Lafayette, California

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Coordinates: 37°53′09″N 122°07′05″W / 37.88583°N 122.11806°W / 37.88583; -122.11806

Lafayette (formerly, La Fayette)[1] is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city's population was 23,908. It is named (in 1857) after the Marquis de Lafayette, a French military hero of the American Revolutionary War. Today Lafayette is known for its pastoral rolling hills and upscale lifestyle.


Origin and early history

Before the colonization of the region by Spain, Lafayette and its vicinity were inhabited by the Saclan tribe of the indigenous Bay Miwok. Ohlone also populated some of the areas along Lafayette Creek.[2] The indigenous inhabitants' first contact with Europeans was in the late 18th century with the founding of Catholic missions in the region. These initial contacts developed into conflict, with years of armed struggle, including a battle on what is currently Lafayette soil in 1797 between the Saclan and the Spanish, and eventually resulting in the subjugation of the native population.

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