Moraga Historical Society

Moraga Historical Society
Address: 1500 St. Mary's Rd., Moraga, CA (adjacent to Moraga Public Library)
Hours: Monday and Wednesday 1:00 - 3:30 p.m. or by appointment
Phone: (925) 377-8734
 
The Moraga Historical Society is located next to the Moraga Public Library on St. Mary's Rd. in Moraga. The society considers themselves an archive, not a museum, though they have a few artifacts that they use in their third-grade history program every spring. They were established in 1965 to preserve the history of the Rancho Laguna de los Palos Colorados, where Moraga now sits. From the resources of their facility, they have published a couple of books about Moraga and the surrounding area. 
They have three rooms full of resources to help anyone interested in the history of the Moraga valley, from the early Moraga family, the Sacramento Northern Railway, St. Mary's College, to the early developers of the area, Frank Draeger, Donald Rheem, and James Irvin. They have many file cabinets full of clipping files, biographies, photos, original court files, and obituaries. Also, they have a nice collection of maps and books. One newspaper they have is The Pacific Rural Press. 
 
A visit to their website at moragahistory.org will give you a short history of Moraga, starting with a land grant request in 1835 by Joaquin Moraga and his cousin, Juan Bernal, to create the Rancho Laguna de los Palos Colorados. The website also includes the story of how Moraga became known for its Bartlett pears, planted by James Irvine around 1913. There is a store on the site where you can purchase books, cards and other items about this East Bay town.