Moraga (incorporating the former communities of Moraga Town, Rheem, and Rheem Valley) is a suburban incorporated town located in Contra Costa County, California, United States, in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is named in honor of Joaquin Moraga, whose grandfather was José Joaquin Moraga, second in command to Juan Bautista de Anza. As of the 2000 census, Moraga was the 79th wealthiest place in the US with a population above 10,000.
As of 2010, Moraga had a total population of 16,016 people.
Joaquin Moraga was the grandson of José Joaquín Moraga, builder of the Presidio of San Francisco and founder of the pueblo that grew into the city of San Jose. Joaquin's father Gabriel Moraga was also a soldier, and an early explorer who named many of the state's rivers, including the Sacramento and San Joaquin.
Moraga is located on the 1835 Mexican Land Grant Rancho Laguna de los Palos Colorados given to Joaquin Moraga and his cousin, Juan Bernal. Part of that grant was the property today known as Moraga Ranch. The Moraga Adobe has been preserved, and is located in neighboring Orinda. Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School, a middle school in Moraga, bears his name.
In the first half of the 20th century (January 1, 1900 – December 31, 1950), the line of the Sacramento Northern Railroad ran through Moraga; much of the old right-of-way is now part of the popular Lafayette-Moraga Regional Trail.
Moraga's first post office opened in 1886, and was closed in 1887; it reopened in 1915. In 1955, Moraga built a new post office.
Saint Mary's College of California moved to Moraga in 1928.
In November 1974, Moraga was granted township, becoming the Town of Moraga. Its first park director, William Penn Mott, Jr. went on to become the 12th director of the U.S. National Park Service. He is ranked behind John Muir, and Teddy Roosevelt for his service to the national park system. In 1974, Rancho Laguna Park of land located at 2101 Camino Pablo was donated to the Moraga Park Authority by Louise Glass.
Rancho Laguna 2 has become known as the name of a controversial proposed housing development in Moraga – one of several projects encompassing nearly 1,000 homes that are being considered by town officials.
Standing next to the Moraga fire department is the hazard house. The hazard house serves as a display for elementary school tours to demonstrate all the things not to do and how to prevent a fire. The Moraga Fire Department began as a volunteer service staffed by retirees. The Moraga Fire Department is part of the Moraga Orinda Fire District.