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Fernandez Mansion side view from drone (Earl Combs) Fernandez Mansion side view from drone.

By Jeff Rubin, President, Pinole Historical Society

We are very grateful to live in a community where people and organizations support each other. It’s one of the most endearing characteristics of small towns and cities.

Among those special people is longtime Pinole resident Earl Combs, a former contractor and Realtor®, who has been honored by the City of Pinole and the Pinole Historical Society for making significant contributions to the history of the community.

Earl received a proclamation from the City of Pinole recognizing his more than 50 years of contributions to the city, including his work as a contractor on the construction of the original Pinole Valley High School and numerous single-family homes that helped populate Pinole Valley in the 1960s.

He also documented — in photos and videos — the demolition of the original Pinole Valley High School and the construction of the new Pinole Valley High School, for which he also received an award at the new school’s dedication in 2019.

Additionally, the Pinole Historical Society presented Earl with its “Friend of History” award in appreciation of his photographic contributions to the society’s archives.

Earl’s photos of historic buildings, important community events, and construction projects, many taken with his drone, document an important period in the city’s history — the Bay Trail Extension over the Southern Pacific Railroad tracks, the Gateway East and West centers, and the modernization of the Pinole-Hercules Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Earl’s aerial photos of the Fernandez Mansion, Faria House (the future home of the Pinole History Museum), Square Deal Garage, and other historic sites built in the early years of the city’s history are a permanent record that will be viewed, studied, and enjoyed by future generations of our residents.

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