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7 Pieces Of History Near Antioch, CA

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Antioch, California, is a city located in Contra Costa County, known for its rich history and cultural significance. Over the years, the city has been a part of several historic events that have shaped the region and played a significant role in its culture and development. In this article, we will explore seven key events that have taken place near Antioch over the years.

1. The founding of Antioch: Antioch was founded in 1850 by two brothers, William and Joseph Smith, who named the city after the biblical city of Antioch. The area was primarily agricultural until the early 20th century when coal mining was introduced.

2. The discovery of coal: In the late 1800s, coal was discovered in the hills east of Antioch, which led to the establishment of the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve. The coal from the area was used to fuel the industrial revolution and played a significant role in the growth of the San Francisco Bay Area.

3. Prohibition and the speakeasy: During the prohibition era in the 1920s, Antioch became a hub for bootlegging and hosting illegal speakeasies. It was said that “rum runners” would park their cars in the hills east of Antioch before sneaking into town to sell their illegal goods.

4. WWII shipyard: During World War II, a shipyard was built in nearby Pittsburg to build Liberty ships. The shipyard employed thousands of workers, including women who played a vital role in the war effort.

5. The completion of the Delta-Mendota Canal: The construction of the Delta-Mendota Canal was completed in the 1950s near Antioch, which allowed water to be transported from the San Francisco Bay to Central California, allowing farmers to irrigate their crops more efficiently.

6. The Antioch Wilderness: The Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge, located on the outskirts of Antioch, is home to endangered plants and insects that are only found in the region. One example is the Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly, which is only found in the Antioch Dunes.

7. The Antioch Bridge: Completed in 1926, the Antioch Bridge was the first automobile bridge to cross the San Joaquin River, which allowed for easier travel between Antioch and Sacramento.

Overall, the history of Antioch, California, is a long and fascinating one. From its early days as an agricultural area to its current status as a bustling city, Antioch has been a part of several pivotal moments in California’s history. These seven historic events shed light on the significant role Antioch has played in the development of the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.
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