Danville, CA has a rich history stretching back to the pioneer and Gold Rush days of California's infancy. Thanks to an ongoing civic pride in their community and the dedication of many history-minded residents, Danville now boasts an impressive and educational Historic Walking Tour in the downtown area that commemorates its past and the characters and institutions that have helped shape the town.
Take a Walk Through History
Walk downtown Danville's scenic and educational Historic Walking Tour route and learn a bit about the area – whether you are visiting or a longtime resident, you are sure to discover something new!
Danville History: Historical Walking Tour Map
View Historic Danville Walking Tour in a larger map
1. The Old Oak Tree (1600’s)
Danville's symbol is recognized throughout the Bay Area and is estimated to be more than 350 years old.
2. Shuey/Podva House 100 School St. (1892)
Another of Danville's family homes, this dwelling was occupied by two separate families between the late 1800's and the late 1900's. It has since been restored and slightly renovated.
3. Bert Read House 571 Hartz Ave. (1900’s)
Built in the Early 1900's, this home is now used as a Law Office by a local family.
4. Cabral House 551 Hartz Ave. (1926)
One of the few remaining unaltered homes from Danville's past, this house is an excellent example of the architectural style of Danville's early years.
5. Hartz House 455 Hartz Ave. (1910)
This site marks a portion of what was a single-family owned property that comprised much of what is now the downtown area.
6. Frietas House 439 Hartz Ave. (1890’s)
Another of Danville's oldest homes ion the downtown area.
7. Dodge House 425 Hartz Ave. (1890's)
One of Danville's early Postmistresses lived here with her husband and family for almost 40 years.
8. Danville Hotel/McCauley House 411 Hartz Ave. (1892)
Built to serve the railroad traffic to the area, this hotel originally faced in the opposite direction before having to be turned toward Hartz Ave. to face what was now the downtown area.
9. Danville Depot 205 Railroad Ave. (1891)
This site served as the main post office in the area dating back to the late 1800's. Many local farmers and merchants built near this site and it became the shipping hub of the area. It is now occupied by the Museum of the San Ramon Valley.
10. Elliott's 369 Hartz Ave. (1912)
With a history dating back to the turn of the century, this bar has been in its present location since 1912 and was a short-lived ice cream parlor during the Prohibition years.
11. McDonald’s Drug Store 345-349 Hartz Ave. (1922)
An old fashioned soda fountain and drug store, this location served Danville residents for many years.
12. Pynn’s Drygoods Store 327 Hartz Ave. (1921)
Among the oldest commercial buildings in downtown Danville, this storefront has had a variety of shops and services since its beginnings.
13. St. Isidore’s Catholic Church Linda Mesa and Hartz Ave (Southeast Corner) (1911)
Built in 1911, dedicated in 1912, and eventually torn down in 1963, St Isidore’s Catholic Church served the first parish of Danville.
14. Elliott House 146 Diablo Rd. (1909)
This home stood on what was originally the County Road.
15. Close Family Diablo Rd, Front St, Hartz Ave.
One of the well known families in Danville’s history, the Close family maintained several properties in the area of this home.
16. Fredrickson House 172 East Prospect Ave. (1909)
Originally a home, this building was converted to retail space in 1978.
17. Danville Meat Market 114 E. Prospect Ave. (1924)
This building was once a meat warehouse and market.
18. Firehouse Building 340-356 Hartz Ave. (1925)
A fire station for Volunteer Firemen, this location was established by the Danville Fire Protection District.
19. Veterans Memorial Hall 400 Hartz Ave. (1925)
Built as a memorial to the area’s World War l veterans, this building is now used as a senior center as well as being the local home to the VFW, Foreign Legion, and other groups.
20. George Foster House 402 Hartz Ave. (1926)
Home to a well known Danville family for many years, this home was present and actively used throughout the Great Depression and ensuing rebuilding years.
21. Joe Foster House 404 Hartz Ave. (1900’s)
After a fire consumed the commercial store that stood on this property for some time, it was converted to create two separate homes that the Foster families lived in.
22. Eddy House 500 Hartz Ave. (1903)
This site was the original site for the San Ramon Valley Union High School.
23. Eugene O’Neill Commemorative Park Front St. (2005)
This pocket park is designed to memorialize the life and work of Eugene O’Neill, who lived in the Danville area for many years.
24. Danville Grammar School Front St. (1870’s)
Serving students of all ages at one time, this site was occupied by the Grammar (and what would now be Middle) schools for the town.
25. Grange Hall 233 Front St. (1874)
Built in the early 1900’s by a national organization of farmers, this building has served as a social and fraternal meeting area, theater, and office space.
26. Danville Presbyterian Church 201 Front St. (1876)
Originally built in the late 1800’s, the church was burned in 1932 and was not rebuilt until almost 60 years later.
27. Cohen/Vecki House 169 Front St. (1866)
Dating back to the late 1800’s, this home was a family home to two separate Danville families and was lovingly restored in 2001.
28. Danville Post Office 145 and 169 Prospect Ave. (1940’s)
Built following World War ll, this building has served as Danville’s Main Post Office for many years.