Woodland, California: Wikis


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Coordinates: 38°40′43″N 121°46′24″W / 38.67861°N 121.77333°W / 38.67861; -121.77333

City of Woodland
—  City  —


Nickname(s): City of Trees
Location in Yolo County and the state of California
Coordinates: 38°40′43″N 121°46′24″W / 38.67861°N 121.77333°W / 38.67861; -121.77333
Country United States
State California
County Yolo
Settled 1853
Incorporated February 22, 1871
 - Mayor Skip Davies
 - Senate Lois Wolk (D)
 - Assembly Mariko Yamada (D)
 - U. S. Congress Wally Herger (R)
 - Total 10.3 sq mi (26.7 km2)
 - Land 10.3 sq mi (26.7 km2)
 - Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 69 ft (21 m)
Population (2007)
 - Total 53,690
 Density 4,771.9/sq mi (1,840.9/km2)
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 95695, 95776
Area code(s) 530
FIPS code 06-86328
GNIS feature ID 1652659
Website City of Woodland

Woodland (formerly, By Hell and Yolo City)[1] is the county seat of Yolo County, California, located approximately 15 miles (24 km) northwest of Sacramento, and is a part of the Sacramento - Arden-Arcade - Roseville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was estimated to be 53,690 in the 2007 by the US Census Bureau.[2]

Woodland's origins trace back to 1850 when California gained its statehood and Yolo County was established. Since the town started growing in population and resources, it has not stopped. The area was well irrigated due to the efforts of James Monroe, which drew people out to try their hand at farming. The endeavor was successful as people found the soil in the area very fertile. The city gained a federal post office and the next year the county seat was moved from Washington (present day West Sacramento, California) to Woodland after Washington was flooded. The addition of a railroad line, the close proximity to Sacramento, and the more recent addition of Interstate 5, helped create a thriving city.




Indigenous culture

Before the settlement of the area by people of European descent, the Woodland area was inhabited by the Patwin, a subgroup of the Wintun Native Americans. There are two main groups of Patwin: River and Coastal Patwin.[3] Woodland's indigenous roots stem from the River Patwin who tended to stay closer to the Sacramento River, as opposed to the Coastal Patwin who lived in small valleys in hills and ranges.[4] The Yolotoi, a tribelet of the Patwin, occupied area near Woodland, and settled a village northwest of Woodland and another close to present day Knights Landing.[5] Although they didn't have a permanent settlement in present day Woodland, it is believed that the River Patwin occupied the Woodland area in seasonal camps for hunting and seed gathering.[6] The Yolotoi and their neighboring tribelets had a main trading trail which followed Cache Creek. The exchange of goods between the neighboring tribes of the Nomlaki to the north, the Nisenan to the east, and the Pomo to the west also served as a way of cultural and social interchange between all the tribes.[6] The simultaneous enslavement and spread of disease through the Patwin by the Spanish missionaries had quickly taken dramatic effects; a malarial epidemic in 1830-33 and a smallpox epidemic in 1837 killed much of the surviving natives. However, it has been found that some of the first farm hands in the earliest farms in Woodland were the Patwin people.[6]


In 1851, the year after California became a state and Yolo County was formed, "Uncle Johnny" Morris settled in what is now the corner of First and Clover Streets in Woodland. Two years later Henry Wyckoff arrived and built a store he named "Yolo City".[7] This new Yolo City might have stayed a singular store if Frank S. Freeman had not bought it and acquired 160 acres (0.65 km2) of land in 1857 and began to develop a town that he hoped be a trading center for one of the richest crop-growing areas in America. Freeman was giving land to anyone who would clear it and build their home on it.[6] Freeman requested a U.S. Post Office and his wife Gertrude asked him to name it Woodland "on account of the wooded country about".[7] She was most likely referring to the oak trees that used to surround the city, but have long since been gone. The Woodland Post Office was established on July 5, 1861 and Freeman was made the Postmaster.[8] He lost no time in further developing the town by leasing or selling buildings for businesses to use.

The 1860s was a time of opportunity for Woodland. The town had the county seat permanently moved to it after Washington, California (now a part of West Sacramento) had flooded. Schools, homes, churches, and a cemetery were built at this time. The town's newspaper, the Daily Democrat, and a post office were established, and most importantly the construction of a rail line. In 1869, the California Pacific Railroad Company constructed a line between Davisville (now Davis) and Marysville with a Woodland station in the area of College Street and Lincoln Avenue. The rail line expanded and was eventually acquired by Southern Pacific Railroad. The track was then relocated from College Street to East Street, the eastern edge of the city at that point.[6] The addition of the railroad is what led to the expansion of Woodland as a town. Before the railroad people were building primarily on Main Street and northward. Now, expansion was heading westward and southern as well.[7]

In 1870 the population of Woodland was estimated to be 1,600 people, 647 of which were registered voters.[6][8] Signatures were being collected to petition for the incorporation of the town, a feat which was successful.[8] The City of Woodland was incorporated in 1871 and its residents soon had a multitude of services such as regular train and telegraph operations, telephone services, gas, water, electricity, street lights, and graveled streets.[7]

20th century

Woodland's Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1900 in with the aim of helping business flourish in the city. During this time public activism helped Woodland get a library, a city park, and an improved cemetery. In 1910 Woodland was the most populous city in the county with a population of 3,187 and for the next forty years Woodland continued growing slowly but steadily in population, businesses and industries. Its economic were based mainly on agricultural related fields; three rice mills, a sugar beet refinery and a tomato cannery were built during this time.[7]

The post-war era spurred much growth in Woodland; between 1950 and 1980, Woodland's population tripled. It is rumored that in the 1950s Woodland had the most millionaires per capita of any city in California.[9] Industrial plants and distribution centers have grown in the northeast, and there are new subdivisions and shopping centers around the town's area. Since the late 1960s, there has been an increase of interest in preserving the town's historic buildings, and an impressive number of them have been restored for use as homes, offices, stores and museums.[7] Woodland's "Stroll Through History" began in 1989 to showcase many of the Victorian homes and other historical sites throughout the city in their annual event.[7]

In the 1970s Interstate 5 construction was completed and the freeway curves around Woodland. Over time, I-5 and State Route 113 have replaced the railroads as major transportation arteries.


Within the past decade, Woodland has grown immensely with many additions to the community. Numerous subdivisions have been built (mainly on the east side of town) and several major chain stores have opened business in Woodland.

A new high school, Pioneer, was opened in the 2003-04 school year,[10] with plans for a new elementary school and middle school in the Pioneer High School vicinity to be constructed within the next few years.


Aerial view of Woodland from southwest

Woodland is located in a flat area of land, with the Yolo Bypass and the Sacramento River to the east and the Capay Valley to the west. Woodland is a part of the Sacramento Metropolitan Area but it retains a "small town" feeling partly due to the mileage between the city and the neighboring cities. It is located just southeast of the county's geographical center, and is one of the largest cities north of Sacramento along Interstate 5 until Redding. Interstate 5 enters the city from the east and curves northward over the remainder of Woodland, exiting northwest. SR 113 enters the city from the south as a controlled access freeway and merges with the I-5, then diverges leaving the city northward as a standard two-lane road.


Woodland, as the rest of California's Central Valley, has a Mediterranean climate with dry, hot summers and mild, relatively wet winters.

Climate data for Sacramento, California
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average high °F (°C) 54
Average low °F (°C) 37
Precipitation inches (mm) 4.51
Source: weather.com[1] 2008-12-25


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1880 2,257
1890 3,069 36.0%
1900 2,886 −6.0%
1910 3,187 10.4%
1920 4,147 30.1%
1930 5,548 33.8%
1940 6,637 19.6%
1950 9,386 41.4%
1960 13,524 44.1%
1970 20,677 52.9%
1980 30,235 46.2%
1990 39,802 31.6%
2000 49,151 23.5%
Est. 2007 53,690 9.2%

As of the census of 2000, there were 16,751 households, and 12,278 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,765.7 people per square mile (1,840.7/km²). There were 17,120 housing units at an average density of 1,660.0/sq mi (641.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 66.84% White (48.5% by December 2006), 1.28% African American (1.3% by December 2006), 1.46% Native American, 3.77% Asian 7.4% by December 2006], 0.28% Pacific Islander, 21.50% from other races, and 4.88% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 38.83% of the population (42.8% by December 2006).

There were 16,751 households out of which 40.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.8% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.7% were non-families. 21.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.89 and the average family size was 3.37.

In the city the population was spread out with 29.7% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 30.3% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 10.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 96.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $44,449 ($50,309 in December 2006), and the median income for a family was $48,689. Males had a median income of $34,606 versus $27,086 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,042. About 9.2% of families and 11.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.0% of those under age 18 and 7.3% of those age 65 or over.


Woodland and the immediate surrounding area's economy has largely been based on agriculture. To this day, Yolo County is one of the largest crop producers in the state. Similarly, the transportation industry has played a large part in Woodland's economy. With heavy agricultural production comes the need to transport it. While maintaining the large role that agriculture and transportation still play in the town's activities, over the years Woodland has branched out into other sectors as well.

The industrial sector has grown in Woodland as is seen by the numerous manufacturing and warehouse centers. Modular homes are one of the largest manufactured goods in town. Several major retail stores have warehouses in Woodland or just outside of city limits.

When the price of homes rose in California during the first half of the decade, Woodland was near the front of the wave due to many factors including proximity to Sacramento and its maintenance of a small community feeling. As a result, in 2002 Woodland had the highest percentage increase in property value in the nation.

Ease of access to the city provided by the close proximity of I-5 and I-80 as well as the Sierra Northern Railway and the California Northern Railroad are most likely why businesses have done so well in Woodland. Woodland's proximity to the Sacramento and San Francisco metro areas also provide businesses another reason to set up shop in town.

Arts and culture

Woodland is a city rich in history and a "small town community" feeling. There are many activities the community puts on, most of which are free for patrons.

Annual events

The Yolo County Fair is held in Woodland in the middle of August each year, running Wednesday afternoon through Sunday evening. Started in 1935 (current site in 1940),[11] it is the largest free admission fair in the state of California, and as such, people come from all over Northern California to enjoy this event. There are demolition derbies in the fairground's arena, local FFA and 4-H competitions going on, as well as several other agricultural related competitions. One of the newest and most popular attractions of the county fair is the "Yolo Idol Search" based on the TV show American Idol. There are also several exhibition halls where fair-goers can peruse through stands set up by local businesses and groups.

In 2009 Woodland held the 134th annual Sacramento Valley Scottish Games and Festival. The festival has been held in Woodland for the past 12 years. The "Games" are the third oldest in the United States. It is also the second largest event in Yolo County.

The Stroll Through History is a widely celebrated event in Woodland. It is used to increase awareness and appreciation of the history and heritage of Woodland. There are guided walking tours through several historic areas of Woodland, displays of historic equipment, vehicles, and other historical finds, as well as tours inside several of Woodland's historic Victorian homes. Some of the Stroll Through History is free while other parts require tickets purchased in advanced. This event usually takes place on a Saturday within the first two weeks of September.[12]

The Woodland Dynamite Chili Cook-off is a newer addition to Woodland's cultural activities. Beginning in 1998, the cook-off has drawn a lot of people out to try chili cooked from various members of the community. This event also includes other activities such as bounce houses, pony rides and games for the children; live music as well as other food and drink for the adults. The cook off is held the third Saturday of each September at Rotary Park in the Yolo County Fairgrounds.[13]

The City of Woodland and Woodland Chamber of Commerce put on a Christmas parade each year that draws a crowd of around 30,000 people in downtown Woodland.[14] It is one of the largest holiday parades in Northern California. Started in 1964, the Woodland Christmas Parade now has around 150 entries each year, including marching bands, floats, dance groups, military units, and novelty entries from local groups as well as from the surrounding area. The parade runs through Woodland's "Historic Downtown", along Main Street beginning at the intersection of Main Street and California Street and ending at the intersection of Main Street and 6th Street.

In 2008 The Sacramento Valley Scottish Games & Festival celebrated its 11th year at the Yolo County Fairgrounds. The Games feature a wide variety of activities, drawing up to 20,000 visitors each year. The Games are held the last Saturday and Sunday of April.[15]

Museums and other points of interest

Woodland has several small museums. The Heidrick Ag History Center is an agricultural museum. It showcases rare and unique agricultural machinery dating from the late 1800s to the middle of the 20th century. Partnering with the Heidrick Ag Center, is the Hays Antique Truck Museum which has over 100 makes of different commercial trucks. These were found and restored by Wayne Hays, a retired commercial truck driver who created the museum. On display in Hays' museum there is also trucking memorabilia, trailers, tools, equipment, and other things related to trucking.

Another local museum is the Yolo County Historical Museum. It is located on 2.5 acres (10,000 m2) in the former home of Woodland pioneers William and Mary Gibson. The construction of the house itself was started in 1857 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum acquired the property in 1975 and it houses furnishings and artifacts dating from the 1850s to the 1930s. Locally called The Gibson Mansion, the house and the property depict everyday living from that era as well as changing exhibits regarding Yolo County history.[16][17]

Another site of interest is the Woodland Public Library. The original structure was funded by Andrew Carnegie and was constructed in 1905. The Woodland Public Library is the oldest library funded by Carnegie in California that is still in operation.[18]

One of Woodland's prized possessions is the Woodland Opera House. It is a California Historical Landmark and a California State Historic Park that was originally built in 1885 and was rebuilt due to fire in 1895-1896. The opera house was rebuilt on the original site with some of the intact bricks and foundation.[19] It was the first opera house to serve the Sacramento Valley. Some notable performers on its stage include John Philip Sousa and his band, Verna Felton, and Madame Helena Modjeska. Closed in part due to the rise in the motion picture industry, and partly due to a lawsuit involving an injury, the opera house was closed in 1913 until recently. Renovations allowed for the historic building to be opened up again and it is now an acting venue in town.[20] Several major productions are shown throughout the year and many bands use the venue.



Woodland was incorporated as a general law city, governed by a five-member council, with the mayor serving as presiding officer. The mayor and four council members are elected officials, serving four-year terms. The council selects the vice mayor based on the member who received the greatest amount of votes. This council member then serves as mayor during their last two years of office. Day to day, the city is run by a city manager, and has 376 permanent staff positions.[21]

State and federal

In the California State Legislature, Woodland is located in the 5th Senate District, represented by Democrat Lois Wolk, and in the 8th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Lois Wolk. Federally, Woodland is in California's 1st Congressional District and is represented by Democrat Mike Thompson.


Woodland Joint Unified School District services the 12 elementary schools, 2 middle schools, 2 comprehensive high schools, a continuation high school, and the adult education center in town.[22]

There are several private schools in town. They include Woodland Christian School, a former ministry of the LifePointe Church (formerly known as First Baptist), which offers classes for children from preschool through high school; Holy Rosary Parish School, ran by Holy Rosary Parish, offers enrollment from preschool to 8th grade; Montessori Children's House offers enrollment from preschool through 6th grade; Woodland Adventist School gives classes from preschool to 8th grade; a private school entitled Abby's School has enrollment for preschool and kindergarten; and Cornerstone Christian Academy using A.C.E.'s School of Tomorrow curriculum, offers classes for pre-school through high school aged students.

Yuba Community College District oversees Woodland Community College, a now fully accredited college.


The local newspaper of Woodland is the Daily Democrat. It was established in 1857 before the City of Woodland was incorporated. The Sacramento Bee is also widely read in town. The WAVE (Woodland Access Visual Enterprises) Channel 21 is Woodland's public access television station which airs footage from a variety of community activities. Some examples are local high school football games, the Yolo County Fair, the Woodland Christmas Parade, as well as televised classes from Woodland Community College. Anyone from the community is able to air approved content.

Several movies have also been filmed, at least partially, in Woodland. They include the movies Farewell Bender, Blood Sport, Letters from a Killer,[23] and selected scenes from Three Men and a Baby.

The documentary, "Bigger, Faster, Stronger" features several scenes in Woodland, and includes interviews with football players from the Woodland Wolves and the Pioneer Patriots.



Woodland is served by Yolo County Transportation District commonly termed 'YOLOBUS'. There are many routes to and from Downtown Sacramento, Davis, Cache Creek Casino Resort, and other areas of Yolo County. Two freeways run through the city, State Route 113 and Interstate 5. Many of the surface streets in town run north and south or east and west definitively. The roads (especially in the older part of the city) are straight, and the city is therefore made into a grid with the intersecting streets.

Most transportation is done by automobile, but because Woodland is still a relatively small community, it is easy to find people walking or riding their bicycle instead of driving. Main Street, Woodland's "Historic Downtown" is a perfect example of where it is easier to walk a short distance than it is to drive, due to the frequent intersections and small streets.


Woodland receives its natural gas and electricity services from Pacific Gas & Electric. The City of Woodland provides water utility services and Waste Management deals with waste services in the town.


The biggest medical facility in town is Woodland Healthcare, a member of Catholic Healthcare West. Other facilities include Sutter Health and private practices.

Notable Woodlanders

Sister cities

Woodland has one sister city, as designated by Sister Cities International:[25]

See also


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographical Names Information System: Woodland, California
  2. ^ "Woodland, California Population Finder". US Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/SAFFPopulation?_event=Search&geo_id=01000US&_geoContext=01000US&_street=&_county=Woodland&_cityTown=Woodland&_state=04000US06&_zip=&_lang=en&_sse=on&ActiveGeoDiv=geoSelect&_useEV=&pctxt=fph&pgsl=010&_submenuId=population_0&ds_name=null&_ci_nbr=null&qr_name=null&reg=null%3Anull&_keyword=&_industry=. Retrieved 2008-12-16. 
  3. ^ "Human History - The Patwin". UC Davis Natural Reserve System. June 23, 2005. http://nrs.ucdavis.edu/Quail/Natural/Human_Patwin.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  4. ^ "Target Store Project - Cultural Resources". City of Davis. February 2006. pp. 4. http://cityofdavis.org/target/deir/vol1/4-06_Cultural.pdf. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  5. ^ Thayer, Robert L. Jr.; Jacob P. Mann (2000). "Traditional Native American Territories". http://nrs.ucdavis.edu/Quail/Maps/putahcache_native_territories_map_1998_2000.pdf. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "A Brief History of Woodland". 1996 General Woodland Plan. City of Woodland. 1996. http://www.ci.woodland.ca.us/UserFiles/File/Government/history.pdf. Retrieved 2008-12-16. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Walters, Shipley. "A Brief History of Woodland". Woodland Stroll Through History. http://www.strollthroughhistory.com/history.html. Retrieved 2008-12-16. 
  8. ^ a b c Three Maps of Yolo County. Woodland, CA: Yolo County Historical Society. 1970. pp. 8. 
  9. ^ "About Woodland". WoodlandCommunity. http://www.woodlandcommunity.com/content/about.php. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  10. ^ "Progress Report". Woodland Joint Unified School District. pp. 2. http://www.phs.wjusd.org/Documents/Chapter%203%20-%20Progress.pdf. Retrieved 2008-12-25. 
  11. ^ "Report to Council on Findings of Yolo County Fair Report". City of Woodland. June 10, 2008. pp. 1. http://cityofwoodland.org/UserFiles/File/City%20Council/Agendas/06_10_2008/19.pdf. Retrieved 2008-12-24. 
  12. ^ "FAQ". Stroll Through History. http://www.strollthroughhistory.com/faq.html. Retrieved 2008-12-25. 
  13. ^ "Event History". Woodland Dynamite Chili Cook-off. http://www.woodlandchili.com/history.html. Retrieved 2008-12-16. 
  14. ^ "Woodland Parade needs assistance". The Daily Democrat. 2008-11-28. http://www.dailydemocrat.com/business/ci_11093383. Retrieved 2008-11-28. 
  15. ^ "Caledonian Club of Sacramento". Caledonian Club of Sacramento. http://www.saccallie.org/. Retrieved 2008-12-16. 
  16. ^ "A Walking Tour of Downtown Woodland". The Daily Democrat. http://fromthedemocrat.com/specials/150/community_story02.html. Retrieved 2008-12-25. 
  17. ^ "History of the Museum". Yolo County Historical Museum. http://yolo.net/ychm/historym.html. Retrieved 2008-12-25. 
  18. ^ "Woodland Public Library". City of Woodland. http://cityofwoodland.org/indexSub.cfm?page=343686. Retrieved 2008-12-16. 
  19. ^ "State Historic Woodland Opera House Expansion Memorandum" (DOC). April 17, 2008. pp. 2–3. http://www.ci.woodland.ca.us/UserFiles/File/Community%20Development/Agendas/PlanningCommission/04-17-08%20PC%20Meeting/Opera%20House%20Exp%20PC%20Staff%20Report.doc. Retrieved 2008-11-22. 
  20. ^ Wilkinson, David. "Brocchini Architects". Crafting a Valley Jewel: Architects and Builders of Woodland. Woodland, CA: Yolo County Historical Society. pp. 160–161. ISBN 1892626-06-3. 
  21. ^ "Human Resources". City of Woodland. http://www.ci.woodland.ca.us/indexSub.cfm?page=356160. Retrieved 2008-12-16. 
  22. ^ "About WJUSD". Woodland Joint Unified School District. http://www.wjusd.net/departments/common/content/about.php. Retrieved 2008-12-16. 
  23. ^ "Letters from a Killer Filming Locations". Internet Movie Database. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119522/locations. Retrieved 2008-12-25. 
  24. ^ Artfacts.Net: Mungo Thomson Bio
  25. ^ "Online Directory: California, USA". Sister Cities International. Archived from the original on January 16, 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080116164532/http://www.sister-cities.org/icrc/directory/usa/CA. Retrieved 2008-12-16. 

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