Mariposa County, California

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Mariposa County, California
County
Mariposa County
Mariposa county courthouse.JPG WLA hmns Gold shaped dragon.jpg
1 yosemite valley tunnel view 2010.JPG
Images, from top down, left to right: The Mariposa County Courthouse; "The Dragon", crystalline gold from the Colorado Quartz Mine near Midpines; a view of Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View
Flag of Mariposa County, California
Flag
Official seal of Mariposa County, California
Seal
Location in the state of California
Location in the state of California
California's location in the United States
California's location in the United States
Country  United States of America
State  California
Region Sierra Nevada
Incorporated February 18, 1850[1]
County seat Mariposa
Area
 • Total 1,462.79 sq mi (3,788.6 km2)
 • Land 1,451.12 sq mi (3,758.4 km2)
 • Water 11.67 sq mi (30.2 km2)
Population (2010)
 • Total 18,251
 • Density 12/sq mi (4.8/km2)
Time zone Pacific Standard Time (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-7)
Website www.mariposacounty.org
Specimen gold from the Mockingbird mine.

Mariposa County is a county in the U.S. state of California, located in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. It lies north of Fresno, east of Merced, and southeast of Stockton. As of the 2010 census, the population was 18,251 up from 17,130 at the 2000 census. The county seat is Mariposa.

The county's eastern section is the central portion of Yosemite National Park.

There are no incorporated cities in Mariposa County; however, there are communities recognized as census-designated places for statistical purposes. It also has the distinction of having no permanent traffic lights anywhere in the county.

History[edit]

Mariposa County was one of the original counties of California, created at the time of statehood in 1850. While it began as the state's largest county, territory that was once part of Mariposa was ceded over time to form twelve other counties: Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Madera, Merced, Mono, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, and Tulare. Thus, Mariposa County is known as the "Mother of Counties".[2]

Mariposa County's original seat was a now-nonexistent hamlet known as Agua Fria (Spanish for "cold water"), about 3 miles directly west of Mariposa proper on Agua Fria Road, which runs from Highway 140 to the south, to the community of Mt. Bullion to the northwest. Charles Fremont moved the county seat to Mariposa in 1854, resulting in the construction of the Mariposa County Courthouse, whose grounds occupies an entire block. The historic structure is fronted by Bullion Street; Jones Street is to the rear, with 9th and 10th Streets on either side. This handsome, white judicial building erected with whip-sawed wood from nearby forests is the oldest courthouse still in use in California: cases are still tried there to this day. The courthouse is so recognizable that its likeness is on the Mariposa County Seal. Also particularly noteworthy is the courthouse's clock tower and bell, which chimes every hour, on the hour, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The county took its name from Mariposa Creek, which was so named by Spanish explorers in 1806, when they discovered a great cluster of butterflies ("mariposas" in Spanish and Portuguese) in the foothills of the Sierras. Each year, the first weekend in May, residents mark the annual arrival of migrating Monarch butterflies with a "Butterfly Days" festival and parade.

The Gold Rush[edit]

Mariposa County is located at the southern end of California's Mother Lode region. During the California Gold Rush, great quantities of the prized mineral were found and extracted, first in local stream-beds and later in hard rock mines. One of the most notable beneficiaries of this wealth was the famed explorer and 1856 Republican presidential candidate, John Charles Frémont, for whom the local hospital and Charles Street (more commonly known as "Highway 140") are named. (Jessie Street, in the town of Mariposa, is named for Fremont's wife, Jessie Benton Frémont, who came to Mariposa to live with him.)

Many aspects of the area's mining history are depicted in exhibits at two local museums: the Mariposa History Museum, located in the town of Mariposa; and the California Mining and Mineral Museum, located at the Mariposa Fairgrounds (2 miles east of Mariposa on Highway 49).

Two small gold mines in Mariposa county, the Mockingbird[3] and the Colorado Quartz,[4] intermittently produce world-class (and very expensive) specimens of crystalline gold for mineral collectors. "Specimens from these occurrences commonly have bright luster and rich color, with well-developed crystals in unusual and attractive arrangements."[5] The best-known example is "The Dragon", now on display at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.[6]

Geography and natural history[edit]

According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 1,462.79 square miles (3,788.6 km2), of which 1,451.12 square miles (3,758.4 km2) (or 99.20%) is land and 11.67 square miles (30.2 km2) (or 0.80%) is water.[7] Along the banks of the Merced River is found the sole habitat for the Limestone salamander, a rare species endemic to Mariposa County.

National protected areas[edit]

Communities[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

The historic Wawona Hotel, built in 1876

Other unincorporated places[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Politics[edit]

Presidential election results
Year GOP DEM Others
2012 57.1% 5,140 38.8% 3,498 4.1% 362
2008 55.2% 4,880 42.6% 3,766 2.3% 199
2004 60.2% 5,215 37.6% 3,251 2.2% 192
2000 58.5% 4,727 34.9% 2,816 6.6% 531
1996 50.0% 3,976 36.7% 2,920 13.3% 1,053
1992 36.0% 2,982 36.5% 3,023 27.5% 2,282
1988 54.5% 3,768 43.4% 2,998 2.1% 144
1984 61.2% 3,989 36.8% 2,399 2.0% 130
1980 55.0% 3,082 33.7% 1,889 11.4% 637
1976 46.6% 2,012 48.5% 2,093 4.9% 212
1972 56.2% 2,122 39.3% 1,487 4.5% 170
1968 49.9% 1,496 39.6% 1,187 10.5% 314
1964 42.6% 1,264 57.4% 1,704
1960 54.0% 1,599 45.2% 1,338 0.9% 26

Mariposa is a strongly Republican county in Presidential and congressional elections. The last Democrat to win a majority in the county was Lyndon Johnson in 1964 but the last Democrat to win the county was Bill Clinton in 1992 who won a plurality.

Mariposa County is in California's 4th congressional district, represented by Republican Tom McClintock.[8] In the state legislature Mariposa is in the 25th Assembly district, which is held by Republican Kristin Olsen, and the 14th Senate district, which is held by Republican Tom Berryhill.

On Nov. 4, 2008 Mariposa County voted 62.3% for Proposition 8 which amended the California Constitution to ban same-sex marriages.

Voter registration statistics[edit]

Transportation infrastructure[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Public transportation[edit]

Airports[edit]

Mariposa Yosemite Airport is a general aviation airport. The nearest airports with scheduled flights are in Fresno and Merced.

Crime[edit]

The following table includes the number of incidents reported and the rate per 1,000 persons for each type of offense.

Demographics[edit]

2011[edit]

Places by population, race, and income[edit]

2010[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 4,379
1860 6,243 42.6%
1870 4,572 −26.8%
1880 4,339 −5.1%
1890 3,787 −12.7%
1900 4,720 24.6%
1910 3,956 −16.2%
1920 2,775 −29.9%
1930 3,233 16.5%
1940 5,605 73.4%
1950 5,145 −8.2%
1960 5,064 −1.6%
1970 6,015 18.8%
1980 11,108 84.7%
1990 14,302 28.8%
2000 17,130 19.8%
2010 18,251 6.5%
Est. 2012 17,905 −1.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[19]
2012 Estimate[20]

The 2010 United States Census reported that Mariposa County had a population of 18,251. The racial makeup of Mariposa County was 16,103 (88.2%) White, 138 (0.8%) African American, 527 (2.9%) Native American, 204 (1.1%) Asian, 26 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 508 (2.8%) from other races, and 745 (4.1%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1,676 persons (9.2%).[21]

2000[edit]

As of the census[22] of 2000, there were 17,130 people, 6,613 households, and 4,490 families residing in the county. The population density was 12 people per square mile (5/km²). There were 8,826 housing units at an average density of 6 per square mile (2/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 88.9% White, 0.7% Black or African American, 3.5% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 2.7% from other races, and 3.4% from two or more races. 7.8% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 17.8% were of German, 13.4% English, 12.7% Irish and 6.7% American ancestry according to Census 2000. 96.0% spoke English and 3.5% Spanish as their first language.

There were 6,613 households out of which 25.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.8% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.1% were non-families. 26.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.86.

In the county the population was spread out with 21.6% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 25.1% from 25 to 44, 29.2% from 45 to 64, and 17.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 104.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.4 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $34,626, and the median income for a family was $42,655. Males had a median income of $31,194 versus $25,440 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,190. About 10.5% of families and 14.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.5% of those under age 18 and 9.0% of those age 65 or over.

Environment[edit]

In late July, 2008, authorities forced the evacuation of about 300 homes, in the wake of the wildfires in the area.

Healthcare[edit]

Mariposa County has the highest rate of child abuse and neglect in all of California.[23]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Percentage of registered voters with respect to total population. Percentages of party members with respect to registered voters follow.
  2. ^ Only larceny-theft cases involving property over $400 in value are reported as property crimes.
  3. ^ Other = Some other race + Two or more races
  4. ^ Native American = Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander + American Indian or Alaska Native

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chronology". California Counties. California State Association of Counties. Retrieved 2012-05-14. 
  2. ^ "Mariposa: Mother Of Counties". Superior Court of California, County of Mariposa. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  3. ^ Mockingbird Mine
  4. ^ Colorado Quartz mine
  5. ^ The Colorado Quartz Gold Mine, Rocks and Minerals, Sept-Oct 2009.
  6. ^ "The Dragon"
  7. ^ "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  8. ^ "California's 4th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B02001. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k California Secretary of State. February 10, 2013 - Report of Registration. Retrieved 2013-10-31.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Office of the Attorney General, Department of Justice, State of California. Table 11: Crimes – 2009. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
  12. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B03003. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  13. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19301. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  14. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19013. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  15. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19113. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  16. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  17. ^ U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B01003. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h Data unavailable
  19. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved July 9, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Census.gov. Retrieved July 9, 2013. 
  21. ^ "2010 Census P.L. 94-171 Summary File Data". United States Census Bureau. 
  22. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  23. ^ http://www.mariposagazette.com/news/2013-01-03/Front_Page/Mariposa_County_has_states_highest_rate_of_child_a.html

Further reading[edit]

  • A Memorial and Biographical History of the Counties of Merced, Stanislaus, Calaveras, Tuolumne and Mariposa, California. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1892.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°35′N 119°55′W / 37.58°N 119.91°W / 37.58; -119.91