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Historic Sites

 

On this page you will find pictures and information about historic sites in El Sobrante. As more sites come to our attention, the number of identified sites will grow. The criteria for adding a site to this page is somewhat subjective, but, in general, each site must be at least 50 years old and be of historic significance in the development of our community.

Thode Ranch House

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H. Nicholas Thode immigrated from Germany to San Francisco in 1869.  Shortly thereafter he moved to Contra Costa County, and in 1880 he built this home along what is now Valley View Road near the intersection with Olinda Road.  Remarkably, the structure has remained relatively unchanged over the years, the changes made being mostly cosmetic.  
 


Thode's property extended to the west and included the Oak Grove area (later La Honda Bowl) that served as a favorite stop on the California and Nevada Railroad.  Thode made a little extra money by supplying picnickers with food and drink.

Maloney Ranch

In the late 1800s, Tom Maloney owned a large ranch along what is now Appian Way, stretching from the present site of the Post Office to San Pablo Avenue.  Until 1953, the upper section of Appian Way (from the "Y"), was known as Maloney Road.  The original farmhouse, much altered, is still standing, just north of the Post Office.

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Campbell Home

Walter and Alice Campbell moved from Rodeo to El Sobrante in 1934.  They built this home along what is now known as Campbell Lane, which leads to the Canyon Pool.  Their son, Edward, grew up in this home and became a volunteer fireman.  He married a girl who worked on the Skow Dairy, across the San Pablo Dam Road.  He lived all his life in El Sobrante.

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Nunes Ranch Barn

In 1859, Andrew Abrott and F.W. Weyhe acquired 512 acres of land in the hills above San Pablo Creek.  Both men built homes and went into ranching.  In 1914, Jacinto Nunes and his wife, Maria, immigrants from the Azores, leased part of the land from the Abrott family.  Nunes family descendants still carry on ranching on this property.

 

The original Abrott ranch house was destroyed in a fire, but this barn is part of the original ranch and is still in use. 
 

The Nunes ranch is located off Castro Ranch Road, not far from the Carriage Hills subdivisions.

Oliver's Hardware 

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Park Theatre

1949 was a big year for El Sobrante, witnessing the opening of a brand-new fire station and its first, and only, movie theatre.  The theatre was built and owned by Dick Jeha.  His brother, Bob, owned the Park Rexall Pharmacy, which was originally attached to the theatre building.

Park Theatre, 1953
Park Theatre, 1953

The Park Theatre, in downtown El Sobrante, opened in 1949, at the corner of the Dam Road and Hillcrest. It is the only movie theatre our town has ever had.

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Park Theatre today
Park Theatre today

The old Park Theatre still stands today, serving for years as a church. The structure attached to the right side was the original site of the Park/Rexall Pharmacy.

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Park Theatre, 1953
Park Theatre, 1953

The Park Theatre, in downtown El Sobrante, opened in 1949, at the corner of the Dam Road and Hillcrest. It is the only movie theatre our town has ever had.

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Ed's Tavern

Ed's Place is the oldest continuously operating bar in El Sobrante.  Ed Banducci bought the property in 1938.  What, if anything, was there before is something of a mystery.  Some say there was a "Road House" at the site, but it is not clear what this might mean.  Research is ongoing.

Vogel's Market

One of the oldest and largest buildings in town, the old Vogel's Market has been home to many businesses.  It is currently unoccupied.