Modoc County, California
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Modoc County, California
Modoc County, California
County of Modoc
Pit River Valley.jpg
Clear lake nwr nesting island.jpg
Fandango Pass, California, BLM.jpg
Images, from top down, left to right: Pit River Valley, Clear Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Fandango Pass overlooking Surprise Valley.
Location in the U.S. state of California
Location in the U.S. state of California
California's location in the United States
California's location in the United States
Country United States
State California
RegionShasta Cascade
Incorporated1874
Named forthe Modoc people
County seatAlturas
Largest cityAlturas
Area
 o Total4,203 sq mi (10,890 km2)
 o Land3,918 sq mi (10,150 km2)
 o Water286 sq mi (740 km2)
Population
 o Total9,686
 o Estimate 
(2018)[2]
8,777
 o Density2.3/sq mi (0.89/km2)
Time zoneUTC-8 (Pacific Time Zone)
 o Summer (DST)UTC-7 (Pacific Daylight Time)
Websitewww.co.modoc.ca.us

Modoc County is a county in the far northeast corner of the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 9,686.[1] making it the third-least populous county in California. The county seat and only incorporated city is Alturas.[3] Previous county seats include Lake City and Centerville; the latter is now a ghost town. The county borders Nevada and Oregon.

A large portion of Modoc County is federal land. Several federal agencies, including the United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, have employees assigned to the area, and their operations are a significant part of the area's economy and services.

The county's official slogans include "The last best place" and "Where the West still lives".

History

Prior to the arrival of Europeans in the region, varying cultures of Native Americans inhabited the county for thousands of years. At the time of European encounter, the Modoc people lived in what is now northern California, near Lost River and Tule Lake. The county was named after them.[4]:216 The Achumawi (or Pit River Indians, for which the Pit River is named), and the Paiute also lived in the area.[4]:216 To the north were the Klamath in present-day Oregon.

The first European explorers to visit Modoc County were the American John C. Frémont and his traveling party (including Kit Carson) in 1846, who had departed from Sutter's Fort near the confluence of the American and Sacramento Rivers. (This is where the city of Sacramento lies today.)[4]:216

The northern boundary of California, and eventually Modoc County, had been established as the 42nd parallel since the time of Mexican possession. In the absence of a reliable survey of the 120th meridian, the eastern boundary of northern California was a subject of contention before Modoc County formed. The Territory of Utah requested jurisdiction to the summit of the Sierra Nevada. At the time, the Warner Mountains were believed to be a part of the Sierra Nevada, so this would have included Surprise Valley, but California denied the request.[5]:76-77

In 1856, the residents of Honey Lake Valley reckoned the 120th meridian to be west of their valley, placing them in Utah territory, and attempted to secede and form a territory they called Nataqua. Nataqua would have included Modoc County.[6] In 1858, the Territory of Nevada, with its capital now in Carson City, successfully seceded from Utah, and assumed jurisdiction to the summit of the Sierra Nevada until the 120th meridian was surveyed in 1863.[5]:76-77

After Nevada was granted statehood in 1864, the region of current Modoc County was placed within jurisdiction of Shasta County, California, and Siskiyou County was, in turn, generated from Shasta County in 1852.[7]

Increasing traffic on the emigrant trail, unprovoked militia raids on innocent Modoc, and a cycle of retaliatory raids increased a cycle of violence between settlers and the tribes in the area.[4]:217 In 1864, the Klamath, Modoc and Yahooskin band of the Shoshone signed a treaty ceding lands in both Oregon and California, and the tribes were colocated on the Klamath Reservation. Harassed by the Klamath, traditional competitors, a band of Modoc led by Captain Jack returned to California and the Tule Lake area.

The Modoc War (or Lava Beds War) of 1872-73 brought nationwide attention to the Modoc during the protracted battles. From strong defensive positions in the lava tubes, 52 Modoc warriors held off hundreds of US Army forces, who called in artillery to help.[4]:218-219 Peace talks in 1873 stalled when the Modoc wanted their own reservation in California. Warriors urged killing the peace commissioners, thinking that the Americans would then leave, and Captain Jack and others shot and killed General Edward Canby and Rev. Eleazer Thomas, and wounded others. More Army troops were called in to lay siege to Captain Jack's Stronghold.[8] Dissension arose, and some Modoc surrendered. Finally, most were captured, and those responsible for the assassinations were tried and executed. More than 150 Modoc were transported to Indian Territory as prisoners of war.[4]:219 The area has since been designated the Lava Beds National Monument.

Settlement of the county began in earnest in the 1870s, with the timber, gold, agriculture, and railroad industries bringing most of the settlers into the area. The county was a crossroads for the Lassen Applegate Trail, which brought settlers north from Nevada to the Oregon Trail and south to trails leading into California's central valley. Early settlers included the Dorris, Belli, Essex, Scherer, Trumbo, Flournoy, Polander, Rice and Campbell families.

Modoc County was formed when Governor Newton Booth signed an Act of the California Legislature on February 17, 1874 after residents of the Surprise Valley region lobbied for the creation of a new county from eastern Siskiyou County land.[4]:216 The county residents considered naming the newly formed county after General Edward Canby, who had been killed the year before at peace talks in an ambush by Modoc. The idea of naming the county "Summit" was also considered, but the populace eventually settled on "Modoc"; the war was over and 153 of Captain Jack's band had been transported to Indian Territory as prisoners.[7]

The Dorris Bridge post office opened in 1871,[9] was renamed Dorrisville in 1874; due to its central location, Dorrisville became the county seat when Modoc County formed that year, although both Adin and Cedarville were larger towns.[5]:84 In 1876, it was renamed Alturas, which means "The Heights" in Spanish.[10] The census of 1880 showed a population of 148. Settlement continued over the next two decades, until the city was officially incorporated on September 16, 1901; the county's only incorporated city.

Tule Lake Segregation Center historical marker

During World War II, the US government developed several thousand acres just south of Newell as a Japanese American internment camp. Tule Lake War Relocation Center was the site of temporary exile for thousands of Japanese-American citizens, who lost most of their businesses and properties where they had formerly lived in coastal areas. A historical marker marks the site along State Route 139 in Newell.

Tule Lake was the largest of the "segregation camps." On November 8, 2005 Senator Dianne Feinstein called for the camp to be designated a National Historic Landmark. In December 2008 it was designated by President George W. Bush as one of nine sites--the only one in the contiguous 48 states--to be part of the new World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 4,203 square miles (10,890 km2), of which 3,918 square miles (10,150 km2) is land and 286 square miles (740 km2) (6.8%) is water.[11]

There are 2.25 persons per square mile, making this one of the most sparsely populated counties in California. It is also (almost) the only rectangular county in California, there is a slight deviation around the Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

Mule deer in Modoc County

The county is very diverse geographically. The northwestern edge of the county is dominated by the Medicine Lake Highlands, the largest shield volcano on the U.S. West Coast. The Lava Beds National Monument lies partly within the northwest corner of the County. Also along the western edge of the county is the massive Glass Mountain lava flow. The southwestern corner of the county is a unique ecosystem of isolated hardwoods (oaks) and volcanic mountains with intermountain river valleys.

The northern half of the county is the Modoc Plateau, a 1-mile (1.6 km) high expanse of lava flows, cinder cones, juniper flats, pine forests, and seasonal lakes, plus the alkaline Goose Lake. Nearly 1 million acres (4,000 km²) of the Modoc National Forest lie on the plateau between the Medicine Lake Highlands in the west and the Warner Mountains in the east. The plateau supports large herds of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), Rocky Mountain Elk (Cervus canadensis), and pronghorn (Antilocapra americana). There are also several herds of wild horses on the plateau. The Clear Lake National Wildlife Refuge and Long Bell State Game Refuge are located on the plateau as well. The Lost River watershed, which later drains into the Klamath River basin, drains the north part of the plateau, while southern watersheds either collect in basin reservoirs or flow into the large Big Sage Reservoir, which sits in the center of the county, which later flows into the Pit River.

Below the rim of the Plateau is Big Valley in the extreme southwest corner of the county, and the large Warm Springs Valley that forms the bottom of the Pit River watershed that runs through the county. The north fork and south fork of the Pit River come together just south of Alturas. The River collects hundreds of other small creeks as it flows south towards Lake Shasta, where it joins the Sacramento River and drains into the San Francisco Bay.

The eastern edge of the county is dominated by the Warner Mountains. The Pit River originates in this mountain range. Hundreds of alpine lakes dot the range, all of which are fed by snow-melt and natural springs. East of the Warner Range is Surprise Valley and the western edge of the Great Basin.

Hot Springs and lava caves are common to Modoc County. There are some geothermal energy resources available in the county, though their viability is highly variable.

A great diversity of plants are found in Modoc County, since this is situated within the biodiverse California Floristic Province. Numerous native trees are found in the county including Garry Oak and Washoe Pine trees.[12]Jeffrey Pine and Ponderosa Pine are also found in large numbers.[13]

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

Demographics

2011

Places by population, race, and income

2000

As of the census[26] of 2000, there were 9,449 people, 3,784 households, and 2,550 families residing in the county. The population density was 2 people per square mile (1/km²). There were 4,807 housing units at an average density of 1 per square mile (0/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 85.9% White, 0.7% Black or African American, 4.2% American Indian, 0.6% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 5.7% from other races, and 2.8% from two or more races. 11.5% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

The largest ethnicity/ancestry groups in Modoc county include: 15% English, 14% Irish and 13% German of whom 90.4% spoke English and 8.8% Spanish as their first language.

There were 3,784 households out of which 29.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.6% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.6% were non-families. 28.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the county, the population was spread out with 25.6% under the age of 18, 5.7% from 18 to 24, 23.3% from 25 to 44, 27.7% from 45 to 64, and 17.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 102.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.7 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $27,522, and the median income for a family was $35,978. Males had a median income of $30,538 versus $23,438 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,285. About 16.4% of families and 21.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.7% of those under age 18 and 8.6% of those age 65 or over.

Modoc County has the lowest median household income of any county in California.

In 2005, the median home price reached $100,000 for the first time ever, over a 40% increase since 2000.[27] Much of this can be traced to an influx of residents from other parts of the state, who find the housing bargains attractive. Some of these are retirees who have sold their houses for large profits in other parts of the state, using the proceeds to live on, while others are people who are able to telecommute. This sudden rise in housing prices become unaffordable for locals, who find themselves unable to purchase homes given their limited incomes. [28]

2010

The 2010 United States Census reported that Modoc County had a population of 9,686. The racial makeup of Modoc County was 8,084 (83.5%) White, 82 (0.8%) African American, 370 (3.8%) Native American, 78 (0.8%) Asian, 21 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 680 (7.0%) from other races, and 371 (3.8%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1,342 persons (13.9%).[29]

Politics

Voter registration

Cities by population and voter registration

Overview

Federally, Modoc County is in California's 1st congressional district, represented by Republican Doug LaMalfa.[31]

Modoc is a strongly Republican county in Presidential and congressional elections. It is the most Republican county in California. The last Democrat to win a majority in the county was Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

On November 4, 2008, Modoc County delivered the most lopsided vote in favor of John McCain of any county in California, with 67.4% of voters opting for the Republican. The county also voted 74.2% in favor of Proposition 8 which amended the California Constitution to ban same-sex marriages; only Kern and Tulare counties voted in higher proportion, both opting for the Proposition with 75.4% of the vote.[32] In 2012, Modoc was the most lopsided county in favor of Mitt Romney over Obama, by a margin of 69.1% to 27.6%.

Presidential elections results

In the state legislature Modoc is in the 1st Senate District, represented by Republican Brian Dahle,[34] and the 1st Assembly District, represented by Republican Megan Dahle.[35]

On September 24, 2013, the Modoc County Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 in favor of secession from California to form a proposed state named Jefferson.[36]

Crime

The following table includes the number of incidents reported and the rate per 1,000 persons for each type of offense:

Cities by population and crime rates

Transportation

Major highways

Additionally, the eastern Modoc County communities of Eagleville, Cedarville, Lake City, and Fort Bidwell are connected via Surprise Valley Road, which runs from the southern county line to the Oregon border.

Public transportation

The Sage Stage is a dial-a-ride service providing trips within Modoc County. It has also provided trips as far away as Klamath Falls, Oregon, and Reno, Nevada.[40]

Airports

There are general aviation airports near Alturas (Alturas Municipal Airport and California Pines Airport). Other airports include Cedarville Airport, Eagleville Airport, Fort Bidwell Airport, and Tulelake Municipal Airport.

Communities

City

Census-designated places

Other unincorporated places

Population ranking

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Modoc County.[41]

+ county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)

1 + Alturas City 2,827
2 California Pines CDP 520
3 Cedarville CDP 514
4 Newell CDP 449
5 Canby CDP 315
6 Adin CDP 272
7 Daphnedale Park CDP 184
8 Fort Bidwell CDP 173
9 New Pine Creek CDP 98
10 Fort Bidwell Reservation[42] AIAN 94
11 Lookout CDP 84
12 Likely CDP 63
13 Lake City CDP 61
14 XL Ranch Rancheria[43] AIAN 60
15 Eagleville CDP 59
16 Cedarville Rancheria[44] AIAN 15
17 Lookout Rancheria[45] AIAN 11
t-18 Alturas Indian Rancheria[46] AIAN 0
t-18 Likely Rancheria[47] AIAN 0

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Other = Some other race + Two or more races
  2. ^ Native American = Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander + American Indian or Alaska Native
  3. ^ a b Percentage of registered voters with respect to total population. Percentages of party members with respect to registered voters follow.

References

  1. ^ a b c "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 28, 2011. Retrieved 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved .
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Mildred Brooke Hoover; Douglas E. Kyle (2002). Historic Spots in California. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-7817-6. Retrieved 2013.
  5. ^ a b c Pease, Robert W. (1965). Modoc County; University of California Publications in Geography, Volume 17. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.
  6. ^ "Reprinted from a previous issue..." Nataqua News. Thumbs Up Publishing. 1997. Retrieved .
  7. ^ a b "Modoc County History". Alturas Chamber of Commerce. Modoc County Government. 2009. Archived from the original on 17 June 2009. Retrieved 2009.
  8. ^ "Modoc Wars, 1873-74". California State Military Museum. 2009. Retrieved 2009.
  9. ^ Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 351. ISBN 1-884995-14-4.
  10. ^ Gudde, Erwin; William Bright (2004). California Place Names (Fourth ed.). University of California Press. p. 10. ISBN 0-520-24217-3.
  11. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved 2015.
  12. ^ C. Michael Hogan, Quercus kelloggii Archived 2012-02-13 at the Wayback Machine, Globaltwitcher, 2008
  13. ^ Michael G. Barbour; William Dwight Billings (2000). North American Terrestrial Vegetation. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-55986-7. Retrieved 2013.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B02001. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  15. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B03003. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  16. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19301. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  17. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19013. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  18. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19113. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  19. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  20. ^ U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B01003. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g Data unavailable
  22. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015.
  23. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved 2015.
  24. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015.
  25. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved 2015.
  26. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved .
  27. ^ La Ganga, Maria L., "Housing Bargains, at a Price", Los Angeles Times, January 13, 2006
  28. ^ Times, Maria L. La Ganga, Tribune Newspapers: Los Angeles. "Cheap housing exists in California, but it's a long commute--to anywhere". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved .
  29. ^ "2010 Census P.L. 94-171 Summary File Data". United States Census Bureau.
  30. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q California Secretary of State. February 10, 2013 - Report of Registration Archived July 27, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2013-10-31.
  31. ^ "California's 1st Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved 2013.
  32. ^ "California results". Los Angeles Times.
  33. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved .
  34. ^ "Senators". State of California. Retrieved 2013.
  35. ^ "Members Assembly". State of California. Retrieved 2013.
  36. ^ Butler, Kristen. "Another county votes to secede from California". UPI. Retrieved 2013.
  37. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Office of the Attorney General, Department of Justice, State of California. Table 11: Crimes – 2009 Archived 2013-12-02 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
  38. ^ Only larceny-theft cases involving property over $400 in value are reported as property crimes.
  39. ^ a b c United States Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation. Crime in the United States, 2012, Table 8 (California). Retrieved 2013-11-14.
  40. ^ "Sage Stage". Retrieved 2017.
  41. ^ CNMP, US Census Bureau. "This site has been redesigned and relocated. - U.S. Census Bureau". www.census.gov.
  42. ^ Staff, Website Services & Coordination. "2010 Census Interactive Population Map (Text Version) - U.S. Census Bureau". www.census.gov.
  43. ^ Staff, Website Services & Coordination. "2010 Census Interactive Population Map (Text Version) - U.S. Census Bureau". www.census.gov.
  44. ^ Staff, Website Services & Coordination. "2010 Census Interactive Population Map (Text Version) - U.S. Census Bureau". www.census.gov.
  45. ^ Staff, Website Services & Coordination. "2010 Census Interactive Population Map (Text Version) - U.S. Census Bureau". www.census.gov.
  46. ^ Staff, Website Services & Coordination. "2010 Census Interactive Population Map (Text Version) - U.S. Census Bureau". www.census.gov.
  47. ^ Staff, Website Services & Coordination. "2010 Census Interactive Population Map (Text Version) - U.S. Census Bureau". www.census.gov.

External links

Coordinates: 41°36?N 120°43?W / 41.60°N 120.72°W / 41.60; -120.72


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Modoc_County,_California
 



 



 
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