Antioch Council approves proclamation honoring City’s Sesquicentennial of incorporation

Source: City of Antioch

During special meeting, Friday on 3-0-2 vote

By Allen D. Payton

During a special and brief council meeting held Friday afternoon, Feb. 4, 2022, the Antioch City Council, on a 3-0-2 vote approved a proclamation honoring the City’s Sesquicentennial, or 150th anniversary of the day it was incorporated on Feb. 6, 1872. The milestone was celebrated yesterday. (See related article and more about the commemoration, later)

With Mayor Pro Tem and District 2 Councilman Mike Barbanica and District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker both absent, and District 4 Councilwoman Monica Wilson attending via Zoom, the motion to approve the proclamation. When asked why he wasn’t there, Barbanica said he “had a prior engagement that I could not get out of and it was not a scheduled meeting but a special meeting.” When asked the same, Torres-Walker replied, “I had to work Friday.”

Another proclamation honoring Genesis Church-Antioch recognizing the opening of their new location on the corner of E. 18th Street and Woodland Drive, was also approved by the council. Genesis purchased the building from Golden Hills Community Church which housed their Antioch satellite campus. Both are part of the same Converge denomination, formerly known as the Baptist General Conference, which was founded by Swedish immigrants to America in the 1800’s in Illinois and Minnesota. Genesis Church-Antioch Proclamation 020422

Following is the Sesquicentennial proclamation: Antioch City Council Sesquicentennial Proclamation 020422



FEBRUARY 6, 2022

WHEREAS, for thousands of years, native indigenous Bay Miwok Tribes such as the Julpun inhabited and thrived on the land now known as the City of Antioch. Each Bay Miwok Tribe knew its land and boundaries intimately and shared the land and its resources;

WHEREAS, Twin brothers William Wiggin Smith and Joseph Horton Smith were hired to build homes and businesses in the region and were offered land in exchange for the development of land owned by Dr. John Marsh.* Later Captain George Washington Kimball and his passengers landed at the foot of ‘F’ Street, on September 16, 1850, where a new community would begin at what is now an area just east of Downtown Antioch;

WHEREAS, the community was initially called Smith’s Landing, but on July 4th, 1851 was renamed after the Biblical town Antioch, modern day Turkey, in honor of Reverend Joseph Horton Smith, who died a year earlier and in recognition that many in the new community were disciples of Christ;

WHEREAS, the town of Antioch was formally incorporated on February 6th, 1872, with the original town limits being ‘A’ Street to the east, ‘L’ Street to the west, and 10th Street to the south;

WHEREAS, at the time of incorporation the early people of Antioch were of European nationalities, including Greek, Portuguese, English, Welsh, German, Italian, and French as well as people of Chinese, Japanese, South East Asian and African descent. Living up to its claim of being a Metropolis where “the Whole World is Invited”;

WHEREAS, Antioch being at the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers was a deep-water shipping port that attracted paper mills, brick and glass factories, ceramics and distilleries. As well as an agriculture center for farmers and cattle ranchers;

WHEREAS, in 1878 the Empire Coal Mine Company, owned by CW Belshaw and Egbert Judson, built the Empire Railroad Company, transporting coal from Judsonville, West Harley, and Stewartsville, in what is present day Black Diamond Regional Park. This coal was shipped across the region, making it one of the primary energy sources at the time, thus fueling the industrial development of California including the Bay Area;

WHEREAS, in the 1940’s Midwestern, Mexican, and Filipino families came to California looking for work in agriculture, many of whom eventually joined the workforce in Antioch’s paper mill and glass factory;

WHEREAS, although global commerce was welcomed in Antioch, it is also true that historical discrimination in the form of “Sundown Ordinances,” racial housing covenants, redlining, and other forms of systematic oppression was also present in Antioch. Many of the effects of which are still felt by communities today;

WHEREAS, when our Nation went to defend freedom, Antioch residents fought in World War l, World War ll, Korean, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and Iraq wars. In support of the US Navy World War ll effort, Fulton Shipyard was the first San Francisco Bay Area company to garner an “E” for efficiency and production excellence while constructing auxiliary vessels;

WHEREAS, the Bald Eagle Bronze Monument, now at the Contra Costa Fair Grounds, is one of six World War l monuments along Victory Highway, America’s first transcontinental road when it was dedicated in 1926. The Antioch Bridge was named the “Golden Link” of Victory Highway, named for its significance in connecting the northern and southern parts of California and was the Country’s first toll bridge;

WHEREAS, the City of Antioch has grown and evolved from a town of agriculture to a town of industry, and is now the fastest growing city in the San Franciso Bay Metropolitan Area and continues to draw people from different parts of the world and today is one of the most racially and economically diverse cities in the Bay Area;

WHEREAS, the City of Antioch is now a community where “Opportunity Lives Here,” a statement that is shown in the City’s investments in its infrastructure like the first Brackish Water Desalination Plant in California, industries like medical services, retail and cannabis, racial reconciliation, and other community initiatives; and

WHEREAS, the City of Antioch now desires to commemorate the milestone of its Sesquicentennial through a series of events that will begin with the anniversary of its incorporation on February 6, 2022, and culminate in a community-wide celebration on July 4, 2022.

NOW, THEREFORE I, LAMAR A. THORPE, Mayor of the City of Antioch, do hereby proclaim February 6, 2022, as the “Sesquicentennial of the Incorporation of the City of Antioch”.

We celebrate our rich history as one of California’s oldest cities with a storied past and bright future.

FEBRUARY 4, 2022



The proclamation was signed by Mayor Thorpe during Sunday’s event celebrating the milestone.

Challenge to Second Paragraph of Proclamation

*This sentence is in question and being challenged. Former Antioch Councilwoman Elizabeth Rimbault, who helped write the book entitled Images of America – Antioch by the Antioch Historical Society said she is unaware of that as part of the Smith brothers’ history in Antioch. In addition, this reporter who researched multiple books in writing The History of Smith’s Landing which is on display inside Smith’s Landing Seafood Grille is also not aware of that claim. City Clerk Ellie Householder was asked to cite the source for it and if she perhaps misinterpreted what was written about the Smith brothers early time, here as they founded the community.

the attachments to this post:

Sesquicentennial Proclamation header 020422

Genesis Church-Antioch Proclamation 020422


Antioch City Council Sesquicentennial Proclamation 020422

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