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Located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, Richmond borders the cities of San Pablo, Albany, El Cerrito and Pinole in addition to the unincorporated communities of North Richmond, Hasford Heights, Kensington, El Sobrante, Bayview-Montalvin Manor, Tara Hills, and East Richmond Heights, and for a short distance San Francisco on Red Rock Island in the San Francisco Bay.
Richmond is one of two cities, the other being San Rafael, California, that sits on the shores of San Francisco Bay and San Pablo Bay simultaneously. Census, the city's population is at 103,710, making it the second largest city in the United States named Richmond.
Under the Mc Laughlin Administration, Richmond was the largest city in the United States served by a Green Party mayor. The largest, Richmond, Virginia, is the namesake of the California city.
The name "Richmond" appears to predate actual incorporation by more than fifty years.
Edmund Randolph, originally from Richmond, Virginia, represented the city of San Francisco when California's first legislature met in San Jose in December 1849, and he became state assemblyman from San Francisco.
His loyalty to the town of his birth caused him to persuade a federal surveying party mapping the San Francisco Bay to place the names "Point Richmond" and "Richmond" on an 1854 geodetic coast map, which was the geodetic map at the terminal selected by the San Francisco and San Joaquin Valley Railroad; and by 1899 maps made by the railroad carried the name "Point Richmond Avenue", designating a county road that later became Barrett Avenue, a central street in Richmond.
The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad had its terminus at Richmond.
The old Ford plant has been a National Historic Place since 1988, and in 2004 was purchased by developer Eddie Orton The city was a small town at that time, until the onset of World War II which brought on a rush of migrants and a boom in the industrial sector.
Standard Oil set up operations here in 1901, including a what is now the Chevron Richmond Refinery and tank farm, which are still operated by Chevron.
There is a pier into San Francisco Bay south of Point Molate for oil tankers.
The western terminus of the Santa Fe Railroad was established in Richmond with ferry connections at Ferry Point in the Brickyard Cove area of Point Richmond to San Francisco.
At the outset of World War II, the four Richmond Shipyards were built along the Richmond waterfront, employing thousands of workers, many recruited from all over the United States, including many African-Americans and women entering the workforce for the first time.