California, Pennsylvania

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California is a borough in Washington County, Pennsylvania, United States, along the Monongahela River. The population was 5,274 as of the 2000 census. California is the home of California University of Pennsylvania. Founded in 1849, the borough was named for the territory of California following the Gold Rush.[1] The borough has had two notably young mayors: Democrat Peter Daley, who was 22 at his election,[2] and Republican Casey Durdines, who was 20 at his election.[3]

Contents

Geography

California is located at 40°3′55″N 79°53′50″W / 40.06528°N 79.89722°W / 40.06528; -79.89722 (40.065313, -79.897120)[4].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 11.2 square miles (29.1 km²), of which, 11.0 square miles (28.6 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km²) of it (1.78%) is water.

History

When founded in 1849, the town was named California, though Columbia and Sagamore were names that were also suggested for the new town. Before there were mayors in California, there were burgesses, the first of whom was Solomon Sibbitt.

  • East Pike Run Township merged with California Borough in 1953.
  • The former Vigilant Mine in California once produced the largest single lump of coal in the world.
  • California was once home to the largest soft coal mine in the world when Vesta # 4 opened in 1893.
  • The town of Philipsburg used to sit on land that is now occupied by California University of Pennsylvania. This includes the Philipsburg Cemetery, which is still in use and includes a number of graves of Civil War soldiers.
  • The first house built in California is next to the California Post Office on Second Street.[1]

Demographics

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 5,274 people, 1,891 households, and 867 families residing in the borough. The population density was 478.2 people per square mile (184.6/km²). There were 2,092 housing units at an average density of 189.7/sq mi (73.2/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 93.93% White, 4.13% African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.74% Asian, 0.13% from other races, and 0.89% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.49% of the population.

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