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Lafayette’s History

Brown’s Mill, Brown’s Corners, Centerville, La Fayatte – our suburban community has had many names through the years. It was 1857 when the name ‘Lafayette’ was officially granted, thanks to the efforts of Benjamin Shreve, the town’s first school teacher, who applied for a post office for the small village.

Rancho owner Elam Brown, who left Missouri with his family in 1846 in search of fertile farm land, is recognized as Lafayette’s official founder. As he gradually sold his land to other settlers, the community began to grow and what was originally a quiet farming village became a community of homes, stores, roads, schools, and churches.

Several monuments to Lafayette’s past stand in our daily midst today. If you’ve had a third-grader in the Lafayette school system, he/she has likely pointed out each, the result of our amazing curriculum which includes a walking tour and history lesson, thanks to Lafayette Partners in Education (LPIE). For instance, The Way Side Inn at 3521 Golden Gate Way was a hotel and tavern built in 1894, Town Hall Theatre at the corner Moraga Road and School Street was built in 1914 as a social hall, and what is now Postino Restaurant, the former Garrett Building, was designed and constructed in the 1930s.

Click here to find a legend of contemporary city sites, each of which has a deeper story to tell. And to learn more, visit the wonderful Lafayette Historical Society whose members work tirelessly to preserve and tell the story of our wonderful past.

Special thanks to Lafayette Historical Society President Mary McCosker for her contributions to this post.

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