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.
Murrieta’s Well, to name one, is one of California’s original wine estates and has been growing grapes since the 1800’s.
Centennial Light Bulb
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, you can visit Fire Station #6 to see it in person.