Alpine County, California
Alpine County
Spanish: Condado Alpino
Alpine county sign.jpg
Markleeville Trip (20).jpg
20050723-1411-0739-CarsonPass-CA.jpg
Images, from top down, left to right: an Alpine County line road sign during a snow storm, Alpine County Courthouse, a view eastward from Carson Pass overlooking Red Lake
Flag of Alpine County, California
Flag
Official seal of Alpine County, California
Seal
Interactive map of Alpine County
Location in the state of California
Location in the state of California
Country United States
State California
RegionSierra Nevada
IncorporatedMarch 16, 1864[1]
Named forIts location in the Sierra Nevada resembling the (Swiss) Alps
County seatMarkleeville
Largest communityMarkleeville
Area
 • Total743 sq mi (1,920 km2)
 • Land738 sq mi (1,910 km2)
 • Water4.8 sq mi (12 km2)
Highest elevation11,464 ft (3,494 m)
Population
 • Total1,175
 • Estimate 
(2019)[3]
1,129
 • Density1.6/sq mi (0.61/km2)
Time zoneUTC−8 (Pacific Standard Time)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−7 (Pacific Daylight Time)
Area codes209, 530
FIPS code06-003
GNIS feature ID1675840
Websitewww.alpinecountyca.gov

Alpine County (Spanish: Condado Alpino)[4][5] is a county in Eastern California located within the Sierra Nevada on the state border with Nevada. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 1,175, which declined to 1,129 in 2019,[6] making it California's least populous county. The county seat and largest community is Markleeville.[7]

History

Woods Lake, situated in Alpine County

Prior to its creation, the Washoe people, a Great Basin tribe, inhabited the Sierra Nevada on the CaliforniaNevada boundary, with the Hung A Lel Ti band populating the including what would become Alpine County.

Kit Carson and John C. Frémont were among the first explorers to bring nationwide attention to the Sierra Nevada region in their winter 1844 expedition, though the first known westerners to actually explore what would become the county were Jedediah Smith and Joseph R. Walker. Though gold spurred the infrastructural development of Alpine County, the Comstock Lode found near Virginia City, Nevada and the subsequent silver boom was what triggered Alpine County's growth in its own right, even attracting gold miners from neighboring Nevada.[8] This prompted its creation on March 16, 1864, formed from parts of Amador County, Calaveras County, El Dorado County, Mono County and Tuolumne County.[1] It was named Alpine County due to its resemblance to the Swiss Alps.[9] At its formation, it had a population numbering around 11,000. By 1868, however, the local silver mines had proven unfruitful in satisfying the dream of replicating the Nevada silver boom and the population fell to about 685 in the 1870 Census, a decline that would steadily continue through the 1950s.[10][11] Silver Mountain (established as Köngsberg)[12] was designated the county seat following the discovery of silver nearby by Norwegian miners.[13] Markleeville, established by Jacob Markley in 1861 as a 160-acre claim encompassing a bridge and toll station, became the new county seat in 1875.[1] The collapse of the silver industry and closing of mines was finalized with the demonetization of silver in 1873, and Silver Mountain was abandoned by 1886, with most businesses moving to Markleeville.[8][13]

Following the devastating collapse of the silver industry, the population began quickly declining until the 1950s, falling to an all-time low of 241 in 1930.[11] During this time, its small economy limited the county to serving primarily as a trading center for the local farming and lumber industries, as well as fishing and hunting during the 1930s. Several lots in the county were left vacant.[8]

Alpine County finally managed an economic rebound with the construction of the Bear Valley and Kirkwood ski resorts in the late 1960s, the latter of which is split with Amador County. The population shot up from 484 in 1970 to 1,097 in 1980, a 126.65% increase, and has remained around that level to this day.[11] The presence of three national forests (Eldorado, Humboldt–Toiyabe and Stanislaus) means 96% of the county is owned by the federal government,[14] restricting opportunities for economic development and tourism to the aforementioned skiing resorts as well as historical tourism and outdoor recreation.[8]

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has an area of 743 square miles (1,920 km2), of which 738 square miles (1,910 km2) is land and 4.8 square miles (12 km2) (0.7%) is water.[15] The federal government owns about 96% of Alpine County, the highest percentage in California,[14] including three national forests: Eldorado (54,318 acres, or 7.81% of the 695,098-acre total), Stanislaus (119,805 acres, or 13.32% of the 899,427 acre-total) and Humboldt–Toiyabe (233,962 acres, or 3.72% of the 6,290,945 acre-total).[16][17]

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

Demographics

2019 American Community Survey estimates

2019 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates: Alpine County, California
Population[18]
Group Estimate Percent
Total population 1,039
Sex[18]
Group Estimate Percent
Male 554 53.32%
Female 485 46.68%
Sex ratio (males per 100 females) 92.8 114.2
Age[18]
Group Estimate Percent
Under 5 years 44 4.23%
5 to 9 years 50 4.81%
10 to 14 years 73 7.03%
15 to 19 years 59 5.68%
20 to 24 years 43 4.14%
25 to 29 years 21 2.02%
30 to 34 years 45 4.33%
35 to 39 years 86 8.28%
40 to 44 years 62 5.97%
45 to 49 years 13 1.25%
50 to 54 years 43 4.14%
55 to 59 years 73 7.03%
60 to 64 years 116 11.16%
65 to 69 years 97 9.34%
70 to 74 years 133 12.80%
75 to 79 years 54 5.20%
80 to 84 years 4 0.38%
85 years and over 23 2.21%
Median age (years) 52.2
Age dependency ratio 97.2
Old-age dependency ratio 59.0
Child dependency ratio 38.1
Race[19]
Group Estimate Percent
White 599 57.65%
Black or African American 9 0.87%
American Indian or Alaska Native 353 33.97%
--- Cherokee tribal grouping 0 0.00%
--- Chippewa tribal grouping 0 0.00%
--- Navajo tribal grouping 0 0.00%
--- Sioux tribal grouping 0 0.00%
Asian 10 0.96%
--- Asian Indian 0 0.00%
--- Chinese 0 0.00%
--- Filipino 0 0.00%
--- Japanese 0 0.00%
--- Korean 0 0.00%
--- Vietnamese 5 0.48%
--- Other Asian 5 0.48%
Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander 6 0.58%
--- Native Hawaiian 6 0.58%
--- Guamanian or Chamorro 0 0.00%
--- Samoan 0 0.00%
--- Other Pacific Islander 0 0.00%
Some other race 9 0.87%
Two or more races 53 5.10%
--- White and Black or African American 0 0.00%
--- White and American Indian and Alaska Native 47 4.52%
--- White and Asian 0 0.00%
--- Black or African American and

American Indian and Alaska Native

0 0.00%
Hispanic or Latino and race[19]
Group Estimate Percent
Hispanic or Latino 130 12.51%
--- Mexican 116 11.16%
--- Puerto Rican 0 0.00%
--- Cuban 0 0.00%
--- Other Hispanic or Latino 14 1.35%
Not Hispanic or Latino 909 87.49%
--- White 551 53.03%
--- Black or African American 9 0.87%
--- American Indian and Alaska Native 314 30.22%
--- Asian 10 0.96%
--- Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander 0 0.00%
--- Some other race 0 0.00%
--- Two or more races 25 2.41%
Voting Age Population[19]
Group Estimate Percent
Voting Age Population 815 78.44%
--- Male 428 41.19%
--- Female 387 37.25%
Nativity and citizenship status[20]
Group Estimate Percent
Native (born in the United States) 986 94.90%
--- Born in California 524 50.43%
--- Born in other U.S. state 446 42.93%
------ Northeastern state 65 6.26%
------ Midwestern state 65 6.26%
------ Southern state 41 3.95%
------ Western state 275 26.47%
--- Native born outside U.S. states 16 1.54%
------ Puerto Rico 0 0.00%
------ U.S. Island Areas 0 0.00%
------ Born abroad of American parents 16 1.54%
Foreign Born 53 5.10%
--- Naturalized U.S. citizen 30 2.89%
------ Europe 16 1.54%
------ Asia 14 1.35%
------ Africa 0 0.00%
------ Oceania 0 0.00%
------ Latin America 0 0.00%
------ Northern America 0 0.00%
--- Not a U.S. citizen 23 2.21%
------ Europe 0 0.00%
------ Asia 5 0.48%
------ Africa 0 0.00%
------ Oceania 0 0.00%
------ Latin America 18 1.73%
------ Northern America 0 0.00%

2010

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870685
1880539−21.3%
189066723.7%
1900509−23.7%
1910309−39.3%
1920243−21.4%
1930241−0.8%
194032334.0%
1950241−25.4%
196039764.7%
197048421.9%
19801,097126.7%
19901,1131.5%
20001,2088.5%
20101,175−2.7%
2019 (est.)1,129[3]−3.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[21]
1790–1960[22] 1900–1990[23]
1990–2000[24] 2010–2018[25]

The 2010 United States Census reported that Alpine County had a population of 1,175. The racial makeup of Alpine County was 881 (75.0%) White, 0 (0.0%) African American, 240 (20.4%) Native American, 7 (0.6%) Asian, 0 (0.0%) Pacific Islander, 19 (1.6%) from other races, and 28 (2.4%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 84 persons (7.1%).[26]

2000

As of the census[27] of 2000, there were 1,208 people, 483 households, and 295 families residing in the county. The population density was 2 people per square mile (1/km2). There were 1,514 housing units at an average density of 2 per square mile (1/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 73.7% White, 0.6% Black or African American, 18.9% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.4% from other races, and 5.1% from two or more races. 7.8% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 12.1% were of German, 12.1% Irish, 9.3% English, 6.5% American and 5.7% Italian ancestry. 95.0% spoke English, 3.1% Spanish and 2.0% Washo as their first language.

There were 483 households, out of which 25.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.9% were married couples living together, 11.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.9% were non-families. 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 22.8% under the age of 18, 10.4% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 29.3% from 45 to 64, and 9.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 110.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 117.2 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $41,875, and the median income for a family was $50,250. Males had a median income of $36,544 versus $25,800 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,431. About 12.0% of families and 19.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.4% of those under age 18 and 10.1% of those age 65 or over.

Politics

Throughout the 20th century, Alpine County was a Republican stronghold in presidential and congressional elections. From 1892 until 2004, the only Democrat to carry Alpine County in a presidential election was Franklin Roosevelt in 1932 and 1936. In 1964, Alpine was one of only five counties in the state to back Barry Goldwater. It was among the five most Republican counties in the entire nation in 1892,[28] 1908,[29] 1920,[30] and 1928.[31] Warren Harding and Herbert Hoover gained over ninety percent of the county's vote. However, Alpine has become more of a Democratic county in recent elections. It was carried by John Kerry in 2004 and has stayed in the Democratic column since. No Republican has won a majority in the county since 1988.

Presidential elections results
Alpine County vote
by party in presidential elections
Year GOP DEM Others
2020 32.93% 244 64.24% 476 2.83% 21
2016 36.05% 217 55.48% 334 8.48% 51
2012 36.09% 236 59.48% 389 4.43% 29
2008 36.31% 252 60.81% 422 2.88% 20
2004 44.37% 311 53.21% 373 2.43% 17
2000 47.95% 281 45.22% 265 6.83% 40
1996 43.00% 264 42.02% 258 14.98% 92
1992 35.18% 222 34.07% 215 30.75% 194
1988 55.43% 306 41.67% 230 2.90% 16
1984 56.65% 264 41.63% 194 1.72% 8
1980 55.10% 254 28.85% 133 16.06% 74
1976 50.34% 225 42.28% 189 7.38% 33
1972 63.54% 366 33.85% 195 2.60% 15
1968 59.29% 150 32.81% 83 7.91% 20
1964 57.67% 124 42.33% 91
1960 76.74% 132 23.26% 40
1956 79.72% 114 20.28% 29
1952 88.10% 148 11.90% 20
1948 76.81% 106 18.12% 25 5.07% 7
1944 68.53% 98 31.47% 45
1940 66.49% 125 32.98% 62 0.53% 1
1936 46.54% 74 53.46% 85
1932 47.32% 53 50.00% 56 2.68% 3
1928 94.23% 49 5.77% 3
1924 88.14% 52 8.47% 5 3.38% 2
1920 91.43% 64 8.57% 6
1916 72.29% 60 27.71% 23
1912 10.00% 8 42.50% 34 47.50% 38
1908 87.21% 75 12.79% 11
1904 89.16% 74 10.84% 9
1900 82.14% 69 17.86% 15
1896 49.38% 40 48.15% 39 2.47% 2
1892 75.58% 65 19.77% 17 4.65% 4

In November 2008, Alpine was one of just three counties in California's interior in which voters rejected Proposition 8, the ballot initiative to amend the California Constitution to reject the legal extension of the title of marriage to same-sex couples. Alpine voters rejected Proposition 8 by 56.4 percent to 43.6 percent. The other interior counties in which Proposition 8 failed to receive a majority of votes were neighboring Mono County and Yolo County.[32]

According to the California Secretary of State, as of January 2016, there are 696 registered voters in Alpine County. Of those, 257 (36.9%) are registered Democratic, 210 (30.2%) are registered Republican, 46 (6.6%) are registered with other political parties, and 183 (26.3%) declined to state a political party.[33]

Alpine County is in California's 4th congressional district, represented by Republican Tom McClintock.[34] In the State Assembly, the county is in the 5th Assembly District, represented by Republican Frank Bigelow.[35] In the State Senate, the county is in the 1st Senate District, represented by Republican Brian Dahle.[36]

Due to its low population density, Alpine County votes entirely by mail, one of two counties in California which do so.[37] In the June 2014 primary elections, about 22% of registered voters went to the polls. In Alpine County, the number was almost 70%, the highest of any county in the state.[38]

Posse Comitatus controversy

In the late 1970s, the Posse Comitatus organization attempted to take over Alpine County by settling there and fielding candidates in local elections.[39] The Posse thought winning local elections in Alpine County was their best opportunity to take control of a single county. The group fielded a candidate for sheriff and registered fictitious voters using post office boxes and vacant lots as their addresses. Six people were prosecuted for voter fraud, the false registrations were thrown out, and the incumbent sheriff was re-elected.[40]

Voter registration statistics

Crime

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

Transportation

Major highways

Airport

Alpine County Airport is a general aviation airport in the Eastern Sierra about 4 miles (6.4 km) from the town of Markleeville. The airport consists of a simple airstrip with an apron for small light aircraft to park. The airport has no buildings, no lights, and is rarely used. The airport is popular with astronomers due to the clear, dark skies.[citation needed]

Communities

All unincorporated

Population ranking

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Alpine County.[44]

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)
1 Woodfords Community[45] AIAN 214
2 Markleeville CDP 210
3 Mesa Vista CDP 200
4 Kirkwood (partially in Amador County) CDP 158
5 Bear Valley CDP 121
6 Alpine Village CDP 114

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Percentage of registered voters with respect to total population. Percentages of party members with respect to registered voters follow.
  2. ^ Only larceny-theft cases involving property over $400 in value are reported as property crimes.
  3. ^ a b c d e For statistical purposes, defined by the United States Census Bureau as a census-designated place (CDP).

References

  1. ^ a b c "Alpine County General Plan" (PDF). February 2009. p. 7. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 21, 2011. Retrieved March 10, 2011.
  2. ^ "Sonora Peak". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2018 Estimates". Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  4. ^ "Este municipio de California tiene luz verde para reabrir tras COVID-19". La Verdad Noticias (in Spanish). Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  5. ^ "Coronavirus: ¿Cuándo caducan las órdenes de quedarse en casa en los condados de California?". Es de Latino (in Spanish). April 25, 2020. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  6. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Alpine County, California". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  7. ^ "NACo County Explorer". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  8. ^ a b c d "History of Alpine County". Alpine County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor's Center. Archived from the original on November 28, 2020. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  9. ^ William Bright; Erwin Gustav Gudde (November 30, 1998). 1500 California place names: their origin and meaning. University of California Press. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-520-21271-8. Retrieved January 20, 2012.
  10. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Archived from the original on March 31, 2016. Retrieved September 24, 2015 – via Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ a b c Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  12. ^ Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 1202. ISBN 1-884995-14-4.
  13. ^ a b Miller, Donald C. (1978). Ghost Towns of California. Boulder, Colorado: Pruett Publishing Company. p. 104. ISBN 0871085178.
  14. ^ a b Sabalow, Ryan; Kasler, Dale; Reese, Phillip (January 9, 2016). "Rural Californians sympathize with protesters' goals in Oregon standoff". The Sacramento Bee.
  15. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  16. ^ "Land Areas of the National Forest System" (PDF). United States Forest Service. September 30, 2015. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 16, 2016. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  17. ^ "Table 6 - NFS Acreage by State, Congressional District and County". United States Forest Service. November 18, 2008. Archived from the original on October 18, 2020. Retrieved January 20, 2021 – via Wayback Machine.
  18. ^ a b c "2019 ACS Age and Sex 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on January 28, 2021. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  19. ^ a b c "2019 ACS Demographic and Housing 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on January 21, 2021. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  20. ^ "2019 ACS Place of Birth by Nativity and Citizenship Status 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on January 21, 2021. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  21. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  22. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  23. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  24. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  25. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  26. ^ "2010 Census P.L. 94-171 Summary File Data". United States Census Bureau.
  27. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  28. ^ Dave Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections; 1892 Presidential Election Statistics
  29. ^ Dave Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections; 1908 Presidential Election Statistics
  30. ^ Dave Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections; 1920 Presidential Election Statistics
  31. ^ Dave Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections; 1928 Presidential Election Statistics
  32. ^ "California results". latimes.com. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
  33. ^ "Voter Registration Statistics". California Secretary of State. January 5, 2016. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  34. ^ "California's 4th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  35. ^ "Members Assembly". State of California. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
  36. ^ "Senators". State of California. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
  37. ^ "No voters at these polls". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 17, 2013.
  38. ^ Mehta, Seema (June 17, 2014). "California's least-populous county takes voting seriously". Los Angeles Times.
  39. ^ Levitas, Daniel (January 20, 2004). The Terrorist Next Door: The Militia Movement and the Radical Right. Macmillan. p. 164. ISBN 9781429941808. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
  40. ^ Duncan, Dayton (September 2000). Miles from Nowhere: Tales from America's Contemporary Frontier. University of Nebraska Press. p. 259. ISBN 0803266278. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
  41. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B02001. U.S. Census website . Retrieved October 26, 2013.
  42. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k California Secretary of State. February 10, 2013 - Report of Registration Archived November 3, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2013-10-31.
  43. ^ 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 December 2, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
  44. ^ "2010 U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-12-06.
  45. ^ Staff, Website Services & Coordination. "US Census Bureau 2010 Census Interactive Population Map". www.census.gov. Retrieved March 26, 2018.[permanent dead link]

External links

Coordinates: 38°35′N 119°48′W / 38.58°N 119.80°W / 38.58; -119.80