Ceres, California

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Ceres, California
City of Ceres
Official seal of Ceres, California
Motto: "Together We Achieve"
Location in Stanislaus County and the state of California
Location in Stanislaus County and the state of California
Coordinates: 37°36′5″N 120°57′26″W / 37.60139°N 120.95722°W / 37.60139; -120.95722Coordinates: 37°36′5″N 120°57′26″W / 37.60139°N 120.95722°W / 37.60139; -120.95722
Country  United States of America
State  California
County Seal of Stanislaus County, California.png Stanislaus
 • Mayor Chris Vierra
 • Total 8.019 sq mi (20.771 km2)
 • Land 8.011 sq mi (20.749 km2)
 • Water 0.008 sq mi (0.022 km2)  0.10%
Elevation 92 ft (28 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 45,417
 • Density 5,700/sq mi (2,200/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 95307
Area code(s) 209
FIPS code 06-12524
GNIS feature ID 1655882
Website www.Ci.Ceres.CA.US

Ceres is a city in Stanislaus County, California. The population was 45,417 at the 2010 U.S. Census, up from 34,609 at the 2000 U.S. Census. It is part of the Modesto Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Ceres is located in the San Joaquin Valley along State Route 99, south of Modesto and north of Turlock in Stanislaus County. Ceres is named after the Roman goddess of agriculture.

The newspaper in Ceres is called The Ceres Courier.[2] It has been in publication since 1910. The offices of the Ceres Courier were relocated from an address in downtown Ceres in 2012. It has since combined day-to-day operations with its sister paper, The Turlock Journal, in Turlock, CA . Jeff Benziger was appointed Editor in 1987. There is also a Hispanic language paper.

Ceres hosts annual events at different times of the year. Spring brings the Ceres Street Faire on the first weekend in May. Concert in the Park is a regular summer event. Halloween Fun Festival marks the Fall followed by the colorful, and much-attended, Christmas Tree Lane opening ceremony.


The first families that inhabited Ceres were those of John Service, Cassius Warner, and Daniel Whitmore in the year 1867. Daniel C. Whitmore is considered the first family and founder of Ceres. He built his home in 1870, the Whitmore Mansion at 2928 5th Street. That home still stands, fully restored by the city and the Ceres Historical Society.[3]

In the early 1890s, the outlaws Chris Evans and John Sontag robbed a Southern Pacific Railroad train at Ceres and several other area locations.[4]

In the late 1930s, a labor camp was developed within the city of Ceres.[5]

The history of Ceres is recounted in Arcadia Publishing Company's Images of America series entitled, "Ceres, by Jeff Benziger. It was released on August 23, 2010.

Police shooting[edit]

Ceres lost its first police officer while on duty when Sergeant Howard Stevenson was killed on January 9, 2005. Officer Sam Ryno was first to respond to a call of a man with a gun in front of George's Liquors. Andres Raya, a U.S. Marine on leave after coming back from Iraq, was armed with an SKS rifle and opened fire on officers, hitting Officer Ryno and killing Sergeant Stevenson. Raya was shot dead some time later after he opened fire on SWAT team members.[6]

Portrayed by local media as a calculated attack on law enforcement, the Stevenson slaying sparked attention from the national media which suggested that Raya snapped due to his experience in the Iraq War.[7] Sources close to Raya spoke of violent nightmares and distress which led to heavy drinking and drug use while on leave. However, local law enforcement officials claimed Raya had been involved in gangs for years prior to him signing up for military service. Modesto authorities discovered information during the investigation into the shooting that shows Raya was a Norteño gang member who was not involved in combat during his tour of duty in Iraq. A cooperative effort between the Stanislaus Sheriff's Detectives, local law enforcement, the FBI, NCIS, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Marine Corps revealed a large amount of information about Raya in a short amount of time.[8]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Ceres has a total area of 8.0 sq mi(20.8 km²), 99.90% of it land and 0.10% of it water. The formation of alluvial fans in the San Joaquin Valley has led to a rather flat regional geography. There are no known active earthquake fault traces in the project vicinity. (Earth Metrics, 1989) Hydrological feature mapping of the Ceres area has been conducted by the U. S. Geological Survey. (USGS, 2003)



As of the 2000 U.S. Census,[9] there were 34,609 people, 10,435 households, and 8,535 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,988.6 people per square mile (1,925.4/km²). There were 10,773 housing units at an average density of 1,552.8 per square mile (599.3/km²). The ethnic makeup of the city was 64.50% White, 2.75% African American, 1.40% Native American, 5.04% Asian, 0.38% Pacific Islander, 20.40% from other races, and 5.53% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 37.89% of the population.

There were 10,435 households out of which 48.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.8% were married couples living together, 15.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 18.2% were non-families. 14.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.31 and the average family size was 3.62.

In the city the population was spread out with 34.4% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 30.0% from 25 to 44, 17.5% from 45 to 64, and 8.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 97.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,736, and the median income for a family was $43,587. Males had a median income of $35,109 versus $24,317 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,420. About 10.1% of families and 12.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.6% of those under age 18 and 10.2% of those age 65 or over.


The 2010 U.S. Census[10] reported that Ceres had a population of 45,417. The population density was 5,663.2 people per square mile (2,186.6/km²). The ethnicmakeup of Ceres was 26,217 (47.7%) White, 1,185 (2.6%) African American, 609 (1.3%) Native American, 3,093 (6.8%) Asian, 346 (0.8%) Pacific Islander, 11,463 (25.2%) from other races, and 2,504 (5.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 25,436 persons (66.0%).

The Census reported that 45,064 people (99.2% of the population) lived in households, 293 (0.6%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 60 (0.1%) were institutionalized.

There were 12,692 households, out of which 6,876 (54.2%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 7,311 (57.6%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 2,211 (17.4%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,053 (8.3%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 976 (7.7%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 76 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 1,586 households (12.5%) were made up of individuals and 628 (4.9%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.55. There were 10,575 families (83.3% of all households); the average family size was 3.84.

The population was spread out with 14,623 people (32.2%) under the age of 18, 5,108 people (11.2%) aged 18 to 24, 12,506 people (27.5%) aged 25 to 44, 9,667 people (21.3%) aged 45 to 64, and 3,513 people (7.7%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29.4 years. For every 100 females there were 97.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.9 males.

There were 13,673 housing units at an average density of 1,704.9 per square mile (658.3/km²), of which 8,010 (63.1%) were owner-occupied, and 4,682 (36.9%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.5%; the rental vacancy rate was 8.2%. 27,776 people (61.2% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 17,288 people (38.1%) lived in rental housing units.


In the state legislature Ceres is located in the 14th Senate District, represented by Republican Tom Berryhill, and in the 26th Assembly District, represented by Republican Bill Berryhill. Federally, Ceres is located in California's 18th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +3[11] and is represented by Democrat [[Jim Costaassumption, Dennis Cardozo retired]].


Ceres is home to the Bronco Wine Company, makers of Charles Shaw wine, also known as "Two-Buck Chuck".[12]

Notable people[edit]

  • Cliff Barrows - the ministry partner and announcer at the Billy Graham evangelistic crusades


  1. ^ U.S. Census
  2. ^ Mantecabulletin.com
  3. ^ Ceres, 2004
  4. ^ "Sontag and Evans". eshomvalley.com. Retrieved November 29, 2012. 
  5. ^ USDA, 1937
  6. ^ Finz, Stacy; Stannard, Matthew B. "Police shoot Marine dead after local sergeant is slain / Liquor store's video surveillance camera recorded shootout" from San Francisco Chronicle (January 11, 2005)
  7. ^ Tempest, Rone. "Marine's Fatal Rampage Divides Grieving Town" from The New York Times (January 14, 2005)
  8. ^ New Information About Andres Raya and His Gang Affiliation, press release from City of Ceres (January 14, 2005)
  9. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  10. ^ All data are derived from the United States Census Bureau reports from the 2010 United States Census, and are accessible on-line here. The data on unmarried partnerships and same-sex married couples are from the Census report DEC_10_SF1_PCT15. All other housing and population data are from Census report DEC_10_DP_DPDP1. Both reports are viewable online or downloadable in a zip file containing a comma-delimited data file. The area data, from which densities are calculated, are available on-line here. Percentage totals may not add to 100% due to rounding. The Census Bureau defines families as a household containing one or more people related to the householder by birth, opposite-sex marriage, or adoption. People living in group quarters are tabulated by the Census Bureau as neither owners nor renters. For further details, see the text files accompanying the data files containing the Census reports mentioned above.
  11. ^ "Will Gerrymandered Districts Stem the Wave of Voter Unrest?". Campaign Legal Center Blog. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  12. ^ The Wine Called "Two-Buck Chuck" 2011 msnbc.com

External links[edit]