HERCULES, CALIFORNIA THE DYNAMIC CITY ON THE BAY H ercules is a city in western Contra Costa County, California, situated along the coast of San Pablo Bay, about 10 miles north of Berkeley, and 25 miles northeast of San Francisco.Hercules was founded in 1881 as a com- pany town for the Hercules Powder Company, one of several explosive manufacturers that were active in the area in the late 19th to the mid-20th century. “The California Powder Works left San Francisco, where theymanufactured black powder, because they kept blowing things up,”quips CityManager, David Biggs.“They came out to what was, then, com- pletely undeveloped Contra Costa County, bought the land here, and established a dynamite factory.The name Hercules comes from the brand name of their black powder, because Hercules could move mountains.” By 1917, the Hercules Powder Works had become the largest producer of TNT in the country, but explosives manufacturing began to taper off in the 1960s and ‘70s. AT A GLANCE HERCULES, CALIFORNIA WHAT: A city of 25,000 WHERE: Along the coast of San Pablo Bay, northeast of San Francisco WEBSITE: www.ci.hercules.ca.us