBrammer
Samuel Russell - Early San Ramon PioneerBeverly Lane
Cattle on a Thousand Hills - The Hispanic EraBeverly Lane
The Gold Rush Transforms Cattle RanchingBeverly Lane
Modern RanchingBeverly Lane
They Came First - the Indians of San Ramon ValleyBeverly Lane
First Female Deputy Sheriff in CaliforniaMarjorie Newton
Live From the Archives: Artist with a capital "A"Melissa Jacobson
Living in the Past and Loving ItHarriett Burt
Bought and Saved For Posterity: Faire and Henry Sax and the John Muir HomeHarriett Burt
Remembering Peg Plummer and Charlotte McHarry: How They Loved the Martinez LibraryHarriett Burt
Charlene Perry: A Continuing Gift to This CommunityHarriett Burt
Founder of the City of Martinez: Colonel William SmithHarriett Burt
The Martinez Adobe - A Ticket to HistoryHarriett Burt
Susan B. Anthony Spoke Here!Harriett Burt
Remembering and Honoring Nancy BoydHarriett Burt
Remnants of The Last Man's ClubMelissa Jacobson
The "MO" 1850s Census MysteryMelissa Jacobson
Contra Costa County and How Lake Tahoe Got Its NameBill Mero
Snakes in the Grass: Copperheads in Contra Costa?Bill Mero
Death Comes to Contra CostaBill Mero
Diablo Nationals Fight the RedsBill Mero
Don Victor Castro Fights the FrenchBill Mero
Aliens Arrive in Diablo ValleyDean McLeod
Grizzly!Jacob Wright Harlan
Megaflood & Megadrought - How They Changed Contra CostaBill Mero
Sugar Wars and the Bloody Streets of CrockettBill Mero
The Great Byron Train DisasterBill Mero
Christmas 1914Melissa Jacobson
Gone to the CityMelissa Jacobson
Build a Ferry and they will ComeHarriett Burt
Surveying the Martinez Town Site More Profitable than Panning for Gold in 1849Harriett Burt
Nancy Andal Recalls Peace Corps Service With Nancy BoydHarriett Burt
Unearthing the PastMelissa Jacobson
Holiday Homes & the Home TeamMelissa Jacobson
Top Ten Shenanigans Surrounding St. Patrick′s Day, Contra Costa County 1913Melissa Jacobson
The First 'Community' of Bay PointDean McLeod
Historic Martinez Court HousesBill Mero
Early County Public SchoolsBernard Freedman
Remembering Byron Hot SpringsPatricia Frumenti
Horse SenseAndrew H. Young
Occupational Snapshots of 1906 Contra Costa CountyBill Mero
Paradise Lost: Building a Socialist Utopia in Contra Costa CountyBill Mero
Treasure Ship of the SacramentoBill Mero
Looking Back - "Modest Mansions" Now Martinez LandmarksHarriett Burt
What You Would Have Seen at the John Muir House in 1952Harriett Burt
The Grange Returns to MartinezHarriett Burt
Ownership - People, Property, and OtherwiseMelissa Jacobson
The Black Hills of Contra Costa CountyBill Mero
The Petticoat Navy of Contra Costa CountyBill Mero
The Looting of California - Bankers, Corruption and TheftBill Mero
'Hang'em High' - Sudden Death In Old Contra CostaBill Mero
Raid on Marsh RanchoBill Mero
Making MoneyAndrew H. Young
Joaquin Murrieta: Literary Fiction or Historical Fact?Bill Mero
Gunfight on Pinole CreekBill Mero
River PiratesBill Mero
Likes Murderers: Sheriff Veale Down UnderBill Mero
Once Upon a Time in the WestBill Mero
Still Waters run DeepAndrew H. Young
Ten Days or $10Melissa Jacobson
Committed: The Unfolding of Human WreckageMelissa Jacobson
Top Ten Pleas to Reduce Speeding Tickets, circa 1930Melissa Jacobson
TitleDate AiredAuthor
CharcoalNov. 23,1936Judge A.F. Bray
Rancho San PabloDec. 12,1936Judge A.F. Bray
Elam Brown Opposes Dueling in Contra CostaFeb. 15, 1937Judge A.F. Bray
Indian Exploitation in Contra CostaFeb. 15, 1937Judge A.F. Bray
Ferry ServiceJuly 19, 1937Judge A.F. Bray
Indian Slavery In Contra Costa CountyFeb. 22, 1938Judge A.F. Bray
The Law and Moraga WomenMar. 7, 1938Judge A.F. Bray
Mt. Diablo Coal and the Fight Between The RailroadsAug. 22,1938Judge A.F. Bray
Double-Cross at the MinesAug. 14, 1939Judge A.F. Bray
High Moraga Land PricesSep. 4, 1939Judge A.F. Bray
The Rise and Fall of a Frontier Debating SocietyNov. 13, 1939Judge A.F. Bray
Crockett Land TaxesMar. 18, 1940Judge A.F. Bray
'Murder,' He SaidMay 20, 1940Judge A.F. Bray
Crockett vs. MartinezOct. 7, 1940Judge A.F. Bray
Black DiamondOct. 28, 1940Judge A.F. Bray


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