Lake County, California
|County of Lake|
Clear Lake, the dominant geographic feature in Lake County
Location in the state of California
California's location in the United States
|Named for||Clear Lake|
|• Total||1,329.48 sq mi (3,443.3 km2)|
|• Land||1,257.96 sq mi (3,258.1 km2)|
|• Water||71.52 sq mi (185.2 km2)|
|• Density||51/sq mi (20/km2)|
|Time zone||Pacific Standard Time (UTC-8)|
|• Summer (DST)||Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-7)|
Lake County is a county located in the north central portion of the U.S. state of California, north of the San Francisco Bay Area. It takes its name from Clear Lake, the dominant geographic feature in the county and the largest natural lake wholly within California (Lake Tahoe is partially in Nevada; Salton Sea was accidentally flooded). As of the 2010 census, the population was 64,665, up from 58,309 at the 2000 census. The county seat is Lakeport.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography and environment
- 3 Transportation infrastructure
- 4 Crime
- 5 Demographics
- 6 Politics
- 7 Agriculture
- 8 Famous people
- 9 See also
- 10 Notes
- 11 Notes
- 12 External links
The 1911 California Blue Book lists the major crops as Bartlett Pears and Beans. Other crops include grain, alfalfa, hay, prunes, peaches, apples, grapes and walnuts. Under stockraising it lists goats, hogs, turkeys and dairying.
Vineyards were planted in the 1870s. By the early 20th century the area was earning a reputation for producing some of the world's greatest wines. However, in 1920, Prohibition ended Lake County's wine production. Most of the vineyards were ripped out and replanted with walnut and pear farms.
A re-emergence of the wine industry began in the 1960s when a few growers rediscovered the area's grape growing potential and began planting vineyards. The area went from fewer than 100 acres (0.4 km2) of grapevines in 1965 to over 8,800 acres (36 km2) of vineyards today, and has seen the recent establishment of several American Viticultural Areas such as High Valley AVA and Red Hills Lake County AVA. Many of the vineyards in Lake County today support sustainable farming practices.
Geography and environment
According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 1,329.48 square miles (3,443.3 km2), of which 1,257.96 square miles (3,258.1 km2) (94.62%) is land and 71.52 square miles (185.2 km2) (5.38%) is water. Two main watercourses drain the county: Cache Creek, which is the outlet of Clear Lake; and Putah Creek. Both of these flow to the Sacramento River. The main streams which flow into Clear Lake are Forbes Creek, Scotts Creek, Middle Creek and Kelsey Creek. At the extreme north of the county Lake Pillsbury and the Van Arsdale Reservoir dam the Eel River, providing water and power to Ukiah in Mendocino County.
Clear Lake is believed to be the oldest lake in North America, due to a geological fluke. The lake sits on a huge block of stone which slowly tilts in the northern direction at the same rate as the lake fills in with sediment, thus keeping the water at roughly the same depth. The geology of the county is chaotic, being based on Franciscan Assemblage hills. Numerous small faults are present in the south end of the lake as well as many old volcanoes, the largest being Cobb Mountain. The geologic history of the county shows events of great violence, such as the eruption of Mount Konocti and Mount St. Helena and the collapse of Cow Mountain, which created the hills around the county seat of Lakeport. Blue Lakes, Lake Pillsbury, and Indian Valley Reservoir are the county's other major bodies of water.
Lake County has habitats for a variety of species of concern including the uncommon herb, Legenere limosa, the rare Eryngium constancei, and the tule elk. Waterfowl, bear, and other wildlife abound in the Clear Lake basin.
Due to its surrounding hilly terrain, Lake is the only one of California's 58 counties never to have been served by a railroad line.
Cities and towns
Only two cities in Lake County are incorporated. Those with post offices are also identified.
- Clearlake (Incorporated,PO's)
- Clearlake Oaks (PO)
- Clearlake Riviera
- Cobb (PO)
- Glenhaven (PO)
- Hidden Valley Lake
- Finley (PO)
- Kelseyville (PO)
- Lakeport (Incorporated,PO's)
- Loch Lomond
- Lower Lake (PO)
- Lucerne (PO)
- Middletown (PO)
- Nice (PO)
- North Lakeport
- Parramore Springs
- Soda Bay
- Spring Valley
- Upper Lake (PO)
- Whispering Pines
- Napa County, California—south
- Sonoma County, California—southwest
- Mendocino County, California—west, northwest
- Glenn County, California—northeast
- Colusa County, California—east
- Yolo County, California—southeast
National protected areas
- Mendocino National Forest (part)
- Cow Mountain Recreation Area
- Cache Creek Wilderness and Cache Creek Wildlife Area
State protected areas
- Boggs Mountain Demonstration State Forest
- Anderson Marsh State Historic Park
- Loch Lomond Vernal Pool Ecological Reserve
- Boggs Lake Ecological Reserve
- Clear Lake State Park
- Rodman Slough Preserve (108 acres managed by California Department of Fish and Game)
In the late nineteenth century, the worldwide popularity of mineral water for the relief of a myriad physical aliments resulted in the development of mineral resorts around Clear Lake.
- Greene Bartlett discovered Bartlett hot springs in 1870. The springs were developed into a resort and by 1900 included a mineral water bottling plant. The resort burned down in 1934.
- Harbin Hot Springs was developed by settlers in the 1860s.
- Highland Springs opened in 1891, and was destroyed by fire in 1945. During its time, Highland had an elegant dining room and a spacious hotel.
- Saratoga Springs Resort was opened by J. J. Liebert in 1873 with several cabins, and within two decades had room for 350 guests.
- Wittier Springs Resort opened in 1873 with a hotel and guest cottages.
There are also several numbered county routes in Lake County.
Lake Transit serves all areas around Clear Lake, with most service focused on the city of Clearlake. Connections are also provided to St. Helena (Napa County) and Ukiah (Mendocino County).
Lampson Field is the county's public airport. There are also several private airstrips located throughout the county.
In 1888 the Vaca Valley and Clear Lake Railroad reached Rumsey, but the planned line to Clear Lake was never built. The Clear Lake Railroad started work on a line from Hopland to Lakeport: "In November 1911 first ground was broken for the Hopland-Clear Lake railroad to Hopland. Mrs Harriet Lee Hammond, wife of the president of the road started construction. ... There were six miles of track out of Hopland ...", but this was also abandoned.  
The following table includes the number of incidents reported and the rate per 1,000 persons for each type of offense.
|Population and crime rates|
|Motor vehicle theft||221||3.43|
Cities by population and crime rates
|Cities by population and crime rates|
|City||Population||Violent crimes||Violent crime rate
per 1,000 persons
|Property crimes||Property crime rate
per 1,000 persons
|Population, race, and income|
|Black or African American||1,440||2.2%|
|American Indian or Alaska Native||2,031||3.2%|
|Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander||154||0.2%|
|Some other race||3,435||5.3%|
|Two or more races||2,155||3.3%|
|Hispanic or Latino (of any race)||10,784||16.7%|
|Per capita income||$22,238|
|Median household income||$39,525|
|Median family income||$50,278|
Places by population, race, and income
|Places by population and race|
|Asian||Black or African
|Hispanic or Latino
(of any race)
|Hidden Valley Lake||CDP||6,243||87.2%||9.4%||1.4%||0.0%||2.0%||17.1%|
|Places by population and income|
|Place||Type||Population||Per capita income||Median household income||Median family income|
|Hidden Valley Lake||CDP||6,243||$26,056||$59,081||$63,382|
The 2010 United States Census reported that Lake County had a population of 64,665. The racial makeup of Lake County was 52,033 (80.5%) White, 1,232 (1.9%) African American, 2,049 (3.2%) Native American, 724 (1.1%) Asian, 108 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 5,455 (8.4%) from other races, and 3,064 (4.7%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11,088 persons (17.1%).
|Population reported at 2010 United States Census|
(of any race)
(of any race)
(of any race)
|Hidden Valley Lake||5,579||4,830||63||80||75||12||326||193||733|
(of any race)
|All others not CDPs (combined)||13,861||11,556||167||727||106||31||778||496||1,804|
There were a total of 34,031 homes in Lake County in 2005. This county has gone through a growth in housing units, adding a sum of 1,414 residential structures since 2001, a change of 4.3 percent. Lake County ranks 978 of 3,141, compared to change in residential structure growth in counties throughout the Unities States.
Lake County had a median home value in the year 2005 of $255,300, according to the American Community Survey. This median is less than the overall California 2005 home median value of $477,700 and greater than median home value of $167,500 for the rest of the nation in that year. In 2005, the American Community Survey reported that 14.4% of Lake County's owner-occupied dwellings are valued over a half a million dollars.
In the county the population was spread out with 24.1% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 23.6% from 25 to 44, 26.8% from 45 to 64, and 19.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 97.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.7 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $49,627, and the median income for a family was $55,818. Males had a median income of $45,771 versus $44,026 for females. The per capita income for the county was $43,825. About 6.9% of families and 4.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.8% of those under age 18 and 7.3% of those age 65 or over. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau)
The recent sharp increase in per capita income can be directly linked to those people who have recently relocated to Lake County and telecommute to their jobs in the Bay Area. In addition, real estate values have risen due to a boom from 2003 to 2006, caused by Bay Area residents' discovery that Lake County residential real estate was lower in cost than that in adjacent Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties.
Within Lake County are two incorporated cities, the county seat of Lakeport and Clearlake, the largest city, and the communities of Kelseyville, Blue Lakes, Clearlake Oaks, Clearlake Park, Cobb, Finley, Glenhaven, Hidden Valley Lake, Clearlake Riviera, Loch Lomond, Lower Lake, Lucerne, Middletown, Nice, Spring Valley, Upper Lake, Whispering Pines, and Witter Springs.
The income of residents of the county varies widely. The county is the largest employer thus far, followed by large retailers such as Wal-Mart, Safeway, and Kmart. Several franchised retailers have recently entered the county (up 28% since 2003) and have created a diverse employment environment. Employment statistics continue to improve, again supported by the influx of Bay Area relocations and the benefit of telecommuting. Lake County is mostly agricultural, with tourist facilities and some light industry. Major crops include pears, walnuts and, increasingly, wine grapes.
Voter registration statistics
|Population and registered voters|
|Registered voters[note 4]||35,132||54.6%|
|Peace and Freedom||157||0.4%|
|No party preference||8,798||25.0%|
Cities by population and voter registration
|Cities by population and voter registration|
|Democratic||Republican||D–R spread||Other||No party preference|
|2012||39.8% 6,474||56.3% 9,159||3.9% 641|
|2008||38.9% 9,935||58.2% 14,854||3.3% 840|
|2004||44.9% 11,093||53.2% 13,141||2.8% 1,089|
|2000||41.6% 8,699||51.2% 10,717||7.2% 1,503|
|1996||35.0% 7,458||48.9% 10,432||16.1% 3,445|
|1992||28.8% 6,678||45.4% 10,548||25.8% 5,987|
|1988||48.0% 9,366||50.4% 9,828||1.6% 308|
|1984||54.8% 10,874||43.6% 8,648||1.6% 309|
|1980||53.6% 8,934||35.9% 5,978||10.5% 1,742|
|1976||44.5 5,462||51.9% 6,374||3.7% 449|
|1972||55.1% 6,477||40.1% 4,715||4.8% 558|
|1968||49.0% 4,464||41.5% 3,777||9.6% 870|
|1964||43.6% 3,616||56.4% 4,680||0.1% 6|
|1960||58.7% 4,176||40.8% 2,897||0.5% 36|
|1956||64.8% 4,073||34.8% 2,185||0.4% 24|
|1952||67.5% 4,367||31.5% 2,038||1.0% 63|
|1948||57.3% 3,054||37.5% 1,999||5.3% 280|
|1944||55.0% 2,059||44.6% 1,671||0.4% 16|
|1940||53.4% 2,215||45.7% 1,897||0.9% 39|
|1936||48.7% 1,797||49.8% 1,837||1.4% 53|
|1932||34.8% 1,301||62.6% 2,344||2.6% 99|
|1928||65.4% 1,820||33.3% 926||1.4% 38|
|1924||44.9% 795||14.8% 261||40.3% 713|
|1920||57.2% 993||32.9% 571||9.9% 171|
On November 4, 2008, Lake County voted 52.6% for Proposition 8, which amended the California Constitution to ban same-sex marriages.
The main crops in 2011 (in $1000's) are
|3||Nursery Products, Misc.||3,533|
|5||Cattle & Calves, Unspecified||1,895|
|7||Field Crops, Unspecified||1,136|
- California wine
- Lampson Field Airport
- List of lakes in Lake County, California
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Lake County, California
- Only larceny-theft cases involving property over $400 in value are reported as property crimes.
- Other = Some other race + Two or more races
- Native American = Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander + American Indian or Alaska Native
- Percentage of registered voters with respect to total population. Percentages of party members with respect to registered voters follow.
- California Secretary of State (1911). California Blue Book. p. 655.
- "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-02-13.
- Sanderson, Marcia (2005). Lake County. Charlston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing. pp. 39–52. ISBN 978-0-7385-3030-7.
- "LAKE COUNTY HISTORY". Retrieved September 8, 2012.
- "Lake County History Timeline". Retrieved September 8, 2012.
- "Glimpses of the past". Cloverdale Reveille. 1 August 1984. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
- "CLEAR LAKE RAILROAD TO BEGIN WORK SOON". San Francisco Call. 30 September 1911. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
- Aurelius O. Carpenter And Percy H. Millberry, (Transcribed by Peggy Hooper) (1914). History of Mendocino and Lake Counties, California With Biographical Sketches. Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California.
- U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B02001. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
- Office of the Attorney General, Department of Justice, State of California. Table 11: Crimes – 2009. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
- United States Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation. Crime in the United States, 2012, Table 8 (California). Retrieved 2013-11-14.
- U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B03003. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
- U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19301. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
- U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19013. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
- U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19113. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
- U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
- U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B01003. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved July 2, 2013.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Census.gov. Retrieved July 2, 2013.
- "2010 Census P.L. 94-171 Summary File Data". United States Census Bureau.
- U.S. Department of Commerce
- U.S. Department of Commerce
- California Secretary of State. February 10, 2013 - Report of Registration. Retrieved 2013-10-31.
- "California's 3rd Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
- California Secretary of State: "Statement of Vote for November 4, 2008, General Election", page 62.
- "California Agricultural Resource Directory 2010 –2011". Mother Jones. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
- Lake County government website
- Lake County visitor website
- Lake County News
- Observer American Clear Lake Newspaper
- Lake County Record Bee Newspaper
- Lake County Travel and Resource Guide
- Wine country moves north (San Francisco Chronicle)
- Lake County Wineries
- The Ample Charms of a Well-Fed Lake, by Richerson & Richerson
- Lake County, California: History of the County
- Lake County Ca. Weather and Road Conditions
- Lake County Timeline
- Hiking trails in Lake County
|Mendocino County||Colusa County|
|Sonoma County||Napa County||Yolo County|