Martinez came to life in 1849 as a Gold Rush boomtown. Incorporated in 1876, it is the county seat of Contra Costa County. The charming metropolis has several claims to fame, not least of which is as the birthplace of the martini, which dates back to the aforementioned Gold Rush days as the “Martinez Special” before evolving to its current moniker.
John Muir, renowned naturalist and conservationist, lived here and Martinez is home to a National Historic site preserving his legacy in establishing several national parks.
As the county seat, downtown Martinez is the setting for the courthouse and its many adjunct facilities. Many of the historic structures are well-preserved and fully operational.
In 2007, a family of beavers took up residence in Alhambra Creek, which runs through Martinez. Their dam became quite the controversial attraction as it posed possible flooding issues. However, the citizenry worked through the issues and the beavers are alive and well, thanks in part to the non-profit organization,Worth a Dam.
Martinez is a mid-sized city of approximately 37,000 residents who are quite proud of their hometown and its colorful past, as well as confident in its bright future.