Claycord Online Museum – The Larwin Homes & Streets in Concord

August 5, 2014 14:00 pm · 11 comments


Many of you have probably traveled on N. Larwin Dr. or S. Larwin Dr. in Concord. The streets, which surround the Crossings neighborhood near Cowell & Ygnacio, didn’t get named after some local historical figure, they were named after the developers who built the homes back in the 1970s.

Founded in 1948 by developer Larry Weinstein, the Larwin company is based in Southern California, and has built over 20,000 homes in our state. If you check out Google Maps, you will find many streets with the name “Larwin” throughout California.

Many residents in the Crossings neighborhood have the “Larwin” logo (pictured above) embedded into the concrete in front of their homes.

Thanks to Tom for the picture!

ABOUT THE CLAYCORD ONLINE MUSEUM: The Claycord Online Museum is made up of historical photos, documents & anything else that has to do with the history of our area.

If you have any old photos or items that you’d like to place in the Claycord Online Museum, just scan or take a photo of them, and send them to the following address: It doesn’t matter what it is, even if it’s just an old photo of your house, a scan of an old advertisement or an artifact that you’d like us to see, send it in and we’ll put it online!

Click on the tag below titled “Claycord Online Museum” to view other items!

1 Noj August 5, 2014 at 2:40 PM

I know some kids who went to Clayton Valley and Pleasant Hill High School who grew up in Cowell. My old man used to drive out to the old Cowell plant in the 60’s, when the mushroom farmers were there, and loaded up his ’65 Impala wagon with soil to put in his garden.

2 RunnerDope August 5, 2014 at 4:07 PM

When did they demolish the plant? We went to the little museum they had there in ’64. I don’t remember the plant, just the smokestack.

3 Cowellian August 5, 2014 at 4:31 PM

My friend, Mr. Bill Larkins, has an answer to your question:

4 Silva August 5, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Cowellian, Thanks for the great link. It answered a lot of long standing questions I had. :)

5 Antler August 5, 2014 at 4:53 PM

Cowellian ar #3 ….. Thank you! That’s a fascinating article! We lived here during the time of the firefighters’ exercises and the looting of the homes, but I had never heard anything about that sad event.

I miss the iconic stack! Before the days of GPS, you could drive all over the valley and never really get lost because the stack served as a landmark beacon…… unless it was foggy or raining of course, but there was always a super Thomas Brothers map in the car door pocket!

6 Julio August 5, 2014 at 7:39 PM

When you mention the “stack” it is very different than when the “dome” is mentioned. The stack should have been saved. I grew up in P/H in the 40’s and 50’s.

7 Marianne August 5, 2014 at 7:58 PM

I still like your blog, Cowellian, I see you’ve updated it some. :-)

8 Jojo potato August 5, 2014 at 8:24 PM

When I was in elementary school my dad went out to a cabinet shop that was located in one of the empty cement plant buildings. Not sure what year that was but I remember tagging along. He ordered two desks with drawers for my brother and myself. The front of the drawers was all made out of a single piece and looks really nice even today. Still a study desk now for my grandson. I do remember sneaking out to look at the smokestack while the grown ups were doing their stuff. Love that desk!

9 RunnerDope August 6, 2014 at 10:12 AM


Bill Larkins gave a presentation to the Mt. Diablo Pilots Association about 20 years ago. Is he still with us?

I’m surprised that the factory was demolished in 1969. I was on the YVHS X-country team from ’65-’68 and we used to occasionally run over the hills to CVHS through Cowell. I don’t remember the factory, but even then there were several blocks where it was obvious that buildings had been removed.

10 LostBoysMom August 6, 2014 at 12:44 PM

I remember going to a show at the art museum because a friend of my parents had some paintings there. Us kids got bored and went out to play in a small cow pasture that was there. Then later, my neighbors went to that orthodontist and I went to some of their appointments. The fire pole was still there. It was cool.

11 Cowellian August 6, 2014 at 6:47 PM

I haven’t talked to him since they tore down the stack, but he was on Facebook as recently as May.

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