Modesto, California is an ideal place for people who enjoy cool temperatures in the wintertime and hot, dry conditions in the summer. This picturesque city is home to the historic McHenry Mansion built-in 1883 as well as E&J Gallo Winery, the biggest of its kind in the world. Check out some more facts about this memorable city located in Stanislaus County.
Located in the San Joaquin Valley, this is the 15th largest city in the state. Founded in 1870, it was once a stop on the Central Pacific railway located between Sacramento and Los Angeles. Originally, the city was going to be named after a notable financier named William Ralston. But, he was too modest to approve of a city being named after him so officials gave the city the Spanish name for modest. It started out with just 1,000 people in 1884 and grew partly because of its proximity to the railroad. Crops of fruit trees, vegetables, and nuts flourished in the area giving farmers the means to make a living. In 1900, the city’s population grew to 4,500 and continued to rise through the decades. Today, it has a population of around 204,933 residents while the county of Stanislaus has over 500,000 people. It has the 16th largest population in CA. ‘Water Wealth Contentment Health’ is the slogan on the famous Modesto Arch built-in 1912 that drivers pass beneath when they enter the city. Though the downtown area has been refurbished and modernized, there are still many historical sites in and around the city. This combination of new and old is appealing to many people who decide to settle down in the area.
In terms of demographics, 65% of people living in this city as of 2010 were white and 35.5% were Hispanic. The population grew at a rate of 1.9% between April 2010 and July 2013. The median annual household income of residents in the city is $53,967. Women make up about 51.3% of the population there.
George Lucas film director and creator of the Star Wars trilogy was born here in 1944. His film American Graffiti is based on his experiences as a teenager in the 1950s and 60s. There is a ‘cruising loop’ on 9th and 10th streets where visitors and residents alike can see some sights from the movie. There is even a statue in Lucas Plaza that depicts two teens leaning on a 1957 Chevrolet. Other famous individuals from the city include actress Carol Channing, filmmaker James Broughton, Olympic swimmer Mark Spitz and actor Jeremy Renner. In addition to being the birthplace of several notable people, this city has over 20 pieces of public art on display outdoors. One example is entitled, Circle of Life. It’s a bronze sculpture of a gathering of doves. The city is also home to the first junior college in the state. The entire area is scattered with beautiful arrangements of unique flowers. This is because it has a garden club of 700 plus members working to beautify the area! In fact, the garden club won the ‘Enhancement of the Landscape’ award in 2002. The members created a clock of flowers that is now in the downtown area.
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