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Pleasanton

Pleasanton is a city in Alameda County, California, incorporated in 1894. It is a suburb in the San Francisco Bay Area located about 25 miles (40 km) east of Oakland, and 6 miles (9.7 km) west of Livermore. The population was 70,285 at the 2010 census. In 2005 and 2007, Pleasanton was ranked the wealthiest middle-sized city in the United States by the Census Bureau. Pleasanton is home to the headquarters of Safeway Inc. and Polycom. Although Oakland is the Alameda County seat, a few county offices and a courthouse are located in Pleasanton. Additionally, the main county jail is in the neighboring city of Dublin. The Alameda County Fairgrounds are located in Pleasanton, and the annual County Fair is held there during the last week of June and the first week of July. Shadow Cliffs Regional Park is located on the east side of town.

Pleasanton is number 63 in CNNMoney.com′s list of “The Best Places to Live” in 2010, and was also named one of “Americans’ Top Hometown Spots” in the United States in 2009 by Forbes.

History

Alisal

Before the establishment of Pleasanton, in the 1850s, an earlier settlement, called Alisal was there. It was located on the lands of the Rancho Santa Rita near the site of an Indian ranchera, around the Francisco Solano Alviso Adobe, called El Alisal (The Sycamores), one of the earliest houses built in the valley in 1844. It is still standing and serves as the centerpiece of the Alviso Adobe Community Park. Alisal, nicknamed “The Most Desperate Town in the West”, was one of the settlements located along La Vereda del Monte that was a haunt and refuge of bandits and desperados in the era following the beginning of the California Gold Rush. Main Street shootouts were not uncommon. Banditos such as Claudio Feliz and Joaquin Murrieta would ambush prospectors on their way back from the gold rush fields and then seek refuge in Alisal. In the 1860s Procopio, Narciso Bojorques and others took refuge there.

Pleasanton

Pleasanton is located on the Rancho Valle de San José Mexican land grant and was founded by John W. Kottinger, an Alameda County justice of the peace, and named after his friend, Union army cavalry Major General Alfred Pleasonton. A typographical error by a U.S. Postal Service employee apparently led to the current spelling.

The reputation it had gained from its days as Alisal passed and in 1917, Pleasanton became the backdrop for the film Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, which starred Mary Pickford. The town was once home to Phoebe Apperson Hearst, who lived in a 50-room mansion on a 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) estate, now the site of Castlewood Country Club.

Demographics

The 2010 United States Census reported that Pleasanton had a population of 70,285. The population density was 2,896.5 people per square mile (1,118.4/km²). The racial makeup of Pleasanton was 47,058 (67.0%) White, 1,190 (1.7%) African American, 226 (0.3%) Native American, 16,322 (23.2%) Asian, 134 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 2,002 (2.8%) from other races, and 3,353 (4.8%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7,264 persons (10.3%).

The Census reported that 69,829 people (99.4% of the population) lived in households, 320 (0.5%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 136 (0.2%) were institutionalized.

There were 25,245 households, out of which 10,785 (42.7%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 16,206 (64.2%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 2,024 (8.0%) had a female householder with no husband present, 948 (3.8%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 887 (3.5%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 156 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 4,860 households (19.3%) were made up of individuals and 1,853 (7.3%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77. There were 19,178 families (76.0% of all households); the average family size was 3.20.

The population was spread out with 19,024 people (27.1%) under the age of 18, 4,378 people (6.2%) aged 18 to 24, 17,257 people (24.6%) aged 25 to 44, 21,965 people (31.3%) aged 45 to 64, and 7,661 people (10.9%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.5 years. For every 100 females there were 96.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.0 males.

There were 26,053 housing units at an average density of 1,073.7 per square mile (414.5/km²), of which 17,891 (70.9%) were owner-occupied, and 7,354 (29.1%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0.9%; the rental vacancy rate was 4.1%. 51,839 people (73.8% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 17,990 people (25.6%) lived in rental housing units.