Lake County, California


Lake County, California
County of Lake
—  County  —
Clear Lake, the dominant geographic feature in Lake County

Seal
Location in the state of California
California's location in the United States
Country  United States
State  California
Metro area
Incorporated 1861
Named for Clear Lake
County seat Lakeport
Area
 – Total 1,329.48 sq mi (3,443.3 km2)
 – Land 1,257.96 sq mi (3,258.1 km2)
 – Water 71.52 sq mi (185.2 km2)
Population (2010)
 – Total 64,665
 – Density 51/sq mi (19.7/km2)
Time zone Pacific Standard Time (UTC-8)
 – Summer (DST) Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-7)
Website www.co.lake.ca.us

Lake County is a county located in the north central portion of the U.S. state of California, north of the San Francisco Bay Area. It takes its name from Clear Lake, the dominant geographic feature in the county and the largest natural lake wholly within California (unlike Lake Tahoe which is partially in Nevada). As of the 2010 census, the population was 64,665, up from 58,309 at the 2000 census. The county seat is Lakeport.

Contents

History

Lake County was formed in 1861 from parts of Napa and Mendocino counties. Lake County has long been known as a farming community. Vineyards were planted in the 1870s. By the early 20th century the area was earning a reputation for producing some of the world's greatest wines. However, in 1920, Prohibition ended Lake County's wine production. Most of the vineyards were ripped out and replanted with walnut and pear farms.

A re-emergence of the wine industry began in the 1960s when a few growers rediscovered the area's grape growing potential and began planting vineyards. The area went from fewer than 100 acres (0.4 km2) of grapevines in 1965 to over 8,800 acres (36 km2) of vineyards today, and has seen the recent establishment of several American Viticultural Areas such as High Valley AVA and Red Hills Lake County AVA. Many of the vineyards in Lake County today support sustainable farming practices.

Geography and environment

Spring Time in the Vineyards

According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 1,329.48 square miles (3,443.3 km2), of which 1,257.96 square miles (3,258.1 km2) (or 94.62%) is land and 71.52 square miles (185.2 km2) (or 5.38%) is water.[1] A number of watercourses drain the county including Cache Creek, Forbes Creek and Scotts Creek.

Clear Lake is believed to be the oldest lake in North America, due to a geological fluke. The lake sits on a huge block of stone which slowly tilts in the northern direction at the same rate as the lake fills in with sediment, thus keeping the water at roughly the same depth. The geology of the county is chaotic, being based on Franciscan Assemblage hills. Numerous small faults are present in the south end of the lake as well as many old volcanoes, the largest being Mount Konocti. The geologic history of the county shows events of great violence, such as the eruption of Mount Konocti and Mount St. Helena, and the collapse of Cow Mountain, which created the hills around the county seat of Lakeport. Blue Lakes, Lake Pillsbury, and Indian Valley Reservoir are the county's other major bodies of water.

Lake County has habitats for a variety of species of concern including the uncommon herb, Legenere limosa, the rare Eryngium constancei and the tule elk. Waterfowl, bear and other wildlife abound in the Clear Lake basin.

Due to its hilly terrain, Lake is the only one of California's 58 counties never to have been served by a railroad line.

Cities and towns

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

State protected areas

Transportation infrastructure

Major highways

There are also several numbered county routes in Lake County.

Public transportation

Lake Transit serves all areas around Clear Lake, with most service focused on the city of Clearlake. Connections are also provided to St. Helena (Napa County) and Ukiah (Mendocino County).

Airports

Lampson Field is the county's public airport. There are also several private airstrips located throughout the county.

Politics

Lake County vote
by party in presidential elections
Year GOP DEM Others
2008 38.9% 9,935 58.2% 14,854 3.3% 840
2004 44.9% 11,093 53.2% 13,141 2.8% 1,089
2000 41.6% 8,699 51.2% 10,717 7.2% 1,503
1996 35.0% 7,458 48.9% 10,432 16.1% 3,445
1992 28.8% 6,678 45.4% 10,548 25.8% 5,987
1988 48.0% 9,366 50.4% 9,828 1.6% 308
1984 54.8% 10,874 43.6% 8,648 1.6% 309
1980 53.6% 8,934 35.9% 5,978 10.5% 1,742
1976 44.5 5,462 51.9% 6,374 3.7% 449
1972 55.1% 6,477 40.1% 4,715 4.8% 558
1968 49.0% 4,464 41.5% 3,777 9.6% 870
1964 43.6% 3,616 56.4% 4,680 0.1% 6
1960 58.7% 4,176 40.8% 2,897 0.5% 36
1956 64.8% 4,073 34.8% 2,185 0.4% 24
1952 67.5% 4,367 31.5% 2,038 1.0% 63
1948 57.3% 3,054 37.5% 1,999 5.3% 280
1944 55.0% 2,059 44.6% 1,671 0.4% 16
1940 53.4% 2,215 45.7% 1,897 0.9% 39
1936 48.7% 1,797 49.8% 1,837 1.4% 53
1932 34.8% 1,301 62.6% 2,344 2.6% 99
1928 65.4% 1,820 33.3% 926 1.4% 38
1924 44.9% 795 14.8% 261 40.3% 713
1920 57.2% 993 32.9% 571 9.9% 171

Lake County leans Democratic in Presidential and congressional elections. The last Republican to win a majority in the county was Ronald Reagan in 1984.

Lake is part of California's California's 1st congressional district, which is held by Democrat Mike Thompson. In the state legislature, Lake is part of the 1st Assembly district, which is held by Democrat Wesley Chesbro, and the 2nd Senate district, which is held by Democrat Noreen Evans.

On November 4, 2008, Lake County voted 52.6% for Proposition 8, which amended the California Constitution to ban same-sex marriages.[2]

Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1870 2,969
1880 6,596 122.2%
1890 7,101 7.7%
1900 6,017 −15.3%
1910 5,526 −8.2%
1920 5,402 −2.2%
1930 7,166 32.7%
1940 8,069 12.6%
1950 11,481 42.3%
1960 13,786 20.1%
1970 19,548 41.8%
1980 36,366 86.0%
1990 50,631 39.2%
2000 58,309 15.2%
2010 64,665 10.9%
[3][4][5]

2010

The 2010 United States Census reported that Lake County had a population of 64,665. The racial makeup of Lake County was 52,033 (80.5%) White, 1,232 (1.9%) African American, 2,049 (3.2%) Native American, 724 (1.1%) Asian, 108 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 5,455 (8.4%) from other races, and 3,064 (4.7%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11,088 persons (17.1%).[6]

Population reported at 2010 United States Census
The County
Total
Population
White
African
American
Native
American
Asian
Pacific
Islander
other
races
two or
more races
Hispanic
or Latino
(of any race)
Lake County 64,665 52,033 1,232 2,049 724 108 5,455 3,064 11,088
Incorporated
city
Total
Population
White
African
American
Native
American
Asian
Pacific
Islander
other
races
two or
more races
Hispanic
or Latino
(of any race)
Clearlake 15,250 11,262 614 400 161 27 1,805 981 3,248
Lakeport 4,753 3,932 46 147 99 5 337 187 799
Census-designated
place
Total
Population
White
African
American
Native
American
Asian
Pacific
Islander
other
races
two or
more races
Hispanic
or Latino
(of any race)
Clearlake Oaks 2,359 2,054 54 45 34 1 60 111 192
Clearlake Riviera 3,090 2,641 36 75 40 5 167 126 424
Cobb 1,778 1,625 14 31 13 1 26 68 113
Hidden Valley Lake 5,579 4,830 63 80 75 12 326 193 733
Kelseyville 3,353 2,213 22 51 32 2 888 145 1,337
Lower Lake 1,294 1,031 20 18 13 1 125 86 219
Lucerne 3,067 2,581 60 105 26 9 94 192 367
Middletown 1,323 985 5 28 18 0 225 62 413
Nice 2,731 2,187 65 159 42 7 123 148 384
North Lakeport 3,314 2,685 28 126 40 4 271 160 571
Soda Bay 1,016 843 16 14 12 0 102 29 171
Spring Valley 845 766 15 10 6 3 24 21 71
Upper Lake 1,052 842 7 33 7 0 104 59 242
Unincorporated
communities
Total
Population
White
African
American
Native
American
Asian
Pacific
Islander
other
races
two or
more races
Hispanic
or Latino
(of any race)
All others not CDPs (combined) 13,861 11,556 167 727 106 31 778 496 1,804

2005

There were a total of 34,031 homes in Lake County in 2005. This county has gone through a growth in housing units, adding a sum of 1,414 residential structures since 2001, a change of 4.3 percent. Lake County ranks 978 of 3,141, compared to change in residential structure growth in counties throughout the Unities States.

Lake County had a median home value in the year 2005 of $255,300, according to the American Community Survey. This median is less than the overall California 2005 home median value of $477,700 and greater than median home value of $167,500 for the rest of the nation in that year. In 2005, the American Community Survey reported that 14.4% of Lake County's owner-occupied dwellings are valued over a half a million dollars.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.10% under the age of 18, 6.00% from 18 to 24, 23.60% from 25 to 44, 26.80% from 45 to 64, and 19.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 97.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $49,627, and the median income for a family was $55,818. Males had a median income of $45,771 versus $44,026 for females. The per capita income for the county was $43,825. About 6.90% of families and 4.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.80% of those under age 18 and 7.30% of those age 65 or over. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau)

The recent sharp increase in per capita income can be directly linked to those people who have recently relocated to Lake County and telecommute to their jobs in the Bay Area. In addition, real estate values have risen due to a boom from 2003 to 2006, caused by Bay Area residents' discovery that Lake County residential real estate was lower in cost than that in adjacent Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties.

Within Lake County are two incorporated cities, the county seat of Lakeport and Clearlake, the largest city, and the communities of Kelseyville, Blue Lakes, Clearlake Oaks, Clearlake Park, Cobb, Finley, Glenhaven, Hidden Valley Lake, Clearlake Riviera, Loch Lomond, Lower Lake, Lucerne, Middletown, Nice, Spring Valley, Upper Lake, Whispering Pines, and Witter Springs.

The income of residents of the county varies widely. The county is the largest employer thus far, followed by large retailers such as Wal-Mart, Safeway, and Kmart. Several franchised retailers have recently entered the county (up 28% since 2003) and have created a diverse employment environment. Employment statistics continue to improve, again supported by the influx of Bay Area relocations and the benefit of telecommuting. Lake County is mostly agricultural, with tourist facilities and some light industry. Major crops include pears, walnuts and, increasingly, wine grapes.

Famous people

Lillie Langtry, British actress and royal mistress

Notes

  1. ^ "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. http://www.census.gov/tiger/tms/gazetteer/county2k.txt. Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  2. ^ California Secretary of State: "Statement of Vote for November 4, 2008, General Election", page 62.
  3. ^ http://www.census.gov/population/www/censusdata/cencounts/files/ca190090.txt
  4. ^ http://factfinder2.census.gov
  5. ^ http://mapserver.lib.virginia.edu/
  6. ^ "2010 Census P.L. 94-171 Summary File Data". United States Census Bureau. http://www2.census.gov/census_2010/01-Redistricting_File--PL_94-171/California/. 

See also

External links

Coordinates: 39°05′N 122°46′W / 39.09°N 122.76°W / 39.09; -122.76


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