City of Lafayette
|Incorporated||July 29, 1968|
|• Mayor||Susan Candell|
|• State Senator||Steve Glazer (D)|
|• State Assembly||Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D)|
|• U. S. Congress||Mark DeSaulnier (D)|
|• Total||15.21 sq mi (39.39 km2)|
|• Land||15.04 sq mi (38.95 km2)|
|• Water||0.17 sq mi (0.43 km2) 1.08%|
|Elevation||320 ft (97.5 m)|
|• Density||1,771.14/sq mi (683.83/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−8 (PST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−7 (PDT)|
|GNIS feature IDs||277535, 2411591|
Lafayette (formerly La Fayette)is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. As of 2011, the city’s population was estimated to be 24,285. Today Lafayette is known for its wealthy inhabitants and pastoral rolling hills. The town is also known for excellent schools within the highly ranked Acalanes School District. In 2012, estimated median household income in Lafayette was over 150,000 dollars, more than double the statewide average and nearly triple the national average. It was named after the Marquis de Lafayette, a French military hero of the American Revolutionary War.
Before the colonization of the region by Spain, Lafayette and its vicinity were inhabited by the Saclan tribe of the indigenous Bay Miwok. Ohlone also populated some of the areas along Lafayette Creek.The indigenous inhabitants' first contact with Europeans was in the late 18th century with the founding of Catholic missions in the region. These initial contacts developed into conflict, with years of armed struggle, including a battle on what is currently Lafayette soil in 1797 between the Saclan and the Spanish, and eventually resulting in the subjugation of the native population.
Most of what is currently Lafayette was given as a Mexican land grant, Rancho Acalanes to Candelario Valencia in 1834. The name Acalanes seems to have come from the name of a native village in the area, Ahala-n.
American settlement started with the arrival of Elam Brown from St. Joseph, Missouri,in 1846. He purchased Rancho Acalanes in 1848. The settlement continued to steadily grow due to its proximity to San Francisco; starting with Brown's group of 18 settlers, by the census in 1852, 76 people were listed as living in the area. Brown founded a mill in 1853.
One of the original settlers in Brown's party was Milo J. Hough. He built a hotel in 1853 near Plaza Park and in 1854 was named postmaster of the Acelanus post office, probably an alternate spelling of the original land grant, Acalanes. The post office was short-lived, closing the following year.
A school began in 1852in a one-room schoolhouse, taught by a 25-year-old Kentucky migrant, Benjamin Shreve. By 1865 the school had expanded to 43 students in five classes, and so in 1868 a tax levy of $1,000 was used to build a new schoolhouse; school expanded from a five-month year to a nine-month year. In 1893, a new schoolhouse was built to accommodate the increasing number of students; this building still stands today.
On March 2, 1857, the LaFayette post office was established by the U.S. Postal Service. (The official document giving this exact date was supplied to the Lafayette Historical Society in 1993 by the Historical Division of the U.S. Postal Service.) Prior to 1857 the community that is now known as "Lafayette" actually had no official name but was sometimes called Dog Town, Brown's Corner, Brown's Mill, and (when Milo Hough was postmaster in 1854–1855) Alcalanus.
The name "LaFayette" came together with the community's first post office. In 1857 Benjamin Shreve, owner and manager of a roadside hotel-general store (which faced today's Lafayette Plaza), applied for a post office for the community, first requesting the name Centerville. When informed that a post office with that name already existed in California, Shreve suggested La Fayette, after the French general who became a hero of the American Revolution (probably not because his wife was a native of Lafayette, Indiana). The first LaFayette post office was established at 3535 Plaza Way and Shreve became the town's first permanent postmaster, holding the job for 30 years.
Spelling: On the original document from the U.S. Postal Service, dated March 2, 1857, the name “LaFayette” is unmistakably written as one word with a capital “F” in the middle. In 1864 the place name "Lafayette" first appeared on a map of the area, titled "Bancroft's Map of California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona (copyrighted 1863. Scale: 24 miles to 1 inch). Yet research[ citation needed ] by Ruth Dyer, Lafayette historian, shows that the name of the post office and of the new town itself soon began to be written as two words, “La Fayette.” By 1890 it had changed to one word, "Lafayette," and so appeared in an official communication from the U.S. "Post Office Department" in Feb. 1899. Then by 1905 it was back to two words. Finally on March 31, 1932, the name of the post office was officially changed to Lafayette, which has remained unchanged to this day. Lafayette was the tenth post office established in Contra Costa County. (See Salley, History of California Post Offices).
In the early 1860s, Lafayette was briefly the site of a station for the Pony Express.
In the mid-1900s, Lafayette was transformed from an agricultural village into a commuter town, and was incorporated in 1968.
Lafayette is located at 15.4 square miles (40 km2). 15.2 square miles (39 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (1.08%) is water.. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of
The city is part of the greater San Francisco Bay Area and has its own station on the BART public transit system. Lafayette is situated between Walnut Creek, Moraga, and Orinda, and, together with the latter two towns, is considered locally as part of "Lamorinda".
Lafayette is separated from greater Berkeley and Oakland by the Berkeley Hills (and the Caldecott Tunnel running beneath), a geographical boundary within the East Bay which also represents interesting meteorological, cultural, and political distinctions. Like the rest of the San Francisco Bay Area, Lafayette has a Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa); however, the climate differences can be striking: during the summer, temperatures can soar beyond 100 °F (38 °C) in Lafayette and its neighboring cities while the areas west of the hills and nearer to the bay remain up to 20 degrees cooler. Summers are warm, dry and very sunny (although mornings can be foggy); winters are cool and damp, with occasional freezes. Most of the annual rainfall comes in the winter, although there are still plenty of clear days during that time. The record high temperature is 115 °F (46 °C), set in July 1972. The record low temperature is 19 °F (−7 °C), set in December 1990. The region directly east of the hills is generally known for its more suburban or rural atmosphere, and features rolling, grassy hills which highlight a more peaceful and domestic aura. In the southwestern part of Lafayette, is the Lafayette Reservoir, and Briones Regional Park extends into the northern part of Lafayette. Lafayette's wildlife communities include mixed woods and oak woodlands.
|Climate data for Lafayette, California|
|Record high °F (°C)||71|
|Average high °F (°C)||54|
|Average low °F (°C)||39|
|Record low °F (°C)||20|
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||4.25|
|U.S. Decennial Census|
The 2010 United States Censusreported that Lafayette had a population of 23,893. The population density was 1,552.8 people per square mile (599.5/km2). The racial makeup of Lafayette was 20,232 (84.7%) White, 166 (0.7%) African American, 66 (0.3%) Native American, 2,162 (9.0%) Asian, (2.1%) Pacific Islander, 240 (1.0%) from other races, and 1,000 (4.2%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1,388 persons (5.8%).
The Census reported that 23,794 people (99.6% of the population) lived in households, 38 (0.2%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 61 (0.3%) were institutionalized.
There were 9,223 households, out of which 3,262 (35.4%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 5,871 (63.7%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 651 (7.1%) had a female householder with no husband present, 273 (3.0%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 306 (3.3%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 75 (0.8%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 1,916 households (20.8%) were made up of individuals, and 802 (8.7%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58. There were 6,795 families (73.7% of all households); the average family size was 3.01.
The population was spread out, with 5,956 people (24.9%) under the age of 18, 1,220 people (5.1%) aged 18 to 24, 4,676 people (19.6%) aged 25 to 44, 8,069 people (33.8%) aged 45 to 64, and 3,972 people (16.6%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45.2 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.3 males.
There were 9,651 housing units at an average density of 627.2 per square mile (242.2/km2), of which 9,223 were occupied, of which 6,937 (75.2%) were owner-occupied, and 2,286 (24.8%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0.8%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.7%. 19,025 people (79.6% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 4,769 people (20.0%) lived in rental housing units.
In 2016, the median household income in Lafayette was over $140,000.
The Lafayette Library and Learning Center of the Contra Costa County Library is located in Lafayette.Oakmont Memorial Park is a cemetery in Lafayette. Oakwood serves as a country club/fitness center for Lamorindans.
In November 2006, area residents began placing crosses on a hill overlooking the Lafayette BART station and Highway 24 "to represent and memorialize the American soldiers who have died in the ongoing Iraqi war."As of January 2014, there are approximately 6,000 crosses in place, representing the troops who have died in Iraq, and there is also a large sign displaying the total number of deaths. The memorial has generated public attention, media coverage and counter-protests due to its visibility from the commuter thoroughfare below. Also, since the creation of the memorial, there have been several incidents of vandalism. While some show support for the protest, other residents complain that it is disrespectful to those in uniform in Iraq and that it is an eyesore to the community. The memorial is on private property and modifications and trespassing without explicit consent of the owners has been common.
Another historical site found in Lafayette is the Park Theater, which first opened in 1941, and then ceased operations in 2005. The Park Theater was originally a movie theater located on an intersection where the La Fayette statue was built. It then showed its last movie before ceasing operations in 2005.Recently, however, efforts have been made to reopen the Park theater for viewing.
As of February 10, 2021, Lafayette has 19,151 registered voters with 10,177 (53%) registered as Democrats, 3,813 (20%) registered as Republicans, and 4,298 (22%) decline to state voters.
The following is a list of notable residents of Lafayette, past and present.
Contra Costa County is located in the state of California in the United States. As of the 2020 census, the population was 1,165,927. The county seat is Martinez. It occupies the northern portion of the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, and is primarily suburban. The county's name refers to its position on the other side of the bay from San Francisco. Contra Costa County is included in the San Francisco–Oakland–Berkeley, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area.
LaFayette is the county seat of Chambers County, Alabama, United States, 47 miles (76 km) northwest of Columbus, Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 3,003.
Alamo is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Contra Costa County, California, in the United States. It is a suburb located in the San Francisco Bay Area's East Bay region, approximately 28 miles (45 km) east of San Francisco. Alamo is equidistant between the city of Walnut Creek and the incorporated town of Danville. As of the 2010 census, the population was 14,750. The community of Alamo is well known for its bucolic country feel, notable residents, and its affluent lifestyle with the median home price being $2.43 million.
Antioch is the second-largest city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. Located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area along the San Joaquin–Sacramento River Delta. The city's population was 102,372 at the 2010 census and estimated to be 111,502 in 2019. Formerly an all-white sundown town, the city has grown substantially more diverse since the 1990s.
Bay Point, formerly West Pittsburg and originally Bella Vista is a census-designated place located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area in Contra Costa County, California. Bay Point is just west of Pittsburg, California, and northeast of Concord, California, on the southern shore of Suisun Bay. The population of Bay Point was 21,349 as of 2010. The Pittsburg/Bay Point Station of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) rail system is located adjacent to Bay Point in Pittsburg. The community is traversed by a freeway, State Route 4, the California Delta Highway. Being unincorporated, Bay Point does not have its own police department. The community is policed by the California Highway Patrol and the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office. The ZIP code is 94565, and the area code is 925.
Brentwood is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. It is located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. The population is 51,481 as of 2010, an increase of 121 percent from 23,302 at the 2000 census.
Clayton is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. The population was 10,897 as of the 2010 census.
El Cerrito is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States, and forms part of the San Francisco Bay Area. It has a population of 23,549 according to the 2010 census. El Cerrito was founded by refugees from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. It was incorporated in 1917 as a village with 1,500 residents. As of the census in 2000, there were 23,171 people, 10,208 households and 5,971 families in the city.
El Sobrante is a census-designated place (CDP) in Contra Costa County, California, United States. The population was 12,669 at the 2010 census.
Hercules is a city in western Contra Costa County, California. Situated along the coast of San Pablo Bay, it is located in the eastern region of the San Francisco Bay Area, about 10 miles (16 km) north of Berkeley, California. As of 2010, its population was 24,060, according to the United States Census Bureau. The site of Hercules was first developed in 1881 as a manufacturing facility of the California Powder Works for the production of its patented dynamite formulation, Hercules powder. In 1882, the Hercules Powder Company was incorporated and assumed responsibility for the Hercules site. It was one of several explosive manufacturers that were active along the Pinole shoreline in the late 19th to the mid-20th century. The small company town that grew up near the facility subsequently became known as "Hercules", and was incorporated at the end of 1900. Starting in the 1970s, Hercules was heavily redeveloped as suburban bedroom community that lies along the I-80 corridor in Western Contra Costa County. It has a very ethnically diverse population.
Moraga is a town in Contra Costa County, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. The town is named in honor of Joaquín Moraga, member of the famed Californio family, son of Gabriel Moraga, and grandson of José Joaquín Moraga, famous 18th century expeditionaries of Alta California. As of 2010, Moraga had a total population of 16,016 people. Moraga is the home of Saint Mary's College of California.
Orinda is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. The population was 17,643 at the 2010 census, and was estimated in 2019 to have increased to 19,926.
Pittsburg is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. It is an industrial suburb located on the southern shore of the Suisun Bay in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, and is part of the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta area. The population was 63,264 at the 2010 United States Census.
Pleasant Hill is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States, in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. The population was 33,152 at the 2010 census. It was incorporated in 1961. Pleasant Hill is the home of College Park High School, Diablo Valley College, the Pleasant Hill Library of the Contra Costa County Library system, and the Pleasant Hill Recreation & Park District.
San Pablo is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. The city of Richmond surrounds nearly the whole city. The population was 29,139 at the 2010 census. The current Mayor is Elizabeth Pabon-Alvarado. Currently, the City Council consists of Arturo Cruz, Rita Xavier, Abel Pineda and Patricia Ponce. Xavier is the Vice Mayor, and Cruz, Pineda, and Ponce are Council Members. Dorothy Gantt is the city Clerk. Viviana Toledo is the city Treasurer.
Walnut Creek is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States, located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, about 16 miles (26 km) east of the city of Oakland. With a total estimated population of 70,166, Walnut Creek serves as a hub for its neighboring cities because of its location at the junction of the highways from Sacramento and San Jose (I-680) and San Francisco/Oakland (SR-24), and its accessibility by BART. Its active downtown neighborhood features hundred-year-old buildings and extensive high-end retail establishments.
Lamorinda is an area within Contra Costa County, California in the United States. The name is a portmanteau from the names of the three cities that make up the region: Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda.
Acalanes High School is a public secondary school located in Lafayette, California, United States, in the San Francisco Bay Area, within Contra Costa County. Acalanes was the first of four high schools established in the Acalanes Union High School District. It was built in 1940 on what was then a tomato field. The school was built using Federal government funds with labor provided by the Works Project Administration, the largest and most ambitious New Deal agency introduced by the Roosevelt administration. Lafayette businessman M.H. Stanley suggested the name "Acalanes", the name of the Mexican grant from which all land title within the City of Lafayette derives. Rancho Acalanes itself seems to have been named by its Hispanic settlers after the local Native American Bay Miwok tribe called Saklan (Saclan), referred to by Spanish missionaries as Saclanes. The first graduating class of 1941 selected the school colors of blue and white. For the school sports mascot, they chose the Don.
Rancho Acalanes was a 3,329-acre (13.47 km2) Mexican land grant in present-day Contra Costa County, California.
Acalanes Ridge is a census-designated place in Contra Costa County, California. Acalanes Ridge sits at an elevation of 499 feet (152 m). The population was 1,285 at the 2020 Census.
City of Lafayette
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