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Walnut Creek History

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Dianne volunteers as a docent for the Walnut Creek Historical Society offering downtown walking tours to local third graders--and adults who act like third graders! Here are a few of her favorite tidbits about Walnut Creek:

•The Volvon Tribe of the Bay Miwok Indians lived in early Walnut Creek, roaming the glorious grasslands, streams and natural resources of the area.

•Today's Walnut Creek is located within the earlier site of four Mexican land grants. One of these land grants – measuring 18,000 acres (73 km2) – belonged to Juana Sanchez de Pacheco, (say that three times fast!) an was called Rancho Arroyo de Las Nueces y Bolbones, named after the principal creek in the area--Arroyo de las Nueces  or Walnut Creek! 

•With the coming of American settlers following the Mexican–American War, a small settlement called "The Corners" emerged, named because it was the place where roads from Pacheco and Lafayette met. The site of this first American settlement is found today at the intersection of Mt. Diablo Boulevard and North Main Street.


•The first town settler was William Slusher, who built a dwelling on the bank of Walnut Creek, which was called "Nuts Creek" by the Americans in 1849 near the location where Liberty Bell Plaza stands. 

•In December 1862 a United States Post Office was established, and the community was named "Walnut Creek".

•With the 1951 opening of the downtown Broadway Shopping Center (now Broadway Plaza), Contra Costa County's first major retail center, the city took off in a new direction, and its population more than quadrupled – from 2,460 in 1950 to 9,903 in 1960.


The Walnut Creek Historical Society has markers

throughout the downtown area with QR codes

to enjoy your own, private tour! Enjoy!

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