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City of Holtville
—  City  —
Holtville City Hall
Location in Imperial County and the state of California
Coordinates: 32°48′40″N 115°22′49″W / 32.81111°N 115.38028°W / 32.81111; -115.38028Coordinates: 32°48′40″N 115°22′49″W / 32.81111°N 115.38028°W / 32.81111; -115.38028
Country United States
State California
County Imperial
 - Total 1.1 sq mi (3 km2)
 - Land 1.1 sq mi (3 km2)
 - Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation -10 ft (-3 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 5,612
 Density 5,101.8/sq mi (1,870.7/km2)
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 92250
Area code(s) 760
FIPS code 06-34246
GNIS feature ID 1660761

Holtville (formerly, Holton)[1] is a city in Imperial County, California, United States. Holtville is located 10.5 miles (17 km) east of El Centro,[2] The population was 5,612 at the 2000 census. It is part of the 'El Centro, California Metropolitan Statistical Area'. City officials believed the population doubled in the last 6 years by 2007.

Holtville was famous in the 20th century with having the Imperial Valley Carrot Festival but was confused with the Coachella Valley from Bugs Bunny animated shorts in the 1940s when he reads the map seeking a Carrot Festival.



According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.1 sq mi (2.8 km2), all of it land.


The community started in 1903 as Holton.[2] The first post office at Holtville was transferred from Eastside in 1904.[2] Holtville incorporated in 1908.[2] The name honors W.F. Holt, founder of the community.[2]


As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 5,612 people, 1,564 households, and 1,340 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,920.8 people per square mile (1,900.7/km²). There were 1,617 housing units at an average density of 1,417.8/sq mi (547.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 54.37% White, 0.62% Black or African American, 0.84% Native American, 0.84% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 39.15% from other races, and 4.12% from two or more races. 73.84% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,564 households out of which 52.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.9% were married couples living together, 16.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 14.3% were non-families. 12.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.51 and the average family size was 3.80.

In the city the population was spread out with 35.2% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 18.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 94.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,318, and the median income for a family was $39,347. Males had a median income of $31,328 versus $26,477 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,505. About 15.7% of families and 18.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.2% of those under age 18 and 11.8% of those age 65 or over.


In the state legislature Holtville is located in the 40th Senate District, represented by Democrat Denise Moreno Ducheny, and in the 80th Assembly District, represented by Republican Bonnie Garcia. Federally, Holtville is located in California's 51st congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +7[4] and is represented by Democrat Bob Filner.

History was made during the election cycle of 2006, when voters elected Lisa Bianca Padilla, becoming the first female Hispanic candidate ever to win a seat on the city council.[5]

General information

The city was founded by Swiss-German settlers in the 1880s often through the U.S.-Mexican border from Mexico. The construction of railroads in the 1890s, the All-American Canal in the late 1940s, U.S. Route 80 in the 1920s later converted to Interstate 8 in the 1970s and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) economic boom in the 1990s brought more people to Holtville and the Imperial Valley.

The City of Holtville, which was originally called Holton, was founded in 1903 by W.F. Holt, and incorporated on June 20, 1908. The name was changed to Holtville due to a request by the Postal Service because the name Holton sounded too much like Colton,(in San Bernardino County), the regional headquarters of the Southern Pacific Railroad at the time.

The city lies on the northeast bank of the Alamo River formed by the floods of 1905-07 when the Colorado River break made the river's course turn west and filled the low-lying depression of water now the Salton Sea.

The old U.S. Route 80 once ran along Fifth Street through the center of town. A small obelisk in Holt Park, just north of Fifth Street, gives the distances to various points to the north, east and west. U.S. Route 80 has been decommissioned and made as County Route S80 in California. The portion in and near Holtville is now part of State Route 115.

Much of the east-west automobile traffic has been diverted to Interstate 8, about 2.5 miles to the south. Holtville is easily accessible through the Orchard Road interchange. The newly constructed State Route 7 connects Holtville with the factories and industrial areas of Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico.

The city was once joined by railroad to El Centro, but this line(nicknamed the "Holton Interurban"), and another railroad line going to the north, have been abandoned. The closure of the railroad station brought on economic decline to the town in the late 20th century.

The city's major civic event is the annual Carrot Festival, held in late January or early February. It usually features a parade, a carnival and other activities over a 10-day period. Holtville was famous in the mid 20th century with having the Holtville "Carrot Festival" but was confused with the "Coachella Valley" name from Bugs Bunny animated shorts in the 1940s when he reads the map seeking a "Carrot Festival".

A weekly newspaper, The Holtville Tribune, is distributed by mail and newsstand in the Holtville area. Its circulation is about 3,750. The daily newspaper, the Imperial Valley Press in El Centro, has circulation at over 20,000.

The city was featured in Milton J. Silverman's bestselling novel "Open and Shut," which chronicled the true crime story of Norma Winters, a Holtville resident who contracted for the death of her husband during the summer of 1974.[6]

Public safety

There is currently a call for the Holtville Police Department to be disbanded and replaced by a deputy of the Imperial County Sheriff's Department, due to the massive turnover of officers to other departments throughout California.

See also


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographical Names Information System: Holtville, California
  2. ^ a b c d e Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Quill Driver Books. p. 1428. ISBN 9781884995149. 
  3. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "Will Gerrymandered Districts Stem the Wave of Voter Unrest?". Campaign Legal Center Blog. Retrieved 2007-10-20. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Open and Shut". W.W. Norton & Co., Inc. Published by Bantam Books, May 1981. ISBN 0-553-23357-2.

External links



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