Richmond is a large city in western Conta Costa county of over 103,000 residents. It borders the cities of San Pablo, Albany, El Cerrito and Pinole, and is situated n the eastern region of the San Francisco Bay Area.
The earliest inhabitants of Richmond were the Ohlone Indians, settling there an estimated 5,000 years ago. With the coming of the Europeans the Ohlone way of life gradually came to an end and was destroyed.
The first Europeans to visit the city’s future site were the Spanish explorers Pedro Fages and Reverend Juan Crespi who passed through the East Bay in 1772. After Mexico won independence from Spain in 1821, large tracts of land in California were granted to military heroes and loyalists. In 1823, Don Francisco Castro was given 17,000 acres of land in Contra Costa which became known as Rancho San Pablo. The city of Richmond was established on a portion of Castro’s land grant about seventy years after his death.
The city was incorporated on August 7, 1905. During World War II, Richmond developed rapidly as a heavy industrial town, chiefly devoted to shipbuilding. Its major activity now is as a seaport, with 26 million tons of goods shipped through Port Richmond in 1993, mostly oil and petroleum products.
In 1930 the Ford Motor Company opened an assembly plant which moved to Milpitas in the 1960s. The old Ford plant has been a National Historic Place since 1988, and has recently been converted into an events centre (Ford Point Building - The Craneway).