San Ramon Pioneers Joel Harlan, Minerva Fowler and Leo and Jane Norris came to California in 1846 and resisted going with the Donner party on their new route. They missed the early Sierra winter and the Donners did not.
A leaning live oak, seen on the hillside from Bollinger Canyon and Anza Court, was a corner boundary for Jose Amador's Rancho San Ramon in 1833.
Year 1850: First permanent American settlers in the San Ramon Valley. Leo and Mary Jane Norris bought the northwest corner of the Amador's Rancho San Ramon, near the intersection of today's Bollinger and Crow Canyon Roads.
Year 1851: First wood frame house built by Leo Norris and William Lynch. They also planted 12-acres of barley which yielded 110 bushels per acre.
Years 1852-1859: Early post office in the San Ramon Valley opened in November of 1852. It closed in 1859 and reopened in 1873.
The first house Joel and Minerva Harlan built was listed as a marker for the new Alameda-Contra Costa County line in 1853. His brother-in-law H.C. Smith evidently put that description together. Later they moved their home to its present location and called it "El Nido". William Langdon, a graduate of the San Ramon Grammar School, became the S.F. District Attorney, a 1906 candidate for Governor, and a Justice on the Supreme Court.
The Crow family, staunch Republicans in the 1860's, put a raucous end to one July 4th recitation of the Declaration of Independence saying "there'll be no secession speeches here!"
The Bartlett pear orchard at the Bishop Ranch, begun in 1911, was known as the largest single orchard of Bartlett pears in the world.
Today's Dublin San Ramon Services District has had several names. It began as the Parks Community Service District in 1953 by farmers who wanted new water supplies. In 1961 it became the Valley Community Services District and provided a wide range of services to the Volk-McLain housing developments. Its present name was adopted in 1977 and its parks now belong to the cities of Dublin and San Ramon.
Parks with Historic References: