La Grange, California
Stage stop in Le Grange Historic District.
La Grange is a small unincorporated community in rural Stanislaus County, California, United States. Its altitude is 249 feet (76 m). As of 2008 it has a population of 345. It is located at (37.6635433, -120.4635289) along the Tuolumne River, and is near the La Grange Dam and the New Don Pedro Dam.
The name is French and means "the barn" or "the farm". The community and a French settlement nearby were also called "French Bar". The community was founded in 1852 around the same time French miners struck gold on a bar in the Tuolumne River. By 1854, there were over 100 buildings in La Grange.
La Grange became the county seat of Stanislaus County in 1856. Aside from its French population, the community included a significant Chinatown in its early years. At its height, the community had thousands of residents, but it was a largely lawless town. It was in decline by the time that Knights Ferry became the county seat, as the gold mines were in decline. By 1880, mining had ceased. The La Grange area also included many gold dredgers that operated until the early 1950s.
La Grange is now a registered California Historical Landmark historic district. Today, a post office, a supermarket, an elementary school (as of fall, 2015, after a brief stint as a charter school, the public school was closed), and a High School (Don Pedro High School) still operate in La Grange. Also functioning is the oldest church in Stanislaus County, St. Louis Roman Catholic Church, with a cemetery containing tombstones dating to the mid-1800s.
Mexican Twin Town
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: La Grange, California
- Santos, Robert LeRoy. Chronology of Stanislaus County History Through 1912. 2002. Accessed 2009-05-02.
- Koeppel, Elliot H.The California Gold Country: Highway 49 Revisited. Accessed 2009-05-02.
- "Gold Fields to Grazing Fields", by Franklin Beards, 1988
- "La Grange". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-10-15.
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: La Grange Post Office
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: La Grange Elementary School
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