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Lathrop, California

Coordinates: 37°49′1″N 121°17′19″W / 37.81694°N 121.28861°W / 37.81694; -121.28861
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Lathrop, California
San Joaquin River road bridge at Mossdale Crossing in Lathrop
San Joaquin River road bridge at Mossdale Crossing in Lathrop
Location of Lathrop in San Joaquin County, California
Location of Lathrop in San Joaquin County, California
Lathrop is located in the United States
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 37°49′1″N 121°17′19″W / 37.81694°N 121.28861°W / 37.81694; -121.28861
CountryUnited States
CountySan Joaquin
IncorporatedJuly 1, 1989[1]
 • MayorSonny Dhaliwal [2]
 • SenateSusan Eggman (D)[3]
 • AssemblyDamon Connolly (D)[3]
 • U. S. CongressJosh Harder (D)[4]
 • City managerStephen Salvatore[5]
 • Total21.01 sq mi (54.41 km2)
 • Land19.83 sq mi (51.35 km2)
 • Water1.18 sq mi (3.06 km2)  4.79%
Elevation23 ft (7 m)
 • Total28,701
 • Density1,400/sq mi (530/km2)
Time zoneUTC-8 (PST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
Area code209
FIPS code06-40704
GNIS feature ID1658948

Lathrop is a city located 10 miles (16 km) south of Stockton in San Joaquin County, California, United States. The 2020 census reported that Lathrop's population was 28,701. The city is located in Northern California at the intersection of Interstate 5 and California State Route 120, in the San Joaquin Valley.


Lathrop was developed around railroad interests. The town was founded around 1868 when the first transcontinental railroad was extended to the area after a dispute between the president of the Central Pacific Railroad, Leland Stanford, and the City of Stockton.[9] The two parties had struck a right-of-way agreement to build a railroad through Stockton, but when city officials delayed in deciding where the alignment should go, Stanford decided to instead build the railroad around Stockton and set up a new town along the route.[10]

The new town was platted into 16 subdivisions[9] around the site of a train depot named Wilson's Station at a wye built for switching train cars.[10] A merchant store and schoolhouse were built soon after.[11] In 1869, the area was renamed in honor of the family of Leland Stanford's wife, Jane Stanford (née Lathrop), and her brother, Charles Lathrop, who worked for Leland as an engineer at Central Pacific.[9][12][13]

On September 6, 1869, four months after the golden spike ceremony at Promontory Summit, the San Joaquin Railroad Bridge at Mossdale Crossing in Lathrop was finished by Western Pacific.[14] This completed the last westbound link of the transcontinental railroad to the Pacific coast,[15] with the first through train arriving that evening,[16][17] making Lathrop an important division point and rail stop.[11] In 1871, a post office opened in Lathrop.[18] That same year, the railroad built a hotel for $50,000 called Hotel Lathrop, said to be one of the largest in the state of California at the time.[10]

Throughout the 1870s, Lathrop was an important rail stop for the transcontinental railroad. This generated steady growth in the area, with the population increasing to about 600 by 1879.[11]

In February 1886, the railroad's hotel caught fire and was destroyed.[10] That, along with the railroad deciding to move its roundhouse and machine shops to nearby Tracy, California around the same time, caused Lathrop to enter into a period of economic and population decline until World War I.[11]

Lathrop railroad station (1889) where former California Chief Justice David Terry assaulted US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Field and was shot by Field's bodyguard

On August 14, 1889, former Chief Justice of California David S. Terry assaulted United States Supreme Court Justice Stephen J. Field, at the train station in Lathrop. Field's bodyguard, United States Marshal David Neagle (formerly assigned to Tombstone, Arizona), shot and killed Terry.[19] The events led to the United States Supreme Court decision In re Neagle, which granted immunity from state prosecution to federal officers acting within the scope of their federal authority.[20]

During the 1940s, Lathrop expanded from its original townsite to an area of about five square miles. Following World War II, housing tracts were built and several large industrial employers moved there. Residential growth slowed during the 1950s and 1960s, but picked up again in the subsequent decades, doubling in population to 2,137 in 1970 and reaching 6,841 by 1990.[11]

Lathrop was incorporated in 1989, and its first General Plan adopted in 1991.[21]


The San Joaquin River cuts through the middle of Lathrop, the Old River (California) on the west side, and has elevation of 20 feet (7 m).

Neighboring cities and towns include Stockton, Manteca, Ripon, French Camp, and Tracy.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city covers an area of 23.0 square miles (60 km2) of which 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2) (4.79%) is covered by water.


Historical population
2023 (est.)39,857[22]38.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[23]

The 2010 United States Census[24] reported that Lathrop had a population of 18,023. The population density was 782.5 inhabitants per square mile (302.1/km2). The racial makeup of Lathrop was 7,410 (41.1%) White, 1,300 (7.2%) African American, 231 (1.3%) Native American, 3,968 (22.0%) Asian (mostly Filipino), 144 (0.8%) Pacific Islander, 3,735 (20.7%) from other races, and 1,235 (6.9%) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 7,674 persons (42.6%).

The census reported that 18,011 people (99.9% of the population) lived in households, 6 (<0.1%) lived in noninstitutionalized group quarters, and 6 (<0.1%) were institutionalized.

Of the 4,782 households, 2,738 (57.3%) had children under 18 living in them, 2,973 (62.2%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 719 (15.0%) had a female householder with no husband present, 379 (7.9%) had a male householder with no wife present; 376 (7.9%) were unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 35 (0.7%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. About 10.1% of households were made up of individuals, and 2.7% had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 3.77. The average family size was 3.99.

The age distribution was 5,819 people (32.3%) under 18, 1,814 people (10.1%) 18 to 24, 5,324 people (29.5%) 25 to 44, 3,897 people (21.6%) 45 to 64, and 1,169 people (6.5%) who were 65 or older. The median age was 30.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.7 males. For every 100 females 18 and over, there were 97.7 males.

The 5,261 housing units had an average density of 228.4/sq mi (88.2/km2), of which 3,604 (75.4%) were owner-occupied, and 1,178 (24.6%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 3.7%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.5%, and 13,191 people (73.2% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units with 4,820 people (26.7%) in rental housing units.


According to the city's 2022 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[25] the top 10 employers in the city are:

# Employer # of employees
1 Tesla, Inc. 3,000
2 United Parcel Service 1,500
3 Pflug Packaging 450
4 Army & Air Force Exchange Service 400
5 Wayfair 400
6 Super Store Industries 375
7 California Natural Products 375
8 Simwon America 336
9 Manteca Unified School District 333
10 CBC Steel Buildings 203

Economic potential[edit]

The City of Lathrop has a seven-mile (11 km) radius population of 105,893 with an average household income of $63,072.

Lathrop is centered between the Stockton and Tracy submarkets – both within a 20-mile (32 km) radius.[26][27]

In April 2014, electric car maker Tesla announced that it would be opening a warehouse in Lathrop, in a 430,000 sq ft (40,000 m2) building that was once a Chrysler distribution center. The company also operates a factory assembling Tesla Megapack lithium-ion battery containers in the former J.C. Penney distribution center,[28] and has become Lathrop’s largest employer.[25]

Large development[edit]

Mossdale Village,[29] located west of I-5 and east of the San Joaquin River, consists of 2375 units and is of unique historical significance. The development abuts, and is named after, the site of the San Joaquin Railroad Bridge at Mossdale crossing,[17] which was the final link to the Pacific coast for the Transcontinental Railroad, actually completed on September 6, 1869,[14] four months after the official celebration and driving of the golden spike at Promontory Utah. California State Historical Marker number 781-7 is at Mossdale Crossing Park.[15]

Stanford Crossing, located west of the I-5 freeway and east of the San Joaquin River, is a master planned community consisting of 2167 lots. It was conceived as part of the Central Lathrop Specific Plan (CLSP), adopted on November 9, 2004, to develop “a vibrant and livable community” across approximately 1,521 acres in Central Lathrop.[30][31] The community’s name pays homage to Leland Stanford, and his role in the completion of the transcontinental railroad at nearby Mossdale Crossing.[32] A 4.13 acre park developed in the neighborhood was also subsequently named Leland and Jane Stanford Park, after the family who helped found Lathrop.[33]

In addition to the residential, parks and other community allotments, the CLSP also designated land usage near to Stanford Crossing for what became the Lathrop Generations Center and Lathrop High School.[34]


The mayor of Lathrop is Sonny Dhaliwal.[2] The current city council consists of Mayor Dhaliwal, Vice-Mayor Diane Lazard, Councilmember Jennifer Torres-O'Callaghan, Councilmember Paul Akinjo, and Councilmember Minnie Diallo.[2]

Lathrop is represented in the California State Assembly by Assemblymember Damon Connolly and California State Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman.[35]


Manteca Unified School District serves the City of Lathrop with the exception of the River Islands development on the west side of Interstate 5, which is served by Public Charter Schools under Banta Unified School District.

Elementary schools[edit]

Manteca Unified School District serves the Lathrop community with three elementary schools, Joseph Widmer Jr, Lathrop School, and Mossdale School. Residents of the River Islands development are served by three public chartered elementary schools under Banta Unified School District.

High schools[edit]

Lathrop High School, under Manteca Unified School District, was the first secondary school in Lathrop; it opened in 2008. Lathrop High features the Spartan band which has performed at Cal Band Day at Cal Berkeley. The Spartan music program includes concert band, symphonic band, marching band, and drum line.

A second high school, River Islands High School, opened in 2022 as part of the Banta Unified School District.


The City of Lathrop is served by the San Joaquin Regional Transit District and the Altamont Corridor Express commuter rail train at Lathrop/Manteca station.

Sister cities[edit]

Lathrop participates in the Sister City program and is tied to Bacarra, Ilocos Norte, Philippines.


  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. ^ a b c "City Council". City of Lathrop. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Statewide Database". UC Regents. Archived from the original on February 1, 2015. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  4. ^ "California's 9th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved March 12, 2013.
  5. ^ "City Manager's Office". City of Lathrop. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  6. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  7. ^ "Lathrop". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
  8. ^ "Lathrop (city) QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 20, 2022.
  9. ^ a b c Lee, Ralph (December 16, 2005). "Lathrop founded by Stanford to bypass Stockton". Lodi News-Sentinel. p. 14. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  10. ^ a b c d Lea, Ralph; Kennedy, Christi (December 16, 2005). "Lathrop founded by Stanford to bypass Stockton". Lodi News-Sentinel. Retrieved February 6, 2024.
  11. ^ a b c d e "Lathrop History". City of Lathrop CA. Archived from the original on March 30, 2023. Retrieved February 6, 2024.
  12. ^ "Lathrop Historical Marker". The Historical Marker Database. Archived from the original on October 18, 2020. Retrieved February 6, 2024.
  13. ^ Swarts, Aaron (May 17, 2005). "Lathrop Days: A look at history". East Bay Times. Retrieved February 6, 2024.
  14. ^ a b "From Stockton - September 6th". UCR: California Digital Newspaper Collection. Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 37, Number 5755, September 7, 1869. Retrieved December 6, 2019. The Western Pacific Railroad bridge across the San Joaquin river was finished to-day [September 6th], and three trains of cars crossed it, one for San Jose and two for Alameda.
  15. ^ a b "Site of Completion of Pacific Railroad - First Transcontinental Railroad". HMdb.org. Retrieved December 15, 2019.
  16. ^ "The first through train on the Western Pacific Road". cdnc.ucr.edu. Daily Alta California September 7, 1869 — California Digital Newspaper Collection. Retrieved September 6, 2019.
  17. ^ a b "Moss' crossing linked continent by rail". No. Special to the News-Sentinel. lodinews.com. April 2005. Retrieved May 20, 2020. Lathrop photographer J. B. Atwood took this early photograph of the first railroad bridge to span the San Joaquin River at Mossdale. The bridge, built in 1869, was the final link in the transcontinental railroad that made travel possible from the East Coast to the edge of San Francisco Bay in Oakland. The wooden tower in the center sat on a turntable that swung parallel to the riverbank to allow steamboats to pass.
  18. ^ "San Joaquin County". Jim Forte Postal History. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  19. ^ "The Daily Examiner". No. Thursday, August 15, 1889. The San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  20. ^ "History - The U.S. Marshals and Court Security". usmarshals.gov. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  21. ^ "About Lathrop". City of Lathrop CA. Archived from the original on February 2, 2024. Retrieved February 20, 2024.
  22. ^ "City and Town Population Totals: 2020-2023". United States Census Bureau. May 16, 2024. Retrieved May 16, 2024.
  23. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  24. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Lathrop city". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  25. ^ a b City of Lathrop, California Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2022 (PDF) (Report). March 30, 2023. p. 182. Retrieved September 23, 2023.
  26. ^ "City of Lathrop :: About Lathrop". www.ci.lathrop.ca.us. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  27. ^ "Lathrop, CA Real Estate Housing Market & Trends | Coldwell Banker". www.coldwellbanker.com. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  28. ^ Johnson, Jeremy (February 6, 2023). "Meet Tesla's Megafactory - Capable of Producing 10,000 Megapacks Each Year | Torque News". www.torquenews.com.
  29. ^ "Mossdale Village". City of Lathrop. Archived from the original on February 2, 2024. Retrieved February 12, 2024.
  30. ^ "Central Lathrop Specific Plan Main Page". City of Lathrop. Archived from the original on February 2, 2024. Retrieved February 12, 2024.
  31. ^ "Central Lathrop Specific Plan Phase 1". City of Lathrop. Archived from the original on February 2, 2024. Retrieved February 2, 2024.
  32. ^ "The Fascinating History of Lathrop, CA". Stanford Crossing. March 27, 2024. Retrieved April 4, 2024.
  33. ^ Campbell, Jason (January 6, 2020). "Name of historic figures may grace new Lathrop parks". www.mantecabulletin.com. Archived from the original on July 31, 2021. Retrieved February 12, 2024.
  34. ^ "Central Lathrop". City of Lathrop. Archived from the original on June 4, 2023. Retrieved February 12, 2024.
  35. ^ "Members: Assembly Internet". State of California.

External links[edit]