Dublin Heritage Park & Museums
Under current Alameda County Health Orders, indoor museums are closed, with an undetermined opening date. Outdoor Visits to Heritage Park are allowed. While at the park visitors are required to maintain social distancing and wear a mask.
Visit the Dublin Heritage Park and Museums, a 10-acre park with historic buildings, lawns, a historic cemetery, and picnic areas. The park is open to the public during daylight hours. There are two museums on site: the Murray Schoolhouse, which houses a permanent exhibit on Dublin's history; and the Kolb House, a historic house-museum. Other properties on the site include the Old St. Raymond Church, the Kolb Sunday School Barn, and the Dublin Pioneer Cemetery.
History of Heritage Park
The significance of Heritage Park is that it sits at the crossroads of the Bay Area, at Dublin Boulevard and Donlon Way, dating back more than 200 years when Dublin served as the crossroads of two important stage couch routes - one from the Bay Area to Stockton and the other from Martinez to San Jose. The Alamilla Spring, located near Heritage Park in front of the Sofi Dublin Apartment buildings, provided a place for travelers to change horses and freshen up before continuing their journey.
Building in the area began in 1835. Jose Maria Amador had been paid in land for his years of service as a Mexican soldier and as administrator of Mission San Jose. He received a land grant of 16,517 acres in the Amador-Livermore Valley. He built several adobe homes and many small buildings that were used as shops where his Native American workers made soap, blankets, shoes, farm tools, etc., for use on his ranch. Amador’s adobe buildings used to sit across the street from Heritage Park right were Sofi Dublin Apartments are now.
Dublin was founded over 160 years ago by a diverse group of immigrants. By 1877, Dublin began to grow in the area where Heritage Park now sits. On this site were St Raymond’s Church, Dublin Pioneer Cemetery, two hotels, Green's Store, a wagon and blacksmith shop, and a shoemaker's shop.
Michael Murray Schoolhouse
- The schoolhouse was built in 1856 by Jeremiah Fallon and Michael Murray, Dublin's town founders.
- Michael Murray and Jeremiah and Eleanor Fallon settled the area in 1846, and purchased land from Jose Marie Amador in 1850.
- The schoolhouse has two rooms. The larger room was for the older kids, 5th to 8th grade, and the smaller room or “little classroom” was used for the smaller kids, 1st to 4th grade.
- The schoolhouse has changed locations three times that we know of, but it originally sat about where the Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton is located, and also moved to Dublin Canyon Road, right next to the Kolb Ranch.
- The schoolhouse was closed in 1952, and was moved to Dublin Heritage Park in 1975 to serve as a museum.
- The schoolhouse houses a permanent exhibit, entitled "The Journey," and often displays other temporary historical exhibits.
Old St. Raymond’s Church
- Old St. Raymond's Church was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on April 12, 2006.
- The church was registered with California’s Office of Historic Preservation on July 18, 1967.
- This church is the only building on the site that sits in its original location.
- Before the church was built, Dublin residents had to travel across the ridge to Mission San Jose. Dublin residents in 1859 donated land and pooled their money to purchase the materials needed to construct their own church.
- The church name reflects the area’s beginnings as Rancho San Ramon (Saint Raymond).
- It is situated on four acres of land donated by Michael Murray and Jeremiah Fallon, and possibly James Witt Dougherty. (There was a dispute about the land ownership.)
- The church was built in 1859 with wood from the Oakland Redwood Forest.
- Tom Donlon perished when he fell from the roof of the church during construction. He was buried in what became the Dublin Pioneer Cemetery, located adjacent to Old St. Raymond Church.
- Archbishop Alemany of San Francisco and Father Federa of Mission San Jose consecrated the church in April 1860.
- St. Raymon's Church held its first wedding in 1866. Ellen Fallon (Jeremiah Fallon’s daughter) married William Tehan.
- The steeple and bell tower were added to the building in 1880.
- Father King from St. Mary’s in Oakland rode a horse/ donkey over to Dublin once a month for mass.
- Old St. Raymond Church was built in the Vernacular Gothic Revival style.
- By 1966, the church was falling apart and mass was being held at the chapel at Camp Parks. In 1967, the Amador-Livermore Valley Historical Society took control and were able to save and restore the church.
Dublin Pioneer Cemetery
- When the church was being built a 25-year-old Irish immigrant named Tom Donlon was working on the roof when he fell to his death. His burial marked the official start of Dublin Cemetery.
- The Dublin Pioneer Cemetery was officially established in 1859, with the death and burial of Tom Donlon.
- It contains over 450 grave sites. It is still an active cemetery.
- Fallen Oak Tree - One of the oldest oak trees in Dublin fell during a storm in January 2017. The tree was so large that it fell across 8 plots and damaged many headstones, Jeremiah Fallon’s included.
- Much of the plants that are in the cemetery were used symbolically. The large weeping willows that are there represent loss and the mourning families.
- The main pathway that leads down the middle of the cemetery is known as Hawthorn Way, because it is lined with Hawthorn trees. In Irish/Celtic mythology it is one of the most sacred trees and symbolizes love and protection. It was also believed to be in habited by faeries or guardians of the afterlife. It is a significant detail to the park since the church and cemetery were established by the Irish Catholics.
- A few families in the cemetery were a part of the infamous Donner Party Exhibition
- Dublin Cemetery is the resting place of many of the pioneering families of the area, such as:
- Fallon, Murray, Donlon, Dougherty, Kolb, Muller, Glass, Dobbel, Tehan.
- The north half of the park is dedicated to the Kolb Family, and displays what life was like for the families that settled this area.
- The Kolb Family arrived in this area in 1884.
- George Kolb,Jr. arrived in California in 1884, worked a short time at Phillip’s store in Pleasanton, bought the Green General store in 1894 then married Wilhelmina. They lived in a small cottage behind the store. They had 2 sons – Edwin and Harold. 1904 George purchase 350 acres of land from the Dougherty Fam. This started the ranch. Harold married Elsie and took over the ranch. They had 3 kids: Donna, Bill, Carol
- The Kolb family lived and worked in Dublin through many generations. They farmed the land, raised cattle, sheep, and chickens, and were an important part of the community.
- The Kolb Ranch is a well-preserved example of the farm origins of Dublin and Alameda County.
- The buildings were located on the original site of the Kolb Ranch at the base of Dublin Canyon on the west end of Amador Valley, just on the other side of Dublin Creek .
- Highway 580 cut across the Kolb’s land, as seen in the photo below.
- In 2010 the Sunday School Barn, the Hay Barn, the Old House, the Pump House, and the Kolb House were moved from their original location on Dublin Ranch Road to Dublin Heritage Park & Museums.
- Build approximately in 1900
- Used by the Kolb family to store hay, grains, and the dairy cows.
- Today it’s used to store the Kolb family tractor. 1940’s Ford N Series Tractor. An all-purpose row-crop tractor.
- Originally the tractor didn’t have rubber on the tires. Since WWII was still happening materials such as rubber were all going to support the war efforts and not available until after the war. (WWII ended in 1945)
- Moved to Heritage Park in 2010
The Sunday School Barn
- It is believed to have been built sometime around 1870.
- The Sunday School Barn was originally located across from the Kolb’s General Store, originally the Green Store (across the street from Heritage Park on Dublin Blvd).
- George Kolb bought it from Charles Dougherty (son of James Witt Dougherty) in 1905 for $25.00 and George used it to store supplies.
- The barn got its name because it was used by Dublin’s protestant community as a Sunday school for their children.
- The Kolb family was not Catholic, so they most likely attended the Protestant church services in the Sunday School Barn.
- In 1912 George Kolb moved the Sunday School Barn to his ranch where it stayed until 2010 and was primarily used for storage.
- Moved to Heritage Park in 2010, very close to its original location.
The Old House
- In 1904 George purchased 350 acres of land from Charles Dougherty and this Old House was already on the property. They moved from the small cottage located behind the General store to this small house.
- George and Wilhelmina & their 2 sons Edwin and Harold lived in this little house for 6 years until their Craftsman Bungalow was built.
- This little house was just 2 rooms, bedroom and a small kitchen.
- Moved to Heritage Park in 2010.
1910 Craftsman Bungalow style house.
- Built by Charles Bruce of Pleasanton. Plans for the house came from Wilhelmina’s sister, Augusta, who had one built in Beverly Hills.
- This house was finished in December 1910 and George Jr, Wilhelmina, Edwin (11) and Harold (10) moved in January 1911.
- The home was furnished with Arts & Crafts Mission style furniture.
- The house had state-of-the-art running water and eventually electricity, but electricity was a couple years later.
- In 1933 George Jr. died and Harold, his wife Elsie, and their 2 children (Donna and Bill) moved in with Wilhelmina. Daughter Carol was born in 1938.
- When Carol Kolb donated the buildings to the City of Dublin, she also donated everything in this house; So, most of what you see in the house was used by the family that lived here.
- The doghouse by the back porch and even the gates in front of the house were all used on the Kolb ranch.
- Moved to Heritage Park in 2010.
The Green General Store
- Registered with California’s Office of Historic Preservation December 7, 1979.
- This building is not officially a part of Heritage Park, but it does sit right across the street and played a very important role in the development of Dublin.
- Established by John Green and built in 1860, this was Dublin’s first store
- George Kolb Jr. purchased the store in 1894 and ran it until 1909, at that time it was known as the Kolb’s General Store.
- In 1896 George Kolb Jr. married Wilhelmina Hartung and they moved into a cottage behind the store (where Challenge Butter is now)
- This building has been many things over the years; general store, post office, library, restaurants, and is now a church.