The Antioch Historical Museum, run and managed by the Antioch Historical Society, has been a part of the Antioch landscape since the museum’s opening in the 1970s. Their mission, as stated on their website, is to “preserve, protect and showcase the history of Antioch.” Located in the old Riverview Union High School Building of 1910, the museum houses one of the most complete collections of early Antioch artifacts. A visit to the museum will be a warm reminder of the importance of Antioch in the development of East County and offers a myriad of ways to enjoy the space.
A History Worthy of Preservation
The history of Antioch is often overlooked in the development of the San Francisco Bay Area. However, the rich history was what propelled much of the development throughout Contra Costa County, due to the ease and accessibility of the Delta waters.
In 1850, Antioch was first settled by Captain Kimball, who also laid out the town in blocks. The first actual development of homes was completed on what we know today to be the Historic corridor, encompassing Second Street, Third Street, and F Street. The city itself received the name Antioch, by popular vote of residents.
As the years passed, the riverfront was used as a means of transportation and communication. With the addition of the railroad in 1870, many of Antioch’s businesses thrived. Early businesses included brick kilns, coal mining, copper smelting, a paper mill, and a distillery. Antioch was incorporated in 1872, which brought more organization, a fire department, and police department. People living in Antioch thrived.
What To Expect
Like much of the history of smaller towns, the stories disappear with the passing of time. However, because of the hard work of the docents, Board of Directors and volunteers at the Antioch Historical Museum, many of the stories that brought Antioch to life have been preserved.
The museum is broken into different displays that tell the stories of Antioch in a very interesting and engaging way. First, visitors can visit the Fire House, which is dedicated to the Antioch Fire Department and shares the stories of all those who have served in the Fire Department over the decades. The Delta Room is another interesting enclave of the museum that uncovers the Native People of the Delta, explores the early Industry of Antioch, and gives an overview of wildlife species native to the area as well. The Schools Room is another popular exhibit that provides a peek into what Antioch’s schools throughout the years have looked like and what students might expect. The Library Room may hold the most stories of Antioch, as this display houses books, reference papers and all varieties of historical documents that really detail the history of Antioch.
Other interesting displays include The McCoy Cook House, the Main Entrance of the Delta King, The Military Room, City Hall Room, the Ladies Lounge, the Bride’s Room and a Children’s Room. A Saloon display, Family Room, Display of Sports Legends, The Beede Room, Lower Floor Theatre are all displays that not only will pique your interest, but detail the lives of the people who founded the wonderful city of Antioch through first-hand artifacts.
How to Enjoy the Museum
There are many ways you can enjoy the Antioch Historical Museum. First, schedule a visit. The museum is open Wednesday and Saturday from 1 pm to 4 pm. School field trips are an option for educators. Additionally, the Antioch Historical Society hosts events at the museum throughout the year. Some of the more popular events include a car show and a murder-mystery dinner! The museum is also available to reserve for your own event!
Support The Antioch Historical Museum
Just as there are many ways you can enjoy the museum, there are also many ways in which you can support the Antioch Historical Museum and Antioch Historical Society. First, visit the museum! Another good way to show your support is to become a member of the Antioch Historical Society. You can also volunteer or serve on the Board of Directors to help the museum continue to grow and prosper. To learn more about the Antioch Historical Museum or how you can be involved, visit their website or call 925-757-1326 today.
Location: 1500 W. Fourth Street
Antioch, California, 94509