Mettler, California

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census-designated place
A watermelon stand in Mettler
A watermelon stand in Mettler
Location in Kern County and the state of California
Location in Kern County and the state of California
Coordinates: 35°03′50″N 118°58′12″W / 35.06389°N 118.97000°W / 35.06389; -118.97000Coordinates: 35°03′50″N 118°58′12″W / 35.06389°N 118.97000°W / 35.06389; -118.97000
Country  United States
State  California
County Kern
 • Senate Dean Florez (D)
 • Assembly Jean Fuller (R)
 • U. S. Congress Kevin McCarthy (R)
 • Total 0.233 sq mi (0.602 km2)
 • Land 0.233 sq mi (0.602 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)  0%
Elevation[2] 541 ft (165 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 136
 • Density 580/sq mi (230/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 93381
Area code(s) 661
FIPS code 06-47164
GNIS feature ID 0245837

Mettler, or Mettler Station, is a heavily Hispanic, low-income unincorporated area and census-designated place in Kern County, California. The population was 136 at the 2010 census, down from 157 at the 2000 census. It is the place where motion picture actor James Dean received a traffic ticket on the last day of his life.


Mettler, which is 25 road miles south of Bakersfield,[1] is at 35°03′50″N 118°58′12″W / 35.06389°N 118.97000°W / 35.06389; -118.97000.[3]>. The locality has an area of 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) and an elevation of 541 feet (165 m).[2]



According to the publication California's Geographic Names, Mettler was founded in 1941,[3] but an obituary of Clifford Alvin Mettler in the Bakersfield Californian reported that the settlement was founded by him, his father, William H. Mettler, and his brother (unnamed) in the "late 1940s" in the Wheeler Ridge area, which settlement "later became known as Mettler Station."[4]

James Dean[edit]

On September 30, 1955, motion picture actor James Dean was driving north on California State Highway 99 when he was stopped by California Highway Patrol officer O.V. Hunter and given a ticket for speeding. The officer wrote Mettler Station as the location of the infraction.[5]



The 2010 United States Census[6] reported that Mettler had a population of 136. The population density was 584.8 people per square mile (225.8/km²). The racial makeup of Mettler was 74 (54.4%) White, 0 (0.0%) African American, 0 (0.0%) Native American, 0 (0.0%) Asian, 0 (0.0%) Pacific Islander, 43 (31.6%) from other races, and 19 (14.0%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 109 persons (80.1%).

The Census reported that 136 people (100% of the population) lived in households, 0 (0%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.

There were 31 households, out of which 17 (54.8%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 17 (54.8%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 8 (25.8%) had a female householder with no husband present, 2 (6.5%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 2 (6.5%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 0 (0%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 4 households (12.9%) were made up of individuals and 1 (3.2%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.39. There were 27 families (87.1% of all households); the average family size was 4.74.

The population was spread out with 37 people (27.2%) under the age of 18, 24 people (17.6%) aged 18 to 24, 30 people (22.1%) aged 25 to 44, 34 people (25.0%) aged 45 to 64, and 11 people (8.1%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28.5 years. For every 100 females there were 109.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 130.2 males.

There were 36 housing units at an average density of 154.8 per square mile (59.8/km²), of which 18 (58.1%) were owner-occupied, and 13 (41.9%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0%; the rental vacancy rate was 0%. 62 people (45.6% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 74 people (54.4%) lived in rental housing units.


As of the census[7] of 2000, 157 people lived in 31 households (37 housing units). The average household size was about five people. Mettler's population was about six years younger than California at large.

2000 figures Mettler California United States
Median age 27 33.3 35.3
White 47.1% 59.5% 75.1%
African-American None 6.7% 12.3%
Hispanic/Latino 84.7% 32.4% 12.5%
Family income $28,750 $53,025 $50,046
Poverty families 5.9% 10.6% 9.2%
Med. home value $71,500 $211,500 $119,600
High school diploma 42.1% 76.8% 80.4%
College degree 7.0% 28.6% 24.4%


  1. ^ U.S. Census
  2. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Mettler, California
  3. ^ a b Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Quill Driver Books. ISBN 9781884995149. 
  4. ^ Bakersfield Californian, April 30, 2006
  5. ^ Warren Newton Beath, The Death of James Dean, Grove Press, 1994, pages 35 and 80.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.