Vintage Views: Mount Diablo – Walnut Creek V

Walnut_Creek_Demo 5With Save Mount Diablo’s Moonlight on the Mountain auction fast approaching (September 7, 2013), I’ve once again taken up collaborating with my wife, photographer Sarah Anne Bettelheim, on the next in our ongoing Vintage Views: Mount Diablo series, which involves pairing historical imagery of the San Francisco Bay Area’s iconic Mount Diablo (Contra Costa County, CA.) with contemporary photographs taken from the same vantage point.

This year’s collaboration – Vintage Views: Mount Diablo – Walnut Creek V – recreates the view of a vintage cinderella stamp that captures in time present-day downtown Walnut Creek. Across the horizon (from right to left, beginning with the main mount) loom the peaks of Mount Diablo’s Summit, North Peak, Eagle Peak, and Mount Olympia. In Mount Diablo’s foothills can be seen Shell Ridge and the sentinel sandstone rock formations of Mount Diablo State Park’s “Rock City,” once known more familiarly as the “Garden of the Jungle Gods.” Rock City’s foundations are riddled with turrets, wind caves, and grottos carved by the elements, and include Sentinel Rock and Elephant Rock.


In 1939, the Tide Water Associated Oil Company issued a series of collectable ‘cinderella’ or ‘poster’ stamps. Among the 100 “Roads to Romance – Stamps of the West” collectables, which were distributed by Flying A gas stations, was stamp #192: Mt. Diablo – California available only in east Contra Costa and southeast Alameda counties. With Mount Diablo’s naked foothills and the pastoral valley floor strung with orchards, this view of Walnut Creek captures a more bucolic time in Contra Costa County.

In the coming months, we’ll be adding new views and new historical imagery to match. Stay tuned…

To help support the San Francisco Bay Area non-profit organization Save Mount Diablo, whose mission is “to preserve Mount Diablo’s peaks, surrounding foothills, and watersheds”, every year Sarah Anne Photography donates a Vintage View to the annual “Moonlight on the Mountain” full-moon fete and auction. Visit to learn more about how you can help protect Mount Diablo.

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