California Seaports

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA: ° Alameda: ° Berkeley ° Oakland
Contra Costa County: ° Crockett, ° Martinez ° Port Costa
Marin County: ° Point Reyes, ° San Rafael (China Camp), ° Sausalito, ° Tiburon
° Mendocino ° Sacramento
San Francisco (City and County)
Solano: ° Benicia (St. Paul's Church), ° VallejoMare Island
Sonoma: ° Petaluma ° Fort Ross
CENTRAL & SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: ° Long Beach ° Los Angeles ° Monterey County ° San Diego County ° Santa Barbara ° Santa Monica ° The Channel Islands


Don Ygnacio Martinez, the early 19th century commandante of the Presidio of San Francisco, received a 17,000-acre land grant from the Mexican government in 1824 that first brought him to the Alhambra Valley. Immigration.Early view of Martinez, California.

In 1824 (or 1829 -- conflicting dates), he received a land grant to Rancho El Pinole on the southern bank of the Carquinez Strait, and it is from this particular grant that the City later rose. The City was named after Martinez in 1849.

In 1847, Dr. Robert Semple contracted to provide ferry service from Martinez to Benicia, which for many years was the only crossing on the Carquinez Strait. The town was laid out in 1849 by Col. William M. Smith and named for Martinez. It became the county seat in 1850, but could not incorporate at the time because it lacked the 200 registered voters required, and only became a city in 1876.

Martinez had a number of wineries in the 1880 period and, by this time, Italian fishermen had begun their immigration, reaching a peak in the 1905 era. There was soon an Italian neighborhood with bakeries, groceries and pasta factories. Across town, an area known as Portuguese Flats, grew up around St Catherine's Church.

April 30, 1881, Sacramento Daily Union, Sacramento, California

Hotel Destroyed by Fire

Martinez, April 29th.--At about 8 o'clock this evening a fire broke out in one of the upper rooms of the Morgan House, in this town, and the building ws soon burned to the ground. Very little of the furniture or effects was saved. The building was insured in the Home Mutual for $2,500, and the fixtures and bar, owned by the lessee, J. E. Slinkey, were insured for $1,300 in the State Investment. The value of the building and contents was $5,000. The cause of the fire is unknown.

May 10, 1885, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California

White Wings.

The yachts Nellie, Fleur de Lis, Annie, Lurline, Casco and Halcyon of the Pacific Yacht fleet passed Front-street wharf yesterday afternoon at 1 o'clock on their way to Martinez. On arrival at Martinez the following is the programme: The time for hauling down and hoisting colors on the yachts at sundown and at 8 a.m. will be taken from a signal gun from the flag-ship. The yachts will start from Martinez, on their return to-day, at 10:30 a.m. At 10:15 a preparatory gun will be fired, and at 10:30 the starting gun. Time will be taken on passing the Granger's wharf at Martinez. The course will be direct to the Club House, Old Saucelito, passing home stake-boat, situated opposite Pacific Yacht Club House wharf, on starboard hand.

May 23, 1887, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California

About 800 passengers, on the steamer Tamalpais, enjoyed a fine trip to Vallejo, Benicia and Martinez under Messrs. Hink & Almas' management yesterday. The first United States Artillery Band rendered excellent music. The Spanish Students also made themselves favorites. A hall in Martinez gave those wishing to dance an opportunity. These excursions will take place every Sunday.

March 15, 1893, San Francisco Call

Martinez to Offer a Site for the Institution

Martinez, March 14. The citizens have held a meeting to secure a land site to donate to the trustees of the Hopkins Academy of Oakland, as an inducement to locate the academy here. Committees were appointed to ask for subscriptions and to visit Oakland with a formal offer to the academy trustees.

June 15, 1889, Daily Alta California, San Francisco

Bay Excursion.

The fourth bay excursion to Martinez and way ports, on the steamer Tamalpais, takes place to-morrow, boat leaving Clay-street wharf at 10:15 a. m. Passengers will have time to spend four hours in Vallejo and two hours in Martinez. The boat will return to the city at 7:30 p.m.

April 21, 1892, San Francisco Call, San Francisco, California

Martinez Winery April 20: It is reported that a large winery will be built here this spring by Mr. Magilavacca of Napa.

April 20, 1898, San Francisco Call, San Francisco, California

Excitement at Martinez

Martinez, April 19. There was great excitement here to-night when the train bearing Batteries C and F, Third United States Artillery, passed through. A big crowd was at the depot, and the soldiers were cheered, flags waved and parting salutes given.

May 14, 1898, San Francisco Call, San Francisco, California

Charles B. Jones Accused of Having Defrauded a District Attorney

MARTINEZ. May 13. Charles R. Jones, well known in Martinez, Crockett and Oakland, and at one time traveling agent of the Renters Co-operative Investment Company of San Francisco, is a fugitive from justice. He is wanted on a charge of embezzlement, preferred by District Attorney Brown, and for beating the landlord of the Hotel Crockett out of $60.

For some time Jones has been at Crockett placing loans. He often came to Martinez and did business here. It is a rule of the company that no money is to ba received by an agent from any person applying for a loan, but it seems Jones violated this rule while in Martinez. Attorney Brown, in doing business for clients, asked for a loan, and Jones first collected $50 from him. Since that time Brown has not seen man nor money.

January 30, 1899, San Francisco Call, San Francisco, California


BENICIA, Jan. 29. A clerk named Malcolm, belonging to the general service, was drowned to-day at Martinez. He came here a few days ago to assist in making out the muster rolls for the Eighth California Infantry. His body is in Martinez in charge of the Coroner.

Immigration.Merchants of Grain: 
The Power and Profits of the Five Giant Companies at the Center of the World's Food Supply
Five Companies at the Center of the World's Food Supply.
Dan Morgan
Details how a handful of families have controlled the worlds grain trade for centuries. A great piece for families that till the soil, but one that is even more important to the people who live in the city; and have no idea of the power and control that these families wield. 
From Captain John R. Sutton: "I am a captain on Mississippi River towboats. I have pushed millions of tons of grain down the Mississippi River for years. But I never really understood the gobal impact of the world's grain company's until I read this book."

Immigration.Family Skeletons: Exploring the Lives of Our Disreputable AncestorsFamily Skeletons.
Simon Fowler, Ruth Paley
Most families have a skeleton. You may have already discovered yours via the grapevine or your own research. Or you may simply be intrigued by the dark side of our past. This popular history explores the behaviour of our disreputable ancestors from the unfortunate to the criminal, and introduces a host of colourful characters including 17th century witches, 18th century 'mollies' and Victorian baby farmers. Thematically arranged by skeleton, the text also describes how society punished and provided for its 'offenders' - as well as the changing attitudes that could ultimately bring acceptance.

Immigration.Migration in World HistoryMigration in World History. 
(Themes in World History) 
Patrick Manning
Drawing on examples from a wide range of geographical regions and thematic areas, noted world historian Patrick Manning guides the reader through trade patterns, including the early Silk Road and maritime trade, effect of migration on empire and industry, earliest human migrations, major language groups, various leading theories around migration.

The Project

Maritime Nations, Ships, Sea Captains, Merchants, Merchandise, Ship Passengers and VIPs sailing into San Francisco during the 1800s.



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Sources: As noted on entries and through research centers including National Archives, San Bruno, California; CDNC: California Digital Newspaper Collection; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; and Maritime Museums and Collections in Australia, China, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Wales, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, etc.

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