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Oakley

Oakley is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. The population was 35,432 at the 2010 U.S. Census. Oakley is part of the East Contra Costa Bicycle Plan, which has existing facilities in Oakley as well as plans for further expansion.

History

Native Americans Society

Archeologists have found prehistoric sites in the Oakley area. One substantial shell mound was discovered early in the 20th century near what is now the east edge of town. The Northwest Information Center of the California Historical Resources Information System now keeps track of archeological investigations undertaken in Oakley. Around three-dozen such projects have been completed in the past 25 years, yielding only four prehistoric sites in the City. However, the information center believes there is a high possibility that other prehistoric sites remain within the City.

The first accounts of identifiable cultural community in the west delta are attributed to the Bay Miwoks, who occupied the region between 1100 and 1770 AD. The Bay Miwok people, usually called the Julpunes or Pulpunes by European explorers, were organized into “tribelets”—political units that included several fairly permanent villages and a set of seasonal campsites arrayed across a well-defined territory.

Spanish Exploration
Spanish incursions into the Oakley area began in the 1770s. The first to enter what are now the City limits was the De Anza expedition of 1775-76. However, after a failed attempt to find a route through the tule swamps to the Sierra, the De Anza expedition returned to Monterey. Subsequent expeditions by the Spanish did not result in colonization. Europeans settled in the Delta in the 19th century, but were killed by malaria and smallpox.

Contemporary History
The name Oakley is of Old English origin and its meaning is “meadow of oak trees”. This aptly describes the area when first settled and to some extent even today. However, if not for the flip of a card and cribbage board the community may have been named Dewey. Instead of the Oak Leaf logo it may have been a dew drop. City founder Randolph Marsh wanted to name the city Dewey, after Admiral Dewey. Mr. Marsh was impressed with the exploits of Admiral Dewey at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War. His friend J.T. Whitman preferred the name “Oakley” because the terrain was largely meadows and oaks. To determine which name would prevail they battled it out over a game of cribbage. Marsh may have lost the game and the right to name the city but he ensured his immortality by choosing downtown street names whose first initials spelled “Marsh” — Main, Acme, Ruby, Star and Home.
Oakley’s first post office was established in 1898, and Oakley only became an incorporated city a full 101 years later, in 1999. The city’s motto is, “A Place for Families in the Heart of the Delta.

Demographics

The 2010 United States Census reported that Oakley had a population of 35,432. The population density was 2,193.2 people per square mile (846.8/km²). The racial makeup of Oakley was 22,641 (63.9%) White, 2,582 (7.3%) African American, 314 (0.9%) Native American, 2,236 (6.3%) Asian, 142 (0.4%) Pacific Islander, 4,998 (14.1%) from other races, and 2,519 (7.1%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12,364 persons (34.9%).

The Census reported that 35,329 people (99.7% of the population) lived in households, 75 (0.2%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 28 (0.1%) were institutionalized.

There were 10,727 households, out of which 5,479 (51.1%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 6,531 (60.9%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 1,412 (13.2%) had a female householder with no husband present, 708 (6.6%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 747 (7.0%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 93 (0.9%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 1,522 households (14.2%) were made up of individuals and 515 (4.8%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.29. There were 8,651 families (80.6% of all households); the average family size was 3.62.

The population was spread out with 10,808 people (30.5%) under the age of 18, 3,531 people (10.0%) aged 18 to 24, 10,149 people (28.6%) aged 25 to 44, 8,553 people (24.1%) aged 45 to 64, and 2,391 people (6.7%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32.0 years. For every 100 females there were 98.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.9 males.

There were 11,484 housing units at an average density of 710.8 per square mile (274.5/km²), of which 8,163 (76.1%) were owner-occupied, and 2,564 (23.9%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 3.4%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.5%. 26,778 people (75.6% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 8,551 people (24.1%) lived in rental housing units.