“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Antioch in Contra Costa County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

Sidney Flat

Sidney Flat Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, March 31, 2016
1. Sidney Flat Marker
Captions: middle left) Somesrville baseball team, circa 1902.; (bottom left) Lougher Ranch house at Sidney Flat, facing north, circa 1912.; (bottom center) Elmer (Jack) Lougher at Lougher ranch, circa 1930s.; (bottom center) Sidney Flat, circa 1926.; (bottom right) Amelia Ginochio, sister to Lizzie (Ginochio) Lougher, at the Lougher Ranch, 1916.; (middle right) Lizzie and Leyshon Lougher wedding photo, June 1909.
Inscription.  This area was the original site of the coal mining town of Somersville. The town was located here because of the availability of good drinking water. When the railroad arrived in 1866, water could be hauled from the San Joaquin River and the town was moved closer to the mines. A rancher later established a brothel here that included the unusual feature of a tunnel connecting the building's rear entrance to a nearby ravine, allowing customers to avoid being seen by passers-by.
In 1904 the land was sold to coal field residents Leyshon and Lizzie Lougher whose family remained on the land until 1956. Leyshon used materials salvaged from structures in the abandoned coal mining town of Nortonville to construct the house located across the road. A sheep barn and baseball field were built where the park headquarters now stand. In 1977 Sidney Flats was purchased by the East Bay Regional Park District and became part of the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve. The ranch house is currently used as the park residence.
Erected 2002 by E Clampus Vitus, Joaquin Murrieta Chapter No. 13 and the East Bay Regional
Sidney Flat Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, March 31, 2016
2. Sidney Flat Marker
Park District.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the E Clampus Vitus series list.
Location. 37° 58.289′ N, 121° 51.729′ W. Marker is near Antioch, California, in Contra Costa County. Marker is on Somersville Road, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 5175 Somersville Road, Antioch CA 94509, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Independent Mine (approx. 0.9 miles away); Mount Diablo Coal Field (approx. 0.9 miles away); Somersville Townsite (approx. one mile away); Greenhouse Portal (approx. 1.2 miles away); Riverview Union High School (approx. 3.6 miles away); Antioch High School Cupola (approx. 3.7 miles away); The McCoy Cook House (approx. 3.7 miles away); The Woman's Club of Antioch (approx. 4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Antioch.
More about this marker. This marker is located at the park visitors center near the entrance to Black Diamonds Regional Park.
Additional keywords. prostitution
Credits. This page was last revised on September 12, 2019. It was originally submitted on April 4, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 233 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 4, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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Jul. 8, 2020