The Moraga Historical Society was established in 1965 to gather and preserve knowledge about the history of the Rancho Laguna de los Palos Colorados, which is now the Town of Moraga, plus portions of the cities of Orinda and Lafayette. The Rancho was a 13,316 acre land-grant to Joaquin Moraga and his cousin, Juan Bernal, by the Mexican government in 1841 – in return for service in the armies of Mexico. Between 1912 and 1923, the Moraga Company, headed by James Irvine, owned most of the Moraga Valley, and in 1914, there were 38 pear orchards, plus a number of walnut fields. It was almost a complete town, with ranch buildings and offices. One could ride the Sacramento Northern Railroad from Oakland, through Moraga , Walnut Creek, Sacramento, to Chico.
Written by Margaret DePriester, archivist at the History Center
The Moraga Historical Society is located at the Western end of the Moraga Library, at 1500 Saint Mary’s Road. It has a collection of photos, files, books and artifacts from and about Moraga Valley’s history. It is a strictly volunteer organization. The building is open Mon., Wed., and Fri., from 1-3 PM. General meetings are held four to five times annually which feature speakers on various topics of historical interest. The Society has published a hard-covered 225 page book, Moraga’s Pride, which covers the history of the Rancho from the days of the dinosaurs to the beginning of the 21st century. This book is available for sale, along with many other items of historical interest, at the History Center. For additional information, click the Link, check our website at www.moragahistory.org, or telephone (925) 377-8734.