eLivermore.com - By Bill Nale


The Kottinger Barn

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The Kottinger barn was built in 1852 by John W Kottinger, near his home, which was closer to Main Street.  The Adobe structure has served many purposes over the years.  John Kottinger was the first Justice of the Peace in the area, and used the north-west corner of the barn as a jail.  He added a tunnel from his house, which served as the courthouse, to the barn so that prisoners could not be liberated by outlaws.  This was one of many tunnels in downtown Pleasanton. 

The barn is now occupied by Milfleur, which is a gift shop.  It is located at 200 Ray Street, just off Main.  These photos were taken on January 25, 2003.

Plaques at the site:

J W Kottinger's Barn

John W Kottinger (1819-1892) was Murray Township Justice of the Peace from 1853 to 1870.  His home was the seat of justice for the township:  The Northwest corner of this barn was used to jail prisoners.  A frequent visitor here was Joaquin Murrieta.  On one occasion he was distracted by Mrs. Kottinger's bountiful table, thus allowing Kottinger to make a hasty trip to a San Francisco bank.  The bandit was deprived of the pleasure of relieving Kottinger of a large gold deposit.

Kottinger Barn

John Kottinger, one of the pioneer founders and first justice of the peace of Pleasanton, constructed this adobe brick barn about 1852 so built that part of it could house prisoners brought to his court thus serving as Pleasanton's first jail.
Restored by Robert and Elaine Koopmann


Pleasanton Weekly Article

Provides a description of the barn's past and present.

A Travel Article

Describes Pleasanton & Livermore, including some photos

Historical Pleasanton information

On a site for watercolors.  History written by the Amador Livermore Valley Historical Society.

History of the Pleasanton Hotel

On the Pleasanton Hotel Site.  The hotel was originally built by John Kottinger.


The front of the barn, which faces east (and slightly south).  The bars are still on the windows and above the door from the jailhouse days.
  Ray Street is about 100 feet to the right.


The northern tall.  This is what is seen from Ray Street


The north east corner, showing original bricks where the plaster is worn.


I took these photos while on a bicycle ride with my oldest son.  He is admiring the original brick work, showing through the plaster.  This is on the northern exterior wall.


The South wall, complete with an old hay hoist above the window.  The upstairs was once used to store hay for the horses.