Updated: Apr 5, 2019

Downtown Pinole with Quinan Street in right foreground, ca.1908. Photo courtesy of the Pinole Historical Society.

By Stella Faria, Pinole Historical Society

After the death of my father in a February 1929 explosion in the nitroglycerine plan at the Hercules Powder Company, my mother was forced to move from the company-owned house in the village, which had been in our home for about two-and-a-half years.

We moved to a rental house at 621 Quinan Street, in Pinole. It had only two bedrooms, but one was large enough to hold two double beds, which accommodated four young girls under the age of ten. We had discussions about who slept with whom and whose turn it was to make the bed or tidy up the room. Otherwise, we settled into our new home quickly.

At a Pinole Historical Society meeting on May 4, 2018, I finally found out where the Quinan name originated. Mr. Quinan was a superintendent at the Hercules Powder Company and a close friend of the very influential Edward M. Downer.

Mr. Downer served on the Pinole City Council from 1903 until his death in 1938. Mr. Downer founded the Bank of Pinole and later purchased controlling interest in Mechanics Bank. It may have been Mr. Downer who submitted Quinan as a street name.

Quinan Street is parallel to Tennent Avenue and is only one block long from Tennent Avenue to Park Street. It was just a little street in downtown Pinole, but it is now one of the highlights of Old Town Pinole. Many of the original houses have been restored and some are now