Joaquin Moraga Adobe – A Call to Action!

MHS Membership Adobe Donation Form

The Joaquin Moraga Adobe (the Adobe) is an icon that anchors our past and serves as a visible presence that allows us to traverse between the distant past and the present. That is why the Moraga Historical Society (MHS), established in 1965 to gather and preserve knowledge about the history of present day Moraga and its surrounding area, supports its preservation.

The Adobe was built in 1841 by Don Joaquin Moraga as one of two family homesteads on the 13,000 acre “El Rancho Laguna de los Palos Colorados” land grant from the Mexican Government. Located at 24 Adobe Lane in Orinda on the edge of the Town of Moraga with vista views of both Orinda and Moraga, the Adobe is the oldest surviving building in Contra Costa County. It has been recognized as a California State Historic Landmark since 1954 (landmark #509) and was designated as an Orinda City Landmark in 1995.


The Adobe sits on a 2.3 acre parcel within a new 13 unit sub-division being developed by J&J Ranch Development (J&J). In 2016 an agreement was reached between J&J and a non-profit organization called Friends of the Joaquin Moraga Adobe (FJMA) whereby FJMA has agreed to raise $500,000 by September 21, 2021 for the preservation and restoration of the Adobe, with J&J agreeing to fund any additional costs (see Lamorinda Weekly – August 10, 2016 for background). Of this amount a final payment of $360,000 is due on September 21, 2021. But if that goal is not reached, access to the Adobe will be permanently limited to the exclusive, non-public use of the subdivision’s homeowners.

Because of the Adobe’s historical significance to Moraga, our MHS Board of Directors has pledged its best efforts to raise $100,000 to support FJMA’s acquisition of the Adobe. Every member of the Board has pledged their personal financial support for the campaign. The fund drive is being led by an MHS Adobe Campaign Committee of five MHS members each of whom has committed to a four or five figure donation to the campaign. As a result of those pledges and other donations already received, fourth-fifths of the $100,000 goal has already been raised. But it is not enough. We are seeking the support of Moraga residents to fulfill this goal, not just our MHS pledge, but to assist the entire FJMA goal of securing the permanent preservation of the Joaquin Moraga Adobe for all to view remotely or visit in person.


If we are successful, we can preserve the historic Adobe as a Museum and Learning Center focused on the Mexican Rancho Era of California’s history. It could become a regional cultural institution that would enable future generations to experience life as it was lived in 1841, when the Moraga family built it on their Rancho Laguna de los Palos Colorados.

We are asking the people of Moraga and their friends to support our effort in two ways. One is to become a member of the Moraga Historical Society (or renew) which costs $15 per individual or $25 for a family per year. The other is to make a donation supporting the MHS Adobe Campaign. If you can do both, fantastic!

Print out the MHS Membership Adobe Donation Form, fill it out, and mail it to us. If you have to choose between the two, we urge you to write a check earmarked for the Joaquin Moraga Adobe because that opportunity disappears after September 21, 2021. MHS is here for the long haul. You can circle back to us later to become a member. Meanwhile, if you have a Twitter account, please follow us at @MoragaHistoricalSociety so that you can keep track of our activities.

(The Moraga Historical Society is an IRS section 501(c)(3) public charity; Tax ID # 94-6131965)

The Moraga Historical Society Joaquin Moraga Adobe Campaign Committee:

  • Dave Trotter, Committee Chair
  • Brother Mel Anderson, FSC
  • Ron Louis
  • Dick Olsen
  • Sam Sperry


We would be happy to try to answer any question you might have.  Please contact
Susan Sperry, President of the Moraga Historical Society, at (925) 376-3053 or


Moraga Historical Society
PO. Box 103
Moraga, CA 94556