Martinez became a city in 1876. After the California Gold Rush, Martinez grew as a thriving fishing community and a major shipping port of grain from the Central Valley. Then, in 1915 Shell Oil settled in Martinez making it a center of industrial activity.
Today, Martinez has maintained the historic small town ambiance of the downtown while its major industries (government, medical, and oil related) continued to grow. Martinez is committed to servicing business and commercial development as a top priority and they pledge to work with new and existing business and foster an environment conductive to business growth.
In recent years, Martinez Unified residents passed bonds and the school district sold surplus land to build a new elementary school and rebuild every school in the town.