The city of Lafayette was founded by a hearty stock of pioneering people. Among them was Elam Brown.
In 1847, Brown, one of Contra Costa's first settlers, led a wagon train 14 families long through Donner Pass and into California. On his arrival, he purchased Rancho Acalanus, a 3,300-acre Mexican land grant which spans what is nearly all of modern-day Lafayette. Brown built the first of three homes here in 1848, making Lafayette Contra Costa County's first community.
Lafayette quickly became known as a great stopping place for men hauling lumber harvested in Canyon and Moraga for shipment to San Francisco to rest and repair their wagons, but for the most part, the area would remain a quiet farming village until after World War Two, when a building boom would sweep the area.
In a Word
Just a look at its community events calendar lets you know that Lafayette celebrates the family lifestyle.
Here, year round activities (a haunted house, community Thanksgiving Breakfast, and an art and wine festival, plus outdoor concerts and farmer’s markets, just to name a few) provide something to look forward to, no matter what the season.
And, if you’re in the mood for something less structured, Layfayette’s creeks, trails, and bike paths all provide numerous excuses to get out and have fun.
Dog Town, Brown's Corner, Brown's Mill, Acalanus, and Centerville were all names that the city was known by before Lafayette became its official name, in 1932.
Lafayette’s motto, “Green Hills, Great Schools” says it all.