Richmond Named City of the Month by the California State Library

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1884

What city in California once had the largest winery in the world?

Hint: it’s the same city that once set a ship-building record.

And, if you’re reading this story, it’s also the same city you’re probably in right now.

Richmond has been named the City of the Month for September 2018 by the California State Library. And it’s the Library we have to thank for those Richmond facts. (You might already know this, if you’re on Mayor Butt’s E-FORUM, which is where we saw the news).

If you want to know more about the history of our City, the State Library has all sorts of ways to look at the past. In their archive, you’ll find “Bubbles”, an early newsletter from the East Bay Water Company, a photograph of the Richmond skyline from 1917, and a map of Richmond in 1863 (Ok, for that, you’ll be looking at a map of what would become Richmond early in the next century.)

The California State Library has a large collection, which includes everything from newspapers, photos and maps, to telephone books (and if you don’t know what a “telephone book” is, you can learn about that too) and City directories postcards and books (it is a library, after all) – about Richmond and other California cities too.

Some of their Richmond collection can be found online at the California State Library’s website.  If you are in Sacramento sometime, the State Library invites you to stop by for a visit (those details are here).

Now, if you’re wondering about the winery – here’s the story: “Winehaven, a facility run by the California Wine Association was considered the largest wine facility in the world between 1911 and 1917. It was shut down shortly after the beginning of prohibition and never re-opened.”  Winehaven’s castle-like building is still standing, located on Point Molate.

And the ship-building record? “In 1942, the Richmond Shipyard Number 2…built a full Liberty ship in 4 days, 15 hours and 26 minutes” (which even if you don’t know anything about ship-building, is pretty fast).

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