|City of Blythe|
Blythe street scene, c. 1900
|Motto: City of Outdoors|
Location in Riverside County and the state of California
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Incorporated||July 21, 1916|
|• Mayor||Mike Evans|
|• Total||26.972 sq mi (69.855 km2)|
|• Land||26.189 sq mi (67.828 km2)|
|• Water||0.783 sq mi (2.027 km2) 2.90%|
|Elevation||272 ft (83 m)|
|• Density||770/sq mi (300/km2)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC-8)|
|• Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC-7)|
|GNIS feature IDs||1660349, 2409872|
Blythe // is a city in Riverside County, California, United States, in the Palo Verde Valley of the Lower Colorado River Valley region, an agricultural area and part of the Colorado Desert along the Colorado River. Blythe was named after Thomas H. Blythe, a San Francisco financier, who established primary water rights to the Colorado River in the region in 1877. The city was incorporated on July 21, 1916. The population was 20,817 at the 2010 census.
In 1882, Thomas H. Blythe, a native of England, came to what is now Blythe, intent on finding real estate for further development and settlement. On July 17, 1877, Blythe filed his first claim for Colorado River water on what was to become the "Blythe Intake". He was also involved in farming and mining. Blythe worked with partners William Calloway and George Irish until his death in 1883. No further development occurred until the start of the 20th century. The Blythe Block was later sold in 1901, finally removing its name.
Frank Murphy and Ed Williams, who were involved on the cattle industry and came from nearby Arizona, came to the area in 1904 and were convinced it was well-suited for cattle and farming. With the help of W.A. Hobson, they formed the Palo Verde Land and Water Company. W.F. Holt, who helped develop nearby Imperial Valley, became the company's general manager. Holt resigned at 1912. Primary road Hobson Way is named in honor of W.A Hobson.
On August 8, 1916, the California Southern Railroad built a railroad to Blythe from the desert station of Rice, CA, then known as Blythe Junction. It was later renamed to honor G.W. Rice, the superintendent of the railroad. The Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway took control of the line between 1921 and 1991.
The community and the entire valley was hit by a widespread flood in 1922 as a result of the Colorado's overflow. After the disaster, the residents of the valley sought and received aid from the state of Arizona. The nearby community of Ripley was a booming town in only its first year. The construction of dams such as the Hoover Dam and the Parker Dam in the 1930s prevented another flood from hitting Blythe and the Palo Verde Valley.
Geography and climate
Blythe is located near the California/Arizona border in the Colorado Desert section of the Sonoran Desert, at the junction of Interstate 10 and US 95. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 27.0 square miles (70 km2), of which 26.2 square miles (68 km2) is land and 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2) (2.90%) is water.
Nearby communities include Lost Lake and Vidal to the north, Ripley to the south, Desert Center to the west, and Ehrenberg, Arizona, to the east. Major cities in the region include Yuma (85 miles), Indio (95 miles), Phoenix (150 miles), San Bernardino (170 miles), Riverside (172 miles), and Las Vegas (200 miles). Blythe is within 4 hours via car of 10% of the United States’ population.
Blythe has an desert climate with very hot summers and mild winters. There are an average of 178.4 days with highs of 90 °F (32 °C) or higher. There are an average of 18.9 days with lows of 32 °F (0 °C) or lower. The record high temperature was 122 °F (50 °C) on July 7, 1920, and June 24, 1929. The record low temperature was 5 °F (−15 °C) on January 6, 1913. There are an average of 16 days with measurable precipitation. The wettest year was 1951 with 8.71 inches (22.1 cm) and the driest year was 1956 with .18 inches (0.46 cm). The most rainfall in one month was 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) in August 1951, which included the 24-hour record rainfall of 3.06 inches (7.8 cm) on August 27.
At the airport, there are an average of 176.0 days with highs of 90 °F (32 °C) or higher. There are an average of 5.4 days with lows of 32 °F (0 °C) or lower. The record high temperature was 123 °F (51 °C) on June 28, 1994, and July 28, 1995. The record low temperature was 20 °F (−7 °C) on January 8, 1971. There an average of 17 days with measurable precipitation. The wettest year was 1992 with 9.16 inches (23.3 cm) and the driest year was 1953 with .59 inches (1.5 cm). The most rainfall in one month was 5.92 inches (15.0 cm) in August 1951, which included the 24-hour record rainfall of 3.00 inches (7.6 cm) on August 26.
Average seasonal temperatures:
|Climate data for Blythe, California|
|Average high °F (°C)||67
|Average low °F (°C)||40
|Precipitation inches (mm)||0.51
Also notable is the geological history of Blythe - despite California's reputation for earthquakes, according to geologists Blythe has not had an earthquake centered in the city for over 500,000 years.
Tourism is a major component of the local economy. Blythe is a stopover city with full services for travelers between any of the nearby regions, in particular the major cities of Los Angeles and Phoenix, since it is approximately midway between those two metropolitan areas. The winter months bring visitors avoiding the colder climates of the north, when the population of the area within 50 miles (80 km) of Blythe has been known to exceed 500,000.
Con-Way freight has a large facility here. It is used mainly at night for cross dock operations, as there is seldom a need to make deliveries here.
Blythe also contains 24 churches, one library, two newspapers Palo Verde Valley Times The Desert Independent, two museums, two radio stations, three banks, a three-screen movie theater (now closed), one funeral home and an 18,500 sq ft (1,720 m2). recreation center. The area is popular with campers and hikers and has six parks, seven campgrounds, seven R.V. parks, 3 boat ramps onto the Colorado River, and an 18-hole public golf course.
Blythe hosts the Blythe Blue Grass Festival annually the third weekend of January. The Annual Blythe Bluegrass Music Festival has been part of the excitement of the Palo Verde Valley for the last 20+ years. Past artists have included Rhonda Vincent And The Rage, Dailey And Vincent, Alecia Nugent, Carolina Road, Copper River Band, Hurricane Creek, Chris Stuart And Backcountry, The Larry Stephenson Band, Michael Cleveland And The Flamekeeper Band, New Found Road, Silverado, Iiird Generation Bluegrass Band, The U.S. Navy Band, Country Current. Over 13,000 people attend the three-day event with many arriving the Monday prior to the Friday kick-off.
Dove hunting is popular in Blythe. The hunting season starts at every September 1.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Blythe had a population of 20,817. The population density was 771.8 people per square mile (298.0/km2). The racial makeup of Blythe was 12,396 (59.5%) White (28.3% Non-Hispanic White), 3,126 (15.0%) African American, 243 (1.2%) Native American, 319 (1.5%) Asian, 32 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 4,045 (19.4%) from other races, and 656 (3.2%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11,068 persons (53.2%).
The Census reported that 12,972 people (62.3% of the population) lived in households, 82 (0.4%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 7,763 (37.3%) were institutionalized.
There were 4,513 households, out of which 1,972 (43.7%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 1,995 (44.2%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 855 (18.9%) had a female householder with no husband present, 344 (7.6%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 396 (8.8%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 24 (0.5%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 1,071 households (23.7%) were made up of individuals and 367 (8.1%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.87. There were 3,194 families (70.8% of all households); the average family size was 3.41.
The population was spread out with 4,157 people (20.0%) under the age of 18, 1,770 people (8.5%) aged 18 to 24, 7,332 people (35.2%) aged 25 to 44, 5,764 people (27.7%) aged 45 to 64, and 1,794 people (8.6%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.0 years. For every 100 females there were 218.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 268.1 males.
There were 5,473 housing units at an average density of 202.9 per square mile (78.3/km2), of which 2,358 (52.2%) were owner-occupied, and 2,155 (47.8%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 4.0%; the rental vacancy rate was 10.3%. 6,913 people (33.2% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 6,059 people (29.1%) lived in rental housing units.
According to the 2010 United States Census, Blythe had a median household income of $48,327, with 16.1% of the population living below the federal poverty line.
As of the census of 2000, there were 12,155 people, 4,103 households, and 2,974 families residing in the city. The population density was 501.5 people per square mile (193.6/km2). There were 4,891 housing units at an average density of 201.8 per square mile (77.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 55.4% White, 8.3% Black or African American, 1.4% Native American, 1.4% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 28.8% from other races, and 4.5% from two or more races. 45.8% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 4,103 households out of which 41.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 16.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.5% were non-families. 22.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.91 and the average family size was 3.45.
In the city the population was spread out with 33.9% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 28.4% from 25 to 44, 19.0% from 45 to 64, and 9.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 99.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $35,324, and the median income for a family was $40,783. Males had a median income of $32,342 versus $26,671 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,424. About 19.0% of families and 20.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.9% of those under age 18 and 21.6% of those age 65 or over.
In the California State Legislature, Blythe is in the 40th Senate District, represented by Democrat Denise Moreno Ducheny, and in the 56th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Eduardo Garcia.
- The Blythe Heat is a winter professional minor league baseball team of the Arizona Winter League, and also a member of the Arizona Summer League. They play on Alexander Field in Todd Park facing the Palo Verde College. Some games of the Lake Havasu Heat (folded in 2009) of the semi-pro Pacific Southwest Baseball League played in Blythe during the summer months.
State and federal agencies
State facilities in the town include the following:
- Resources Agency, California Department of Fish and Game office at 150 S. Main Street.
- California Highway Patrol office at 430 S. Broadway Street.
- California Department of Motor Vehicles office at 430 S. Broadway Street.
- California Department of Food and Agriculture office.
- California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation-Chuckawalla Valley State Prison
- California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation-Ironwood State Prison
Federal facilities in the town include the following:
- U.S. Border Patrol
- U.S. Department of Agriculture - Blythe Federal Building
- U.S. Postal Service - Blythe Federal Building
Blythe has its own police department and volunteer fire department. The Riverside County Sheriff's Department also has a regional station in Blythe.
Blythe area public elementary and secondary schools comprise the Palo Verde Unified School District, which contains 3 elementary schools, 1 middle school, 1 high school, and continuation/adult education school. Palo Verde Community College District is part of the California Community College system and includes Palo Verde Community College, a campus in Blythe, a center in Needles and an extension for Adult Basic education and non-credit classes located on Spring Street in downtown Blythe.
Interstate 10 crosses Blythe on an east-west direction. Concurrent routes U.S. Route 60 and U.S. Route 70 served Blythe on present-day Hobsonway until Interstate 10's completion in 1972. State Route 78's northern terminus is west of Blythe. U.S. Route 95 crosses Blythe in the eastern side. Lovekin Boulevard and Midland Road serves the ghost town of Midland
Blythe Airport (FAA designator: BLH) is just west of the town on Interstate 10 and has a 6,500-foot (2,000 m) runway.
Health facilities in Blythe include Palo Verde Hospital, a General Acute Care Hospital with 55 total beds and 24-hour standby emergency services, 23 physicians/surgeons, 2 dentists, 2 optometrists, 1 chiropractors, and 1 podiatrist.
- "Blythe". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey..
- "California Cities by Incorporation Date" (Word). California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
- "2010 Census Gazetteer File - Places - California". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
- "Blythe". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
- An historical marker for the intake was placed by the Palo Verde Valley Historical Society and Riverside County Parks and Recreation in 1986. Johnson, Marael (1995). Why Stop? A Guide to California Roadside Historical Markers. Houston, TX: Gulf Publishing Company. p. 213. ISBN 9780884159230. OCLC 32168093.
- Blythe previously resided in San Francisco and had become wealthy through real estate investments. Among his investments was a patch of undeveloped land within what is now downtown San Francisco. Development in the purchased site within Market Street, Geary Street, and Grant Street, which is later called the "Blythe Block", and being in the center of downtown, made Blythe wealthy. http://www.sandiegohistory.org/journal/71summer/desert.htm
- "Blythe Block Changes Name". San Francisco Call. 1901-08-02.
- Kevin Wehr (1 January 2005). America's Fight Over Water: The Environmental and Political Effects of Large-Scale Water Systems. Routledge. pp. 61–62. ISBN 978-1-135-93249-7.
- "State to Help People in Palo Verde Valley". Prescott Evening Courier. 1922-06-21.
- Paul Lincoln Kleinsorge (1 January 1941). The Boulder Canyon Project, Historical and Economic Aspects. Stanford University Press. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-8047-1031-2.
- About Blythe, Ca
- "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Blythe city". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
- http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/0607218.html. Missing or empty
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Statewide Database". UC Regents. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
- "California's 36th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC.
- California Department of Health Services
- California Association of Public Cemeteries
- USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)
- Palo Verde Cemetery Find A Grave
Blythe travel guide from Wikivoyage
||Eagle Mountains||Big Maria Mountains||Parker Valley|
|Desert Center, California||Colorado River
Dome Rock Mountains, Arizona
|Palo Verde Mesa||Cibola Valley||Trigo Mountains, Arizona|