Moraga History – Historical Periods

MHS has various archival collections which include our “subject” based Vertical Files which contain paper documents such as newspaper clippings as well as photocopies of prints whose originals we store in our Photo Files. We have developed a database system that allows us to track our “collections” using the “subjects” that archivists have created since the founding of MHS in 1965. Our web site was relaunched in 2019 with a format that allows MHS members to maintain and develop its content using our own resources rather than a web services third party. Our digital assets coordinator John Kaiser has created a parallel offline database management system which we are using to digitize our paper based archives (ie scanning photos). The web site is intended to serve four core goals: 1) provide an online index of all the archives available at the History Center for visitors to request and conduct research, 2) provide a catalog of all archival items that have been digitized and stored outside the History Center for long term preservation, 3) serve as a repository for member curated historical interpretations, 4) provide a record of our society’s past and current affairs. We have developed the following “Historical Periods” as a way to classify archival items in terms of time periods which will allow researchers to search our database with subject and time period filters.

Geology Refers to rocks and land formations that make up Moraga and the surrounding region, what today’s geology is and how it came about, and can include current issues like land slides and earthquakes
Paleontology Refers to prehistoric non-human life in the area (ie mastodons) but can extend into the present to include information about how Moraga’s flora and fauna have changed to its present form.
Native Americans Refers to the pre-European inhabitants from past to present, chosen as an alternative to “Indigenous” to replace the term “Indian” which past archivists used extensively
Early European Exploration 1500-1774 Refers to European exploration prior to local European settlement that began with the de Anza expeditions in 1774
Spanish Period 1774-1821 Refers to the period of Spanish influence from the de Anza expeditions until Mexico secured independence from Spain
Mexican Period 1821-1850 Refers to the period of Mexican control until California became part of the United States in 1850. Includes the granting of the Rancho Laguna de los Palos Colorados Land Grant to Joaquin Moraga and Juan Bernal
California Americanization (1850-1900) Refers to the second half of the 19th century during which ownership of the Moraga land grant fragmented and eventually shifted into the hands of “Americans” such as Horace Carpentier.
Early 20th Century Moraga 1900-1945 Refers to the first half of the 20th century with the end of World War II in 1945 treated as a major turning point in Moraga’s shift from an agribusiness into a suburban bedroom community.
Unincorporated Moraga 1945-1974 Refers to the post-war period until the incorporation of the Town of Moraga in 1974
Incorporated Moraga 1974-present Refers to the history of Moraga since incorporation in 1974