Valley Center, California
A scene in Valley Center.
Location in San Diego County and the state of California
|• Total||27.426 sq mi (71.033 km2)|
|• Land||27.426 sq mi (71.033 km2)|
|• Water||0 sq mi (0 km2) 0%|
|Elevation||1,312 ft (400 m)|
|• Density||340/sq mi (130/km2)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC-8)|
|• Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC-7)|
|GNIS feature IDs||1661616, 2409396|
Valley Center is located at .
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 98.7 square miles (256 km2), all land.
Valley Center is home to the Hellhole Canyon Preserve, a 1,907 acre nature reserve that offers 13.5 miles of moderate to advanced trail opportunities.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Valley Center had a population of 9,277. The population density was 178.3 people per square mile (130.6/km²). The racial makeup of Valley Center was 2,285 (73.1%) White with 64.0% of the population non-Hispanic whites, 58 (0.9%) African American, 188 (2.0%) Native American, 295 (3.2%) Asian, 16 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 584 (16.0%) from other races, and 425 (4.6%) from two or more races. 27.8% of the population was Hispanic.
The Census reported that 9,243 people (99.6% of the population) lived in households, 27 (0.3%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 7 (0.1%) were institutionalized.
There were 1,000 households, out of which 1,120 (37.3%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 1,035 (67.8%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 43 (7.1%) had a female householder with no husband present, 142 (4.7%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 127 (4.2%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 21 (0.7%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 239 households (15.4%) were made up of individuals and 193 (6.4%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.08. There were 2,389 families (79.6% of all households); the average family size was 3.38.
The population was spread out with 1,250 people (24.3%) under the age of 18, 414 people (8.9%) aged 18 to 24, 694 people (20.9%) aged 25 to 44, 1,003 people (33.4%) aged 45 to 64, and 539 people (12.5%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42.1 years. For every 100 females, there were 100 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.4 males.
There were 2,228 housing units at an average density of 117.7 per square mile (45.4/km²), of which 1,739 (80.6%) were owner-occupied, and 581 (19.4%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.7%; the rental vacancy rate was 2.8%. 2,364 people (79.4% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 1,879 people (20.3%) lived in rental housing units.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,323 people, 415 households, and 719 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 59.1 inhabitants per square mile (96.6/km²). There were 415 housing units at an average density of 66.0 per square mile (33.2/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 85.69% White, 0.52% African American, 2.84% Native American, 1.35% Asian, 0.19% Pacific Islander, 6.45% from other races, and 2.96% from two or more races.
There were 415 households out of which 38.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.4% were married couples living together, 6.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.5% were non-families. 15.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.01 and the average family size was 3.33.
In the CDP, the population was spread out with 29.6% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 25.2% from 25 to 44, 27.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 102.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.1 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $64,649, and the median income for a family was $68,388. Males had a median income of $50,440 versus $35,199 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $24,071. About 5.8% of families and 3.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.7% of those under age 18 and 10.6% of those age 65 or over.
In the California State Legislature, Valley Center is in the 38th Senate District, represented by Republican Joel Anderson, and in the 75th Assembly District, represented by Republican Marie Waldron.
Community character and culture
Valley Center is a community in a small rural town. The community is largely based on agriculture and farming with a few gated communities. Historically, the growth of Valley Center has been slowed by lower densities including a minimum of 2 acres (8,100 m2) being required for most parcels.
Some changes in the community can be attributed to the expansion of Indian casinos in the area. There are currently two major casinos in the vicinity of Valley Center - Harrah's Rincon and Valley View; both were opened in 2001-02, bringing traffic and jobs to what used to be an out-of-the-way agricultural town. High traffic necessitated highway improvements, partially paid by casino contributions.
The town has a museum that was founded in 2003 that includes a stagecoach built in 1848, a stuffed California Grizzly Bear, and memorabilia and photographs from famous people who have lived or spent time in the area such as John Wayne, Fred Astaire, Steve Reeves, Randolph Scott, June Allyson and Dick Powell; around 30,000 people visit the museum each year.
Traditionally, the town and the surrounding areas have largely been dedicated to agricultural uses. Various commercial crops include oranges, lemons, and avocados. More recently farmers have taken up other crops, including ornamental floral products such as lavender. Additionally, there is a thriving animal farming industry including egg-producing hens and llamas.
Valley Center was the site of the capture of the largest California Grizzly Bear in history. In 1866, a grizzly weighing 2,200 pounds was killed at the Lovette house, which has now been demolished. Although the town had been settled in 1845 and homesteaded in 1862 after President Lincoln signed the Homestead Act, it had no formal name until the famous 1866 bear incident. The notoriety surrounding the event gave Valley Center its original name of Bear Valley. The name was subsequently changed to Valley in 1874, to Valley Centre in 1878 and, finally, to Valley Center in 1887. An exhibit of a smaller California Grizzly bear is on display at the Valley Center History Museum.
The land on which Harrah's Resort Southern California sits was officially and unanimously renamed by the Rincon Band of Luiseño Mission Indians to Funner on August 1, 2016, with the public unveiling of this change occurring on May 5, 2017.
The Valley Center History Museum is located in Valley Center, California on Cole Grade Road in the Valley Center Library complex. The museum displays historical photographs and artifacts from Valley Center and the surrounding area. It is a registered charity and staffed entirely by volunteers
The museum was founded in 2003 by the Valley Center Historical Society. In 2015, it expanded by 50 percent, adding an extra wing to accommodate a historic stagecoach which was built in 1848 and served as a Civil war ambulance, provided local transportation, and was featured in a number of Western motion pictures. Its other centerpiece exhibit is a taxidermy mount of a now-extinct California Grizzly Bear. Other exhibits include memorabilia and photographs from famous people who have lived or spent time in the area such as John Wayne, Fred Astaire, Steve Reeves, Randolph Scott, June Allyson and Dick Powell.
Memorial Weekend Events
Though the Stampede Rodeo began as a separate event from the parade and festival, in 2015, it combined with the then-called Western Days Festival, becoming the Stampede Rodeo and Festival. The Stampede Rodeo has no affiliation with the parade, though they occur over the same weekend. The Stampede Rodeo and Festival is coordinated by the Valley Center Optimist Club, and all proceeds go back to the youth of the Valley Center community through club donations and scholarships. Valley Center Western Days Parade is coordinated by Western Days, Inc. as of 2017.
The festival began as the Valley Center County Fair (1950), then became Western Week (1963), Western Days Country Festival (1966), Country Fair (1967), Western Days (1968), and Valley Center Western Days (1980). The Western Days Parade was added in 1970. In 2002, the rodeo began as bulls and barrels, but added more events and became the Valley Center Stampede Rodeo the next year. Since then, the Stampede Rodeo has been a separate entity from the parade and festival, until the festival became part of the Stampede in 2015.
The parade began in 1970 as the Western Days Parade, but in 2016, it was rebranded "Valley Center Days" to be more inclusive because the word "Western" had negative connotations for some local Native American tribes, however the Valley Center Stampede Rodeo and Festival continued separately, as usual. In 2017, Valley Center Western Days, Inc. produced the parade, and the Valley Center Stampede Rodeo celebrated its 16th year.
- Billy Cundiff, NFL kicker
- J.J. Cale, Musician
- Gary Cooper, Actor
- Kirby Grant, Actor and rancher
- Irene Ryan, Granny on Beverly Hillbillies
- Steve Reeves, Hercules Actor
- June Allyson, Actress
- Dick Powell, Actor
- Fred Astaire, Actor/Dancer
- Jack Haley, Actor/Tin Man in Wizard of OZ
- Katie Leclerc, Actress
- Sean Salisbury, Former NFL Quarterback, Television sports analyst
- Mike Leake, MLB Pitcher
- Glen Bell, Founded Taco Bell chain
- John Wayne, Actor
- Kevin Craft, Former UCLA Quarterback
- Merle Oberon, Actress
- Randolph Scott, Actor
- Carol Williams (organist), International Concert Organist & San Diego Civic Organist 2001-
- Fred Biletnikoff, Former Oakland Raiders Wide Receiver
- Gary Garrison, Former San Diego Chargers football player
- John DeLorean, Auto Tycoon
- Charles Hatfield, Rainmaker
- Mae West, Actress
- Sam Zimbalist, Movie Producer
- Louis Bromfield, Actor
- "2010 Census U.S. Gazetteer Files – Places – California". United States Census Bureau.
- "Valley Center". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- Climate Summary for Valley Center, California
- "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Valley Center CDP". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
- Census fact finder report for Valley Center
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Statewide Database". UC Regents. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
- "California's 50th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC.
- Jones, Harry J. (30 July 2015). "Valley Center history museum closes". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
- Jones, Harry J. (2 December 2015). "Valley Center history museum to reopen". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
- VALLEY CENTER: A piece of Bear Valley history is no more
- VC’s Annual Western Heritage Celebration Unifies as “Valley Center Stampede”
- Valley Center Stampede Rodeo and Festival
- About Valley Center Stampede
- Western Days nonprofit to produce 2017 parade
- The Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians Shares History with the Valley Center Stampede Rodeo
- Valley Center Days Parade
- Western Days is out, Valley Center Days is in: Bill Trok Announces New Name for Festival
- Valley Center Parade Co-Chair, Participants Re-Brand Community Event
- Valley Center Rodeo and Festival 2016
- VC Western Days Non-Profit to Produce 2017 Western Days Parade
- Stampede Rodeo a Success - Right out of the Chute!
- 16th Annual Stampede Rodeo
- Varga, George (September 4, 2005). "Who's happy now?". The San Diego Union-Tribune.
A key beneficiary has been J.J. Cale, the Valley Center-based musician who wrote two songs that were later popularized by Clapton, 'After Midnight' and 'Cocaine.'
- JJ Cale (June 2, 2009). "JJ Cale Has a Passion for Music, Not the Spotlight". These Days (Interview: Transcript). Interviewed by Maureen Cavanaugh; Hank Crook; Kurt Kohnen. San Diego, California: KPBS-FM. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
CAVANAUGH: And – and do you have a home studio up in Valley Center now? CALE: Yes, I do. Yeah.
- "Sky King' star landed in Valley Center". Union Tribune. Retrieved 2014-04-24.