There are many historic places in the San Ramon Valley which provide great family outings. Here are ten locations in the valley which you might enjoy visiting, all recommended by the Museum of the San Ramon Valley.
For a glimpse of PREHISTORIC SAN RAMON VALLEY, come to the Museum at 205 Railroad Avenue in Danville (open Tu-Fri 1-4, Sat 10-1). You will find a fossilized mastodon jaw (compliments of the U. C. Museum of Paleontology) which was found at the Blackhawk Fossil Quarry. There are other shell fossils and pictures of prehistoric animals to see.
You might have wondered WHERE IS THE SAN RAMON VALLEY? The valley extends from the County line on the south to the Walnut Creek border on the north. To see an artist’s tile rendition of our history, visit the Gateway Centre History Wall, at San Ramon Valley Blvd. and Alcosta in San Ramon. Walk south from Walgreen’s to find it.
Information on the GEOGRAPHY OF THE VALLEY can be found at the staging area which leads to Las Trampas Regional Wilderness. There are several interpretive panels at this parking lot and you may want to take a hike while you are there. Travel west on Crow Canyon Road in San Ramon, turn north at Bollinger Canyon Road and drive to the very end.
A quiet area in Hap Magee Ranch Park features the INDIANS OF THE VALLEY. This Alamo-Danville Park can be reached by walking east from the Iron Horse Trail at Camille Ave. or by driving to the north end of La Gonda Way. The Tatcan Indian commemorative site is on the San Ramon Creek side, just west of the Canine Corral.
While you are near Magee Park, you may want to read a plaque about Spanish EXPLORERS at the corner of El Portal and Danville Blvd. The first expedition came through the valley in 1772.
For information on MISSION AND RANCHO TIMES, you should return to the Museum and take a look at the original mission roof tile and Amador family pictures. There are also pictures on the wall and in the narrative frieze, plus a branding iron to handle. Ask to see the carreta model (wooden wagon the Spanish used).
And don’t miss the Alamo Cemetery at 130 El Portal where you can learn about EARLY PIONEERS. If you walk up the main path, you will see grave sites of these families: Podva (Ruby was a longtime Danville postmaster), Stone (Stone Valley Rd. was named for this family), Boone (Joel was descended from Daniel Boone) and Noia (pioneer Portuguese immigrant family).
EARLY SCHOOLS: A favorite trip for families is the Tassajara School House at 1650 Finley Road, east of Danville off Camino Tassajara. The 1889 school is owned and maintained by the SRV Fire Protection District, has picnic tables, and hosts the Museum’s third grade one-room school program each spring.
The valley’s AGRICULTURAL HISTORY is featured at Forest Home Farms Historic Park in San Ramon, 19953 San Ramon Valley Blvd. Look for an opportunity to take a docent tour or attend an event at the former Boone ranch. There are barns, ranch equipment, old tractors, plus the Boone House (1900) and the Glass House (1877).
For information on the valley’s TRANSPORTATION, pop into the museum again. Of course, the museum itself is a restored 1891 Southern Pacific Depot. Visitors can view several displays on the San Ramon Branch Line (steam and later diesel railroad), can learn about the short-lived electric railway (1914-1924) and buy some books about the valley’s rails and history.
Produced by the Museum of the San Ramon Valley 205 Railroad Avenue, Danville. Open Tuesday-Friday 1-4, Saturday 10-1. (925) 837-3750. All rights reserved, 2005.