What is Moraga?
Moraga is a small, suburban incorporated town in Contra Costa County, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Despite its size, Moraga is one of the wealthiest places in the United States (as of 2000).
To locate Moraga, it is surrounded by the cities of Lafayette and Orinda, unincorporated community of Canyon (formerly Sequoya), Walnut Creek, Oakland, San Francisco, Concord and Berkeley.
The town of Moraga’s rich and intresting history began when a Native American tribe called Saklan, from the Bay Miwok community used to inhabit the area.
The town was named for Joaquin Moraga, who was the grandson of Jose Joaquin Moraga, who was second in in command of the Juan Bautista de Anza’s 1776 expedition. The elder Moraga is also credited as the founder Presideio of San Francisco, and of El Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe, which is the present-day Califronia city of San Jose. Joaquin Moraga’s father, Gabriel Moraga, was also a soldier and early explorer.
After Mexico became independent from Spain in the early 19th century, Joaquin Moraga and his cousin Juan Bernal received a land grant from the Mexican government. Moraga and Bernal’s land grant was measured at 13,316 acres, and originally named as Rancho Laguna de los Palos Colorados (Ranch of the Lake of the Redwoods). In 1841 Moraga then erected an adobe structure on a hill which overlooed the Moraga Valley, which, in 1954, was designated a California Historical Landmark. Moraga’s adobe still stands today in the neighboring city of Orinda. and is considered the oldest existing structure building in the whole Contra Costa County. However, it’s a private dwelling owned by new residents, and not open to the public. Another structure that bears Moraga’s legacy is the Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School.
Moraga’s adobe and rancho provided a successful and comfortable life for him and his family, where evening fandagos and barbecue parties were often held. He sold three pieces of his property: The Redwoods of Canyon (to Elam Brown, who became the founder of Lafayette), six acres of land (to John Courter, the founder of Moraga Valley Store) and forty acres of land to squatter Isaac Gann.
Moraga opened its first post office in 1886, but a year later it closed. However, it repoened in 1915. In 1955 Moraga built and opened another new post office. During the first half of the 20th century the Oakland Antioch Railroad provided services from Oakland to Chico, with the line passing through Moraga. Now this line became the Sacramento Northern Railroad.
The town voted to be an incorporated town and it became such, on November 13, 1974. It became the Town of Moraga.
A few other interesting facts about Moraga
Moraga is home to the branch of the Contra Costa County Library, and Saint Mary’s College of California, whose original location used to be in San Francisco and then in Oakland. Moraga has also been known as a “dog-friendly” town since 1979, where it adopts an off leash use times at all of its community parks — so Moraga might be your pet dog’s haven!
As of 2000 census, this lovely little town was named one of the highest-income areas in the United States, ranking at no. 79. The town’s population stands at 16,016, as of 2010 US census.
Related and helpful links
- Town of Moraga
- Moraga, California Restaurants: See 27 restaurants with 82 reviews – TripAdvisor
Dining in Moraga, California: See 82 TripAdvisor traveler reviews of 27 Moraga restaurants and search by cuisine, price, location, and more.
- Moraga, California Dog Parks & Dog Runs – Dog-Friendly Listings
The most complete directory of dog-friendly businesses, parks and properties in Moraga, California Dog Parks & Dog Runs. Includes ratings and reviews from other pet lovers.