Port Costa is a small town on the  Carquinez Strait, located between Crockett and Martinez in west Contra Costa County. Across the water is Benicia, in Solano County. The map is from 1901, showing the land and waterway as it appeared before the Carquinez and Benicia bridges spanned the strait. On the map, the winding "wagon road" between Port Costa and Crockett is now part of the East Bay Regional Park District’s trail system.

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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.

click on photo to enlarge

click on photo to enlarge


Port Costa is surrounded by park land . 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.

click on photo to enlarge


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 time  line the main street. The town’s population now is about 250, 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. One of the regular fund raisers supporting the community center project is the Port Costa Talent Show, a highly popular entertainment attraction.

photo by Ovid Holmes

Pages link to special events, such as the Port Costa Talent Show and the Port Costa Car Show and Crafts Fair. Also, via an electronic version of the Port Costa Conservation Society Newsletter, we report on local happenings and features.  There are additional web sites on the Home Page to help you find your way around Port Costa, such as:

http://www.ebparks.org East Bay Regional Park District maps, trails, wildlife, latest Park District news

http://www.openspacecouncil.org Bay Area trail system maps, guide to public transit

http://www.claytonbailey.com Art, science, education and entertainment: Renowned Port Costa artist features his robots, ceramic art, and daily sunset photographs

Queries can be directed to:   pccs.info@yahoo.com

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