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History of Pleasanton, California

Today, Pleasanton is named "City of Planned Progress" home to tech firms, major corporations and fairgrounds in Alameda County. But it was nothing more than an idea a century and a half ago, an immobilization scheme planned in the Bay area to benefit from the railroad 's growth through the Amador-Livermore Valley. Discover the evolution of Pleasanton from open to a flourishing, modern city. A thorough insight into the history of Pleasanton from the Ohlone meeting with the Spanish to the formal integration into the city and beyond.


The Valley was full of wetlands hosting a rich diversity of animal and plant life when the first Native Americans arrived more than 5,000 years ago. The Ohlone people learned to manage the landscape with a light touch, so that it filled their needs from year to year. Fresh improvements were introduced to the Valley by European settlers. Agriculture and large cattle herds were introduced by the Spanish, turning the Ohlone Indians into farm workers and cowboys and wiping out much of the wildlife. The valley soon became cattle grazing land with the development of Mission San Jose to the south. 


The town of Pleasanton embodies the changes in the past two and a half centuries that have come to the Valley. Anglo and other settlers increased agriculture after the Gold Rush, drained the marshes, and brought railroads to link the Valley with the rest of California and the country. It developed into a city when the Transcontinental Railroad came through the Valley from a roadside stop called Alisal on the lands of the Bernal family's Rancho El Valle de San Jose. Until the Second World War, The Valley remained predominantly a place of farmers and ranchers. More permanent production, sparked by the Cold War and the exponential growth of the San Francisco Bay Area, was accompanied by a temporary influx of soldiers and workers. High-tech research and commercial development brought thousands of new residents into the nation.

Pleasanton remained primarily a repository for farmers throughout the Valley, up to the time of World War II after Bavarian development,  making Pleasanton a dorm community and home for businesses. Attempts to regulate this development have contributed to the 'planned change' agenda, which has always been the touchstone for urban planning.   

Pleasanton, California has so many amazing sites to see.  Here’s a brief list you should check out on your next visit: 

  • Agustin Bernal Park

  • Pleasanton's Museum on Main

  • Alviso Adobe Community Park 

  • Flavortown 

  • Ravenswood Historical Site 

  • Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park

  • Pleasanton Downtown Association

  • Lighthouse Baptist Church

  • Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation

All of these wonderful parks are located just a short distance from our location in Dublin, California at 6483 Sierra Lane Suite 106.

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