"The farther back you can look,
the further forward you are likely to see."
Diablo was conceived by Robert Noble Burgess in the early 1900s. He bought the Oakwood Park Stock Farm from Louise Cook Boyd in 1912 with the dream of creating a summer recreational paradise within an easy commute distance to San Francisco, Oakland, Piedmont and Berkeley. He named It Mt. Diablo Park Club and sold lots to families to build vacation cottages nestled beside the creeks among majestic oaks. A world class golf course was designed, the creek was damed to provide a lake for swimming and fishing, a stable built to house horses, and the country club offered three meals a day plus social activities for young and old. And to guarantee that Diablo would forever be recognized as a distinct entity, Burgess petitioned the U.S. Postmaster General for a Post Office which opened in 1917, inside the original Cook mansion at 1925 Alameda Diablo.
The historic homes and structures in our community date back to the original 1870s Railroad Ranch through the "Golden Era" that ended with the Depression of 1929. The size and style of the homes ranged from lovely estates designed by noted architects to simple summer cottages that expanded as families grew and became permanent homes in the 1940s. Sleeping porches were common attributes that kept summer residents comfortable. Most houses had no heat and meals were served at the Country Club, so many homes had no kitchen. Over the years, lots divided, homes were remodeled or replaced, and lovely heritage oak trees have fallen.
In 1996, the DPOA created a historic preservation committee to share Diablo's historic heritage with the community through history walks, meetings, publications, videos, etc. Part of the DPOA's mission is to preserve our rich history, architecture and traditions, educate and inform in order to deepen the understanding and appreciation of our unique community, and promote the preservation, restoration and enhancement of our rural, tree studded, park-like setting.
On December 3, 2002, Diablo was designated a “Historic District” by the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors in recognition of its unique and colorful history and its 61 historic homes and buildings. Each was officially recognized as a "Diablo Treasure" and given a commemorative bronze plaque.
A stroll through Diablo's rich history led by our resident historians.
CHECK - Payable to DPOA
to P.O. Box 215 Diablo, CA 94528
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Over the past many decades, Mugs Freeman has been an unrelenting force for preservation and showcasing Diablo's historic homes. Her vision for a book to capture the stories of these homes was executed by a group of dedicated volunteers. "Diablo Treasures" was published and distributed to all Diablo residents in 2020. If you would like to purchase a book of your own, please contact us.