Groveland-Big Oak Flat, California

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Groveland-Big Oak Flat
unincorporated community; former census-designated place
Gold specimen from the old Eureka mine in Big Oak Flat
Gold specimen from the old Eureka mine in Big Oak Flat
Location in Tuolumne County and the state of California
Location in Tuolumne County and the state of California
Coordinates: 37°50′45″N 120°12′28″W / 37.84583°N 120.20778°W / 37.84583; -120.20778Coordinates: 37°50′45″N 120°12′28″W / 37.84583°N 120.20778°W / 37.84583; -120.20778
Country  United States
State  California
County Tuolumne
Area
 • Total 28.8 sq mi (74.6 km2)
 • Land 28.5 sq mi (73.9 km2)
 • Water 0.3 sq mi (0.7 km2)
Elevation[1] 2,552 ft (778 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 3,388
 • Density 117.6/sq mi (45.4/km2)
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 95305-95321
Area code(s) 209
FIPS code 06-31375
GNIS feature ID 2408339
Official name: Big Oak Flat[2]
Reference No. 406

Groveland-Big Oak Flat is an unincorporated community and former census-designated place (CDP) in Tuolumne County, California, United States. The population was 3,388 at the 2000 census. This CDP included the communities of Groveland, Big Oak Flat and Pine Mountain Lake (PML).[3]

The CDP was abolished prior to the 2010 census, and Groveland and Pine Mountain Lake were made into separate CDPs.

The town hosts an annual 49er Festival on the 3rd Saturday of September, hosted by the Yosemite Chamber of Commerce, [1]. Groveland is the location of the Groveland Ranger District office of the Stanislaus National Forest. The Groveland Community Services District provides services, including fire protection, to the community . The Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Tuolumne-Calaveras Ranger Unit, Battalion 16, has a Forest Fire Station west of Groveland on State Route 120.

Geography and climate[edit]

Groveland-Big Oak Flat is located at 37°50′45″N 120°12′28″W / 37.845867°N 120.207697°W / 37.845867; -120.207697.[4] Elevation is 867 m (2,846 ft).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 28.8 square miles (75 km2), of which, 28.5 square miles (74 km2) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2) of it (0.90%) is water.

Groveland has cold, wet winters and very warm, mostly dry summers. Average January temperatures are a maximum of 57.5°F and a minimum of 30.2°F. Average July temperatures are a maximum of 90.8°F and a minimum of 54.2°F. There are an average of 32.4 days with highs of 90°F (32°C) or higher and an average of 81.6 days with lows of 32°F (0°C) or lower. The highest recorded temperature was 103°F on July 26, 1980, and the lowest recorded temperature was -2°F on January 30, 1916.

Annual precipitation averages 37.28 inches. There are an average of 58 days with measurable precipitation. The wettest year was 1982 with 66.95 inches and the dryest year was 1976 with 12.27 inches. The most precipitation in one month was 30.76 inches in January 1911. The most precipitation in 24 hours was 8.26 inches on January 27, 1914. Average annual snowfall is 15.3 inches. The snowiest year was 1967 with 65.0 inches. The most snow in one month was 42.0 inches in April 1967.[5]

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 3,388 people, 1,533 households, and 1,100 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 118.7 people per square mile (45.8/km²). There were 2,904 housing units at an average density of 101.7 per square mile (39.3/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 92.62% White, 0.65% African American, 1.59% Native American, 0.71% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 1.06% from other races, and 3.28% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.93% of the population.

There were 1,533 households out of which 18.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.9% were married couples living together, 6.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.2% were non-families. 22.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.55.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 17.4% under the age of 18, 3.3% from 18 to 24, 16.5% from 25 to 44, 34.0% from 45 to 64, and 28.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 54 years. For every 100 females there were 92.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.5 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $41,928, and the median income for a family was $48,386. Males had a median income of $39,861 versus $21,161 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $27,394. About 2.6% of families and 7.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.3% of those under age 18 and 2.0% of those age 65 or over.

History[edit]

Groveland

Groveland has always been an important stop on the highway to Yosemite but really grew in the early 1900s with the development of the Tuolumne River Hetch-Hetchy water project for the city of San Francisco. Groveland is adjacent to the Stanislaus National Forest and is known for the historic Iron Door Saloon, the gated community of Pine Mountain Lake which boasts its own local newspaper called The Pine Mountain Lake News [2], and the nursery/gallery/general store Mountain Sage.

Groveland was originally a gold rush town and then became a sleepy farming community until the San Francisco Hetch Hetchy water project made it their headquarters and built a railroad yard and hospital for the work crews (both now gone). From 1915 till 1935 Groveland was a boom town supporting seven hotels, 10,000 residents and much activity. When the work crews left the town again became a minor stop on the way to Yosemite until the Boise Cascade company built the Pine Mountain Lake community with a first class golf course, an airport and lake and staked out 5000 lots. This development has since grown from a summer home area to a retirement community to a thriving neighborhood with year round families, boosting the once sleepy Groveland to a travel and vacation destination in its own right.

Groveland is the main town on the Highway 120 route to Yosemite National Park, and boasts numerous lodging and restaurant businesses. The local Community Park features picnic tables, BBQ pits, a skate park and basketball court area, children's playground, bandstand and lawn seating for music and summer Movies in the Park events, public toilets and parking, and the Groveland Museum and Library. There is free Wireless Internet in the park area, provided by a joint effort between Hotel & Cafe Charlotte and the Groveland Community Services District.

In addition to lodging and eateries, local businesses include a Grocery Market, Pharmacy, Medical Clinic, Emergency Services, Fire Department headquarters, and many boutique gift shops. There are places to buy tire chains in the winter, as well as snow shoes and other winter equipment, plus camping and backpacking supplies during the summer months. Local tour guide companies offer custom "they drive you" trips into Yosemite Valley, and local White Water Rafting companies offer trips on the Tuolumne River nearby.

Tioga High School and Tenaya Elementary School are located in Groveland.

Big Oak Flat

The community of Big Oak Flat was founded by James D. Savage who began mining the area about 1851. In some works, Savage is credited as discovering the Yosemite Valley about 1848. He is also identified as one of the first persons of European ancestry to enter the valley, (March 27, 1851). Others of European ancestry may have seen the valley as early as 1833. From approximately 1916 to 1924, Big Oak Flat served as a staging area and housing location for workers constructing the Hetch Hetchy Railroad which was required to build the O'Shaughnessy Dam on the Tuolumne River in the Hetch Hetchy Valley. Big Oak Flat is now registered as California Historical Landmark #406.[2]

Politics[edit]

In the California State Legislature, Groveland-Big Oak Flat is located in the 14th Senate District, represented by Republican Tom Berryhill, and in the 25th Assembly District, represented by Republican Kristin Olsen.

In the United States House of Representatives, Groveland-Big Oak Flat is in California's 4th congressional district, represented by Republican Tom McClintock.[7]

References[edit]

Bibliography
  • Map: "Stanislaus National Forest, California," U.S. Forest Service, 1979.
  • Browning, Peter, "Place Names of the Sierra Nevada," (Berkeley, California: Wilderness Press, 1991).
  • Hotel & Cafe Charlotte (Groveland, CA)

External links[edit]