Port Costa, California

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Coordinates: 38°02′47″N 122°11′00″W / 38.04639°N 122.1833333°W / 38.04639; -122.1833333

Port Costa is a census-designated place (CDP) in Contra Costa County, California, United States. The population was 232 at the 2000 census.



According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 0.7 square miles (1.8 km²), all of it land.


Port Costa was founded in 1879 as a landing for the railroad ferry Solano, owned and operated by the Central Pacific Railroad.[1] This put Port Costa on the main route of the transcontinental railroad.[1] The Solano, later joined by the Contra Costa, carried entire trains across the Carquinez Strait from Benicia to Port Costa[1], from whence they continued on to the Oakland Pier.[1] For a time, it was also the United States' busiest wheat-shipping port and had a reputation as a colorful, sometimes violent community.

After California's wheat output dropped in the early 20th Century and especially, after the Southern Pacific (which took over the operations of the Central Pacific) constructed a railroad bridge at Martinez in 1930 to replace the ferry crossing, Port Costa lost population and importance.[1] Bill Rich was an influential property owner and raconteur. Since the late 1960s, it has mainly been a small shopping venue for antique hunters and a gathering place for bikers and motorcyclists.

Port Costa's first post office was established in 1881.[2]

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