Ceres, California

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Ceres, California
City of Ceres
Ceres City Hall
Ceres City Hall
Official seal of Ceres, California
Motto: "Together We Achieve"
Location in Stanislaus County and the state of California
Location in Stanislaus County and the state of California
Ceres, California is located in the US
Ceres, California
Ceres, California
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 37°36′5″N 120°57′26″W / 37.60139°N 120.95722°W / 37.60139; -120.95722Coordinates: 37°36′5″N 120°57′26″W / 37.60139°N 120.95722°W / 37.60139; -120.95722
Country  United States of America
State  California
County Seal of Stanislaus County, California.png Stanislaus
Incorporated February 25, 1918[1]
Named for Ceres
 • Mayor Chris Vierra[2]
 • Total 8.019 sq mi (20.771 km2)
 • Land 8.011 sq mi (20.749 km2)
 • Water 0.008 sq mi (0.022 km2)  0.10%
Elevation[4] 92 ft (28 m)
Population (April 1, 2010)[5]
 • Total 45,417
 • Estimate (2013)[5] 46,714
 • Density 5,700/sq mi (2,200/km2)
Time zone Pacific (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 95307
Area code(s) 209
FIPS code 06-12524
GNIS feature IDs 1655882, 2409430
Website www.ci.ceres.ca.us

Ceres is a city in Stanislaus County, California. The population was 45,417 at the 2010 U.S. Census, up from 34,609 at the 2000 U.S. Census. It is part of the Modesto Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Ceres is located in the San Joaquin Valley along State Route 99, south of Modesto and north of Turlock in Stanislaus County. Ceres is named after the Roman goddess of agriculture.

The newspaper in Ceres is called The Ceres Courier.[6] It has been in publication since 1910. The offices of the Ceres Courier were relocated from an address in downtown Ceres in 2012. It has since combined day-to-day operations with its sister paper, The Turlock Journal, in Turlock, CA . Jeff Benziger was appointed Editor in 1987. There is also a Spanish-language paper.

Ceres hosts annual events at different times of the year. Spring brings the Ceres Street Faire on the first weekend in May. Concert in the Park is a regular summer event. Halloween Fun Festival marks the Fall followed by the colorful, and much-attended, Christmas Tree Lane opening ceremony.


The first non-native families that inhabited Ceres were those of John Service, Cassius Warner, and Daniel Whitmore in the year 1867. Daniel C. Whitmore is considered the first family and founder of Ceres. He built his home in 1870, the Whitmore Mansion at 2928 5th Street. That home still stands, fully restored by the city and the Ceres Historical Society.[7]

In the early 1890s, the outlaws Chris Evans and John Sontag robbed a Southern Pacific Railroad train at Ceres and several other area locations.[8]

In the late 1930s, a labor camp was developed within the city of Ceres.[9]

The history of Ceres is recounted in Arcadia Publishing Company's Images of America series entitled, "Ceres, by Jeff Benziger. It was released on August 23, 2010.


2005: Police shooting[edit]

Ceres lost its first police officer while on duty when Sergeant Howard Stevenson was killed on January 9, 2005. Officer Sam Ryno was first to respond to a call of a man with a gun in front of George's Liquors. Andres Raya, a U.S. Marine on leave after coming back from Iraq, was armed with an SKS rifle and opened fire on officers, hitting Officer Ryno and killing Sergeant Stevenson. Raya was shot dead some time later after he opened fire on SWAT team members.[10]

Portrayed by local media as a calculated attack on law enforcement, the Stevenson slaying sparked attention from the national media which suggested that Raya snapped due to his experience in the Iraq War.[11] Sources close to Raya spoke of violent nightmares and distress which led to heavy drinking and drug use while on leave. However, local law enforcement officials claimed Raya had been involved in gangs for years prior to him signing up for military service. Modesto authorities discovered information during the investigation into the shooting that shows Raya was a Norteño gang member who was not involved in combat during his tour of duty in Iraq. A cooperative effort between the Stanislaus Sheriff's Detectives, local law enforcement, the FBI, NCIS, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Marine Corps revealed a large amount of information about Raya in a short amount of time.[12]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Ceres has a total area of 8.0 sq mi(20.8 km²), 99.9% of it land and 0.1% of it water. The formation of alluvial fans in the San Joaquin Valley has led to a rather flat regional geography. There are no known active earthquake fault traces in the project vicinity. (Earth Metrics, 1989) Hydrological feature mapping of the Ceres area has been conducted by the U. S. Geological Survey. (USGS, 2003)


Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 637
1930 981 54.0%
1940 1,332 35.8%
1950 2,351 76.5%
1960 4,406 87.4%
1970 6,029 36.8%
1980 13,281 120.3%
1990 26,314 98.1%
2000 34,609 31.5%
2010 45,417 31.2%
Est. 2015 47,963 [13] 5.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[14]


As of the 2000 U.S. Census,[15] there were 34,609 people, 10,435 households, and 8,535 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,988.6 people per square mile (1,925.4/km²). There were 10,773 housing units at an average density of 1,552.8 per square mile (599.3/km²). The ethnic makeup of the city was 64.5% White, 2.8% African American, 1.4% Native American, 5.0% Asian, 0.4% Pacific Islander, 20.4% from other races, and 5.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 37.9% of the population.

There were 10,435 households out of which 48.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.8% were married couples living together, 15.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 18.2% were non-families. 14.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.31 and the average family size was 3.62.

In the city, the population was spread out with 34.4% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 30.0% from 25 to 44, 17.5% from 45 to 64, and 8.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 97.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,736, and the median income for a family was $43,587. Males had a median income of $35,109 versus $24,317 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,420. About 10.1% of families and 12.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.6% of those under age 18 and 10.2% of those age 65 or over.


The 2010 U.S. Census[16] reported that Ceres had a population of 45,417. The population density was 5,663.2 people per square mile (2,186.6/km²). The ethnicmakeup of Ceres was 26,217 (47.7%) White, 1,185 (2.6%) African American, 609 (1.3%) Native American, 3,093 (6.8%) Asian, 346 (0.8%) Pacific Islander, 11,463 (25.2%) from other races, and 2,504 (5.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 25,436 persons (66.0%).

The Census reported that 45,064 people (99.2% of the population) lived in households, 293 (0.6%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 60 (0.1%) were institutionalized.

There were 12,692 households, out of which 6,876 (54.2%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 7,311 (57.6%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 2,211 (17.4%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,053 (8.3%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 976 (7.7%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 76 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 1,586 households (12.5%) were made up of individuals and 628 (4.9%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.55. There were 10,575 families (83.3% of all households); the average family size was 3.84.

The population was spread out with 14,623 people (32.2%) under the age of 18, 5,108 people (11.2%) aged 18 to 24, 12,506 people (27.5%) aged 25 to 44, 9,667 people (21.3%) aged 45 to 64, and 3,513 people (7.7%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29.4 years. For every 100 females there were 97.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.9 males.

There were 13,673 housing units at an average density of 1,704.9 per square mile (658.3/km²), of which 8,010 (63.1%) were owner-occupied, and 4,682 (36.9%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.5%; the rental vacancy rate was 8.2%. 27,776 people (61.2% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 17,288 people (38.1%) lived in rental housing units.


Ceres Community Center

In the California State Legislature, Ceres is in the 12th Senate District, represented by Republican Anthony Cannella, and in the 21st Assembly District, represented by Democrat Adam Gray.[17]

In the United States House of Representatives, Ceres is in California's 10th congressional district, represented by Republican Jeff Denham.[18]


Ceres is home to the Bronco Wine Company, makers of Charles Shaw wine, also known as "Two-Buck Chuck".[19]

Parks and Recreation[edit]

The City of Ceres maintains eleven parks for public use.[20] Ceres's largest park is the Ceres River Bluff Regional Park.[21]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "California Cities by Incorporation Date". California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions. Archived from the original (Word) on November 3, 2014. Retrieved August 25, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Chris Vierra, Mayor". City of Ceres. Retrieved October 7, 2014. 
  3. ^ "2010 Census U.S. Gazetteer Files – Places – California". United States Census Bureau. 
  4. ^ "Ceres". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved December 14, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Ceres (city) QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 18, 2015. 
  6. ^ Mantecabulletin.com Archived February 5, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Ceres, 2004
  8. ^ "Sontag and Evans". eshomvalley.com. Retrieved November 29, 2012. 
  9. ^ USDA, 1937
  10. ^ Finz, Stacy; Stannard, Matthew B. "Police shoot Marine dead after local sergeant is slain / Liquor store's video surveillance camera recorded shootout" from San Francisco Chronicle (January 11, 2005)
  11. ^ Tempest, Rone. "Marine's Fatal Rampage Divides Grieving Town" from The New York Times (January 14, 2005)
  12. ^ New Information About Andres Raya and His Gang Affiliation, press release from City of Ceres (January 14, 2005)
  13. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  15. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  16. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Ceres city". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Statewide Database". UC Regents. Retrieved December 14, 2014. 
  18. ^ "California's 10th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. 
  19. ^ The Wine Called "Two-Buck Chuck" 2011 msnbc.com
  20. ^ City of Ceres. "City of Ceres, California, PARK FACILITY RENTAL INFORMATION". Retrieved 2016-06-11. 
  21. ^ City of Ceres. "City of Ceres, California, Ceres River Bluff Regional Park, Parks, Recreation & Facilities". Retrieved 2016-05-27. 

External links[edit]