Grass Valley, California

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City of Grass Valley
City
The historic Holbrooke Hotel and Restaurant
Location in Nevada County and the state of California
Coordinates: 39°13′9″N 121°3′30″W / 39.21917°N 121.05833°W / 39.21917; -121.05833Coordinates: 39°13′9″N 121°3′30″W / 39.21917°N 121.05833°W / 39.21917; -121.05833
CountryUnited States
StateCalifornia
CountyNevada
Area[1]
 • Total4.743 sq mi (12.285 km2)
 • Land4.743 sq mi (12.285 km2)
 • Water0 sq mi (0 km2)  0%
Elevation2,411 ft (735 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total12,860
 • Density2,700/sq mi (1,000/km2)
Time zonePacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST)PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes95945, 95949
Area code(s)530
FIPS code06-30798
GNIS feature ID0277525
 
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City of Grass Valley
City
The historic Holbrooke Hotel and Restaurant
Location in Nevada County and the state of California
Coordinates: 39°13′9″N 121°3′30″W / 39.21917°N 121.05833°W / 39.21917; -121.05833Coordinates: 39°13′9″N 121°3′30″W / 39.21917°N 121.05833°W / 39.21917; -121.05833
CountryUnited States
StateCalifornia
CountyNevada
Area[1]
 • Total4.743 sq mi (12.285 km2)
 • Land4.743 sq mi (12.285 km2)
 • Water0 sq mi (0 km2)  0%
Elevation2,411 ft (735 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total12,860
 • Density2,700/sq mi (1,000/km2)
Time zonePacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST)PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes95945, 95949
Area code(s)530
FIPS code06-30798
GNIS feature ID0277525

The city of Grass Valley is the largest city in the western region of Nevada County, California, United States. Situated at roughly 2,500 feet (760 m) elevation in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, this historic northern Gold Country city is located 75 miles (121 km) by car from the state capitol in Sacramento, 64 miles (103 km) from Sacramento International Airport, 90 miles (140 km) west of Reno, Nevada, and 175 miles (282 km) northeast of San Jose, California. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population is stated as 12,860.

History[edit]

Gold in quartz, from one of the old Grass Valley mines

Grass Valley, which was originally known as Boston Ravine and later officially named Centerville, dates from the California Gold Rush, as does nearby Nevada City. When a post office was established in 1851 it was renamed Grass Valley the following year for unknown reasons. The town incorporated in 1860.[2]

Grass Valley is the location of the Empire Mine and North Star Mine, two of the richest mines in California. Many of those who came to settle in Grass Valley were tin miners from Cornwall, England. They were attracted to the California gold fields because the same skills needed for deep tin mining were needed for hardrock (deep) gold mining. Many of them specialized in pumping the water out of very deep mining shafts. This followed the disastrous fall in tin prices as large alluvial deposits began to be exploited elsewhere.

Grass Valley still holds on to its Cornish heritage, with events such as its annual Cornish Christmas and St Piran's Day celebrations.[3] Pasties are a local favorite dish with a few restaurants in town specializing in recipes handed down from the original immigrant generation. Grass Valley is also twinned with the Cornish town of Bodmin, UK.

There was formerly a Roman Catholic diocese of Grass Valley.[4]

Geography[edit]

Grass Valley is located at 39°13′9″N 121°3′30″W / 39.21917°N 121.05833°W / 39.21917; -121.05833 (39.219215, -121.058414).[5]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.7 square miles (12 km2), all of it land.

A variety of igneous and metamorphic rock underlies Grass Valley. Quartz diorite is common in the southern part around the junction of Highways 20 and 49. Gabbro underlies part of the northeastern sector. Metavolcanic rock and diabase are scattered around town. Neighbourhoods around Nevada County Golf Course and Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, including much of Spring Hill, are underlain by ultramafic rock[6]which supports infertile soils of the Dubakella series. Here the vegetation is not as lush as one would expect from the high average annual precipitation. More fertile soils such as Aiken and Sites series, developed on non-ultramafic rock, occur elsewhere.[7]

Climate[edit]

Grass Valley has a Mediterranean climate with warm to hot, dry summers, and wet, cool, rainy winters. Summer is very dry but thunderstorms may occur. The winter rains contribute to a heavy fuel-loading of brush and grass, which dry out during the summer, posing a wildfire hazard. Snow occurs at times.

Over the course of a year, there are 34.7 days of 90 °F (32 °C) or hotter and 1.2 days of 100 °F (38 °C) or hotter. On the other hand, there are 69.0 days of 32 °F (0 °C) or colder.[8]


Climate data for Grass Valley, California (Elevation 2,400ft)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °F (°C)77
(25)
81
(27)
81
(27)
88
(31)
99
(37)
100
(38)
108
(42)
108
(42)
104
(40)
97
(36)
87
(31)
80
(27)
108
(42)
Average high °F (°C)53.5
(11.9)
55.2
(12.9)
57.5
(14.2)
62.1
(16.7)
71.0
(21.7)
79.5
(26.4)
87.4
(30.8)
87.1
(30.6)
82.2
(27.9)
72.1
(22.3)
59.6
(15.3)
53.1
(11.7)
68.3
(20.2)
Average low °F (°C)32.0
(0)
33.6
(0.9)
36.0
(2.2)
38.8
(3.8)
45.4
(7.4)
51.3
(10.7)
56.2
(13.4)
55.0
(12.8)
50.5
(10.3)
42.9
(6.1)
36.2
(2.3)
31.7
(−0.2)
42.5
(5.8)
Record low °F (°C)15
(−9)
9
(−13)
19
(−7)
26
(−3)
27
(−3)
36
(2)
40
(4)
41
(5)
35
(2)
27
(−3)
19
(−7)
3
(−16)
3
(−16)
Precipitation inches (mm)9.69
(246.1)
8.56
(217.4)
8.32
(211.3)
4.02
(102.1)
1.97
(50)
0.68
(17.3)
0.12
(3)
0.21
(5.3)
0.79
(20.1)
2.70
(68.6)
6.73
(170.9)
9.46
(240.3)
53.26
(1,352.8)
Snowfall inches (cm)2.2
(5.6)
2.5
(6.4)
2.4
(6.1)
0.8
(2)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.3
(0.8)
1.9
(4.8)
10.0
(25.4)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)13.112.111.98.45.52.70.20.92.25.010.012.684.6
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)0.41.01.10.20000000.10.63.4
Source #1: NOAA [9]
Source #2: WRCC [10]

Demographics[edit]

The iconic spire of the Del Oro Theatre

2010[edit]

The 2010 United States Census[11] reported that Grass Valley had a population of 12,860. The population density was 2,711.3 people per square mile (1,046.8/km²). The racial makeup of Grass Valley was 11,493 (89.4%) White, 208 (1.6%) Native American, 188 (1.5%) Asian, 46 (0.4%) African American, 9 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 419 (3.3%) from other races, and 497 (3.9%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1,341 persons (10.4%).

The Census reported that 12,401 people (96.4% of the population) lived in households, 118 (0.9%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 341 (2.7%) were institutionalized.

There were 6,077 households, out of which 1,544 (25.4%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 1,665 (27.4%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 980 (16.1%) had a female householder with no husband present, 316 (5.2%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 466 (7.7%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 33 (0.5%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 2,605 households (42.9%) were made up of individuals and 1,415 (23.3%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.04. There were 2,961 families (48.7% of all households); the average family size was 2.78.

The population was spread out with 2,625 people (20.4%) under the age of 18, 1,146 people (8.9%) aged 18 to 24, 2,882 people (22.4%) aged 25 to 44, 3,183 people (24.8%) aged 45 to 64, and 3,024 people (23.5%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43.2 years. For every 100 females there were 78.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 73.5 males.

There were 6,637 housing units at an average density of 1,399.3 per square mile (540.3/km²), of which 2,391 (39.3%) were owner-occupied, and 3,686 (60.7%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 4.0%; the rental vacancy rate was 6.7%. 4,663 people (36.3% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 7,738 people (60.2%) lived in rental housing units.

2000[edit]

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 10,922 people, 5,016 households, and 2,678 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,660.2 people per square mile (1,026.0/km²). There were 5,266 housing units at an average density of 1,282.6 per square mile (494.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.9% White, 6.6% Hispanic or Latino, 3.7% from two or more races, 1.7% from other races, 1.3% Native American, 1.1% Asian, 0.3% Black or African American and 0.1% Pacific Islander.

There were 5,016 households out of which 26.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.4% were married couples living together, 16.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.6% were non-families. 39.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 20.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.13 and the average family size was 2.80 people.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.3% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 25.1% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 22.0% who were 65 years of age and older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 81.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,182, and the median income for a family was $33,220. Males had a median income of $32,568 versus $21,915 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,877. About 12.9% of families and 14.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.0% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.

Politics[edit]

In the state legislature, Grass Valley is in the 1st Senate District, represented by Republican Ted Gaines,[13] and the 1st Assembly District, represented by Republican Brian Dahle.[14]

Federally, Grass Valley is in California's 1st congressional district, represented by Republican Doug LaMalfa.[15]

Economy[edit]

The combined communities of Grass Valley and Nevada County have a fairly diversified economy. The gold rush days left a historical legacy and today tourism, and the related services sector are considered to constitute the bulk of the local economy.[16] Many of those who don't commute to the Sacramento Valley, work locally in retail, wholesale, trade, engineering, manufacturing, construction and other businesses, as well in various levels of local and state government. There are a significant amount of high tech electronic companies in the area.

Another significant sector of the local economy is the agriculture industry as the soil in Nevada County is considered to be quite fertile. Around the time the areas were being settled during the Gold Rush farmers planted orchards, vegetables and other produce as ranchers brought in cattle, sheep, and other livestock. While the percentage of land dedicated to agriculture has significantly decreased over the last few decades, agriculture continues to be an important aspect of the area’s economy including local produce and organic agricultural products. During the past decade Nevada County has become known for its growing wine industry.[16]

Commercial employers in Grass Valley include Raley's, Safeway, K-Mart, Starbucks, Jamba Juice, JC Penny, and BriarPatch, as well as fast food chain restaurants. Other major employers include Nevada Union High School, Nevada Irrigation District, Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and other various faith related entities.[17]

The Grass Valley Group is a research and development company founded in the city in 1958.[18]

Education[edit]

Grass Valley High School girls basketball team, 1918

Higher education[edit]

Public, primary and secondary schools[edit]

Public libraries[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Grass Valley is at the intersection of State Route 49 and State Route 20. Public transportation is served by the Gold Country Stage [1] and is limited to the urban areas.

Designated historical landmarks[edit]

The public library named for Josiah Royce
The inscription to Royce at the library

Town twinning/Sister City[edit]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ U.S. Census
  2. ^ Durham, David L. (2000). California's Gold Country: Includes Mariposa, Tuolumne, Calaveras, Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sierra & Nevada Counties. Clovis, Calif.: Quill Driver Books. p. 133. ISBN 1-884995-25-X. 
  3. ^ Moberly, Greg (2008-03-10). "Flight of the pasty". The Union. Retrieved 2008-03-12. 
  4. ^ Herbermann, Charles George (1913). The Catholic Encyclopedia. Universal Knowledge Foundation. p. 294. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  6. ^ http://ngmdb.usgs.gov/Prodesc/proddesc_63087.htm
  7. ^ http://casoilresource.lawr.ucdavis.edu/gmap/
  8. ^ http://www.nws.noaa.gov/climate/xmacis.php?wfo=sto
  9. ^ "NowData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2012-09-28. 
  10. ^ "Seasonal Temperature and Precipitation Information". Western Regional Climate Center. Retrieved May 3, 2013. 
  11. ^ All data are derived from the United States Census Bureau reports from the 2010 United States Census, and are accessible on-line here. The data on unmarried partnerships and same-sex married couples are from the Census report DEC_10_SF1_PCT15. All other housing and population data are from Census report DEC_10_DP_DPDP1. Both reports are viewable online or downloadable in a zip file containing a comma-delimited data file. The area data, from which densities are calculated, are available on-line here. Percentage totals may not add to 100% due to rounding. The Census Bureau defines families as a household containing one or more people related to the householder by birth, opposite-sex marriage, or adoption. People living in group quarters are tabulated by the Census Bureau as neither owners nor renters. For further details, see the text files accompanying the data files containing the Census reports mentioned above.
  12. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  13. ^ "Senators". State of California. Retrieved March 10, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Members Assembly". State of California. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  15. ^ "California's 1st Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  16. ^ a b Business & Economic Development in Grass Valley and Nevada County CA
  17. ^ Major Employers in California
  18. ^ Grass Valley S.A.R.L. official site
  19. ^ "Lives Lived: Jim Pagliaroni". theunion.com. Retrieved 29 December 2011. 
  20. ^ "Former major league catcher Jim Pagliaroni dies at 72". latimes.com. Retrieved 29 December 2011. 
  21. ^ "Stevens Remembered as a Man Who Cared Deeply for Libya". Salt Lake City Tribune. September 11, 2012. 

External links[edit]