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Mettler, California
—  Unincorporated area  —
Location in Kern County and the state of California
Coordinates: 35°03′50″N 118°58′12″W / 35.06389°N 118.97°W / 35.06389; -118.97Coordinates: 35°03′50″N 118°58′12″W / 35.06389°N 118.97°W / 35.06389; -118.97
Country United States
State California
County Kern
 - Total 0.2 sq mi (0.6 km2)
 - Land 0.2 sq mi (0.6 km2)
 - Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation [1] 541 ft (165 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 157
 - Density 785/sq mi (261.7/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 93381
Area code(s) 661
FIPS code 06-47164
GNIS feature ID 0245837

Mettler, or Mettler Station, is a heavily Hispanic, low-income unincorporated area in Kern County, California. The population was 157 at the 2000 census. It is the place where motion picture actor James Dean received a traffic ticket on the last day of his life.



Mettler, which is 25 road miles south of Bakersfield,[1] is at 35°03′50″N 118°58′12″W / 35.06389°N 118.97°W / 35.06389; -118.97.[2]>. The locality has an area of 0.2 square miles (0.6 km²) and an elevation of 541 feet (165 m).[1]




According to the publication California's Geographic Names, Mettler was founded in 1941,[2] but an obituary of Clifford Alvin Mettler in the Bakersfield Californian reported that the settlement was founded by him, his father, William H. Mettler, and his brother (unnamed) in the "late 1940's" in the Wheeler Ridge area, which settlement "later became known as Mettler Station."[3]

James Dean

On September 30, 1955, motion picture actor James Dean was driving north on California State Highway 99 when he was stopped by California Highway Patrol officer O.V. Hunter and given a ticket for speeding. The officer wrote Mettler Station as the location of the infraction. [4]


As of the census[5] of 2000, 157 people lived in 31 households (37 housing units). The average household size was about five people. Mettler's population was about six years younger than California at large.

2000 figures Mettler California United States
Median age 27 33.3 35.3
White 47.1% 59.5% 75.1%
African-American None 6.7% 12.3%
Hispanic/Latino 84.7% 32.4% 12.5%
Family income $28,750 $53,025 $50,046
Poverty families 5.9% 10.6% 9.2%
Med. home value $71,500 $211,500 $119,600
High school diploma 42.1% 76.8% 80.4%
College degree 7.0% 28.6% 24.4%


  1. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographical Names Information System: Mettler, California
  2. ^ a b Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Quill Driver Books. ISBN 9781884995149.  
  3. ^ Bakersfield Californian, April 30, 2006
  4. ^ Warren Newton Beath, The Death of James Dean, Grove Press, 1994, pages 35 and 80.
  5. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  



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