By Mayor Laura Hoffmeister
There are a total of 647 Historical societies in California, and Concord, its residents and businesses are fortunate to have the non-profit Concord Historical Society (CHS) organization. The CHS was established in 1971 to discover, establish, and preserve structures, objects, and materials of interest, importance, and value, in relation to Concord; and to disseminate knowledge and promote interest in its history, exploration, settlement, development, growth, progress and activities of Concord and its population.
It also works to teach and promote interest and instruction in the history of Concord by publication of historical material and by assisting and cooperating with governmental and other agencies, entities and institutions on projects and programs that will further the purposes and objectives of the Society. ConcordHistory.com is one of their many projects launched in November 2010 to share Concord’s history by reaching out through the Internet to people worldwide. The CHS has created a Historic Walking Tour of 28 places in downtown Concord that you can see in person or online, www.concordhistory.com/tour/
Two buildings that the CHS acquired, renovated, and opened to the public are the Galindo Home and Gardens and the Masonic Temple, now named the Concord Museum and Events Center. Together these two sites located next to each other are known as the Concord Heritage Center. Both projects were overseen by CHS members and former Concord Senior City Planner, lifelong Concord residents Chuck Gabrysiak, and project contractor Marc Willis.
The Galindo Home (1721 Amador Ave) was built in 1856 for Don Francisco Galindo and his wife, Maria Dolores Manuela (Pacheco) Galindo, Don Salvio’s second daughter. At that time, it was one of the few Victorian ranch houses in the county and had six rooms. Their oldest son, Juan “John” Galindo, and his bride Marina “Sarah” (Amador) Galindo resided there from 1875 and 1880 and expanded it to ten rooms. Juan and Marina’s eldest child Frederick, and Catherine (Hittman) Galindo were married in 1907, and the title was transferred to this next generation.
After Mrs. Catherine Galindo’s death in 1966, the home was maintained by her children. Lastly Ms. Ruth Galindo, a teacher at Mt Diablo High, after her death in 1999, the home became the property of the City of Concord.
In 2010 ownership was transferred to the CHS, which began a two-plus year project restoring the home and returning all the Galindo family furnishings to the family home. The Galindo Home has been completely restored by the Concord Historical Society. Tours are available on most Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Admission charge is only $5.00 (children under 12, free).
At 1928 Clayton Road is Concord’s Masonic Temple, it originally stood at 1765 Galindo Street. It provided the ceremonial meeting room and social hall for Mt. Diablo Lodge #448, Free and Accepted Masons. Constructed in 1927 by L.V. Perry, the temple was dedicated on October 6, 1928. This imposing facility incorporates approximately 9,600 square feet on two floors.
The CHS purchased the building from the City Redevelopment Agency for $1 and moved it to its current location on May 25, 2013, and over the past several years completed renovated and restored the building. It is now the Concord Museum and Event Center, and available for public rental.
With the recent renovations, a catering kitchen, garden path, including a gazebo, parking, and fencing work in a historical setting, it provides a unique, affordable, and glamorous event venue for business meetings to reunions, parties, and weddings.
Our thanks to the CHS for their vision and challenging work in preserving our Concord History for current and future generations.
Are you fascinated by the history of Concord? You can learn more while helping keep Concord’s history for current and future generations. Volunteer docents at the Galindo Home and Museum are needed, as well as help with cataloging historic artifacts, Museum Exhibit Planning and installation, and Garden planning to shape the grounds around the Heritage Center. Training is available. If you are interested, contact Vivian Boyd at firstname.lastname@example.org or (925) 827-3380.
Learn about the rich history of the people and families that made Concord what it is today. www.concordhistorical.org