Bear Valley, Mariposa County, California

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Bear Valley
census-designated place
Oso Hall Museum in Bear Valley
Oso Hall Museum in Bear Valley
Bear Valley is located in California
Bear Valley
Bear Valley
Location in California
Coordinates: 37°34′08″N 120°07′10″W / 37.56889°N 120.11944°W / 37.56889; -120.11944Coordinates: 37°34′08″N 120°07′10″W / 37.56889°N 120.11944°W / 37.56889; -120.11944
Country  United States
State  California
County Mariposa County
Area[1]
 • Total 7.245 sq mi (18.762 km2)
 • Land 7.237 sq mi (18.743 km2)
 • Water 0.008 sq mi (0.019 km2)  0.1%
Elevation [2] 2,054 ft (626 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 125
 • Density 17/sq mi (6.7/km2)
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
GNIS feature ID 1659693; 2582941

U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Bear Valley, Mariposa County, California; U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Bear Valley, Mariposa County, California

Reference No. 331[3]

Bear Valley (formerly Haydenville, Biddle's Camp, Biddleville, Simpsonville, and Johnsonville)[4] is a census-designated place[5] in Mariposa County, California.[2] It is located 10.5 miles (17 km) south-southeast of Coulterville,[4] at an elevation of 2054 feet (626 m).[2] Bear Valley was designated California Historical Landmark #331.[3] The population was 125 at the 2010 census.

The place was originally called Haydenville in honor of David, Charles, and William Hayden, gold miners.[4] The place later bore the names Biddle's Camp and Biddleville in honor of William C. Biddle.[4] It later was named Simpsonville in honor of Robert Simpson, local merchant.[4] The name Johnsonville honored John F. Johnson.[4] The name became Bear Valley in 1858.[4]

The Haydenville post office opened before January 21, 1851 and closed in 1852.[4] The Bear Valley post office operated from 1858 to 1912, from 1914 to 1919, and from 1933 to 1955.[4]

In 1847, John C. Frémont, a veteran of the Bear Flag Revolt, decided to settle down in the San Francisco Bay Area. Desiring a ranch near San José, California, he sent $3,000 to the American consul Thomas O. Larkin. Instead of his intended purchase, he was sold Rancho Las Mariposas, consisting of 44,387 acres (179.6 km2) in the southern Sierra Nevada foothills around Bear Valley.[6] The original Mexican grant was a "floating grant", a grant of land for which the area was precisely given but the actual boundaries were left unspecified (usually due to inadequate surveys of the areas involved). After the beginning of the California Gold Rush in 1848, Fremont moved his grant's borders into the hills. Those hills proved to be lucrative and his mining operations centered in Bear Valley.[7]

At its peak, Bear Valley had a population of 3,000. During 1850-60 when Frémont's Pine Tree and Josephine Mines were producing, Frémont built an elegant hotel, Oso House; the structure, like many in the area, burned in the late 19th century.[3] Frémont lived and worked in the city, and his large home was nicknamed the Little White House, coincidentally built two years after he was the first Republican Party candidate for US President; the home burned in 1866.[7]

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP covers 7.245 square miles (18.76 km2), virtually all of it land.

Demographics[edit]

The 2010 United States Census[8] reported that Bear Valley had a population of 125. The population density was 17.3 people per square mile (6.7/km²). The racial makeup of Bear Valley was 117 (93.6%) White, 0 (0.0%) African American, 1 (0.8%) Native American, 2 (1.6%) Asian, 0 (0.0%) Pacific Islander, 1 (0.8%) from other races, and 4 (3.2%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8 persons (6.4%).

The Census reported that 125 people (100% of the population) lived in households, 0 (0%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.

There were 58 households, out of which 15 (25.9%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 29 (50.0%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 3 (5.2%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1 (1.7%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 4 (6.9%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 0 (0%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 20 households (34.5%) were made up of individuals and 9 (15.5%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16. There were 33 families (56.9% of all households); the average family size was 2.85.

The population was spread out with 25 people (20.0%) under the age of 18, 1 people (0.8%) aged 18 to 24, 30 people (24.0%) aged 25 to 44, 38 people (30.4%) aged 45 to 64, and 31 people (24.8%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47.6 years. For every 100 females there were 92.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.1 males.

There were 68 housing units at an average density of 9.4 per square mile (3.6/km²), of which 44 (75.9%) were owner-occupied, and 14 (24.1%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0%; the rental vacancy rate was 6.7%. 91 people (72.8% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 34 people (27.2%) lived in rental housing units.

References[edit]

  1. ^ U.S. Census
  2. ^ a b c U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Bear Valley, Mariposa County, California
  3. ^ a b c "Bear Valley". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 744. ISBN 1-884995-14-4. 
  5. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Bear Valley, Mariposa County, California
  6. ^ John C. Frémont, sierrafoothillmagazine.com, Accessed August 2, 2009.
  7. ^ a b Hoover, Mildred Brooke (1990). Historic Spots in California. Stanford University Press. p. 190. ISBN 978-0-8047-1734-2. Retrieved August 2, 2009. 
  8. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Bear Valley CDP". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014.