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Paso Robles, California

From Academic Kids

Paso Robles (El Paso de Robles) is a city located in San Luis Obispo County, California. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 24,297. A resort city located on the Salinas River and north of San Luis Obispo, California, it is known for its hot springs, and for playing host to the California Mid-State Fair. In English, the name would be "Oak Pass" or "Pass in the Oaks."

Contents

Geography

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Location of Paso Robles, California

Paso Robles is located at 35°37'37" North, 120°40'41" West (35.627006, -120.677988)Template:GR.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 44.9 km² (17.3 mi²). 44.9 km² (17.3 mi²) of it is land and none of it is covered by water.

History

This beautiful, rolling hills area of the Central Coast that we know as the City of El Paso de Robles or Paso Robles and “Paso” to locals, has always been renowned for thermal springs. The Salinan Indians—the most historical inhabitants of the area—were here thousands of years even before the mission era. They knew this area as the “Springs” or the “Hot Springs.” The Indians, and later the Mission Fathers and their congregations, found relief from various ailments in the therapeutic waters and soothing mud baths.

The area was originally part of a 25 thousand acre Spanish land grant that was purchased by James and Daniel Blackburn in 1857. The land was a rest-stop for travelers of the Camino Real trail, and was known for its mineral hot springs. In fact, Franciscan priests from neighboring Mission San Miguel constructed the first mineral baths in the area. During this period, Paso Robles began to attract the pioneer settlers who would become the founding members of the community. They would later establish cattle ranches, apple and almond orchards, dairy farms, and vineyards.

When the year 1864 came around, the first El Paso de Robles Hotel was constructed and featured a hot mineral springs bath house.

The public-minded James and Daniel Blackburn donated two blocks to the city for a public park to be used for the pleasure of its citizens and visitors. By original deed, the land was to revert to the donors if used for any other purpose than a public park. The grounds were laid out by a Mr. Redington and a planting day was held when each citizen set out his own donation. Originally, the whole park was hedged in by a fence of cactus, and in 1890 a bandstand was built with money raised by private theatricals.

In 1886, after the coming of the Southern Pacific Railroad, work began on laying out a town site, with the resort as the nucleus. Two weeks after the first train arrived on October 31, 1886, a three-day celebration was held including a special train from San Francisco bringing prospective buyers, who toured the area and enjoyed the daily barbeques. On November 17th, the “Grand Auction” was held, resulting in the sale of 228 lots.

In 1889, the same year that Paso Robles incorporated as a city, construction began on a magnificent new hotel. The hotel required over one-million bricks and cost a princely $160,000. The new El Paso de Robles Hotel opened for business in 1891. The new hotel was three stories tall and built of solid masonry, set off by sandstone arches. This ensured the hotel was completely fireproof. The hotel also featured a seven acre garden and nine hole golf course. Inside there was a library, a beauty salon, a barber shop, and various billiard and lounging rooms. The new hotel also offered an improved hot springs plunge bath as well as 32 individual bath rooms. The 20 by 40 foot plunge bath was considered one of the finest and most complete of its time in the United States.

In 1913, the world's most well-known concert pianist and composer came to the hotel: Ignace Paderewski. After three months of treatments at the hotel's mineral hot springs for his arthritis, he resumed his concert tour. He later returned to live at the hotel and bought two beautiful ranches just West of Paso Robles.

During the next 30 years, the hotel was visited by other notables: Boxing champion Jack Dempsy, President Theodore Roosevelt, Adela Rogers - St. John, Phoebe Apperson Hearst (the mother of William Randolph Hearst), actors Douglas Fairbanks, Boris Karloff, Bob Hope, and Clark Gable all stayed at the El Paso de Robles Hotel. And when Major League baseball teams used Paso Robles as a spring training home, the Pittsburg Pirates and Chicago White Sox stayed at the hotel and soaked in the mineral hot springs to sooth tired muscles.

For a time, Paso Robles was known as the “Almond City” because the local almond growers created the largest concentration of almond orchards in the world. The ranchers in the outlying areas were very important to the Paso Robles area. On these ranches were cattle and horses, grain crops (primarily wheat and barley), garden produce and fruit and nut orchards. Many of these ranch lands and orchards have become vineyards for the many wineries, the modern day draw of tourists and travelers to our area. To show their appreciation to the ranchers, the business people established Pioneer Day in October 1931, which is still a huge annual celebration.

In December of 1940, tragedy struck. A spectacular fire completely destroyed the "fire-proof" El Paso de Robles Hotel. Guests staying the night escaped unharmed. However, the night clerk who discovered the fire suffered a fatal heart attack immediately after sounding the alarm. Within months after the blaze, plans for a new hotel to be built on the site are drawn up. The design is an entirely new concept: A Garden Inn - Hotel, designed to accommodate motoring travellers. By February 1942 construction is complete and the new Paso Robles Inn (http://pasoroblesinn.com/index.html) opens for business.

Through the 1960's and 1970's, few changes occured at the Paso Robles Inn. However, the City of Paso Robles experienced significant growth. The area's wine industry flourished, the California Mid-State Fair expanded into a regional attraction, local lakes, such as Lake Naciemento, became family vacation destinations and Paso Robles' reputation as a charming and friendly community grew.

An earthquake struck several miles from Paso Robles on December 22, 2003, at 11:15 PST. The quake registered 6.5 magnitude on the Richter Magnitude Scale, and caused two deaths when the roof slid off the clock tower building, a popular landmark.

Sources/Credits: PasoRoblesInn.com (http://pasoroblesin.com/), PRcity.com (http://prcity.com/),

Demographics

As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 24,297 people, 8,556 households, and 6,040 families residing in the city. The population density is 541.3/km² (1,401.6/mi²). There are 8,791 housing units at an average density of 195.9/km² (507.1/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 75.70% White, 3.32% Black or African American, 1.30% Native American, 1.89% Asian, 0.14% Pacific Islander, 13.68% from other races, and 3.97% from two or more races. 27.72% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 8,556 households out of which 37.4% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.4% are married couples living together, 12.5% have a female householder with no husband present, and 29.4% are non-families. 23.7% of all households are made up of individuals and 11.4% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.73 and the average family size is 3.23.

In the city the population is spread out with 29.8% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 33 years. For every 100 females there are 102.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 97.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $39,217, and the median income for a family is $44,322. Males have a median income of $35,514 versus $24,058 for females. The per capita income for the city is $17,974. 13.6% of the population and 10.7% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 17.7% of those under the age of 18 and 9.7% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Wind Farms at Paso Robles

Situated in a pass with rather reliable winds from the West, Paso Robles hosts several wind farms (for generation of electric power). See [1] (http://www.awea.org/smallwind/success_stories/success_stories_008.html) or [2] (http://www.awea.org/Graphics_Library/library_info4.htm) especially [3] (http://www.awea.org/Graphics_Library/images/image_87.jpg).

Wine and Vineyards

The Paso Robles Wine Country is one of the fastest growing premium vineyard and winery regions in California, with the number of bonded wineries and wine grape acres in Paso Robles more than doubling between 1993 and 2002.

Paso Robles grape growers, wineries and wine tasting rooms united to form the Paso Robles Vintners and Growers Association in 1993. This non-profit trade organization is dedicated to the promotion and education of the Paso Robles premium wine country.

External links

Template:Mapit-US-cityscalede:El Paso de Robles

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