Contra Costa County, California
Contra Costa County was incorporated in 1850 as one of the original 27 counties of the State of California, with the city of Martinez being the County Seat. It is one of the nine counties in the San-Francisco-Oakland Bay Area. Contra Costa County is the ninth most populous county in California, with its population being approximately 1,051,700 as of January 1, 2008.
The county's Spanish language name means opposite coast, because of its location opposite San Francisco, in an easterly direction, on San Francisco Bay. Southern portions of the county's territory, including the all of the bayside portions opposite San Francisco, and Northern portions of Santa Clara County were given up to form Alameda County in 1853.
The West County is the area near or on San Francisco and San Pablo bays. Real Estate in the region was extensively developed after the great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. Much of the housing in these areas is becoming quite expensive. As an alternative to moving to either the expensive central county, or the too-distant East County, this area is becoming gentrified, with a mix of races and income levels — a character actively sought by some home buyers. The downside of this is a corresponding lack of affordable housing for those in lower paying service jobs — a problem endemic throughout the region.
Contra Costa County Schools
There are 18 public schools districts within the Contra Costa County offering a variety of education options for children and adults, as well as numerous private schools throughout the county.
As part of the San Francisco Bay Area, Contra Costa County is close to some of the nation's top educational and research institutions. Contra Costa County itself hosts Saint Mary's College, California State University East Bay-Concord Campus, John F. Kennedy University and the Joint Genome Institute. The result is Contra Costa's greatest strength, an abundance of skilled workers.
Points of interest in Contra Costa County, California:
- Briones Regional Park - a secret wilderness surrounded by the towns of central Contra Costa County.
- John Muir National Historic Site - featuring the Victorian home of the noted author and preservationist.
- The Martinez Historical Society - houses a comprehensive library featuring the history of Contra Costa County.
- Prewett Family Waterpark - a 10-acre WaterPark offering five unique age appropriate water slides.
- Rosie the Riverter WW II Homefront National Historic Park - located in the wartime boomtown of Richmond, California.
- Water World - featuring more slides and attractions than any other water park in Northern California.
Contra Costa County Facts:
- Area - 802 sq mi
- Population - 1,019,640
- Median income - $73,039
- Median age of residents - 36 years old
- County seat - Martinez