Port Costa, California
PORT COSTA MUSEUM & ARCHIVE PROJECT
Our new museum in our old school building!
The Port Costa Museum & Archives Project was launched in 2019 by a group of PCCS volunteers and a San Francisco State Museum Studies Intern. We have been actively collecting and cataloging artifacts, documents, news articles, photographs, and oral history interviews. Our mission is to keep Port Costa’s history safe and accessible for the benefit of current and future generations.
The Museum is housed in the historic 1911 Port Costa School. Tours are available by appointment and include the history of the town of Port Costa; the story of the 15,000 square foot historic school building and its restoration; a step back in time into a historic classroom; and a searchable database of articles and artifacts about Port Costa and our residents.
Group tours can be scheduled by contacting Suzanne Statler – PortCostaMuseum@gmail.com A donation of $10.00 per person is suggested.
Interested in volunteering?
Our archiving project team catalogs items for the database and storage – it’s one way to start supporting the museum.
Also, we need:
Docent tour guides will be important in the next year!
If you have items to donate to the Museum, have questions or need information, please contact us at PortCostaMuseum@gmail.com
The Port Costa Museum is located at the Historic 1911 Port Costa School, 1 Plaza del Hambre, Port Costa, CA. It is managed and operated by the Port Costa Conservation Society – is a 501(c)(3). Donations to the Museum can be made through the PCCS Website Donation Button link above or mailed to PCCS, P.O. Box 36, Port Costa, CA 94569. Donations are tax-deductible.
Photo: The Port Costa Museum’s largest artifact is our 1933 Studebaker Fire Engine. It is the town’s first motorized fire engine and was purchased in 1936 with the proceeds of town women’s bake sales. It was donated to the Port Costa Conservation Society by the Crockett Carquinez Firefighters Association in 2019 and will be displayed and driven as a self-propelled piece of Port Costa history
Port Costa, CA Established in 1879
Port Costa’s history is traced back to 1879 when the town was founded. It was a major grain port for merchant sailing ships, with warehouses, saloons, and hotels on waterfront wharves reaching halfway to Crockett. From this deep water port, two of the largest train ferries in the world, the Solano and Contra Costa, steamed to Benicia and back. At the peak of the grain season, the town was home to 3000 inhabitants, most of them sailors, stevedores and railroaders.
Port Costa is surrounded by parkland. The East Bay Regional Park District currently maintains 1,305 acres of rolling hills, bluffs and shoreline along the Carquinez Strait from Crockett to Martinez. About a mile west of Port Costa, at Eckley, the Park District has installed a fishing pier and group campground. Hiking trails wind through oak and eucalyptus, with spectacular panoramic views of the water and East Bay hills.
Visiting Port Costa today is to be in touch with its past. Windjammers no longer anchor off the shore, the roundhouse and wharves are gone, but vintage buildings in the small commercial district remain, and homes of an earlier timeline the main street. The town’s population now is about 190, with two restaurants, one hotel, several shops, and a post office. The historic Port Costa School was closed in 1968, but it is being restored and revitalized as a community center by a volunteer group, the Port Costa Conservation Society.