Tepco Beach, Richmond CA

by Brody
(Berkeley, CA)

San Francisco Bay - Crockery shards & beach glass

San Francisco Bay - Crockery shards & beach glass

~ report on Tepco site for beach pottery submitted by Brody in Berkeley, CA

Dumping Site of the old Tepco Crockery Factory

At the dumping site of the old Tepco Crockery factory on the edge of the San Francisco Bay, there exists an entire beach that's mostly made from broken crockery pieces.

The factory shut down in the 1960s, so it's all about 45+ years old.

There's some beach glass, but the main attraction is the crockery shards...you can find pieces with bits of the patterns (Navy, Old West, flowers, etc).

It's fascinating! In my hunts there, I've found 1 WHOLE unbroken cup, one saucer, and one bowl.

They're wonderfully sturdy, but I'm amazed they survived being dumped on the edge of the Bay and then living there for ~50 years.

The Tepco dump site is located up near Point Isabel in Richmond, CA.

~ report on Tepco site for beach pottery submitted by Brody in Berkeley, CA


Added Notes:

"At Point Isabel, a peninsula on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay, I climbed over the sea wall at low tide onto a narrow strip of rocky sand strewn with broken pieces of china.

"When I pulled a red candy-striped plate from the mud, inch-long black crabs ran a side step sprint into another dark niche. I spent the afternoon rummaging through the shards and took home a bucketful.

"Later, scrubbed clean, the shards showed their bright airbrushed colors.

"White, tan, blue and pink clay displayed palm fronds, pine cones, roses, wagon trains and Chinese temples. Some bore the name, "Tepco China USA."

"The Technical Porcelain and China Ware Company is now a part of California history, but at its height John Pagliero's "Pottery" could produce 30,000 dishes a day."

Written By Joseph Heaven, 1982

The site lies along one edge of the Cosco parking lot on Point Isabel.

Scroll down for comments...
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Comments for Tepco Beach, Richmond CA

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Feb 06, 2019
Such great finds!
by: Anonymous

I went today on a whim and didn’t check the timetables. I later did and it said that it was high tide when I was there which just wasn’t the case. I found this great price dim the donner Early California platter as I can see in thre cover photo als has a few pieces of! Still holding out for that pink and palm tiki print, but not bad at all today!

Oct 06, 2015
Lin and I would love some more photos of finds at TEPCO!
by: David

Great comments and research.

We would like more photos so that folks can get a better idea of what they might find at the old Tepco site.

Again, thanks so much to all for reporting on this "beach" that's accessible to lots of people in the San Francisco Bay area.

But... before you go, make sure your expectations of finding "finished" sea glass are realistic - this is a location for finding pottery rather than beach glass.

Oct 05, 2015
TEPCO 'remains' found in Castro Park
by: El Cerrito Trail Trekker

And this related TEPCO 'find'...


Contractors also dug up cracked pottery and other materials that were dumped at the site by the former TEPCO dinnerware manufacturing plant that was located at the corner of Manila Street and Kearney Avenue (now the DMV office) from about 1930 until the mid-'60s, according to Tom Panas of the El Cerrito Historical Society.

Panas said he is saving some examples of the material in the Dorothy & Sundar Shadi History Room at City Hall while the rest of the dumped material was reburied.


Jan 30, 2015
by: Anonymous

So SOUTH as in the beach that would on the side of the parking lot that is closest to Berkeley??

I went a week or so ago when I was on a Costco run and really had no idea so I just went past Costco to where the park is (so more or less the North side), parked and started walking down onto the "beach" which is rocky.

I found quite a bit of small sea glass -- some nice clears and greens, nothing too exotic except for a vintage Gallo bottle bottom which I promptly broke when I got it home and was cleaning it.

I also found a lot of what I would call broken dishes rather than collectible-worthy sea pottery.

I cleared it from the beach, but tossed it out.

So many dogs I'm sure everything I picked up had been peed on by a dog at some point.

Next trip I will try the South side and see what I find.


Jan 30, 2015
Tepco Beach Access
by: Tracy

It is very easy to get to.

It is South of the Costco parking lot.

If you park right at the sharp bend in the road you can just walk over the bike path and you are there.

Took us like two minutes to get there.

Jan 16, 2015
exact location?
by: Anonymous

Could someone provide more accurate directions? "just across from Costco" could be "just across" in multiple directions. Is it to the south, west, or north of Costco?

Jul 05, 2014
accessing the beach
by: Mark

So to access the beach, you have to climb over a sea wall?

And is everyone sure that there is not a risk of trespassing?

Jan 20, 2013
Love Tepco Beach
by: Martha

I love the personal touch that went into Tepco pottery.

Some of the pieces have humor: I have a steak platter with the Donner Party on it, a bowl with 3 tiki guys holding it up, a teapot that's a crazy "Chinese" pattern that looks like a set for a horror movie, a cup with a cow skull and a cactus...like that.

Clearly all of this pottery was the work of a skilled person who put his life into it.

At Tepco beach I can feel that sense of art and heart.

I wish Tepco were still going; makes me sad that it is gone. But I love my few pieces of Tepco and I love Tepco beach.

Jan 02, 2013
Chunky ceramic pieces, but garbage too
by: Mary Ellen

I've stopped here a couple times-it is close to Hiway 80 just across from Costco at Pt. Isabel.

Lots of big pieces of ceramic shards and some with Tepco name, but it is trashy and somewhat gamey smell.

Jul 30, 2012
"signs posted near beach"
by: Anonymous

@Anonymous comment saying that there are signs near this place: you must be thinking of somewhere else.

There are no trails to this place (it's right off a bike path but otherwise unmarked), and there are absolutely no signs.

It's basically a ceramic trash heap.

Take whatever you'd like, it's public property and not under any reason for 'protection'.

Sep 01, 2011
havent been there in awhile
by: isabella pagliero

Wow, I haven't been to Point Isabel since I was in 2nd or 3rd grade.

That was about 10 years ago but I remember the place like I was there this morning.

It's so amazing to see all the pieces of pottery that my great grandfather produced.

And to think that's just the stuff that was messed up at the factory and not actually sold!

It really is an amazing sight to see & I can't wait for the day when me and my mom make the drive down again and collect some more pieces(:

Mar 18, 2011
Been there - Tepco Beach California
by: Anonymous

I have been to this small beach.

There are signs posted at the beginning of the trails leading to it that state you are not to take ANYTHING from the area.

I have noticed there has been a great deal taken from the beach.

What was a unique looking area now looks awful.

Jul 27, 2010
by: LE

Beautiful. I had a number of relatives that worked at Tepco for a time. I'll have to visit one of these days.

Jul 03, 2010
Wow! Tepco Beach, Richmond CA Sea Glass
by: Elizabeth

Thats amazing!! im excited if i just find one piece of pottery. those are some great finds. yay!!

Jun 30, 2010
I love it.
by: Donna

I love seeing the things people find and collect. Thank you for sharing.

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