From California Historical Landmarks:
Pt. Pinole is the last site of the Giant Powder Company, the first company in America to produce dynamite. Following devistating (sic) explosions at their San Francisco and Berkeley sites, the business moved to this location in 1892. Incorporating the established Croation community of Sobrento, the company town of Giant quickly grew into one of the North Bay's industrial centers. Explosives were produced here until 1960 and were essential to mining, dam building, and other construction projects throughout the Western Hemisphere.
Giant Powder Company had it's own housing for employees and their families. There we 20 to 30 families that lived there. The little community was called Giant. My great grandfather was the postmaster at the Giant Post Office in the early 1900's and my grandfather worked for Giant Powder Company for over 30 years. My father was born there.
The 1920 U.S. Census lists the Contra Costa County, Township 10, Giant Precinct (see pages 36-42). There were family residences as well as one large boarding house for single men who worked there as laborers. Occupations were Powder Maker, Foreman, Stock Clerk, Machinists.
In 1989, my father granted an interview for the East Bay District Parks Archives. In it, he discusses what it was like living there. The following are excerpts from his interview.
There were several buildings. Activities were limited in each building. There also was a limited as to the number of men allowed inside a building at any one time. The limit was THREE. This was for safety reasons. If a building blew up, it limited the number of casualties. There were several explosions in the area. There were three or four accidents with fatalities.
Giant School had about 30 students in two rooms. Pupils all came from Giant.
In my family archives, I have a company photo taken in March, 1932. There are 103 men and 1 woman in the photo. I also have all of their names. Unfortunately, the photo is larger than my scanner at this writing. If you want me to check for a name on it, write me at email@example.com. Cheers!