The Land and Peoples of Refugio Valley
Hercules is the name of a settled place occupying the watershed of Refugio Creek. The watershed is defined by low ridges of the Briones Hills descending into San Pablo Bay. This northern reach of the San Francisco Bay connects the Central Valley with the Pacific. The San Francisco Bay Estuary is the largest on the Pacific coast of the Americas.
Humans have settled the Bay Area in great numbers since the most recent Ice Age, about 11,000 years ago. Europeans displaced the indigenous peoples beginning in the mid-eighteenth century.