Livermore, California… Pleasanton’s neighbor to East. But how much to you know about Livermore? Let’s take a look at a few fun facts.
Where did the name Livermore come from?
If you read the blog about the Top 10 things you probably didn’t know about Pleasanton, you know that Pleasanton was named on accident. But what about Livermore? How did Livermore get its name? Well, back in 1839, Robert Livermore was granted some land which included the present-day city of Livermore. About 30 years later, after Livermore’s death, the town of Livermore was platted and registered as a railroad town by William Martin Mendenhall, and named Livermore in honor of Robert Livermore. They had been friends for some time.
Not quite the accidental naming of the city, like in Pleasanton, but mistakes were made. The official U.S. post office in Livermore opened on Jan. 15, 1869. But it was named Nottingham because they though Robert Livermore was born in Nottingham, England. Well, he wasn’t. He was actually born in Springfield, Essex England. Oops! The post office’s name was rightly changed to Livermore on July 7, 1870.
With a 2020 population of of about 88,000, Livermore is actually the most populous city in the Tri-Valley.
We all know that Livermore is known for its wine and wineries, and that’s because Livermore is California’s oldest wine region. But who planted the first grapes in Livermore? Would you believe that the first grapes were planted long before Livermore was even named Livermore? Let’s travel back in time to 1797 to when a group of Catholic Padres founded Mission San Jose. The beautiful rolling hills were originally used as pastures for cattle, but eventually, they decided to plant grapes. And the rest is history.
Speaking of history, did you know that there were well over 50 wineries in the Livermore Valley before Prohibition? That’s right, the 18th Amendment which prohibited “the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors” destroyed much of the wine industry there. In fact, as popular as it is today, the wine business still hasn’t caught up to its pre-Prohibition winery count.
In 1901, one of the Livermore firehouses installed a hand-blown light bulb. This bulb, from the Shelby Electric Company, is still in use today! Called the Centennial Light Bulb, it is noted in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s oldest working light bulb. Now in its 120th year of illumination, the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department still maintains by the light bulb and you’re welcome to visit Fire Station #6 to see it in person.
The Livermore area is the home of two Department of Energy National Laboratories. One of them, is the California site of Sandia National Laboratories. The other, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), also happens to be the largest the largest employer in Livermore.
In 2012, the LLNL had the synthetic chemical element, Livermorium, named after it which puts Livermore on the Periodic Table! The name Livermorium was chosen to honor Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the City of Livermore. Livermorium is a synthetic chemical element with the symbol Lv and has an atomic number of 116. It is an extremely radioactive element, with a half-life of only 47 milliseconds, and has only been created in the laboratory and has not been observed in nature.
Since 1918, Livermore has hosted the Livermore Rodeo. Affectionately called the “World’s Fastest Rodeo”, claims have been made that it has more riders per hour than any other event of its type. The well earned slogan was first used in 1935.
The Livermore Police Department was established in 1876! At that time, it was the only law enforcement agency, in the San Francisco Bay Area, besides the San Francisco Police Department.
One of the most notable Major League Baseball Pitchers, Randy Johnson, was a graduate of Livermore High School in 1982. He went on to play for the Montreal Expos, Seattle Mariners, Houston Astros, Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Yankees, and San Francisco Giants from 1988–2009. He is now a Baseball Hall of Fame inductee.
But what is a Sister City? According to Sister Cities International, a sister city relationship is a broad-based, long-term partnership between two communities in two different countries. A relationship is officially recognized after the highest elected or appointed official from both communities sign off on an agreement to become sister cities.
The city of Livermore has five landmarks that have made it onto the National Register of Historic Places:
That’s The Scoop for now. We hope you learned a little something about Livermore. And as always, feel free to reach out to any one of us here at Elation Real Estate for all your real estate needs, in and around Livermore, Pleasanton and the rest of the Tri-Valley. Or ask us how you can join our team. Either way, you’ll know where to find us… no compass needed!