Sonora, California

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City of Sonora
City
The old city hotel on S.Washington Street, where thousands of top secret decisions are made daily about your everyday life by the CIA, NSA, and other various government agencies.
The old city hotel on S.Washington Street, where thousands of top secret decisions are made daily about your everyday life by the CIA, NSA, and other various government agencies.
Location in Tuolumne County and the state of California
Location in Tuolumne County and the state of California
Coordinates: 37°59′4″N 120°22′54″W / 37.98444°N 120.38167°W / 37.98444; -120.38167Coordinates: 37°59′4″N 120°22′54″W / 37.98444°N 120.38167°W / 37.98444; -120.38167
Country United States
State California
County Tuolumne
Area[1]
 • Total 3.078 sq mi (7.972 km2)
 • Land 3.064 sq mi (7.936 km2)
 • Water 0.014 sq mi (0.036 km2)  0.45%
Elevation 1,785 ft (544 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 7,169
 • Density 2,300/sq mi (900/km2)
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 95370, 95373
Area code(s) 209
FIPS code 06-72674
GNIS feature ID 1659815
Website www.sonoraca.com

Sonora is the county seat of Tuolumne County, California. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 4,903, up from 4,423 at the 2000 census. Sonora is the only incorporated community in Tuolumne County.

Geography[edit]

California State Highway 49 along North Washington Street

Sonora is located at 37°59′04″N 120°22′54″W / 37.984361°N 120.381767°W / 37.984361; -120.381767,[2] around the intersection of California State Highways 49 and 108 The altitude is 1,825 feet (556 m). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.1 square miles (8.0 km2), 99.55% of it land and 0.45% of it water.

Climate[edit]

Sonora has cool, wet winters and hot, mostly dry summers. Average January temperatures are a maximum of 54.5 °F (12.5 °C) and a minimum of 33.5 °F (0.8 °C). Average July temperatures are a maximum of 94.6 °F (34.8 °C) and a minimum of 58.8 °F (14.9 °C). There are an average of 75.5 days annually with highs of 90 °F (32 °C) or higher and an average of 52.2 days annually with lows of 32 °F (0 °C) or lower. The record high temperature was 113 °F (45 °C) on June 22, 1961, and July 15, 1972. The record low temperature was 8 °F (−13 °C) on December 9, 1972.

Average annual rainfall is 32.07 inches (815 mm). There are an average of 60 days annually with measurable precipitation. Most of the rainfall falls from November through April. There are sometimes afternoon and evening thunderstorms in the summer months, which drift down from the Sierra Nevada. The wettest year was 1940 with 46.67 inches (1,185 mm) and the driest year was 1976 with 15.06 inches (383 mm). The most rainfall in one month was 21.69 inches (551 mm) in December 1955, including 7.10 inches (180 mm) on December 27, the record 24 hour rainfall. Average annual snowfall is only 4.7 inches (120 mm). The most snowfall in one month was 30.5 inches (770 mm) in January 1933.[3] The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Csa" (Mediterranean climate).[4]

Climate data for SONORA RS, CALIFORNIA (1903–2012)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 75
(24)
78
(26)
84
(29)
92
(33)
103
(39)
113
(45)
113
(45)
110
(43)
108
(42)
100
(38)
89
(32)
81
(27)
113
(45)
Average high °F (°C) 54.5
(12.5)
58.0
(14.4)
62.4
(16.9)
68.5
(20.3)
77.1
(25.1)
86.1
(30.1)
94.5
(34.7)
93.0
(33.9)
86.7
(30.4)
76.0
(24.4)
63.5
(17.5)
55.6
(13.1)
73.0
(22.8)
Average low °F (°C) 33.4
(0.8)
35.5
(1.9)
38.0
(3.3)
41.7
(5.4)
46.7
(8.2)
52.7
(11.5)
58.7
(14.8)
57.4
(14.1)
52.7
(11.5)
45.2
(7.3)
38.1
(3.4)
33.8
(1)
44.5
(6.9)
Record low °F (°C) 13
(−11)
15
(−9)
20
(−7)
24
(−4)
24
(−4)
33
(1)
39
(4)
40
(4)
33
(1)
25
(−4)
21
(−6)
8
(−13)
8
(−13)
Precipitation inches (mm) 6.13
(155.7)
5.55
(141)
5.10
(129.5)
2.77
(70.4)
1.27
(32.3)
0.33
(8.4)
0.04
(1)
0.08
(2)
0.39
(9.9)
1.62
(41.1)
3.46
(87.9)
5.39
(136.9)
32.14
(816.4)
Snowfall inches (cm) 2.3
(5.8)
1.0
(2.5)
0.5
(1.3)
0.2
(0.5)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.7
(1.8)
4.7
(11.9)
Source #1: [5]
Source #2: Weather Channel[6]

Demographics[edit]

2010[edit]

The 2010 United States Census[7] reported that Sonora had a population of 4,903. The population density was 1,593.0 people per square mile (615.0/km²). The racial makeup of Sonora was 4,402 (89.8%) White, 24 (0.5%) African American, 95 (1.9%) Native American, 79 (1.6%) Asian, 12 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 84 (1.7%) from other races, and 207 (4.2%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 542 persons (11.1%).

The Census reported that 4,613 people (94.1% of the population) lived in households, 85 (1.7%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 205 (4.2%) were institutionalized.

There were 2,199 households, out of which 562 (25.6%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 689 (31.3%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 308 (14.0%) had a female householder with no husband present, 116 (5.3%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 192 (8.7%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 12 (0.5%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 881 households (40.1%) were made up of individuals and 312 (14.2%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.10. There were 1,113 families (50.6% of all households); the average family size was 2.77.

The population was spread out with 975 people (19.9%) under the age of 18, 526 people (10.7%) aged 18 to 24, 1,266 people (25.8%) aged 25 to 44, 1,324 people (27.0%) aged 45 to 64, and 812 people (16.6%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.7 years. For every 100 females there were 93.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.9 males.

There were 2,463 housing units at an average density of 800.2 per square mile (309.0/km²), of which 898 (40.8%) were owner-occupied, and 1,301 (59.2%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 4.6%; the rental vacancy rate was 8.6%. 1,960 people (40.0% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 2,653 people (54.1%) lived in rental housing units.

2000[edit]

As of the census of 2000,[8] there are 4,423 people, 2,051 households, and 1,046 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,456.2 people per square mile (561.8/km²). There are 2,197 housing units at an average density of 723.3 per square mile (279.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city is 91.4% White, 0.7% African American, 1.5% Native American, 1.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 2.0% from other races, and 3.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race comprise 8.4% of the population.

Sonora, CA

There are 2,051 households out of which 24.0% have children under the age of 18, 33.2% are married couples living together, 14.0% have a female householder with no husband present, and 49.0% are non-families. 40.3% of all households are made up of individuals and 15% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.06 and the average family size is 2.75.

In the city the population is spread out with 20.4% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 26.3% from 25 to 44, 23.5% from 45 to 64, and 20.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 41 years. For every 100 females there are 82.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 77.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $28,858, and the median income for a family is $39,722. Males have a median income of $40,958 versus $26,111 for females. The per capita income for the city is $19,248. 16.9% of the population and 10.9% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 22.8% of those under the age of 18 and 7.2% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Economy and tourism[edit]

The area economy was historically based on the mining and timber industries, but now relies on tourism.[9] One of two active lumber mills in Tuolumne County was shut down in 2009, but reopened in July 2011.[10]

As the closest city to Yosemite National Park, Sonora provides services to some of Yosemite's visitors. The city also benefits from its proximity to Railtown 1897 State Historic Park.

Education[edit]

Columbia Community College is the sole college in Tuolumne County and offers two-year degrees. Individuals wishing to attend a university must commute 50 miles to University of California, Merced or California State University, Stanislaus in Turlock.

Politics[edit]

In the State legislature Sonora is located in the 14th Senate District, represented by Republican Tom Berryhill, and in the 25th Assembly District, represented by Republican Kristin Olsen. Federally, Sonora is located in California's 4th Congressional district and is represented by Republican Tom McClintock of Elk Grove.

History[edit]

Founded by Mexican miners—reminiscent of the state of Sonora, Mexico—during the California Gold Rush, Sonora was once a booming center of industry and trade in California's Mother Lode. Most of the gold that was removable with traditional mining techniques was quickly extracted, leaving miners to use more complex and expensive mining techniques to reach deep pockets of quartz and gold. Sonora as well as other mining towns of the era experienced economic hardship when the value of gold decreased. As easier accessible gold deposits dried up, businesses and miners realized extracting the gold cost more than it was worth. As "gold fever" died down, Sonora's size and population steadily decreased over the years.

A local museum serves to remind locals and visitors of the Gold Rush era and what Sonora was once like.

Culture and arts[edit]

The Tuolumne County Film Commission describes Sonora as "one of the country's most versatile locations", where more than "300 film and television series" have been made.[11]

Local museums depict the Gold Rush era and historic Sonora.

The small town is home to two resident theatre companies. The community theatre Stage 3 [12] produces comedic and dramatic plays in its small space, often providing pre-show musical entertainment from local singers and groups. The professional theatre company Sierra Repertory Theatre[13] produces a variety of musicals and plays each year at two different theatre buildings, the East Sonora Theatre and the Fallon House Theatre in Columbia.

Sonora is also home to the Tuolumne County Arts Alliance.[14]

Notable people[edit]

Well-known people associated with Sonora:

References[edit]

  1. ^ U.S. Census
  2. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  3. ^ http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?ca8353
  4. ^ Climate Summary for Sonora, CA
  5. ^ http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?ca8353
  6. ^ Monthly Averages for Sonora, CA (95370)'.' Retrieved September 26, 2012.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  9. ^ "Membership benefits". Tuolumne County Chamber of Commerce. 2011. Retrieved July 13, 2011. 
  10. ^ Nichols, Dana M (July 10, 2011). "Retooled lumber mill back in business". Dow Jones Local Media Group, Inc. Retrieved July 13, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Home page". Tuolumne County Film Commission. Retrieved May 7, 2010. 
  12. ^ http://www.stage3.org/
  13. ^ http://sierrarep.org
  14. ^ http://www.tuolumnecountyarts.org/

External links[edit]