Englishman Robert Livermore jumped ship in Southern California in 1822, yet just 15 years later became the respected owner of the 40,000-acre Las Positas land grant. Here he built his new Californio wife an adobe house in 1839. The wealth that flowed into California during the gold rush allowed Livermore to import a two-story house around the Horn, but entrepreneurs and squatters flowed in as well. Nathaniel Patterson opened the first hotel in the old Livermore adobe, frequented by miners on their way from the South Bay to the Sierra gold mines. Laddsville, a village built where the roads to Stockton and Dublin met, was also a going concern until the Central Pacific pushed over the Altamont Pass. On this line grew the town founded by William Mendenhall in 1869, named for pioneer Livermore, who had died more than a decade earlier. Soon Livermore became the valley’s commercial center for hay, wheat, barley, wine grapes, and ranching.
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