How Our City Was Named "Hercules"


      Our town has a rather tragic, but comical story about how it got its name.  The original Native Americans inhabited this area first.  Then, over a hundred years ago the Hercules Power Company was created to fulfill the need for dynamite used in mining the silver and gold in the nearby Sierra - Nevada Mountains.  The company was originally located on the San Francisco Peninsula. 

      The company had a poor safety record and was frequently in trouble with local authorities for violations.  In 1890 the Hercules Power Company bought a huge amount of land in the northeast corner of the Bay Area.   The dynamite plant was built on the edge of San Pablo Bay and the company purchased land up to five miles inward.  The company thought it would solve its problem with local officials by creating its own town.   The town was named "Hercules" and essentially the only people who lived in it were those employees of the company.

     The safety record of the company, unfortunately did not improve.  Many people were killed in the process of making dynamite.  As the need for dynamite faded, the company finally folded.  The city retained the name of Hercules.   It is now primarily a residential community with businesses offered at such sites as the North Shore Business Park and the Hercules Venture Commercial Center. Bio-Rad is also a notable business within the city.  Hercules unique geographical location on San Pablo Bay makes it an incomparable treasure in the San Francisco Bay Area of California.

 For a more detailed description of our history, please see
The Hercules Historical Society's Webpage    Also see Juan Bautista de Anza

    Above and Below: Ruins of the H. P. C. in 2003