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Antioch (formerly, East Antioch, Smith’s Landing, and Marsh’s Landing) is a city in Contra Costa County, California. Located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area along the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta, it is a suburb of San Francisco and Oakland. The city’s population was 102,372 at the U.S. 2010 census.

Antioch is one of the oldest towns in California, having been founded in 1850. The year following the discovery of gold, there was a plague that overtook the city and wiped out most of the population. The town was founded by two brothers, William and Joseph Smith, who named the town Smith’s Landing. In 1851, the town’s new minister persuaded the residents to change the name of the town to Antioch, for the Biblical city of Antioch, Turkey.

Around 1859, coal was discovered in several places in the hills south of Antioch and coal mining formed the first substantial business apart from farming and dairying by the inhabitants of this community. This new industry resulted in the founding of the towns of Nortonville, Somersville, Stewartsville, and Black Diamond (now Pittsburg, California), and added greatly to the economic activity of the Antioch area. The Empire Coal Company was formed by John C. Rouse and George Hawxhurst in 1876, which built a railroad that passed from Antioch toward the mines over what is now “F Street” (formerly Kimball Street). However, later on, both the mine and the railroad passed into the hands of the Belshaw brothers. The mines have long ago ceased operation, and the railroad tracks have been dug up, though the building that served as the Antioch terminus of the railroad still stands on the corner of F Street and Fourth Street, and the grading and trestles still remain much as they were in those early days.

In 1863, a great excitement arose over the discovery of copper ore near Antioch. Smelting works were built at Antioch, and a value of fifteen to twenty-five dollars per ton was paid for the ore, according to its quality. Unfortunately the copper bubble eventually burst, to the dismay of the citizens with connections. Petroleum was first drilled for near Antioch in 1865, but not enough oil was found to make a decent profit.

The Antioch Post Office was opened in 1851, closed in 1852, re-opened in 1855, closed again in 1862, and it has operated continuously since re-opening in 1863.[3] The city of Antioch was incorporated in 1872.[3]

The Antioch Ledger was first issued on March 10, 1870, and in all its forty-seven years never missed an issue. In memory of when the paper was formed, a copy of its first issue has been framed and hangs over the desk of the present editor. It is five by eight inches in size, printed on one side only, and its sole news item is a report and editorial comment on women’s suffrage meeting that had just been held in the town. The Ledger later merged with the Contra Costa Times and printed its last issue in 2005.[5]

Today, Antioch is mainly a “bedroom” community, with most adults working in larger cities toward Oakland and San Francisco. The town has seen an enormous amount of growth in the last 30 years, as the population of the Bay Area continues to grow, and real estate prices force families to move towards the outskirts of the Bay Area.

Since the real estate crash in late 2007, Antioch’s foreclosure rates often are among the nation’s highest.

The city has a municipal marina along with other private marinas, boatyards, and yacht clubs. There is a public fishing pier in town, and another out near the Antioch Bridge.
There is also fishing in the San Joaquin River along the Antioch/Oakley Regional Shoreline, located just upstream from Highway 160’s Antioch Bridge (also known as Nejedly Bridge).

Antioch is located at 38°00′18″N 121°48′21″W38.005°N 121.80583°W,[13] along the San Joaquin River at the western end of the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 29.1 square miles (75.3 km²), of which, 28.3 square miles (73.4 km²) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.9 km²) of it (2.52%) is water.

Open space and wildlife
Sunset over Mt. Diablo as seen from Antioch

Parks and trails
According to the Public Works Department of Antioch, Antioch is home to 31 parks covering a total of 310 acres (1.3 km²) with an additional 600 acres (2.4 km²) of city-owned open space. It also has 11 miles (18 km) of walking paths connecting communities to parks and schools.
Regional Parks

Within its boundaries it has Contra Loma Regional Park, the Antioch/Oakley Regional Shoreline and Black Diamond Mines Regional Park, and the Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail and Delta de Anza Regional Trail. According to the East Bay Regional Parks District, these three parks take up 6,493 acres (26.3 km²); approximately 38% of Antioch’s total land mass.
Just outside Antioch’s city limit is the 2,024 acre (8.2 km²) Round Valley Regional Preserve.

National Protected Land
Established in 1980, Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge was the first national wildlife refuge in the country established for the purpose of protecting endangered plants and insects. It is located on the south shore of the San Joaquin River in Antioch.

Historical populations
Census Pop. %±
700 —
626 −10.6%
635 1.4%
674 6.1%
1,124 66.8%
1,936 72.2%
3,563 84.0%
5,106 43.3%
11,051 116.4%
17,035 54.1%
28,060 64.7%
43,559 55.2%
62,195 42.8%
90,532 45.6%
102,372 13.1%

The 2010 United States Census reported that Antioch had a population of 102,372.

As of the census of 2000, there were 90,532 people residing in the city.

Top employers

According to the City’s 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:

  1. Kaiser Permanente – 2,070
  2. Antioch Unified School District – 1,786
  3. Sutter Delta Medical Center

4 Contra Costa County Social Services
5 Wal-Mart
6 City of Antioch 308
7 Target
8 Antioch Auto Center 221
9 Costco
10 Macy’s

Antioch is served by both the Antioch-Pittsburg Amtrak station, and access to Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is available at the Pittsburg/Bay Point Station in Pittsburg. Although public transportation agency Tri-Delta Transit is the predominant provider of public transportation in the Antioch area, County Connection bus #930 also serves Antioch going to John Muir Medical Center, Mitchell Park n’ Ride, Railroad Castlewood, Delta Fair Sommersville and Hillcrest Park ‘n Ride.

Commercial airports serving this area are:

  • Oakland International Airport
  • San Francisco International Airport
  • San Jose International Airport
  • Sacramento International Airport
  • Stockton Metropolitan Airport

Other nearby airports serving private aircraft are:

  • Byron Airport
  • Livermore Municipal Airport
  • Buchanan Field Airport

Arts, Culture and Science

El Campanil Theatre
The historic El Campanil Theatre opened on November 1, 1928 in downtown Antioch. It now presents a wide variety of entertainment opportunities including Classic Films, Live Theatre, Concerts, Symphony, Ballet, Comedy and is host to numerous local dance and community based organizations such as the Antioch Rivertown Theatre Group.

Arts and Cultural Foundation of Antioch.
The Arts & Cultural Foundation of Antioch organizes education in graphic arts, sculpture, pottery, and performance arts for various age groups. It also hosts the Saturday Summer Concert Series, Delta Blues Festival, Holiday De Lights along with other community events.

Antioch Historical Society Museum
Run by the Antioch Historical Society, the museum is located in the Riverview Union High School. This high school was the first high school constructed in Contra Costa County. It houses moving historical exhibits and offers tours of the grounds.

Lynn House Gallery
The Lynn House Gallery houses exhibits throughout the year, with an emphasis on providing opportunities for local artists.

Rivertown Art Center
Rivertown Art Center is housed in a historic bank building built in 1923. It is administered by the Arts & Cultural Foundation of Antioch and was created to allow local artists additional opportunities to exhibit their art and to conduct art classes.

ESPACE Academy
The ESPACE Academy is located within Deer Valley High School and includes a planetarium.


Public safety
The city is protected by the Antioch Fire Department and the Antioch Police Department.

Public schools are run by the Antioch Unified School District, which consists of three high schools, four middle schools, and numerous elementary schools. The four high schools are Antioch High School, Deer Valley High School, Dozier-Libbey Medical High School and Delta Academy for the Performing Arts. The four middle schools are Antioch Middle School, Park Middle School, Black Diamond Middle School, and Dallas Ranch Middle School. All schools in the district follow a single track schedule, where school begins in late August or early September and concludes in June.
The private schools are primarily religious. The private high schools are: Heritage Baptist Academy (K-12), Delta Christian High School, Cornerstone Christian Academy, and Promised Land Christian High School. The private primary and middle schools are: Cornerstone Christian Academy, Holy Rosary Elementary School, Hilltop Christian School, Kinder Care Learning Center, Antioch Christian School, Golden Hills Christian School, and Great Beginnings Elementary School.

Antioch is also home to Western Career College, located on Lone Tree Way. Also Antioch has one school for CPR and First Aid Training, Event First Aid & Safety Services located at 201 G Street, 2nd and G streets.

Public libraries
The Antioch Library of the Contra Costa County Library is located in Antioch, across the street from Anitoch Middle School

Antioch, CA is served by the Antioch Press, published by Brentwood Press & Publishing Corporation. Antioch Press is a weekly newspaper that is published every Friday. The current circulation is just over 4,000.

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