Chronological History of the Antelope Valley, Fremont Valley,
Indian Wells Valley and surrounding areas in Kern County, California.
compiled by Al Gagnon, California City Real Estate
20,000 years ago before the white man found the Antelope Valley, Fremont Valley, Owens Valley  and Indian Wells Valley area of California, the many Native American Indian Tribes of this valley roamed up and down to hunt, fish and trade one another, it was a great place for them to live, work, play and raise there families, and it's still a great place.
1958 to Present


 
Chronological History of the Antelope Valley, Fremont Valley,
Indian Wells Valley and surrounding areas in Kern County - from 1772 to 1957
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1958 - Nat Mendelsohn, visionary developer and college professor, buys 80,000 acres in Boron Valley and plans model desert city(California City). Gold Ribbon Days Celebration held in October for opening of first 20 homes, with 28 more under construction - prices starting at $9,659. California City Inn opens with restaurant, motel and garden. California City Development Company is formed and home and lot sales begin.

1959 - Construction begins in January for supermarket, gas station, motel and 4 stores in California City.

1959 - Lake Woollomes and Lake Ming were created along the Kern River for recreation purposes.

1960's-1969- another famous (or infamous) visitor came regularly to Ballarat. An old Dodge Power Wagon parked near the general store still bears the stars the family used as their signature, on its headliner.

1960 - Community Services District sells $400,000 in bonds to construct 160 acre Central Park in California City.

1961 - First water turned on to fill 24 acre lake in Central Park in California City.

1961 - June Mountain Ski Area opens.

1962 - The Maturango Museum was founded at NOTS.

1962 - Par 3 Golf Course opens in Central Park in California City.

1963 - In May, ribbon cutting ceremony by Mendelsohn to open 20 Mule Team Parkway to Galileo Hill.

1963 - The City of Ridgecrest was incorporated. Los Angeles began work on second aqueduct and completion of the reservoir system and water works clear into the Mono Basin. President Kennedy visited NOTS.

1965 - Ground breaking ceremonies for R.P. Ulrich Elementary School, opened in January 1966.

1965 - November 16th - California City voters decide to Incorporate and become a city!

1967 - California City gets a new sports arena.

1968 - Community Center and Senior Center opens in Central Park.

1968 - Lakeview Mobile Home Park opens in California City.

1969 - Applewood housing development opens in California City.

1970- Pro Shop opens on Par 3 Golf Course, later becomes Museum and burns down in 1981. Ground breaking ceremony for 4 story Holiday in on the lake in Central Park. 2nd phase of Applewood development opens.

1970 - Construction completed on the second barrel of the Los Angeles Aqueduct from Haiwee Reservoir, doubling the capacity to remove surface and ground water from the Owens Valley and Mono Basin. Mono Lake began a very rapid decline. Water wars between residents of the Eastern Sierra and the City of Los Angeles continued.

1971 - Village Park opens with curbs, gutters, sidewalks, homes priced from $18,000. Aspen Mall opens with 10 day celebration from August 25 to September 4th. Grand Holiday Inn opens, first 4 story building in the desert. Showcase Theater opens with blockbuster movie "Airport". California City Real Estate/California City Realty is formed and home and lot sales are at an all time high.

1973 - Cerro Coso College opened on the hill south of Ridgecrest. 1985 - The Historical Society of Upper Mojave Desert was formed in March.

1973 - Medical Center in California City opens. NASA Space Shuttle begins testing at Edwards AFB . Municipal dedication of California City Airport.

1975 - "20 Mule Team Trail" dedicated by Interior Secretary as National Historic Site. Indians stage Pow-Wow at Galileo Hill. California City Hall opens on City's 10th Anniversary. Les Brown plays at Commemoration Dance.

1976 - Senior Center opens in Central Park Community Center.

1976 - Al Gagnon falls down 50 foot mine shaft at Gold Bottom Mine outside of Trona, the only thing that saved him, was that he landed on his head. Rescue operations by Indian Wells Valley Search and Rescue Team took about 5 hours.

1978 - "Tierra Del Sol" championship Golf Course opens. One of the major attractions is beautiful Tierra Del Sol, a year-round golf course which will play approximately 6,800 yards from the championship tees. Tierra Del Sol golf course is located in California City,  is one of the best 18 hole golf courses in the Antelope Valley.  This par 72 championship golf course is open to the public and was designed by  Bruce Devlin and Robert Von Hagge in the mid 1970's. The course has seven water  holes, 18 1arge elevated greens, 130 fairway and green side bunkers, driving range and putting green, plus an 18 hole Executive par 3 golf course.

1981 - Silver Saddle Ranch & Club at Galileo Hill has ground breaking ceremony.

1986 - The Maturango Museum moved to its present location in Ridgecrest and opened for visitors in October.

1990 - California City celebrates 25th Anniversary.

1990 - The State Supreme Court ruled in favor of Mono Lake ; water exports from Mono Basin are to be severely restricted until Mono Lake rises to a target level.

1994 - The California Desert Protection Act was signed November 1. It upgraded Death Valley and Joshua Tree to National Parks, created Mojave National Preserve (Park, with hunting) , and created 70+ BLM Wilderness Areas in the mountains of the California deserts. The act also greatly enlarged Red Rock Canyon State Park.

1995 - California City Middle School breaks ground. New terminal and restaurant at California City Municipal Airport. New Police Facility is built.

1996 - The Great Basin Air Pollution Control Board is trying to find solutions to the Owens Lake "dust problem". They propose filling some of the lake, planting salt grass, and covering some with gravel. Still those wars continue in the courts and still dust from dry Owens Lake blows all over on windy days!

1999 - Corrections Corporation of America builds a 110 million dollar facility, opens in October.

1999 - Rite-Aid opens new prototype corner drug store, the 1st in it's corporation. Construction begins on new Desert Jade Senior Housing Complex. New Chevron Gas Station opens.


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2000 - It's going to  be a great 21st Century for the City of California City.
McDonald's opens next door to Rite-Aid.
California City Airport 40 Acre Industrial Park in Kern County now open for business, contruction of two industrial buildings, 20,000 and 30,000 sqft, for sale or lease. 14 lots ranging in size from 2 acres to 8 acres with M-1 Zoning,
Corrections Corporation of America signs a 529 million dollar contract with the Federal Government.
First seniors move into new 2 bedroom and 1 bedroom units at Desert Jade Senior Housing Complex.
Cerro Coso Community College is the lead agency in the creation of a Child Day Care Center here, which is expected to be on site in early September.
Inn at Tierra Del Sol, 84 unit Inn by the 18 hole golf course, 30 new jobs.
Convalescent hospital dream taking shape, proposal of a 35,000 sq.ft., 99 bed skilled nursing facility at current medical center on North Loop.
Corrections Corporation of America hires 40 new employees on August 7th and 227 more to start training on August 28th.
Charter Communications is contructing a new 2,400 sq. ft. building to install state of the art equipment such as fiber optics cable.
Matrix Motor Company, Inc. of Los Angeles has recently agreed to a proposal by the Cal City Redevelopment Agency to fast-track a move to their multimillion dollar operation to the Airport Industrial Park. Matrix Glass Division manufacturers windshield glass for general consumer and special markets, as well as carbon composites used in automotive and other design applications. They are looking to construct an 83,000 sq.ft. facility at the Industrial Park with a $5,800,000 investment and 100 employees within one year. Construction began June 2001.
Eve & Me, a women's cloting manufacturer is planning a 20,000 sq ft manufacturing facilityon a 2-acre site, for a total investment of $930,000 and 50 employees within one year.
Creative Accents, an Airport business since 1973, is planning an additional 10,000 sq.ft. manufacturing and office facility in the Spring 2001.
Cal Aero, general aviation repair business will build a 10,000 square foot maintenance facility in early 2001.
Classic Airworks, a general aviation repair and modification business, is adding a 10,000 sq. ft.addition to their current facility.
D&T Aviation- General aviation repair and upholstery, 12,000 sq.ft. facility. Construction of three 4,000 sq ft hangars to be completed in August of 2001.
Cal City Storage- 75 storage units, Spring 2001.
New restaurant at the California City Airport, The Flying Steer, will be opened by 2001. The steak and seafood menu is currently planned around lunch and dinner meals, open for breakfast Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
24 hour Urgent Care Center, new High School, Hotel coming soon.
California City Studios, Inc. has opened an escrow on 2 1/2 acres near Cal City Airport, with sound and recording stage, prop shop, filming studio and more, contruction to start in the Spring of 2001!!
Desert Jade Senior Living complex to expand! Should be completed by September 1, 2001
California City paving 40 miles of bad road including Twenty Mule Team Parkway to San Bernardino County Line, Cal City presently negotiating with San Bernardino County to continue the paving to Highway 395.
The Inn at Tierra Del Sol the constuction plans are in to city staff for a new hotel.
Subway sandwich shop is arriving in California City, they should be opened by September 1, 2001.
The Cerro Coso Day Care Center is open for business.
California City will soon be part of a Foreign Trade Zone. The City of Palmdale has signed an MOU with the City of California City to extend their FTZ 191 to the California City Airport industrial complex.
Homes are under construction in the second community, three are presently in escrow. Homes and businesses are being built in the first community as well.
Expansion of the Waste Water Treatment Plant, widening of California City Blvd. from Baron Blvd. to Highway 14, an expanded water system to Wonder Acres, the construction of California City Studios with back lots and sound stages,
improvements to Borax Bill Park, resurfacing streets in Lakeview Mobile Home Park, repaving and grind application for many city streets, expansion of the sewer system, expansion of the Senior Center, more bike lanes and sidewalks, drainage and
lighting improvements at the airport, construction of Matrix Motors (race cars) and Prestige Manufacturing (motor homes)
facilities at the Airport Industrial Park, completion of Hopper Aviation hangars, construction of the Inn at Tierra Del Sol,
negotiations with KZ Holdings for a supermarket in the Village Square Shopping Center, a proposed 1,000 bed expansion for CCA, new homes being built in second community including the 400 unit Parkway Vista Estates, construction on hotel and new pro-shop and restaurant to begin by the 1st of the year, construction of several mini-storage facilities and several new churches.
State Route 14-CCB Interchange:  On august 1, CalTrans Districts 6 and 9 presented the approved project designed for construction of the 14/CCB interchange, and widening of Route 14 to four lanes from Mojave to Phillips Road.  Project cost is estimated at $40 milllion.  Funding for the project has been approved by the State Transportation Commission, and construction is due to start in 2004. Completion date is mid-2007.
CCB – Baron Boulevard to State Route 14  (6.5 miles):  The City is preparing the Project Review study for KernCOG and CalTrans to widen CCB to four lanes including railroad crossing improvements.  Estimated construction cost is $10.6 million.  Construction to correspond to 14/CCB interchange improvements.
Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion:   Montgomery Watson has complete engineering design for increasing WWTP  capacity from 1 million gallons per day to 1.5 million GPD.  Additional engineering for the drying beds is underway.  Staff is working with City/Agency financial advisors and Bond counsel to issue $7 million in bond financing for $1.5 million in construction and  repayment to SDI fund of $5.5 million borrowed for the 1993 expansion.  Construction for the current expansion is expected to begin in the fall, 2001.
CNG facility at CCMS:  CalTrans/KernCOG has approved a CMAQ grant for $500,000 to develop and construct the Compressed Natural Gas facility. City Council has approved entering into an MOU with the Mojave Unified School District for the facility, to be located at the California City Middle School bus barn.  Quad Knopf has been contracted to provide the engineering.  The project is scheduled for completion in the Spring, 2002. MOU is being worked out between City and MUSD at this date.
Electric Charging Stations:  Four charging stations for electric vehicles are currently installed. They are located at the City Yard, Sprague & Son's Construction, Airport and Fire Department. Three Toyota electric mini-SUV's were delivered to the city on Monday. They are assigned to the Fire Department, Airport and City Hall (Code Enforcement and other staff uses as necessary).
Street Improvements:  City Public Works Dept. has completed 30 miles of ground asphalt streets including five miles of Twenty Mule Team Parkway.  Staff is working with San Bernardino County and CalTrans for approval to pave the remaining 1.5 miles to connect TMT Parkway to Hwy. 395. We have discovered that the City purchased 120,000 tons of grind instead of 90,000; therefore we can pave an additional 20 miles for the same money.   Repaving of streets funded by state grants in the amount of $1,175,000 will begin in three weeks and be completed within 60 days.
Water Well #3:   Staff is in the process of obtaining state and county approvals to convert Well # 3 from standby to full-time use.  We are gathering information about several existing test wells for additional water production.
Wonder Acres Water System:  Staff is working with the Mojave Public Utility District for upgrading the Wonder Acres water system, including a storage tank, distribution system and line improvements for fire protection.
City Yard Fueling Station:  Public Works is working with fuel suppliers to upgrade the City Yard fueling facility, which will also fuel Mojave Unified School District buses.
Borax Bill Park:  The City has applied for state Green Sticker grants in the amount of $90,000 to upgrade the park for OHV/Recreation use including restrooms, day camping and picnic areas with barbeque grills. State will make awards in December/January.
Lakeview Mobile Home Park:   Kern County has approved a CDBG grant for $200,000 to resurface all streets in the park.  Kern County s completing the environmental assessment for the project, and city staff is doing the street paving engineering.  Construction is scheduled to begin Winter 2001-2002.
Mabel Davis Senior Center:  Williams Construction has been awarded the construction contract for $71,000 to upgrade the Senior Center, including a computer room and ADA/Handicapped restroom facility.  Construction will start this month, completion scheduled by October.  Funding from CDBG grant.
Bike Lanes and city sidewalks:  KernCOG has approved two grants totaling $20,700 for construction of additional bike lanes and to install sidewalks plus ADA access around the City on city buildings.  Construction is scheduled for winter 2001-2002.
Airport FAA grants:  FAA has approved $550,000 for drainage and lighting at the Airport. Engineering and design is underway. Construction to be completed winter 2001-2002.
Matrix Motors, Inc.:  Grading and Foundation plans have been approved, construction is underway.  The foundation will be started later this week with building walls begun September 1st on the 83,000 square-foot industrial facility.
D&T Aviation:  The Hoppers are completing construction of three 4,000 square-foot hangars for aviation use.  Completion is scheduled for October 1st, 2001. The ban on non-instrument flights/flight plans by the FAA is hampering some flights into the airport, and affecting local businesses such as D&T. They will ferry flights in if necessary, as they are Instrument-rated pilots.
California City Studios, Inc.:  CCSI is in the process of building back lot sets on property they recently purchased, and are preparing to raise funds for a sound stage, one of four in the State. Contracts are signed and waiting by Southern California studios for when the sound stage is completed.
The Inn at Tierra Del Sol:  Four Star Construction has submitted plans for the hotel, which are being reviewed by the City engineering department at this time, contingent upon financing. Construction will begin before November 1, 2001.
Village Square Shopping Center:  The Redevelopment Agency has entered into an Exclusive Right to Negotiate for 180 days with KZ Holdings for development of a supermarket in the Village Square Shopping Center..
CCA Prison Expansion:  CCA is in the process of gaining approvals from the Federal BOP for an additional 1,000 beds.  They are needed now.
Silver Saddle Ranch and Club:  Silver Saddle Ranch in California City is building 3 new homes in the second community; escrow is open on  two of the three. They are also building a new European-style health spa complex, the Constellation Spa, set to open by the end of the month.
Prestige Manufacturing:  This motor home manufacturer is moving into one of the 10,000 square foot buildings on Moss, as temporary home until they can build a new facility in the Industrial Park.  This manufacturer brings several motor homes in various stages of completion, and contracts for more, to the City.

Approved and pending are the following projects:
Herb Spry’s Mini Storage, U-Store City Mini-Storage , Charlie Sprout Mini-Storage,  High Desert Pavilion Shopping Center, High Desert Bible Church and Church of Christ, new sanctuaries;  new sanctuary for the New Hope Church of the Nazarene,  Dennis Automotive storage yard, Grimshaw Construction construction yard, California City's Golf Course Community and Max Gramse’s 400-unit residential Parkway Vista Estates.

History
The area where California City now exists was largely uninhabited prior to the last half century. Padre Francisco Garcés, a Franciscan missionary, camped at Castle Butte in what is now California City in 1776 during his exploration of Arizona and southern California. In the late 19th century, the Twenty Mule Team Trail, which carried loads of borax to the railhead in Mojave from mines in the east, ran through the California City area.[1]

California City had its origins in 1958 when real estate developer and sociology professor Nat Mendelsohn purchased 80,000 acres of Mojave Desert land with the aim of master-planning California's next great city. He designed a model city, which he hoped would one day rival Los Angeles, around a Central Park with a 26-acre manmade lake. Growth did not happen quite as quickly as he expected. To this day a grid of crumbling paved roads, intended to lay out residential blocks, extends well beyond the developed area of the city. California City was incorporated in 1965.

Most recently, CHiPs star Erik Estrada has been promoting real estate property for National Recreational Properties, NRLL in California City on TV infomercials as spokesperson for National Recreation Properties.
 

Geography
California City is located at 35°9?40?N, 117°52?23?W (35.161119, -117.873033)GR1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 527.4 km² (203.6 mi²). 527.2 km² (203.6 mi²) of it is land and 0.2 km² (0.1 mi²) of it (0.04%) is water. Although one of California's smaller cities in terms of population, California City is the third largest city in California by land area (34th in the United States, and 21st when consolidated city-counties are excluded). TEst
 

Demographics
As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 8,385 people, 3,067 households, and 2,257 families residing in the city. The population density was 15.9/km² (41.2/mi²). There were 3,560 housing units at an average density of 6.8/km² (17.5/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 68.19% White, 12.82% Black or African American, 1.56% Native American, 3.73% Asian, 0.32% Pacific Islander, 7.43% from other races, and 5.94% from two or more races. 16.96% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 3,067 households out of which 39.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.8% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.4% were non-families. 21.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.15.

In the city the population was spread out with 30.7% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 23.5% from 45 to 64, and 10.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 99.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $45,735, and the median income for a family was $51,402. Males had a median income of $44,657 versus $28,152 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,902. About 12.5% of families and 17.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.0% of those under age 18 and 12.4% of those age 65 or over.

Although the growth of the city has not met its founders' expectations, California City has seen substantial population growth over the past several years. The Demographic Research Unit of the California Department of Finance estimates California City's population at 12,048 as of 1 January 2006. California City's population increased an estimated 4.2% in 2005, 6.7% in 2006. over three times the growth rate of the state as a whole. California City currently ranks 345th out of 478 incorporated cities in California, up from 348th in 2005.

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