Martinez (/mɑrˈtiːnɨs/ mar-TEE-niss or/mɑrˈtiːnɛθ/ mar-TEE-neth; Spanish: Martínez) is a city and the county seat of Contra Costa County, California, United States.
The population was 35,824 at the 2010 census. The downtown is notable for its large number of preserved old buildings. Martinez is located on the south side of the Carquinez Strait in the San Francisco Bay Area, directly facing the city ofBenicia.
In 1824 the Alhambra Valley was included in theRancho El Pinole Mexican land grant to Ygnacio Martínez. In 1847, Dr. Robert Semplecontracted to provide ferry service from Martinez to Benicia, which for many years was the only crossing on the Carquinez Strait.
By 1849, Martínez served as a way station for theCalifornia Gold Rush. The town was laid out in 1849 by Col. William M. Smith and named for Martinez. It became the county seat in 1850, but could not incorporate at the time because it lacked the 200 registered voters required, and only became a city in 1876. READ MORE AT WIKIPEDIA.ORG
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