Hollister, California

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Hollister is a city in and the county seat of San Benito County, California, United States. The population was 34,413 at the 2000 census. Hollister is primarily an agricultural town.



The Mutsun Ohlone Indians were the first known inhabitants of the Hollister region.

The town, then located in Monterey County, was founded November 19, 1868 originally as the San Justo Homestead Association, established by William Welles Hollister (1818–1886), a group that originally intended to name it San Justo. An association member, Napa vintner Henry Hagen, objected. Hagen argued that place names in California were dominated by Spanish saint names, and suggested that the state should have a town named after someone less holy. The City was incorporated on August 29, 1872. The western portion of San Benito County, including Hollister, was separated from Monterey County in 1874. The county was expanded eastward in 1887 to include portions taken from Merced and Fresno Counties.


Hollister is well-known among geologists because it portrays one of the best examples of aseismic creep anywhere in the world. The Calaveras Fault (a branch of the San Andreas Fault system) bisects the city north and south, roughly along Locust Ave. and Powell St. The streets running east/west across the fault have significant visible offsets. The fault runs directly under several houses. Even though they are visibly contorted the houses are still habitable as the owners have reinforced them to withstand the dislocation of their foundations. Although there was extensive damage in the town after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, this was due to a slip of the San Andreas Fault and was not related to the aseismic creep on the Calaveras Fault.

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