History of The Old Homestead
Erected in 1867, on land purchased from Judge J.B. Crockett, the Old Homestead was the first non-native American dwelling in Crockett. It was built by Thomas Edwards Sr., a rancher and stock raiser, who originally settled here with his wife and three sons in 1861.
When the home was built, it was virtually the only home in the area. The bay water, with a seven foot depth at high tide, reached to within fifty feet of the Edwards’ house. Many of the timbers used in the construction were shipped around the Horn. In the early 1880’s, the Edwards family sold the portion of their property where C&H now stands for the purpose of building a flour mill. In 1894, the flour mill was purchased by a George W. McNear with the idea of producing beet sugar. In 1897, McNear, along with a group of Californian and Hawaiian businessmen, bought the Edwards Ranch for $75,000, with a rental agreement allowing the Edwards family to continue occupying the Homestead.
Eventually, the Edwards family moved from the residence. The Old Homestead was renovated in 1953 and operated as a meeting place for community organizations, weddings, parties and other events under the auspices of the Crockett Parks and Recreation Association. In 1973, due to operation losses, the association returned the Homestead to C&H Sugar Company.
In the meantime, after a year of intensive effort by the Carquinez Women’s Club, the Old Homestead was dedicated as a State Historical Landmark in October of 1960.
Since 1974, the Carquinez Women’s Club has assumed responsibility of the Old Homestead and gardens. Extensive renovations were spearheaded by the Crockett Lions Club. New window coverings, painting of the interior, a handicap ramp, a bathroom addition, and reconstruction of the previous bathroom were completed. Funding for these projects was provided by the Crockett Community Foundation, C&H Sugar Company and the Carquinez Women’s Club.