|City of Colfax|
|Placer County and the state of California|
|• Mayor||Donna Barkle|
|• State Senate||Ted Gaines (R)|
|• State Assembly||Brian Dahle (R)|
|• U. S. Congress||Doug LaMalfa (R)|
|• Total||1.407 sq mi (3.645 km2)|
|• Land||1.407 sq mi (3.645 km2)|
|• Water||0 sq mi (0 km2) 0%|
|Elevation||2,425 ft (739 m)|
|• Density||1,400/sq mi (540/km2)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC-8)|
|• Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC-7)|
|GNIS feature ID||1655912|
Colfax (formerly, Alden Grove, Alder Grove, Illinoistown, and Upper Corral) is a city in Placer County, California, at the crossroads of Interstate 80 and State Route 174. It is part of the Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 1,963 at the 2010 census. The town is named in honor of Vice President Schuyler Colfax (1869–73), a bronze statue of whom stands on Main Street near the railroad station. Some of the town's notable features include the newly restored train depot (which houses the Colfax Museum and Chamber of Commerce), the downtown shops on Main Street, and Colfax High School, which serves a large surrounding area.
Originally inhabited by the Maidu and Miwok Indians, by the mid-19th century the city site was known as Alder Grove; however, as development increased the city became known as Illinoistown. In April 1852, the Reelfoot Williams Gang robbed a Nevada City stagecoach of $7,000 in gold bullion near Illinoistown. This was the first stagecoach robbery in the gold country.
Later it was renamed Colfax after then Speaker of the House (and later Vice President) Schuyler Colfax who visited the town in 1865 while inspecting progress of construction of the Central Pacific Railroad, the western portion of the first transcontinental railroad. The city was the southern terminus of the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad from 1876 until the railroad’s removal in 1942. Historic U.S. Route 40 also runs through the city as well as the more modern Interstate 80. The city is mentioned in Jules Verne’s book, Around the World in Eighty Days.
The principal geologic structures present are granitic and metamorphic rock formations. Located approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) west of Colfax is a branch of the Melones Fault, running in north to south direction. The fault runs through the old grammar school baseball field so they closed the school. (Earth Metrics, 1989) Another branch of the same fault is located about 1.2 miles (1.9 km) to the east, also aligned in a north-south orientation. No movement has been recorded by the U.S. Geological Survey, and the faults are considered inactive. Bunch Creek is an active water source flowing south to eventually confluence with the North Fork of the American River.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Colfax had a population of 1,963. The population density was 1,394.7 people per square mile (538.5/km²). The racial makeup of Colfax was 1,759 (89.6%) White, 4 (0.2%) African American, 26 (1.3%) Native American, 29 (1.5%) Asian, 2 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 54 (2.8%) from other races, and 89 (4.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 178 persons (9.1%).
The Census reported that 1,958 people (99.7% of the population) lived in households, 5 (0.3%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.
There were 823 households, out of which 286 (34.8%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 334 (40.6%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 131 (15.9%) had a female householder with no husband present, 40 (4.9%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 67 (8.1%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 3 (0.4%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 259 households (31.5%) were made up of individuals and 90 (10.9%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38. There were 505 families (61.4% of all households); the average family size was 2.98.
The population was spread out with 499 people (25.4%) under the age of 18, 159 people (8.1%) aged 18 to 24, 501 people (25.5%) aged 25 to 44, 580 people (29.5%) aged 45 to 64, and 224 people (11.4%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37.9 years. For every 100 females there were 92.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.3 males.
There were 929 housing units at an average density of 660.1 per square mile (254.9/km²), of which 386 (46.9%) were owner-occupied, and 437 (53.1%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 4.0%; the rental vacancy rate was 12.5%. 895 people (45.6% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 1,063 people (54.2%) lived in rental housing units.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,496 people, 614 households, and 394 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,141.0 people per square mile (440.9/km²). There were 636 housing units at an average density of 485.1 per square mile (187.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.18% White, 0.60% Black or African American, 0.60% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 2.34% from other races, and 3.14% from two or more races. 8.29% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 614 households out of which 35.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.0% were married couples living together, 15.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.7% were non-families. 28.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.97.
In the city the population was spread out with 28.5% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 28.4% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 13.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 93.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $37,391, and the median income for a family was $43,125. Males had a median income of $37,500 versus $27,708 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,440. About 8.5% of families and 12.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.1% of those under age 18 and 7.1% of those over 64.
Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service to Colfax. The city's passenger rail station is located at 99 Railroad Street in the heart of town. Amtrak Train 5, the westbound California Zephyr, is scheduled to depart Colfax at 11:48am daily with service to Roseville, Sacramento, Davis, Martinez, and Emeryville across the bay from San Francisco. Amtrak Train 6, the eastbound California Zephyr, is scheduled to depart Colfax at 12:21pm daily with service to Truckee, Reno, Sparks, Winnemucca, Elko, Salt Lake City, Provo, Helper, Green River, Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs, Denver, Omaha, Galesburg, and Chicago. A bronze statue of the town's namesake, Schuyler Colfax, stands near the depot at the Grass Valley Street railroad grade crossing.
- Moody, C. L. (1917). The breccias of the Mariposa formation in the vicinity of Colfax, California. University of California publications, v. 10, no. 21. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
- Du Vall, A. H., & Landrith, M. H. (1984). A Colfax cemetery recording: Colfax, California, 29 February 1984. Auburn, CA: The Authors.
- "California's 1st Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved March 3, 2013.
- U.S. Census
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Colfax, California
- Statue of Schulyer Colfax, Vice President of the US (1869-73), Colfax, CA
- Alvin Fay Harlow, Old Waybills: the romance of the express companies, Arno Press,Inc., 1976,(reprint edition of the original 1934 edition), p.184
- Chauncey L. Canfield, The diary of a forty-niner, M. Shepard Co., 1906 pp. 184-185, 192-194
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- 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.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "California Zephyr Schedule". Amtrak. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- Colfax, California community profile
- Earth Metrics Inc., "Phase I Environmental Site Assessment, Bunch Creek Shopping Center, Colfax, California", printed in San Mateo, Ca., Document File no. 7928W0, May 16, 1989
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