6th Annual Wine & Whiskey tickets on sale now.
Outside of helping to support the Chamber, We also team up with a group of community volunteers for the event. Last Year, Freedom High School Leadership Team took away a donation to there cause, will you team be next?
Welcome to the Oakley County Chamber of Commerce in beautiful downtown Oakley, California. Please be sure to stop in and visit us!
Our board of Directors all take pride in the direction of the Vision and Mission of the Chamber for today and tomorrow.
Get to know your Board of Directors working hard for our members and the community.
Farm Land to Growing City
Welcome to the City of Oakley, CA… In 1897, Randolph Marsh purchased twelve acres of land and planned a town. Marsh is credited with naming Oakley for the trees that occupied a large portion of the natural landscape. However, there is a great story about how Oakley was almost named Dewey. It seems that Randolph Marsh and another settler, Joel Wightman, couldn’t agree on the town’s name. Wightman wanted to name the new community after Admiral George Dewey, a hero of the Spanish American War, and Randolph Marsh wanted to name it Oakley. They decided to play a game of cribbage. The winner of the game would name the town. Marsh won, and Oakley was officially named.
Alden Norcross joined Randolph Marsh in further developing Oakley when they purchased an additional nineteen acres and plotted the town. They recorded the maps, and Oakley was founded.
The first business to be established was a mercantile built by Joseph Jesse. Marsh agreed to give Jesse the land for free hoping that with one store built it would encourage others to come. He was right. There was soon a blacksmith shop, saloon, hotel, railroad depot, barber shop and more. Some of the first merchants were John Augusto, Jerry O’Meara, Henry Janssen, Frank Silva, William Carpenter and Arnold Van Kathoven.
Oakley’s boundaries at the turn of the century were Dutch Slough on the north, on the east Marsh Creek, and to the south sand hills covered with chaparral.
On July 1, 1900, the first Santa Fe train stopped in Oakley. The Santa Fe Railroad provided the spur needed for agricultural growth of the area and afforded local farmers a means of transporting their products to market.
Oakley’s first school was the Iron House School organized in 1862 by Sarah Abbot Sellers. Iron House was the first school east of Antioch. The Oakley School opened in a tiny building downtown in 1903 and was moved to a schoolhouse on O’Hara Avenue between Acme and Ruby Streets the following year. In 1904, fifteen students were enrolled at the school and by 1920’ the school had been enlarged to three rooms with a teacher for each room plus a principal, Edith Berta Dal Porto, and an enrollment of fifty students.
In 1908, Salvador Dal Porto, a boarding house operator from Jackson, settled in Oakley. Dal Porto was instrumental in the development of Oakley’s business district. It didn’t take long before the town had two social halls, four churches, two saloons, a barber shop, two grocery stores, a blacksmith shop, several warehouses, a bank and many more businesses. In 1910, Dal Porto purchased, remodeled and enlarged the Oakley Hotel. In 1917, the Bank of Oakley was established.
The Ladies Improvement Club was organized in 1913 with Mary O’Hara serving as the first president. These women were instrumental in the development of Oakley’s first library. A small library was first housed in Farrell’s general store offering the residents of Oakley three hundred books. In 1916, the Ladies Improvement Club purchased the Congregational Church building for a clubhouse and public library. The Ladies Improvement Club later changed their name to the Oakley Women’s Club.
In 1924, the Oakley Hotel and most of the businesses downtown were destroyed by a fire. Dal Porto rebuilt his hotel and several other businesses. He also installed a waterworks. He remained one of the town’s most prominent citizens until his death in 1932.
By the 1930’s there were packing sheds along the Santa Fe spur that shipped carloads of produce to eastern markets. During harvest time, Oakley was filed with men that had come to work in the fields and packing sheds.
It took a special breed of pioneer to settle in the Oakley area. It was necessary to face long hot summers with winds blowing that would cover everything in sight with the local sand.
Incorporated in July 1999, Oakley is one of California’s youngest cities.
— Information courtesy of the East Contra Costa Historical Society and Museum
We Have Something for Everyone
The Oakley Chamber of Commerce has all your area information including attractions, accommodations, dining, special events, festivals, business directory, and calendar of events.