|City of Oroville|
"City of Gold"
|Coordinates: 39°31′N121°33′W / 39.517°N 121.550°W|
|Incorporated||January 3, 1906 |
|• City Council|| Mayor: David Pittman |
Vice Mayor: Eric Smith
|• State Senator||Marie Alvarado-Gil (D) |
|• State Assembly||James Gallagher (R) |
|• U.S. Congress||Doug LaMalfa (R) |
|• City||13.85 sq mi (35.88 km2)|
|• Land||13.83 sq mi (35.83 km2)|
|• Water||0.02 sq mi (0.05 km2) 0.14%|
|Elevation||167 ft (51 m)|
|• Density||1,449.17/sq mi (559.36/km2)|
|• Metro||48,000 (estimated)|
|Time zone||UTC-8 (PST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-7 (PDT)|
95940, 95965, 95966
|GNIS feature IDs||277570, 2411337|
Oroville (Oro, Spanish for "Gold" and Ville, French for "town") is the county seat of Butte County, California, United States. The population of the city was 15,506 at the 2010 census, up from 13,004 in the 2000 census. Following the 2018 Camp Fire that destroyed much of the town of Paradise, the population of Oroville increased as many people who lost their homes relocated to nearby Oroville. In 2020, the 2020 census recorded the population of Oroville at 20,042.
Oroville is considered the gateway to Lake Oroville and Feather River recreational areas. The Berry Creek Rancheria of Maidu Indians of California is headquartered in Oroville. 
Oroville is located adjacent to State Route 70, and is in close proximity to State Route 99, which connects Butte County with Interstate 5. The city of Chico is located about 23 miles (38 kilometers) northwest of the city, and the state capital of Sacramento lies around 70 miles (112 kilometers) to the south.[ citation needed ]
Oroville's nickname is the "City of Gold", which is essentially the Spanish name of the city in English. Oroville has also been declared a Tree City USA for 41 years by the National Arbor Day Foundation. 
Oroville is situated at the base of the foothills on the banks of the Feather River where it flows out of the Sierra Nevada onto the flat floor of the Sacramento Valley. It was established[ when? ] as the home base of navigation on the Feather River to supply gold miners during the California Gold Rush.[ citation needed ]
The town was originally named "Ophir City", but was later changed to Oroville when the first post office opened in 1854 (oro is the Spanish word for 'gold').  The City of Oroville was incorporated on January 3, 1906.[ citation needed ]
Gold was found at Bidwell Bar, one of the first gold mining sites in California, bringing thousands of prospectors to the Oroville area seeking riches. Now inundated by the waters of enormous Lake Oroville, which was filled in 1968, Bidwell Bar is memorialized by the Bidwell Bar Bridge, an original remnant from the area and the first suspension bridge in California (California Historical Landmark #314). In the early 20th century, the Western Pacific Railroad completed construction of the all-weather Feather River Canyon route through the Sierra Nevada giving it the nickname of "The Feather River Route". Oroville station would serve as an important stop for the California Zephyr during its 20-year run. In 1983, this became a part of the Union Pacific Railroad as their Feather River Canyon Subdivision. A major highway, State Route 70, roughly parallels the railroad line winding through the canyon.[ citation needed ]
The Chinese Temple (CHL No. 770 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places) is another monument to Oroville's storied past. Chinese laborers from the pioneer era established the Temple as a place of worship for followers of Chinese Popular Religion and the three major Chinese religions: Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. The Chinese Temple and Garden, as it is now called, has an extensive collection of artifacts and a serene garden to enjoy.[ citation needed ]
The olive-canning industry was founded in Oroville by Freda Ehmann, the "mother of ripe olives". She built[ when? ] a large cannery in Oroville, and by 1900 was the president of the world's largest canned olive factory. Ehmann was a believer in women's suffrage and a friend of Susan B. Anthony 
Ishi, Oroville's most famous resident, was the last of the Yahi people and is considered the last "Stone Age" Indian to come out of the wilderness and into Western civilization. When he appeared out of the hills in East Oroville in 1911, he was immediately thrust into the national spotlight. The Visitor's Center at Lake Oroville has a thorough exhibit and documentary film on Ishi and his life in society.[ citation needed ]
Archaeological finds place the northwestern border for the prehistoric Martis people in the Oroville area. 
On August 7, 1881, pioneer Jack Crum was allegedly stomped to death by local bully Tom Noacks in Chico, California. The young Noacks was feared by the locals of Butte County, not only because of his size and strength, but allegedly because he was mentally unbalanced and enjoyed punching oxen in the head.
Noacks was arrested and jailed in the Chico jail. Once word got out that the old pioneer had been murdered, the authorities moved Noacks to the Butte County county jail in Oroville for his safety. Crum's friends, knowing that Noacks was in the county jail, made their way to Oroville with rope in hand. Knocking on the jail door, the men told the jailer that they had a prisoner from the town of Biggs, California. Once inside the jail, they overpowered the jailer and dragged Noacks from his cell. They took Noacks to Crum's former farm and hanged him from an old cottonwood tree. Nobody was ever prosecuted for the lynching. 
Hate groups began appearing in Oroville media stories beginning in 1976 with a neo-Nazi husband and wife couple killed in a shootout. In 1980, members of the American Nazi Party moved to Oroville from Tracy, California, to re-organize as Chico Area National Socialists.   In September 1982, 17-year-old Joseph Hoover was murdered by his Nazi colleagues after he told police he helped spread anti-Black hate literature at Oroville High School.  One thousand people marched in Oroville in protest of Nazi and Ku Klux Klan activity on December 11, 1982.  Local Nazi leader Perry "Red" Wartham was convicted of Hoover's murder and sentenced to 27 years, and two more male high school–age Nazi recruits were convicted as accessories to murder.   In 2016, an Oroville man was found spreading Nazi hate messages in Sacramento.  In January 2004, a white power publication was distributed in the Kelly Ridge area south of Oroville. 
On February 7, 2017, after heavy rains, a defect formed in a spillway of Oroville Dam. For the first time since its construction, the secondary spillway was overtopped on February 11. Shortly after being put into service, this structure began to show signs of being undermined, raising fears of catastrophic failure. Owing to their inability to predict the continued safety of this spillway, the Butte County Sheriff ordered evacuations of downstream residents from Butte, Sutter, and Yuba counties.[ citation needed ]
In November 2018, Oroville was threatened by the Camp Fire.[ citation needed ]
In November 2021, citing alleged federal and state overreach during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oroville city council passed a resolution declaring the city as its own "Constitutional Republic" and refused to enforce federal orders that it said violated its citizens' rights. 
The resolution to declare the town a constitutional republic was an attempt to limit state and federal restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic in California. One rural law expert stated that the designation was unclear and would not operate to shield the city from following state and federal laws. 
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.3 square miles (31.9 km2), of which 12.2 square miles (31.6 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2) of it (0.16%) is water.[ citation needed ]
Oroville is situated at the head of navigation on the Feather River. The Yuba River flows into the Feather River near Marysville, California and these flow together to the Sacramento River. Geologically, Oroville is situated at the meeting place of three provinces: the Central Valley alluvial plain to the west, the crystalline Sierra Nevada to the SE and the volcanic Cascade Mountains to the north. It has a Mediterranean climate.[ citation needed ]
Oroville sits on the eastern rim of the Great Valley, defined today by the floodplains of the Sacramento River and its tributaries. Around Oroville these sediments are dominated by thick fans of Feather River sediments, but just east of this there is a thin, N–S band of late Cretaceous sediments. These sit on top of the Sierran basement, which beneath eastern Oroville comprise greenschist-facies metavolcanic rocks of Jurassic age, giving way to granites of the Sierra batholith to the east. These are manifestations of a vigorous island arc sequence, built out over an east-dipping subduction zone of mid-to-late Mesozoic age. The gold veins lace this ancient arc, remobilized by Mesozoic shearing and intrusions of igneous rock. The crystalline foothills are locally overlain by a Cenozoic sequence of Eocene clean beach sands overlain by Neogene volcanics, including the Diamond Head-like profile of "Table Mountain".[ citation needed ]
According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Oroville has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csa" on climate maps. 
According to US climate data, on the average Oroville receives 30.7 inches (780 mm) of precipitation per year, which is about 20% less than the national average, but somewhat higher than the average California rainfall total.  
|Climate data for Oroville, California (Oroville Municipal Airport), 1991–2020 normals, extremes 1998–present|
|Record high °F (°C)||83|
|Mean maximum °F (°C)||67.5|
|Average high °F (°C)||55.2|
|Daily mean °F (°C)||47.4|
|Average low °F (°C)||39.7|
|Mean minimum °F (°C)||30.1|
|Record low °F (°C)||22|
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||5.20|
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||12.2||10.4||10.0||6.6||4.5||1.5||0.2||0.5||1.1||4.4||9.5||11.8||72.7|
|Source 1: NOAA |
|Source 2: National Weather Service (mean maxima/minima 2006–2020) |
|U.S. Decennial Census |
The 2010 United States Census  The racial makeup was 11,686 (75.2%) White, 453 (2.9%) African American, 573 (3.7%) Native American, 1,238 (8.0%) Asian, 56 (0.4%) Pacific Islander, 554 (3.6%) from other races, and 986 (6.3%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1,945 persons (12.5%).[ citation needed ]
The Census reported that 14,662 people (94.3% of the population) lived in households, 72 (0.5%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 812 (5.2%) were institutionalized.[ citation needed ]
There were 5,646 households, out of which 2,126 (37.7%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 1,893 (33.5%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 1,174 (20.8%) had a female householder with no husband present, 430 (7.6%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 615 (10.9%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 33 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 1,699 households (30.1%) were made up of individuals, and 718 (12.7%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60. There were 3,497 families (61.9% of all households); the average family size was 3.22.[ citation needed ]
The population was spread out, with 4,267 people (27.4%) under the age of 18, 1,969 people (12.7%) aged 18 to 24, 3,940 people (25.3%) aged 25 to 44, 3,417 people (22.0%) aged 45 to 64, and 1,953 people (12.6%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.8 males.[ citation needed ]
There were 6,194 housing units at an average density of 476.0 per square mile (183.8/km2), of which 5,646 were occupied, of which 2,423 (42.9%) were owner-occupied, and 3,223 (57.1%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 3.6%; the rental vacancy rate was 8.4%. 6,293 people (40.5% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 8,369 people (53.8%) lived in rental housing units.[ citation needed ]
As of the census  of 2000, there were 13,004 people, 4,881 households, and 2,948 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,061.4 inhabitants per square mile (409.8/km2). There were 5,419 housing units at an average density of 442.3 per square mile (170.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 77.2% White, 4.0% Black or African American, 3.9% Native American, 6.3% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 2.8% from other races, and 5.4% from two or more races. 8.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.[ citation needed ]
There were 4,881 households, out of which 33.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.4% were married couples living together, 18.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.6% were non-families. 33.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.19.[ citation needed ]
In the city, the population was spread out, with 30.1% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 19.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.7 males.[ citation needed ]
The median income for a household in the city was $21,911, and the median income for a family was $27,666. Males had a median income of $28,587 versus $21,916 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,345. About 16.2% of families and 23.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 39.3% of those under age 18 and 8.9% of those age 65 or over.[ citation needed ]
Oroville is home to a considerable number of ethnic Hmong. The Hmong migrated from Southeast Asia, especially from the country Laos, after the Vietnam War. The Hmong were allies of the American forces during the Vietnam War, many were recruited to help fight the Communist-aligned North Vietnamese forces in Laos and Vietnam. The Hmong people were given blanket political asylum after the fall of Saigon to the NVA in 1975. Every year there is an annual festival during autumn which was originally a harvest festival but now called the New Year celebration.  In 2010, 773 people of Hmong descent lived in the city of Oroville, 726 in South Oroville, 640 in Thermalito, and 140 in Oroville East.  In 2010, the Oroville/Chico Hmong community was the 9th largest in the Western US. 
In the 1950s, a community of Romanians migrated from Europe, with 560 remaining at the time of the 2010 census.[ citation needed ]
Native Americans made up 3.7% of Oroville's population in 2010.  The largest tribal group is the local Maidu. The Berry Creek Rancheria of Maidu Indians of California is headquartered in Oroville, with 306 members.  The world's largest museum of Maidu culture is located in Oroville East, at the Lookout Museum.[ citation needed ]
The economy of Oroville is largely driven by tourism to Lake Oroville and the Feather River recreation areas. The largest industries in Oroville as of 2017 are: Healthcare and Social Assistance (20%), Retail Trade (11%), and Accommodation and Food Service (10%). 
As the neighboring city of Chico experiences growth in retail, education, and technology industries, Oroville has experienced population growth associated with commuters attracted to lower property costs, and a smaller cost of living.  Recently, Oroville has seen an increase in economic development. Oroville Hospital announced in 2018 a hospital expansion, and in 2019 received $200 million in bonds for a five-story hospital tower expected to be competed in 2022.  Notable retailers who have expanded to Oroville in the past few years include: Ross Dress For Less, Marshalls, Starbucks, and Chipotle Mexican Grill.[ citation needed ]
According to the city's 2020–2021 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report, the top employers in the city are: 
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|1||County of Butte||2,320|
|2||Oroville Medical Complex||1,650|
|3||Pacific Coast Producers||992|
|4||Walmart Stores, Inc.||289|
|5||Graphic Packaging International||205|
|5||Walmart Stores, Inc.||234|
|7||Sierra Pacific Industries||128|
|8||Home Depot USA||126|
|9||City of Oroville||111|
|10||Roplast Industries, Inc||93|
|11||Currier Square Spe LLC||67|
The Oroville Municipal Airport is located south of State Route 162 west of State Route 70.
Oroville has several parks featuring playgrounds, picnic tables and benches. 
The Oroville Union High School District includes all of the greater Oroville area, including many neighborhoods that are not within the city limits of Oroville. The District includes two traditional high schools, Las Plumas High School and Oroville High School, and Prospect High School, which functions as a continuation/remedial high school. The city also has an adult school, Oroville Adult School.[ citation needed ]
Several small, rural school districts are in the surrounding areas.[ citation needed ]
Oroville is home to KOYO-LP, a low-power community radio station owned and operated by the Bird Street Arbor Day Media Project. The station was built by numerous volunteers from Oroville and around the region in April 2002 at the second Prometheus Radio Project barnraising. KOYO-LP broadcasts music, news, and public affairs to listeners at 107.1FM.
Oroville Hospital is a general acute care hospital and offers basic emergency care located in the City of Oroville.
The Oroville Fire Department is responsible for calls within the city jurisdiction of approximately 13 square miles (34 km2) with a population of 16,260 (as of 2015). 
Oroville has three designated superfund cleanup sites, two of which have been cleaned up and delisted: a Koppers Co. wood treatment plant, a Louisiana Pacific sawmill, and the Western Pacific railyard.
The Koppers Co. plant was listed on September 21, 1984, for pentachlorophenol (PCP), dioxin, furan, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH), and heavy metals (copper, chromium, and arsenic) contamination due to chemicals spilled on unpaved areas.  
The Louisiana-Pacific sawmill was listed on June 10, 1986, for pentachlorophenol PCP, dioxin, furan, heavy metals (arsenic, boron, and copper), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination. Following remediation, the site was delisted on November 21, 1996. The sawmill was shut down in 2001.  
The Western Pacific Railroad yard was listed on August 30, 1990, for volatile organic compound (VOC) and heavy metals (arsenic, lead, and chromium) contamination. Following remediation, the site was delisted on August 29, 2001.  
In the early 1970s, the movie The Klansman was filmed in Oroville. 
Butte County is a county located in the northern part of the U.S. state of California. In the 2020 census, its population was 211,632. The county seat is Oroville.
Glenn County is a county located in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2020 census, the population was 28,917. The county seat is Willows. It is located in the Sacramento Valley, in the northern part of the California Central Valley. The Grindstone Rancheria, reservation of the Grindstone Indian Rancheria of Wintun-Wailaki Indians, is located in Glenn County.
Plumas County is a county in the Sierra Nevada of the U.S. state of California. As of the 2020 census, the population was 19,790. The county seat is Quincy, and the only incorporated city is Portola. The largest community in the county is East Quincy. The county was named for the Spanish Río de las Plumas, which flows through it. The county itself is also the namesake of a native moth species, Hadena plumasata.
Sutter County is a county located in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2020 census, the population was 99,633. The county seat is Yuba City. Sutter County is included in the Yuba City, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the Sacramento-Roseville, CA Combined Statistical Area. The county is located along the Sacramento River in the Sacramento Valley.
Concow is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in the Sierra Nevada foothills covering eastern Butte County, California. Due to a decline in employment and repeated wildfires, over the past hundred years the population declined from several thousand to several dozen. On November 8, 2018, a wildfire, the Camp Fire, destroyed most of Concow, as well as the adjacent municipality of Paradise.
Gridley is a city in Butte County, California, United States, 29 miles south of Chico, California and 56 miles north of Sacramento, California. The 2019 State of California population estimate was 7,224. California State Route 99 runs through Gridley and Interstate 5 and California State Route 70 are both nearby. The highway CA 99 goes through Gridley and the current population is 9,082 [found in a recent census].
Paradise is a town in Butte County, California, United States in the Sierra Nevada foothills above the northeastern Sacramento Valley. As of the 2020 census, the town population was 4,764. On November 8, 2018, a major wildfire, the Camp Fire, destroyed most of Paradise and much of the adjacent communities of Magalia, Butte Creek Canyon, and Concow. After the Camp Fire, the population declined by more than 90%. In January 2019, the state of California reported 4,600 residents, and a door-to-door count in April 2019 found 2,034.
South Oroville is a census-designated place (CDP) in Butte County, California, United States. The population was 5,742 at the 2010 census, down from 7,695 at the 2000 census.
The Shasta Cascade region of California is located in the northeastern and north-central sections of the state bordering Oregon and Nevada, including far northern parts of the Central Valley and the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
The Feather River is the principal tributary of the Sacramento River, in the Sacramento Valley of Northern California. The river's main stem is about 73 miles (117 km) long. Its length to its most distant headwater tributary is just over 210 miles (340 km). The main stem Feather River begins in Lake Oroville, where its four long tributary forks join—the South Fork, Middle Fork, North Fork, and West Branch Feather Rivers. These and other tributaries drain part of the northern Sierra Nevada, and the extreme southern Cascades, as well as a small portion of the Sacramento Valley. The total drainage basin is about 6,200 square miles (16,000 km2), with approximately 3,604 square miles (9,330 km2) above Lake Oroville.
Richvale is a small census-designated place in Butte County, California, US, south of Chico and west of Oroville. The primary crop grown in the area surrounding Richvale is rice, irrigated from the Oroville Dam on the Feather River. Several farmers in the area are known for organic farming. The population was 244 at the 2010 census.
Oroville Dam is an earthfill embankment dam on the Feather River east of the city of Oroville, California, in the Sierra Nevada foothills east of the Sacramento Valley. At 770 feet (235 m) high, it is the tallest dam in the U.S. and serves mainly for water supply, hydroelectricity generation, and flood control. The dam impounds Lake Oroville, the second-largest reservoir in California, capable of storing more than 3.5 million acre-feet (1.1×1012 US gal; 4.3×109 m3).
Cherokee is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Butte County, California. It is an area inhabited by Maidu Indians prior to the gold rush, but that takes its name from a band of Cherokee prospectors who perfected a mining claim on the site. The population was 69 at the 2010 census. It lies at an elevation of 1306 feet.
Lake Oroville is a reservoir formed by the Oroville Dam impounding the Feather River, located in Butte County, northern California. The lake is situated 5 miles (8 km) northeast of the city of Oroville, within the Lake Oroville State Recreation Area, in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Known as the second-largest reservoir in California, Lake Oroville is treated as a keystone facility within the California State Water Project by storing water, providing flood control, recreation, freshwater releases to assist in controlling the salinity intrusion into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and protecting fish and wildlife.
State Route 70 is a state highway in the U.S. state of California, connecting SR 99 north of Sacramento with U.S. Route 395 near Beckwourth Pass via the Feather River Canyon. Through the Feather River Canyon, from SR 149 to US 395, SR 70 is the Feather River Scenic Byway, a Forest Service Byway that parallels the ex-Western Pacific Railroad's Feather River Route.
The North Fork Feather River is a watercourse of the northern Sierra Nevada and southern Cascades in the U.S. state of California. It flows generally southwards from its headwaters near Lassen Peak to Lake Oroville, a reservoir formed by Oroville Dam in the foothills of the Sierra, where it runs into the Feather River. The river drains about 2,100 square miles (5,400 km2) of the western slope of the Sierras. By discharge, it is the largest tributary of the Feather.
The West BranchFeather River is a Lake Oroville tributary that flows generally north-to-south in the North Fork Feather Watershed near the watershed's drainage divide with the Mills-Big Chico Watershed and Upper Butte Watershed.
Lake Oroville State Recreation Area (LOSRA) is a state park unit of California, United States, surrounding Lake Oroville, a reservoir on the Feather River. It is located in Butte County outside Oroville, California. The 29,447-acre (11,917 ha) park was established in 1967. The recreation area "includes Lake Oroville and the surrounding lands and facilities within the project area as well as the land and waters in and around the Diversion Pool and Thermalito Forebay, downstream of Oroville Dam."
The Feather Headwaters is the watershed of the Feather River above Lake Oroville, totaling 3,450 sq mi (8,900 km2). Subdivided into 3 watersheds, the North Fork Feather Watershed is 1,090 sq mi (2,800 km2)—including the West Branch drainage of about 282.5 sq mi (732 km2), the East Branch North Fork Feather Watershed is 1,010 sq mi (2,600 km2), and the Middle Fork Feather Watershed is 1,350 sq mi (3,500 km2)—including the South Fork drainage of about 132 sq mi (340 km2). Headwaters drainage is impaired by the Palermo Canal at Oroville Dam, the Hendricks Canal at the West Branch Feather River, and the Miners Ranch Canal at the South Fork's Ponderosa Reservoir. Additionally, the Pacific Gas and Electric Company releases Upper Feather water into the Hyatt Generating-Pumping Plant for hydroelectric generation during daily peak demand.
Poe Dam is a concrete gravity diversion dam on the North Fork Feather River, about 5 miles (8.0 km) north of Lake Oroville in Butte County, California in the United States. Completed in 1959, the dam is the lowermost component of the Pacific Gas and Electric Company's Feather River Canyon Power Project, a system of 10 hydroelectric stations along the North Fork. The dam is 60 ft (18 m) high and 440 ft (130 m) long, with water flows controlled by four 50 ft × 41 ft radial gates.