Antioch Council honors city’s first African American resident Tuesday night

Thomas Gaines. Photo: City of Antioch

Part of Black History Month

During last night’s meeting the Antioch City Council adopted a resolution honoring the city’s first African American, declaring yesterday, February 9, 2021 as Thomas Gaines Day in Antioch. Following is the text of the resolution: Thomas Gaines Day resolution 020921


FEBRUARY 9, 2021

WHEREAS, Since the beginning of Antioch in the 1800’s our community has become home for new residents from around the world; and

WHEREAS, In the 1860’s an emancipated slave named Thomas Gaines came to Antioch and worked as a laborer on the Antioch docks; and

WHEREAS, Thomas Gaines was the only African American resident of Antioch between 1860 and the 1940’s; and

WHEREAS, He lived in a red brick shack on the waterfront in the back of the Antioch Lumber Company; and

WHEREAS, On February 28, 1875, Thomas Gaines became a member of the First Congregational Church by profession of faith; and

WHEREAS, Thomas Gaines was highly regarded around town for his noble work and his caring attention towards others – he regularly walked women and children home from church for safety; and

WHEREAS, Today Antioch celebrates a rich cultural heritage and inspiring diversity, and collaborates with several community partners to recognize Black History Month in February with special events and impressive exhibits.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, LAMAR THORPE, Mayor of the City of Antioch, do hereby proclaim February 9, 2021, as “THOMAS GAINES DAY” during Black History Month and the Black History Month Exhibit Days and I encourage all citizens, schools, and organizations to learn more about Antioch’s cultural history, Black History Month, and Thomas Gaines, the first African American resident.


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Thomas Gaines Day resolution 020921
Thomas Gaines Day resolution 020921

Thomas Gaines

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