ABOUT THE BARN
By 1912, the bulk of the Joaquin rancho was purchased by James Irvine. He started the Moraga Land Company. It was during this period that the Moraga Company headquarters was established next to what today is The Moraga Shopping Center. The Moraga Company planted many acres of pear and walnut trees, grazed cattle on the hillsides and had many sharecroppers in the Moraga Valley. There were as many as 150 workers at The Moraga Company Ranch. The Portuguese sharecroppers were told what to plant and paid the Moraga Company rent in crops. The Moraga Company also sold land to developers and subdivided land itself. They established the Townsite of Moraga in 1913 and tried unsuccessfully to sell lots there.
Originally built in 1914 as a 2,500-square-foot hotel by the Moraga Company, the building later became the Moraga Mercantile and library which included the telephone exchange and post office. It gained its permanent name as a 1930’s Prohibition-era bar, when the “n” was added to comply with the State law restricting use of the term “bar”.
The building served its purpose for about 63 years up until 1997. Chris Avant of Canyon Construction purchased the building to restore the 100-year-old historical landmark. From using reclaimed lumber from the San Francisco area and granite from Union Square to the 5,000 gallon underground tanks that collect rain water for irrigation, the US Green Building Council certified The Moraga Barn at the LEED Platinum Level which is the highest of five categories creating one of the most unique buildings in the area.
In 2015 Greg Gaskin purchased the building, renovating the backyard to accommodate future events for the community.