West Point, California

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West Point
census-designated place
Location in Calaveras County and the state of California
Location in Calaveras County and the state of California
Coordinates: 38°23′57″N 120°31′39″W / 38.39917°N 120.52750°W / 38.39917; -120.52750Coordinates: 38°23′57″N 120°31′39″W / 38.39917°N 120.52750°W / 38.39917; -120.52750
Country  United States
State  California
County Calaveras
Area[1]
 • Total 3.719 sq mi (9.632 km2)
 • Land 3.719 sq mi (9.632 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)  0%
Elevation 2,769 ft (844 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 674
 • Density 180/sq mi (70/km2)
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 95255
Area code(s) 209
FIPS code 06-84732
GNIS feature IDs 255226, 2409563
Reference No. 268

West Point (formerly, Indian Gulch and Westpoint) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Calaveras County, California, in the United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, West Point's population was 674, down from 746 as of the 2000 census. The town is registered as California Historical Landmark #268.[2] There is an annual West Point Lumberjack Days festival in the community. Walton's Mountain Winery & Vineyard is West Point's First Winery that opened in 2006.

History[edit]

West Point was originally the name of a camp established here by scout Kit Carson, who was searching for a pass over the Sierra Nevada.[3] The town was originally named Indian Gulch when founded in 1852; the name was changed to West Point in 1854.[3] The first post office was opened in 1856, the name changed to Westpoint in 1895 and changed back to West Point in 1947.[3]

One emigrant road forked by Big Meadow — its north branch came directly to West Point, which was a thriving trading post prior to the gold discovery. Author Bret Harte lived there for a time.

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 3.7 square miles (9.6 km2), all land.

Demographics[edit]

2010[edit]

The 2010 United States Census[4] reported that West Point had a population of 674. The population density was 181.2 people per square mile (70.0/km²). The racial makeup of West Point was 563 (83.5%) White, 0 (0.0%) African American, 43 (6.4%) Native American, 2 (0.3%) Asian, 7 (1.0%) Pacific Islander, 29 (4.3%) from other races, and 30 (4.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 67 persons (9.9%).

The Census reported that 673 people (99.9% of the population) lived in households, 1 (0.1%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.

There were 308 households, out of which 70 (22.7%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 125 (40.6%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 39 (12.7%) had a female householder with no husband present, 18 (5.8%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 18 (5.8%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 0 (0%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 109 households (35.4%) were made up of individuals and 48 (15.6%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19. There were 182 families (59.1% of all households); the average family size was 2.81.

The population was spread out with 133 people (19.7%) under the age of 18, 36 people (5.3%) aged 18 to 24, 119 people (17.7%) aged 25 to 44, 223 people (33.1%) aged 45 to 64, and 163 people (24.2%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 50.0 years. For every 100 females there were 94.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.9 males.

There were 378 housing units at an average density of 101.6 per square mile (39.2/km²), of which 213 (69.2%) were owner-occupied, and 95 (30.8%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.3%; the rental vacancy rate was 6.9%. 434 people (64.4% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 239 people (35.5%) lived in rental housing units.

2000[edit]

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 746 people, 305 households, and 203 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 199.4 people per square mile (77.0/km²). There were 345 housing units at an average density of 92.2 per square mile (35.6/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 82.04% White, 1.21% Black or African American, 8.18% Native American, 0.67% Asian, 2.82% from other races, and 5.09% from two or more races. 8.04% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 305 households out of which 25.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.6% were married couples living together, 14.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.4% were non-families. 26.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.86.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 24.4% under the age of 18, 5.9% from 18 to 24, 20.0% from 25 to 44, 30.0% from 45 to 64, and 19.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females there were 84.7 males. For every 100 over, there are 85.5 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $25,417, and the median income for a family was $27,794. Males had a median income of $24,028 versus $22,500 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $11,439. About 28.2% of families and 33.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 45.3% of those under age 18 and 15.7% of those age 65 or over.

Much of the population of the West Point CDP lives in outlying areas surrounded by extremely rural countryside with a large percentage living in substandard housing units[citation needed]. Methamphetamine manufacture and use is above average in the CDP due to the extreme rural nature of the area[citation needed]. For that reason, the census data is highly suspect as regards under-reporting of the population which also skews the average income toward a higher than actual amount[citation needed]. Census workers are warned to not enter some backwoods areas for fear of both methamphetamine lab and/or marijuana growing operations encroachments.[citation needed]

Many of the marijuana growing operations are staffed by Mexican Drug Cartel personnel.[citation needed]

Politics[edit]

In the state legislature, West Point is in the 8th Senate District, represented by Democrat Leland Yee,[6] and the 5th Assembly District, represented by Republican Frank Bigelow.[7] Federally, West Point is in California's 4th congressional district, represented by Republican Tom McClintock.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ U.S. Census
  2. ^ "West Point". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  3. ^ a b c Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Quill Driver Books. p. 845. ISBN 9781884995149. 
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "Senators". State of California. Retrieved March 21, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Members Assembly". State of California. Retrieved March 21, 2013. 
  8. ^ "California's 4th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved March 2, 2013.