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City of Stockton
—  City  —

Nickname(s): California's Inland Sea Port, Stocktown, Fat City
Motto: "Stockton--All America City"
Location in San Joaquin County and the state of California
Coordinates: 37°58′32″N 121°18′03″W / 37.97556°N 121.30083°W / 37.97556; -121.30083
Country United States United States
State California California
County San Joaquin
Incorporated 1850
 - Type Council-Manager
 - Mayor Ann Johnston
 - City Council Elbert Holman
Katherine Miller
Leslie Baranco Martin
Diana Lowery
Susan Talamantes Eggman
Dale Fritchen
 - City Manager J. Gordon Palmer, Jr.
 - Senate Lois Wolk (D)
 - Assembly Joan Buchanan (D)
Cathleen Galgiani (D)
 - City 150.9 km2 (75.1 sq mi)
 - Land 147.7 km2 (73.9 sq mi)
 - Water 3.2 km2 (1.2 sq mi)  2.22%
Elevation 4 m (13 ft)
Population [1]
 - City 290,409
 Density 1,980.3/km2 (5,129.0/sq mi)
 Metro 685,660
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) Pacific (PDT) (UTC-7)
ZIP code 952xx
Area code(s) 209
FIPS code 06-75000
GNIS feature ID 1659872

Stockton, the county seat of San Joaquin County, is the 13th largest city in California in population and one of the largest in area in the Central Valley. Stockton has a population of 290,409, making it the 61st largest city in the U.S. Stockton is located in Northern California south of the state capital of Sacramento and north of Modesto.

Stockton is along Interstate 5, State Route 99 and State Route 4 amidst the farmland of the California Central Valley. Stockton is connected westward with San Francisco Bay by the river’s 78 miles (126 km) channel, and is, with Sacramento, one of the state’s two inland sea ports. In and around Stockton are thousands of miles of waterways and rivers that make up the California Delta.

The city hosts the Asparagus Festival annually, and is the location of Haggin Museum, an art and history museum built in Victory Park in 1931. The museum displays works of art of the 19th and 20th centuries. Stockton is also a rail center and a processing and distribution point for farm products and wines from the Central Valley.

Stockton has been the home of the University of the Pacific since 1924, after the university moved from San Jose. Pacific's longtime emphasis has been on music education, but now supports engineering, pharmacy, and business schools as well as the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco and the Pacific McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. Pacific's ivy-league atmosphere complete with old brick buildings and wide shady lawns have made it a movie location for a number of feature films.

From 1995 to about 2005, Stockton and the nearby smaller cities of Tracy and Manteca experienced a population boom, due in large part to thousands of people settling in the area in an effort to escape the San Francisco Bay Area's relatively high cost of living. This influx of new residents, however, resulted in a sharp increase in the cost of living of Stockton (although it remained significantly lower than any Bay Area city of comparable size).

As a result of the population increase, Stockton found itself squarely at the center of the United States' speculative housing bubble in the 2000s. Real estate in Stockton more than tripled in value between 1998 and 2005, but when the bubble burst in 2007, the ensuing financial crisis made Stockton one of the hardest-hit cities in America. Stockton housing prices fell 39% in the 2008 fiscal year, and the city had the country's highest foreclosure rate (9.5%) as well. Because of the shrinking economy, Stockton also had an unemployment rate of 13.3% in 2008, one of the highest in the U.S. Stockton was rated by Forbes in 2009 as America's fifth most dangerous city because of its crime rate.[2]



The Miwok Indians lived in the Central Valley among the delta's waterways, using them for food and transportation. The northern San Joaquin Valley was also the southern end of the Siskiyou Trail, a centuries-old footpath leading through the Sacramento Valley, over the Cascades, and onward to Oregon.

When Captain Charles Maria Weber, a German immigrant, decided to try his hand at gold mining in late 1848, he soon discovered that serving the needs of gold-seekers was a more profitable venture.[3] As an alien, Weber could not secure a land grant directly, so he formed a partnership with William Gulnae. Born in New York, Gulnae had married a Mexican woman and sworn allegiance to Mexico, and he applied in Weber's place for a land grant of eleven square leagues on the east side of the San Joaquin River.[4]

Weber acquired the Rancho Campo de los Franceses Mexican land grant, and founded Stockton in 1849. The area now known as Weber Point is the same spot where Captain Weber built the first permanent residence in the San Joaquin Valley.[5]

During its early years, Stockton was known by several names, including "Tuleburg", "Gas City, and "Mudville". Captain Weber decided on "Stockton" in honor of Commodore Robert F. Stockton. Stockton was the first community in California to have a name not of Spanish or Native American origin

The city was officially incorporated on July 23, 1850, by the County Court, and the first city election was held on July 31, 1850. In 1851, the City of Stockton received its charter from the State of California. Early settlers included gold seekers from Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, the Pacific Islands, Mexico and Canada. The historical population diversity is reflected in Stockton street names, architecture, numerous ethnic festivals, and in the faces and heritage of a majority of its citizens.


Origin of the Caterpillar tractor

Benjamin Holt settled in Stockton in 1883 and founded with his three brothers first, the Stockton Wheel Company, and later the Holt Manufacturing Company. In 1903 he paid Alvin Lombard USD$60,000 for the right to produce vehicles under his patent for the Lombard Steam Log Hauler.[6]

On Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 1904, Holt successfully tested the first workable track-laying machine plowing soggy San Joaquin Valley Delta farmland.[7] Company photographer Charles Clements was reported to have observed that the tractor crawled like a caterpillar, and Holt seized on the metaphor. "Caterpillar it is. That’s the name for it!" [8]

Following a legal battle, Holt's company acquired the Best Manufacturing Company of San Leandro in 1908. In 1909 Benjamin's nephew Pliny Holt purchased for the company the bankrupt Colean Manufacturing Co. of East Peoria, Illinois. This gave the company much improved access to the vast mid-west agricultural market, and Holt began manufacturing operations there.[9]

In England, David Roberts had attempted to interest British military officials in a tracked vehicle, but failed. In 1911, Holt bought Roberts' patent for £4,000. Holt registered "Caterpillar" as a trademark that same year. In 1914, the British War Office ordered a Holt tractor and put it through trials at Aldershot. The War Office was suitably impressed and chose it as a gun-tractor.[10] The Holt 75 horsepower (56 kW) model gasoline-powered tractor was the first "standard" tractor adopted in quantity. Over the next four years, the Holt tractor was the major artillery tractor used during World War I.

British Major Ernest Swinton, sent to France as an army war correspondent, very soon saw the potential of a track-laying tractor. He proposed that the Army should adapt the Holt tractor to build a power-driven, bullet-proof, tracked vehicle that could destroy enemy guns. While the Admiralty chose to use a British firm, Foster and Sons, whose managing director and designer was Sir William Tritton,[10] the Holt tractor was credited by Swinton with helping to win the war. He traveled to Stockton and in a public ceremony on April 22, 1918, relayed England's gratitude to the inventor.[11] The Holt tractor became one of the most important military vehicles of all time.[12] After the war, Holt built the a gasoline-electric tank of an American tank.

Clarence Leo Best, the son of the founder of Best Manufacturing, worked for Holt until 1910. He left to found a competing tractor manufacturing company named C. L. Best. After World War I, both companies struggled with debt and faced fierce competition with the Fordson company. In 1925 they merged to form the Caterpillar Tractor Co.[13] The company focused on manufacturing road-building equipment in Illinois, although it continued to make some agricultural equipment in Stockton for a while longer. As of 2008, Caterpillar Inc., headquartered in Peoria, Illinois, was the 133rd largest company in the world with a market value of USD$45.13 billion.

Completion of port and deepwater channel

The extensive network of waterways in and around Stockton were fished and navigated by Miwok Indians for centuries. Even prior to the California Gold Rush, the San Joaquin River was navigable by ocean-going vessels, making Stockton a natural inland seaport. From the mid 19th century onward, Stockton was the region's transportation hub, dealing mainly with agricultural products. Modernization of the port and deepening of the Stockton Deepwater Channel to San Francisco Bay were completed in 1933, giving rise to commercial opportunities that have fueled the city's growth ever since, and paving the way for the Rough and Ready Island naval base which placed Stockton in a strategic position during the Cold War.

Charles Manson Family members in Stockton

Lynette Fromme, also known as "Squeaky Fromme", moved to Stockton with friends Nancy Pitman and Priscilla Copper, a pair of ex-convicts Michael Monfort and James Craig, and James and Lauren Willett. When the Willetts died within days of each other in 1972, the housemates were taken into custody on suspicion of murder. However, she was released due to a lack of evidence.

The Cleveland Elementary School shooting

On January 17, 1989, the Stockton Police Department received a threat against Cleveland Elementary School from an unknown person. Later that day Patrick Purdy, a mentally ill resident, opened fire on the school's playground with a semi-automatic rifle, killing five children, all Cambodian and Vietnamese refugees, and wounding twenty-nine others and a teacher, before taking his own life. This event received national news coverage and is sometimes referred to as the Cleveland School massacre.[14]

Then-Mayor Barbara Fass' subsequent work on gun control received national attention and sparked nationwide efforts that sought to ban semi-automatic military-style rifles like the one used in the shooting.

Closure of Stockton's naval reserve center

In September 1996, the Base Closure and Realignment Commission announced the final closure of Stockton's Naval Reserve Center on Rough and Ready Island, which had served as a major communications outpost for submarine activities in the Pacific during the Cold War. The site is currently being considered for commercial development.

Geography and climate

Stockton is located at 37°58' North, 121°18' West; its land area is 60.9 square miles (136 km²); its water area is 1.02 square miles (2.5 km²). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 62.1 square miles (144.9 km²), of which, 60.9 square miles (141.7 km²) of it is land and 1.2 square miles (3.2 km²) of it (2.22%) is water. The city lies at the nadir of the San Joaquin Valley.

Stockton has a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers, and cool, wet winters. In an average year, about 80% of the 16.6 inches of precipitation falls during the rainy season from October through April. Being located in the Central Valley, the range of temperatures here is much greater than in the nearby Bay Area. Tule fog usually covers Stockton during winter.

At Stockton Fire Station #4, where records have been kept since March 3, 1906, the highest recorded temperature was 112°F on July 15, 1972, and the lowest recorded temperature was 13°F on February 7, 1989. Annually, there are an average of 73.2 days with high temperatures of 90°F (32°C) or higher and an average of 29.3 days with low temperatures of 32°F (0°C) or lower. The wettest year was 1983 with 31.37 inches and the dryest year was 1929 with 5.92 inches. The most rainfall in one month was 9.93 inches in February 1998 and the most rainfall in 24 hours was 3.20 inches on February 1, 1963. There are an average of 55 days with measurable precipitation. Measurable snowfall has been recorded on several occasions; the most snow was 2.0 inches in January, 1930.[15]

At the airport, the highest recorded temperature was 115°F on July 23, 2006, and the lowest recorded temperature was 16°F on January 11, 1949. Annually, there are an average of 81.3 days with high temperatures of 90°F (32°C) or higher and an average of 22.2 days with low temperatures of 32°F (0°C) or lower. The wettest year was 1983 with 26.65 inches and the lowest year was 1976 with 5.60 inches. The most rainfall in one month was 8.22 inches in February 1998 and the most rainfall in 24 hours was 3.01 inches on January 21, 1967. There are an average of 55 days with measurable precipitation. Only light amounts of snow have been recorded; the most was 0.3 inches in February 1976.[16]

Climate data for Stockton, California
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average high °C (°F) 13
Average low °C (°F) 2
Precipitation mm (inches) 98.8
Source:[17] February 28, 2008


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1860 3,679
1870 10,066 173.6%
1880 10,282 2.1%
1890 14,424 40.3%
1900 17,506 21.4%
1910 23,253 32.8%
1920 40,296 73.3%
1930 47,963 19.0%
1940 54,714 14.1%
1950 70,853 29.5%
1960 86,321 21.8%
1970 109,963 27.4%
1980 149,779 36.2%
1990 210,943 40.8%
2000 243,771 15.6%
Est. 2009 290,409 19.1%

As of the census[18] of 2000, there were 243,771 people; 78,556 occupied housing units; and 82,042 housing units. The racial makeup of the city was 43.3% White, 11.2% Black or African American, 1.1% Native American and Alaska Native, 19.9% Asian, 0.4% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 17.3% from other races, and 6.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 32.5% of the population.[19]

The average household size was 3.04 and the average family size was 3.59. The median age was 29.8 years. The median income for a household in the city was $35,453, and the median income for a family was $40,434. The per capita income for the city was $15,405. About 18.9% of families and 23.9% of the population were below the poverty line.[19]

As of January 1, 2009 estimates place it as 290,409 residents. In 2005, Forbes magazine listed it as having 6,570 crimes per 100,000 residents[20] — the highest listed;[21] and 0.8% of engineers within total employment[22] — the lowest listed.[21] The city had the 7th lowest (of 150) educational attainment (bachelor's degree or higher over the age 25).[23] However, in 2009, Forbes reported Stockton was no longer the most dangerous city, moving to number five.

Central Connecticut State University surveys from 2005 and 2006 ranked the city as the most illiterate of all U.S. cities with a population of more than 250,000.[24][25][26]


Local Government

Ann Johnston is the mayor of Stockton as of January 1, 2009[27] Johnston succeeded Ed Chavez, who succeeded Gary Podesto.

The City Council consists of the following members as of January 1, 2009;[28]
Elbert Holman - District 1
Katherine Miller - District 2
Leslie Martin - District 3
Diana Lowery - District 4
Susan Talamantes Eggman - District 5
Dale Fritchen - District 6

According to the city’s most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the city reported a significant deficit with USD$443.9 million in revenue and USD$485.4 million in expenditures. The report cited USD$1,903.5 million in total assets and USD$679.9 million in total liabilities, with $203.5 million in cash and investments.[29]

J. Gordon Palmer, Jr. was City Manager from March 7, 2006 to September 25, 2009, when he announced his retirement. Former Fairfield, CA City Manager Kevin O'Rouke was hired as Interim City Manager until the Stockton City Council names a permanent replacement.

The current form of government is a city manager council:[29][30]

City Department Director
City Manager Vacant: Interim City Manager: Kevin O'Rouke
Deputy City Manager Laurie K. Montes
Administrative Director/CFO Financial Management Mark L. Moses
Director Community Development Michael M. Niblock
Director Human Resources Dianna R. Garcia
Director Municipal Utilities Mark J. Madison
Director Parks & Recreation/Library Services Pamela J. Sloan
Director Public Works Vacant: Interim Director Bob Murdoch
Fire Chief Ronald L. Hittle
Police Chief Blair Ulring
Director of Revitalization David Harzoff

Federal government

The Federal Bureau of Prisons Western Region Office is in Stockton.[31]


According to the City's 2008 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[29] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 San Joaquin County 6,700
2 Stockton Unified School District 4,100
3 St. Joseph’s Medical Center 2,650
4 City of Stockton 1,754
5 Dameron Hospital 1,200
6 Kaiser Permanente 1,060
7 University of the Pacific 1,000
8 Diamond Walnut 1,000
9 California Department of Transportation 750
10 Chase Bank 650

Although historically an agriculturally based community, Stockton's economy has since diversified into many other areas. These include telecommunications and manufacturing among others. Because of the new focus on renewable energy, the proximity to agriculture will become even more important in the future as research and development combine agriculture with alternative fuels.

Stockton is centrally located relative to both San Francisco and Sacramento. Given its location, its proximity to the state and interstate freeway system, and relatively inexpensive land costs, several companies base their regional operations in Stockton. These include Duraflame, Pac-West Telecommunications, Golden State Lumber Company and several others.

Stockton is rapidly becoming the community of choice for companies looking for an area to move or expand industries related to renewable energy. The Port of Stockton is one of the largest receivers of wind turbines in the world. Stockton’s rail capacity makes distribution from the Port seamless. The sun and wind potential in Stockton is among some of the best in the country and with 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) available, the Port is already home to biodiesel and ethanol plants. The City of Stockton and the Port have worked in partnership to focus resources on developing green sustainable industry. The City of Stockton has been leading the way with their own policies for supporting green and renewable technologies. Stockton is working with local educational institutions, including high schools, community colleges, and four year universities, to educate the workforce for the booming renewable energy industry.[citation needed]

Real estate crash

Stockton was disproportionately affected by the collapse of the sub-prime lending market in 2007, and led the United States in foreclosures for that year, with one out of every thirty homes posted for foreclosure.[32] From September 2006 to September 2007, the value of a median-priced house in Stockton declined by 44%.[33] Stockton's Weston Ranch neighborhood, a subdivision of modest tract homes built in the mid 1990s, had the worst foreclosure rate in the area according to ACORN, a national advocacy group for low and moderate-income families.


Stockton is centrally located with access to an international deep-water port, national railroad system, and intrastate and interstate freeway system.


Due to its location at the 'crossroads' of the Central Valley and a relatively extensive highway system, Stockton is easily accessible from virtually anywhere in California. Interstate 5 and State Route 99, California's major north-south thoroughfares, pass through city limits. In addition, Stockton is minutes away from Interstate 80, Interstate 205 and Interstate 580.

Stockton is served by San Joaquin Regional Transit District [34] Stockton is also connected to the rest of the nation through a network of railways. Amtrak and Altamont Commuter Express (ACE) both make stops in Stockton, with Amtrak providing passenger access to the rest of the nation. Union Pacific and BNSF Railway, the two largest railroad networks in North America both service Stockton and its port via connections with the Stockton Terminal and Eastern Railroad and Central California Traction Company, who provide local and interconnecting services between the various rail lines. Recently, BNSF Railway opened a much needed $150 million intermodal freight transport facility in southeast Stockton, which satisfies long-haul transportation needs.


Stockton is served by Stockton Metropolitan Airport, located on county land just south of city limits. The airport has been designated a Foreign Trade Zone and is mainly used by manufacturing and agricultural companies for shipping purposes. Since airline deregulation, passenger service has come and gone several times. Most recently, domestic service resumed in June 2006 with service to Las Vegas by Allegiant Air, and the days of service/number of flights were expanded a few months later due to demand. Also in 2006, Aeromexico had planned to provide service to and from Guadalajara, Mexico, but the airport's plan to build a customs station at the airport was initially rejected by the customs service. However, the possibility of building this station is currently a continuing matter of negotiation between the airport and the customs service, and Aeromexico has indicated a continuing interest in eventually providing service. Ground transportation is available from Hertz, Enterprise, Yellow Cab and Aurora Limousine. Air service to Phoenix began in September 2007.


The Port of Stockton is a fully operating seaport approximately 75 nautical miles (120 km²) east of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Set on the San Joaquin River, the port operates a 2,000 acre (8.5 km²) transportation center with berthing space for 17 vessels. The port also includes 1.1 million square feet (102,000 m²) of dockside transit sheds and shipside rail trackage and 7.7 million square feet (715,000 m²) of warehousing.[35] Adjacent to the port is Rough and Ready Island, which served as a World War II-era naval supply base until it was decommissioned as a result of BRAC 1995.


Primary and Secondary

Stockton feeds into four public school districts, Stockton Unified School District, Lincoln Unified School District, Lodi Unified School District, and Manteca Unified School District. There are more than 30 private elementary and secondary schools, which include Saint Mary's High School, Presentation Catholic School, and Annunciation Catholic School.


The University of the Pacific moved to Stockton in 1924 from San Jose. The university is the only private school in the United States with less than 10,000 students enrolled to offer eight different professional schools. It also offers a large number of degree programs relative to its student population.[36] The campus has been used in the filming of a number of Hollywood films (see below), partly due to its aesthetic likeness to East Coast Ivy League universities.

Also located in Stockton are National University (the second largest private university in the state), Kaplan College of Stockton, San Joaquin Delta College, Humphreys College and School of Law (which has its main campus in Stockton and a branch campus in Modesto, California), Heald College, MTI Business College, and University of Phoenix.

San Joaquin Delta College features Distance Learning Education and Internet Classes. Additional sites are being set up to expand access to education in distant locations. California State University, Stanislaus established a Stockton campus on the grounds of the former Stockton State Hospital. The hospital was the first state mental institution in California. Christian Life College is a private four-year Bible college offering Associate and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Bible and Theology or Christian Music.


Stockton has had a reputation for high crime rates relative to other cities in the region. The city has made efforts to reduce this rate, including improvements to public venues, using a "broken windows" strategy of linking city repairs to reduced rates, as modeled in Los Angeles.[37] In 2009, Forbes magazine reported Stockton to be on their list of the nation's most dangerous cities, at number five.[38]

According to the City of Stockton District Attorney, the city of Stockton has the "second most violent crime rate in the state," while San Joaquin County is the fifth-most dangerous metropolitan area in the United States. This is because of Stockton's proximity to Interstate 5 in the center of California, making it "a hub for the drug cartel between Mexico, Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia."[39]

Awards and recognition

Stockton received an All-America City award from the National Civic League twice, in 1999 and 2004. 2004's award was based on a 60-member delegation's presentation titled "The Dream Lives On!", and featured three community-driven projects: Community Partnership for Families, Downtown Alliance, and the Peace Keeper Program.[40] The 1999 award recognized the Apollo Night Talent and Performing Series, the conversion of the Stockton Developmental Center into an off-campus center for the California State University at Stanislaus, and the LEAP (Let Education Attack Pollution) program.[41]

Sunset magazine named Stockton Best Tree City in the western United States in March 2002,[42] and "Best of the West Food Fest" in March 2000. Stockton contains 49 city, state, and national historical landmarks, dating as far back as 1855.

In February 2009, Stockton was named "America's Most Miserable City" by Forbes, reflecting Stockton's issues with commuting times, violent crime rates, income tax levels, and unemployment rates.[43] Stockton was placed second in this listing in 2008.

Downtown revitalization

Beginning in the late 1990s under the mayorship of Gary Podesto, Stockton's downtown has attempted a dramatic turnaround and revitalization. Over the past decade downtown Stockton has tried to transform itself from a crime-ridden eyesore to a family-friendly destination. Newly built or renovated buildings include the Bob Hope Theater, Regal City Centre Cinemas, San Joaquin RTD Downtown Transit Center, Sheraton Hotel, Hotel Stockton, Stockton Arena, and the Stockton Ballpark

A new Downtown Marina and adjacent promenade was added along the South Shore of the Stockton Deep Water Channel during 2009.

Other projects under consideration or under consideration as of January, 2009 by the city council include South Shore housing, the revitalization of the Robert J. Cabral neighborhood, bridges across the Stockton Deep Water Channel, and a high-rise building that may include condominiums.

Professional sports

Stockton is home to several minor league franchises:

The Stockton Ports play their home games at Banner Island Ballpark, a 5,000 seat facility built for the team in downtown Stockton. A 10,000 seat arena, the Stockton Arena, located in downtown Stockton, is the home of the Stockton Cougars, Stockton Thunder and Stockton Lightning.

The University of the Pacific was the summer home of the San Francisco 49ers Summer Training Camp from 1998 through 2002.

Entertainment and Culture

Music schools and orchestras

The Stockton Symphony is the third-oldest professional orchestra in California (founded in 1926), after the San Francisco Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.[44] The University of the Pacific is known for its music conservatory and for being the home of the Brubeck Institute, named after Dave Brubeck, a Pacific alum and jazz piano legend. The institute maintains an archive of Brubeck's work and offers a fellowship program for young musicians. The Brubeck Institute Jazz Quartet is composed of Pacific students and tours widely.[45] San Joaquin Delta College has a growing jazz program and is home to several official and unofficial jazz bands composed of Delta and Pacific students and faculty.[46] Christian Life College offers Associate and Bachelor of Arts degrees Christian Music.

Auditoriums and concert halls

Stockton hosts several live music venues, including the Stockton Arena, which is home to several sports teams, and has hosted nationally known entertainers such as Gwen Stefani, Rob Zombie, Ozzy Osbourne, Josh Groban, and Bob Dylan. The annual Apollo Night talent show draws about 1,500 people to the Stockton Civic Auditorium to watch performances by aspiring Northern California musicians.[47] The Bob Hope Theatre formerly known as the Fox California Theatre in downtown Stockton is one of several movie palaces in the Central Valley. Bob Hope often came to Stockton to visit close friend and billionaire tycoon Alex Spanos, who donated much of the money to revitalize the theater after Hope's death. The University of the Pacific Faye Spanos Concert Hall often hosts public performances, as does the Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium. The Warren Atherton Auditorium at the Delta Center for the Arts on the campus of the San Joaquin Delta College is a 1,456-seat theater with a 60-foot proscenium and full grid system.[48] The Stockton Empire Theater is an art deco movie theater that has been revitalized as a venue for live music.

Musicians, bands, and producers with origins in Stockton

  • Indie-rock band Pavement was formed in Stockton in 1989 by Stephen Malkmus and Scott Kannberg. Much of their early material was recorded in Stockton.
  • Stockton-based producers Hallway Productionz have created beats for well-known musicians, including Blackalicious, Ice Cube and WC.[49]
  • R&B singers Bear [49] and Erin Jennae[50] appeared on the Billboard charts in 2006 and 2007, respectively.
  • In 2006 Tim Sovinec, a Stockton youth pastor and guitarist for the Christian rock band everybodyduck, became the first local resident to perform at the Stockton Arena.[51]
  • In 2006 Latin Magic Band became the first local act to perform at both the arena and the 2,000-seat Bob Hope Theatre.[49]
  • Local rapper Okwerdz received an Australian Gold record in 2008 for his work with the Hilltop Hoods.[52]
  • Shad Harris, musician, songwriter, producer and teacher, manages Other People Productions a musicians service company originally formed in Stockton (Dahs Music).

Notable residents

  • Erik Kristan Mallory, born and raised in Stockton, is the guitarist for the Rock N Roll band Endeverafter (Razor And Tie Records)[53]
  • Izzy Gallegos, member of the band US5, was born in Stockton.
  • Nathan Parrish, born and raised in Stockton, is a guitarist in the Christian Worship/Rock band Worth Dying For (Integrity Music).
  • Singer Chris Isaak was born in Stockton in 1956.
  • Critically-acclaimed silhouette artist Kara Walker was raised in Stockton.
  • Mixed martial artist Nick Diaz, who has been the WEC and IFC welterweight champion, was born and raised in Stockton along with his brother Nate Diaz.
  • New York based hip hop recording artist/producer PISMO was born and raised in South Stockton. Some of his works include collaborations with members of Wu-Tang Clan, Hieroglyphics & Naughty By Nature. PISMO’s music has also been in numerous television commercials and films such as Warner Bros. “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang” staring Robert Downey Jr.[citation needed]

Visual art

The Stockton Arts Commission, a division of city government, oversees a city endowment fund that provides grants to local artists and arts and cultural organizations. It sponsors the annual arts awards, a writing contest and the arts and crafts show at the Asparagus Festival. The commission also serves as an advocate and information clearinghouse for the arts and cultural community.

Stockton public art projects include Stockton Rising, a sculpture by Scott Donahue located outside of the Stockton Arena. Nearby, a work by Napa artist Gordon Huether features 30,000 Mattell cars attached to the west side of the Stockton Arena parking garage. Approximately 15 downtown manhole covers also were designed by local artist Molly Toberer. Murals depicting the city's history decorate the exteriors of many downtown buildings.

In addition to its history galleries, the Haggin Museum displays fine art of late 19th and early 20th century artists such as Jean Beraud, Albert Bierstadt, Rosa Bonheur, William Bouguereau, Paul Gauguin, Jean-Leon Gerome, Childe Hassam, George Inness, Daniel Ridgway Knight, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Jehan-Georges Vibert, and Jules Worms. It also hosts temporary touring exhibitions.

In 2005, the Downtown Stockton Alliance began sponsoring a monthly art walk during the summer. The event features local artists exhibiting their work at downtown businesses and galleries as well as in some otherwise vacant storefronts. Musicians also perform throughout downtown as part of the event.


Stockton is home to several museums. The Haggin Museum features collections and exhibits related to local history and California history, and owns important works by late 19th and early 20th century artists. Notable among them is Albert Bierstadt, who was well-known for interpreting the towering grandeur of Yosemite and much of California's magnificent Sierra Nevada mountains.[5] The local Tidewater Art Gallery features the work of local artists. The Stockton Art League maintains the Elsie May Goodwin Gallery. The University of the Pacific’s Reynolds Gallery and San Joaquin Delta College’s Horton Gallery feature contemporary work by students and local and nationally-known artists. The Children's Museum of Stockton is housed in a former warehouse on the Downtown waterfront, and features many interactive displays. The Filipino American National Historical Society has proposed the construction of the National Pinoy Museum in the Little Manila district. The museum would be dedicated to the history of Filipino-Americans. Stockton once had one of the largest population of Filipinos in the United States.[citation needed]

Performing arts

Founded in 1951, Stockton Civic Theatre offers an annual series of musicals, comedies and dramas. It maintains a 300-seat theater in the Venetian Bridges neighborhood. The company also hosts the annual Willie awards for the local performing arts.


Stockton hosts several annual festivals celebrating the rich cultural heritage of the city. These include:

  • Lunar New Year (January or February)
  • San Joaquin Children's Film Festival (January 2009)
  • The San Joaquin International Film Festival (February)
  • The Stockton Asparagus Festival (April)
  • The Brubeck Festival (April)
  • The Earth Day Festival (April)
  • The Stockton Tree-Dip (April)
  • Cambodian New Year (April)
  • The Jewish Food Fair (June)
  • The Juneteenth Day Celebration (June)
  • The Stockton Obon Bazaar (July)
  • The Stockton Quilting Bee (July)
  • The Box Lunch Bazaar (July)
  • The Filipino Barrio Fiesta (August)
  • Bacon-wrapped Asparagus Celebration (August)
  • Penny Day At The Park For Literacy Awareness (August)
  • Miracle Mile Night - Street Festival & Car Show (August)
  • Black Family Day (September)
  • The Greek Festival (September)
  • The Chapman Family Days Picnic (September)
  • Festa Italiana: Tutti In Piazza (September)
  • Hmong New Year (November)
  • The Stockton Festival of Lights and Boat Parade (December)
  • The Record's Family Day at the Park


Television stations

As part of the Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto television market, Stockton is primarily served by stations based in Sacramento, but may carry some San Francisco Bay area television stations' airwaves. These are listed below, with the city of license in bold:

Radio broadcast stations

FM Stations

  • KJOY 99.3: Adult Contemporary
  • KMIX 100.9: Regional Mexican
  • KQOD 100.1: Rhythmic Oldies
  • KSTN-FM 107.3: Regional Mexican
  • KUOP 91.3: News/Talk and Jazz
  • KWIN 97.7: Rhythmic Top 40
  • KYCC 90.1: Christian
  • KLOVE 90.7: Christian
  • KRXQ 98.5: Alternative Rock
  • The Hawk 104.1: Classic Rock

AM Stations

  • KCVR 1570: Spanish Adult Hits
  • KSTN 1420: Classic Hits
  • KWG 1230: Catholic, switched formats to News/talk. One of California's oldest running AM radio stations.[citation needed]
  • KWSX 1280: Spanish Oldies simulcast of KMRQ 96.7 Manteca

In addition, several radio stations from nearby San Francisco, Sacramento and Modesto are receivable in Stockton.

Print media

  • The Record a daily newspaper
  • Vida en el Valle a weekly bi-lingual newspaper from Fresno, CA
  • Bilingual Weekly is a bi-weekly newspaper (Spanish & English) based in Stockton, serving San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties
  • Caravan is a local community arts and events monthly newspaper.
  • 209Vibe is an alternative monthly newspaper covering music, entertainment and culture.
  • San_Joaquin_Magazine Regional lifestyle magazine covering Stockton, Lodi, Tracy, Manteca and more
  • The Downtowner is a free monthly guide to Downtown Stockton's events, commerce, real estate, and other cultural and community happenings.

Motion Pictures

A number of motion pictures have been filmed in Stockton[54] Over the years, filmmakers have used Stockton's waterways[55] to stand in for the Mississippi delta, the surrounding farmland as the American plains and Midwest, and Pacific's campus[56] as an Ivy League college. Some of the movies filmed in Stockton include:

Sister cities

Stockton has seven sister cities worldwide:


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Additional reading

External links


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