Pinole — History

The City of Pinole has very colorful history.

Native American settlement of the West Contra Costa shoreline began at least 5,000 years ago. The Pinole region was the territory of the Huchiun Indians, whose territory extended from Berkeley to somewhere between Rodeo and Crockett.

The recorded history of Pinole dates back to the early 1700s when a Spanish commandant, Don Pedro Fages, led an exploration through Contra Costa. With a small band of soldiers and an Indian guide, Don Pedro Fages left Monterey and traveled northward until he reached the area known today as Pinole. According to legend, the soldiers ran out of provisions on their march and found a village of Indians who gave them food. This food consisted of a form of meal, made from acorns, seeds, and wild grain, which they called “pinole” (derived from the Aztec word “pinolli” meaning ground and toasted grain or seeds.) Thus, the soldiers named their camp “El Pinole,” and Pinole received its name.