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Walnut Creek, California

From Academic Kids

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Looking east across Walnut Creek. In the background is Mount Diablo

Walnut Creek is a city located in Contra Costa County, California, USA, in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 64,296.

Contents

History

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An unidentified explorer under downtown Walnut Creek

Walnut Creek, was first known as "The Corners," where two roads leading from Pacheco and Lafayette met. This Corner is now known as the Mt. Diablo Boulevard and North Main Street intersection. The first settler of the area was William Slusher, who built a dwelling on the bank of Walnut Creek, which was then known as "Nuts Creek" in 1849. Today, Walnut Creek has been routed underneath downtown through a series of tunnels starting at the southwest end of Macy's and ending just southwest of The Cantina Restaurant. Slusher's dwelling was built in the area of modern-day Liberty Bell Plaza.

Milo Hough of Lafayette built the hotel named "Walnut Creek House" in the corners in 1855. A blacksmith shop and a store sprouted up, and a year later, Hiram Penniman (who built Shadelands Ranch laid out the town site and realigned today's Main Street.

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Contra Costa Courier annouces Walnut Creek's Birth

In December 1862 a U.S. Post Office was established, around which the community was renamed "Walnut Creek." The downtown street patterns laid out by pioneer Homer Shuey in 1871-1872 are still present today.

On October 21, 1914, the town and the surrounding area of 500 acres (2 km²), were incorporated as the 8th city in Contra Costa County, California. Politically, Walnut Creek used to be a Republican stronghold, but is increasingly moving toward the Democratic Party.

Geography

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Location of Walnut Creek, California

Walnut Creek is located at 37°54'36" North, 122°2'51" West (37.909956, -122.047373)Template:GR. It is located in a large valley below the western slopes of Mount Diablo.

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Walnut Creek as seen from Mount Diablo

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 51.6 km² (19.9 mi²). 51.6 km² (19.9 mi²) of it is land and 0.05% is water.

Local folklore

The Walnut Creek was rerouted in the 1970s by the US Navy. Many believe that the Navy used this secret tunnel to traffic nuclear weapons from Lawrence Livermore Labs to the Naval Weapons Depot in Concord. The tunnel system extends 5 miles under the city. The tunnels continue to emit the radioactive remnants of a few tunnel "mishaps." While this is the story many youth tell, the tunnels are real. Enterances are located near La Cantina restaurant, Macy's, 7-11, Los Lomas High School, and Rudgear Park and Ride.

A current project is connecting a tunnel from Walnut Creek to San Ramon. Much controversy had erupted over the tunnels. The tunnels were originally kept secret from the public. It wasn't discovered until a few students who attended high school in Concord, CA compared different maps. The older versions had the Walnut Creek running differently underneath the city. On November 9, 2004, the construction crew working on the aforementioned tunnel struck an underground petroleum pipeline, sparking a huge explosion and fire that burned several nearby buildings. It also caused the evacuation of nearby Las Lomas High School, sent flames high into the air, and killed five construction workers.

Jason Newsted, former bassist of the heavy metal band, Metallica currently lives in Walnut Creek.

Open space

Walnut Creek owns more open space per capita than any city in the state of California, except Palo Alto. In 1974, Walnut Creek voters approved a $6.7 million bond measure that allowed the city to purchase 1,800 acres (7 km²) of undeveloped hillsides, ridge lines, and park sites. Walnut Creek owns parts of Lime Ridge Open Space, Shell Ridge Open Space, Acalanes Ridge Open Space, and Sugarloaf Openspace. There is also open space in the retirement community, Rossmoor.

Demographics

As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 64,296 people, 30,301 households, and 16,544 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,246.9/km² (3,229.6/mi²). There are 31,425 housing units at an average density of 609.4/km² (1,578.5/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 83.89% White, 1.07% African American, 0.33% Native American, 9.36% Asian, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 1.96% from other races, and 3.25% from two or more races. 5.99% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 30,301 households out of which 20.9% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.7% are married couples living together, 6.7% have a female householder with no husband present, and 45.4% are non-families. 38.0% of all households are made up of individuals and 19.7% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.09 and the average family size is 2.78.

In the city the population is spread out with 17.6% under the age of 18, 5.2% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 24.8% from 45 to 64, and 25.3% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 45 years. For every 100 females there are 85.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 81.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $63,238, and the median income for a family is $83,794. Males have a median income of $66,482 versus $45,220 for females. The per capita income for the city is $39,875. 3.7% of the population and 1.7% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 3.1% of those under the age of 18 and 3.6% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Points of interest

External links

Template:Mapit-US-cityscale

Template:Cities of Contra Costa County, Californiade:Walnut Creek

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