History of Dublin

Crossroads of the Bay Area

Dublin has long been known as the Crossroads of the Bay Area. Dublin now sits at the crossroads of two major highways: Interstate 580 and Interstate 680.  However, the significance of the crossroads dates back more than 200 years when Dublin served as the crossroads of two important stage routes - one from the Bay Area to Stockton and the other from Martinez to San Jose. The Alamilla Spring, located in the Dublin area, provided a place for travelers to change horses and freshen up before continuing their journey.

Dublin has a rich history dating back to 1772 when Pedro Fages led an expedition of 16 mounted men on a journey in search of a land route to Drake's Bay, now known as San Francisco Bay. Their return journey brought them through the Amador Valley.

Building a Community in 1835

It wasn't until approximately 1835 when building began in the area. Jose Maria Amador had been paid in land for his years of service as a Mexican soldier and as administrator of Mission San Jose. He received a land grant of 16,517 acres in the Amador-Livermore Valley. He built several adobe homes and many small buildings that were used as shops where his Indian workers made soap, blankets, shoes, farm tools, etc., for use on his ranch.

In 1850, Michael Murray and Jeremiah Fallon came to this area from Ireland. They purchased 1,000 acres of land from Jose Amador and built homes for their families. The area began to grow as many settled in the area.

In 1853, Alameda County was created from parts of Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties. Both Murray and Fallon served on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. Townships were established the next year and Murray's name was chosen for this area.

The First Schoolhouse in the Valley

By 1877 the first schoolhouse in the Amador-Livermore Valley was constructed in Dublin, along with a church, two hotels, Green's Store, a wagon and blacksmith shop, and a shoemaker's shop. The Murray Schoolhouse, Green's Store, St. Raymond's Church and the historic cemetery (where members of the Donner Party Expedition are buried) have been preserved and are now located on Donlan Way. Mail was delivered to the Dougherty Station Hotel. Thus, the area became known as Dougherty's Station. Subsequently, the area became known as Dublin.

City Incorporation

Dublin had voted against incorporation several times in the 1960s and 1970s, but by the early 1980s, Dublin's population had increased to a point where county administration was no longer feasible.  After almost 150 years as an unincorporated village, Dublin incorporated as a city with a population of 15,000 on February 1, 1982, becoming the 14th city in Alameda County.  Peter W. Snyder, a successful auto parts store owner, was elected the first Mayor of the City.

Modern-Day Rapid Expansion

During the past 20 years, the rapidly expanding Tri-Valley area has become renowned as a place of prosperity, a center for internationally acclaimed business parks, and home to some of the world's largest corporations.

Moving Forward

The City of Dublin, located at the crossroads of the Tri-Valley, has contributed to the planned growth and forward thinking of the area. The City continues to look ahead to expand and enhance the quality of life for members of the community. 

Ghosts of Dublin

Explore the history of Dublin through a new interactive website, Dublin California History. You'll find maps, re-photography, and a voyage across our fertile valley 500 years ago. Founded on the aspirations of emigrants from the Emerald Isle, Dublin is a flourishing city that shares an enormous valley with its neighbors, Pleasanton and Livermore. This historical perspective includes reflections of our changing relationships with the land and resources, and a look at how Dubliners have defined their sense of place through varying cultural, economic, and political landscapes.
Please note: Much of this information has been excerpted from Virginia Bennett's book "Reflections." Copies of this book and other historical information can be found at the Dublin Public Library.