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
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
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
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
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
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
1995 - California City Middle School breaks ground. New terminal
and restaurant at California City Municipal Airport. New Police Facility
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.
2000 - It's going to be a great 21st Century for the City
of California City.
McDonald's opens next door to Rite-Aid.
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
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
Inn at Tierra Del Sol, 84 unit Inn by the 18 hole golf course, 30 new
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
California City is located at 35°9?40?N, 117°52?23?W (35.161119,
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
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.
CHECK BACK OFTEN WE ARE A CITY ON THE MOVE!
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Al & Katy Gagnon
City Real Estate
"For All Your Real Estate Needs"
6508 California City Blvd.,
California City, Ca 93505
Tel (760) 373-4567 Fax
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