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Danville's history has been one of change and growth. Often referred to as the "Heart of the San Ramon Valley," Danville was first populated by Indians who lived next to the creeks and camped on Mount Diablo in the summer.

Later it was part of Mission San Jose's grazing land and a Mexican land grant called Rancho San Ramon. Danville was settled and named by Americans drawn here by the California Gold Rush. A remarkable number of early Danville buildings remain today such as the Danville Hotel and the Grange Hall. Many of the early pioneer names appear on the streets and schools, including Baldwin, Harlan, Wood, Love, Hemme, Boone, Bettencourt and Meese. Residents worked diligently to improve their community.

In 1910 a public high school district was organized and San Ramon Valley Union High School was built; a library supervised by Lillian Close opened in 1913 with 104 books; St. Isidore’s Catholic Church was first established at Hartz and Linda Mesa in 1910; and an Improvement League spearheaded the first streetlights and paved roads in 1915.

Danville continues to be a farm country well into the 1940’s. The whole Valley had 2,120 people in 1940, growing by 4.650 by 1950. The new I-680 freeway was built I the mid 1960’s and altered Danville permanently. The Valley population leaped from 12,700 in 1960 to 25,900 in 1970, to 41,100 in 1975 to 57,300 in 1980. In 2000, Danville’s population was 41,715. Those days when everybody knew everybody else are now long gone.

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