*Housing Unit information from 2000 Census
PINOLE'S HISTORIC HOUSING
Native American settlement of the West Contra Costa shoreline began at least 5,000 years ago, with the Pinole region serving as home to the Huchiun Indians. The recorded history of Pinole dates back to the early 1700s when a Spanish commandant, Don Pedro Fages, led an exploration through Contra Costa County.
In 1823, Don Ignacio Martinez, commandant of the Presidio of San Francisco, received a land grant of more than 17,000 acres from the Mexican government. This land became known as "El Pinole". During the 1850s Bernardo Fernandez, a Portuguese immigrant, started a trading facility on the shores of San Pablo Bay and eventually built the historic Fernandez Mansion which still stands today at the end of Tennent Avenue. From these early beginnings a small but thriving community grew into the city we now know as Pinole.
By 1878 the advance of the Southern Pacific Railroad allowed the California Powder Works Company to move to what became Hercules, Pinole's neighbor to the North. The company built both the plant and its housing and became the largest producer of dynamite in the world by the turn of the century.
A large number of historic residences, all of which were built for individuals who worked in Pinole or at the Hercules Powder Plant, remain in good condition throughout the Old Town area of Pinole. Due to the stability of the Powder Plant until the 1970s, Pinole's residential neighborhoods were not exposed to major changes created by land development or speculation. These homes, which can be categorized as Queen Anne Cottages (1880-1905), Hip Roof Cottages (1870-1910), and Bungalows (1915-1930), are simple in character and gain their importance by their neighborhood groupings.
For more information, see the History section.