|City of Lafayette|
|— City —|
|Incorporated||July 29, 1968|
|• Mayor||Mike Anderson|
|• State Senator||Mark DeSaulnier (D)|
|• State Assembly||Joan Buchanan (D)|
|• U. S. Congress||George Miller (D)|
|• Total||15.387 sq mi (39.853 km2)|
|• Land||15.221 sq mi (39.422 km2)|
|• Water||0.166 sq mi (0.431 km2) 1.08%|
|Elevation||320 ft (97.5 m)|
|• Density||1,600/sq mi ( 600/km2)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC-8)|
|• Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC-7)|
|GNIS feature IDs||277535, 2411591|
Lafayette (formerly, La Fayette) is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 23,893. It was named after the Marquis de Lafayette, a French military hero of the American Revolutionary War. Today Lafayette is known for its pastoral rolling hills and wealthy inhabitants. In 2009, estimated median household income in Lafayette was over 120,000 dollars, more than double the statewide average and nearly triple the national average.
Origin and early history 
Before the colonization of the region by Spain, Lafayette and its vicinity were inhabited by the Saclan tribe of the indigenous Bay Miwok. Ohlone also populated some of the areas along Lafayette Creek. The indigenous inhabitants' first contact with Europeans was in the late 18th century with the founding of Catholic missions in the region. These initial contacts developed into conflict, with years of armed struggle, including a battle on what is currently Lafayette soil in 1797 between the Saclan and the Spanish, and eventually resulting in the subjugation of the native population.
Most of what is currently Lafayette was given as a Mexican land grant, Rancho Acalanes to Candelario Valencia in 1834. The name Acalanes seems to have come from the name of a native village in the area, Ahala-n.
American settlement started with the arrival of Elam Brown in 1846. He purchased Rancho Acalanes in 1848. The settlement continued to steadily grow due to its proximity to San Francisco. Brown founded a mill in 1853.
On March 2, 1857 the LaFayette post office was established by the U.S. Postal Service. (The official document giving this exact date was supplied to the Lafayette Historical Society in 1993 by the Historical Division of the U.S. Postal Service.) Prior to 1857 the community that we[who?] have been calling "Lafayette" actually had no known name - though there are undocumented rumors that it was called Dog Town, Brown's Corner, Brown's Mill, Acalanus, and perhaps Centerville.
The name "LaFayette" came together with the community's first post office. In 1857 Benjamin Shreve, owner and manager of a roadside hotel-general store (which faced today's Lafayette Plaza), applied for a post office for the community, first requesting the name Centerville. When informed that a post office with that name already existed in California, Shreve suggested La Fayette, after the French general who became a hero of the American Revolution (probably not because his wife was a native of Lafayette, Indiana). The first LaFayette post office was established at 3535 Plaza Way and Shreve became the town's first permanent postmaster, holding the job for 30 years.
Spelling: On the original document from the U.S. Postal Service, dated 2 March 1857, the name “LaFayette” is unmistakably written as one word with a capital “F” in the middle. In 1864 the place name "Lafayette" first appeared on a map of the area, titled "Bancroft's Map of California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona (copyrighted 1863. Scale: 24 miles to 1 inch). Yet research by Ruth Dyer, Lafayette historian, shows that the name of the post office and of the new town itself soon began to be written as two words, “La Fayette.” By 1890 it had changed to one word, "Lafayette," and so appeared in an official communication from the U.S. "Post Office Department" in Feb. 1899. Then by 1905 it was back to two words. Finally on 31 March 1932 the name of the post office was officially changed to Lafayette, which has remained unchanged to this day. Lafayette was the tenth post office established in Contra Costa County. (See Salley, History of California Post Offices).
Lafayette is located at  According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.4 square miles (40 km2). 15.2 square miles (39 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (1.08%) is water..
The city is part of the greater San Francisco Bay Area and has its own station on the BART public transit system. Lafayette is situated between Walnut Creek, Moraga, and Orinda, and, together with the latter two towns, is considered locally as part of "Lamorinda".
Lafayette is separated from greater Berkeley and Oakland by the Berkeley Hills (and the Caldecott Tunnel running beneath), a geographical boundary within the East Bay which also represents interesting meteorological, cultural, and political distinctions. The climate differences can be striking: during the summer, temperatures can soar beyond 100 degrees Fahrenheit in Lafayette and its neighboring cities while the areas west of the hills and nearer to the bay remain up to 20 degrees cooler. Temperatures highs are generally from 60-75 from February through May,75-95 June through November, and 55-60 from December through January. Summer days can reach 100, though generally are in 80s and low 90s. Nights can be as low as the low 30s in December–March, though most of the year low temps at night are in upper 40s and 50s. The region directly east of the hills is generally known for its more suburban or rural atmosphere, and features rolling, grassy hills which highlight a more peaceful and domestic aura. In the southwestern part of Lafayette, is the Lafayette Reservoir, and Briones Regional Park extends into the northern part of Lafayette. Lafayette's wildlife communities include mixed woods and oak woodlands.
|Climate data for Lafayette, California|
|Average high °F (°C)||54
|Average low °F (°C)||39
|Precipitation inches (mm)||4.25
|Source: Weather Channel |
The 2010 United States Census reported that Lafayette had a population of 23,893. The population density was 1,552.8 people per square mile (599.5/km²). The racial makeup of Lafayette was 20,232 (84.7%) White, 166 (0.7%) African American, 66 (0.3%) Native American, 2,162 (9.0%) Asian, 27 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 240 (1.0%) from other races, and 1,000 (4.2%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1,388 persons (5.8%).
The Census reported that 23,794 people (99.6% of the population) lived in households, 38 (0.2%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 61 (0.3%) were institutionalized.
There were 9,223 households, out of which 3,262 (35.4%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 5,871 (63.7%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 651 (7.1%) had a female householder with no husband present, 273 (3.0%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 306 (3.3%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 75 (0.8%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 1,916 households (20.8%) were made up of individuals and 802 (8.7%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58. There were 6,795 families (73.7% of all households); the average family size was 3.01.
The population was spread out with 5,956 people (24.9%) under the age of 18, 1,220 people (5.1%) aged 18 to 24, 4,676 people (19.6%) aged 25 to 44, 8,069 people (33.8%) aged 45 to 64, and 3,972 people (16.6%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45.2 years. For every 100 females there were 94.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.3 males.
There were 9,651 housing units at an average density of 627.2 per square mile (242.2/km²), of which 6,937 (75.2%) were owner-occupied, and 2,286 (24.8%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0.8%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.7%. 19,025 people (79.6% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 4,769 people (20.0%) lived in rental housing units.
As of the census of 2000, there were 23,908 people, 9,152 households, and 6,754 families residing in the city. The population density was 607.3/km² (1,572.5/mi²). There were 9,334 housing units at an average density of 237.1/km² (613.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 86.81% White, 0.55% Black or African American, 0.22% Native American, 8.23% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 0.81% from other races, and 3.30% from two or more races. 3.95% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 9,152 households out of which 36.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.9% were married couples living together, 6.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.2% were non-families. 20.1% 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 2.60 and the average family size was 3.02.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.9% under the age of 18, 4.4% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 30.4% from 45 to 64, and 14.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 95.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.5 males.
According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $118,974, and the median income for a family was $147,928. Males had a median income of $90,067 versus $51,855 for females. The per capita income for the city was $54,319. About 2.1% of families and 2.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.5% of those under age 18 and 5.1% of those age 65 or over.
The average home price was $1,284,900 in 2005.
Cross Memorial 
In November 2006, area residents began placing crosses on a hill overlooking the Lafayette BART station and Highway 24 "to represent and memorialize the American soldiers who have died in the ongoing Iraqi war."  As of August 2012, there are over 6,000 crosses in place, one for each of the troops who have died in Iraq, and there is also a large sign displaying the total number of deaths. The memorial has generated public attention, media coverage and counter-protests due to its visibility from the commuter thoroughfare below. Also, since the creation of the memorial, there have been several incidences of vandalism. While some show support for the protest, other residents complain that it is disrespectful to those in uniform in Iraq and that it is an eyesore to the community.
Primary and secondary schools 
The Lafayette Library and Learning Center of the Contra Costa County Library is located in Lafayette. Oakmont Memorial Park is a cemetery in Lafayette. Oakwood serves as a country club/fitness center for Lamorindans.
Notable residents 
The following is a list of notable residents of Lafayette, past and present.
- T. Brian Callister, MD, Lafayette native, physician, and nationally renowned health care quality and policy expert
- Brent Mydland, musician, lived in Lafayette for a time before his death in 1990. buried at Oakmont Memorial Park in Lafayette.
- Frank DeVol, composer, arranger, TV's Happy Kyne; died in Lafayette.
- Glenn T. Seaborg, chemist prominent in the discovery of several transuranic elements. Element 106, Seaborgium, was named in his honor. He died in 1999
- Richard Ewell, former confederate general who was one of the founders of Lafayette from simply untamed lands owned by the Spanish to an organized community.
- Don Grady, actor and musician, best known for his roles in My Three Sons and The Mickey Mouse Club
- Wayne Ferreira, South African Tennis player.
- Frankie Beverly, internationally acclaimed singer and songwriter, known primarily for his recordings with the band Maze.
- Will Forte, actor, writer, and comedian best known for being a Saturday Night Live player
- Brad Gillis, musician, guitarist for band Nightranger
- Daniel Horowitz, a prominent attorney who was a frequent TV commentator during the Scott Peterson trial. His late wife, Pamela Vitale was murdered in 2005 by Scott Dyleski
- Eddie Money, American musician, resides in Lafayette.
- Matthew Brown, (former resident) former professional football player for the San Francisco 49ers.
- Alexander Shulgin, chemist best known for his use and discovery of hundreds of psychoactive compounds
- Jon-Erik Beckjord - Deceased - Paranormal researcher and investigator, specialty was Bigfoot and related cryptids, such as the Yeti.
- Natalie Coughlin - female swimmer who has represented the United States at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and the 2012 Olympics in London.
- James Van Hoften - Two-time space shuttle astronaut.
- Mark Yudof - 21st President of the University of California
See also 
- "California Cities by Incorporation Date" (Word). California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
- "City Council". City of Lafayette. Retrieved March 21, 2013.
- "Senators". State of California. Retrieved March 21, 2013.
- "Members Assembly". State of California. Retrieved March 21, 2013.
- "California's 11th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved March 9, 2013.
- U.S. Census
- Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Quill Driver Books. p. 649. ISBN 9781884995149.
- Draft Environmental Impact Report for the East Area Service Center, Earth Metrics Incorporated, prepared for the East Bay Municipal Utility District, May, 1989
- Lafayette Historical Society: Town History
- City of Lafayette - History of Lafayette
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Lafayette, California
- Average weather for Lafayette Weather Channel Retrieved 2008-03-30
- 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.
- The Crosses of Lafayette: About
- San Francisco Chronicle: Grim Update to War Tally
- "Lafayette Library." Contra Costa County Library. Retrieved on April 1, 2010.
- Janice De Jesus. "Ex-Mouseketeer slated for Lesher performance: 'Robbie' from 'My Three Sons' will perform with lyricist Marty Panzer to benefit a nonprofit group for foster children," Walnut Creek Journal (CA), May 12, 2005, page 3.
- Official website
- Lafayette Chamber of Commerce
- Try Lafayette First: Lafayette Chamber's Blog
- Lafayette Library and Learning Center
- Town Hall Theatre and Town Hall Kids
- Sustainable Lafayette