Brief History of San Ramon

While it took several decades for the name "San Ramon" to become well-known in the San Ramon Valley, it is one of the oldest. Limerick was the name given to the village on a county map from 1885.


San Ramon was the name given to the creek that emerged from Bollinger Canyon in the 1830s. Rancho San Ramon (Amador), Rancho San Ramon Valley (Castro/ Pacheco), and El Sobrante de San Ramon were three Mexican ranchos in the valley (Romero). In 1844, the Castro/Pacheco grant was carved out of the Castro/Pacheco grant, which included parts of Alamo and Tice Valley.


In an 1855 land case, Jose Maria Amador, whose rancho covered much of San Ramon and had a headquarters in Dublin, explained the root of the name. “A mayor domo (of Mission San Jose) by the name of Ramon gave it (the creek) its name a long time ago when he had the care of some sheep there,” he testified. He went on to say that "San" was added to Ramon's name to make it seem more like a Spanish name. Ramon was a missionary Indian who was most likely born in the East Bay and was named after St. Raymond.

The village was originally called Brevensville after Levi Breven (Brewin), a blacksmith. The blacksmith's trade was vital to early ranchers, and many places were named after people whose shop or skill was important to the region.


The next name was “Lynchville,” after William Lynch, an ambitious early pioneer who came to the Valley as a young man in 1850 and assisted Leo Norris in constructing San Ramon's first two-story frame building. He was a professional carpenter and a rancher and farmer in the valley for many years. In San Ramon, he and his wife Mary Norris Lynch raised seven children.


San Ramon had a post office in the 1850s, but it closed in 1859; it reopened on Dec. 4, 1873. J.P. Munro-Fraser, a historian, wrote in 1882 that the name "San Ramon" was "given to the Post-office at what is generally known as the village of Limerick." In recognition of this history, a new park on Bethany Road in Dougherty Valley is named Limerick Park.


San Ramon's name was not known until the railroad arrived in 1891. The San Ramon Branch Line of the Southern Pacific was the railroad's formal name, and it served as the line's terminus from 1891 to 1909. San Ramon was no longer known as Limerick when the line was extended to Pleasanton in 1909. Today, San Ramon is a vibrant young city that can proudly claim to be one of California's oldest city names.




Mount Diablo, which is visible from almost every part of the capital, flanks the city to the northeast. At the northern end of Bollinger Canyon, the Las Trampas Regional Wilderness crosses San Ramon's extreme northwest. Bishop Ranch Regional Preserve is a smaller preserve that straddles San Ramon's western boundary, roughly between Interstate 680 and the Alameda County line.


San Ramon's topography is diverse, with a combination of the Diablo Range's rolling hills and the San Ramon Valley's flatter basin. The city is mostly urban and suburban, with several new housing developments; however, most of the land around the city's perimeter regions remains undeveloped, with grasslands and oak tree orchards. The grasses are golden during the dry months, but turn green during the wetter months of winter and spring.



San Ramon, California is blessed to be one of the top school districts in all of California.  Here’s a list of our favorites:

  • Dougherty Valley High School

  • California High School

  • Windemere Ranch Middle School

  • Pine Valley Middle School

  • Gale Ranch Middle School

  • Iron Horse Middle School 

  • Hidden Hills Elementary School

  • Live Oak Elementary School

  • Bollinger Canyon Elementary School

All of these wonderful schools are located just a short distance from our location at 9835 Belladonna Drive in San Ramon!