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Wheatland is a city in Yuba County. It is located on the north bank of the Bear River, south of Beale Air Force Base, southwest of Horstville and the Spenceville State Wildlife Area, east of Plumas Lake, and southeast of Ostrom. It has a population of 3,548 (as of the 2009 California Department of Finance estimate), which is an 0.9% increase from the previous year and a 56.2% increase from 2000. (The huge increase from 2000 is due to Wheatland being swept up in the housing market bubble.) Its total area is 0.8 square miles. Its elevation is 92 feet. The average annual rainfall is 17.5 inches. The average high temperature in July is 96.3°, and the average low temperature in January is 38.0°. Wheatland's local newspaper is the Wheatland Citizen.

The native plant community of Wheatland is central oak woodland.

Wheatland is in the 95692 zip code.


As of a July 2007 estimate1, residents' median age was 32 years.

66.1% of residents were white and non-Hispanic, followed by 21.2% of residents who were Hispanic.

Of residents 25 or older, 76.9% had at least a high school degree, 11.4% had at least a bachelor's degree, and 3.5% had a graduate or professional degree.

Of residents 15 or older, 54.7% were married, 24.2% had never married, 11.2% were divorced, 7.3% were widowed, and 2.6% were separated.

6.8% of households were headed by unmarried partners. 0.5% of households were headed by self-identified same-sex couples.

For employed residents, the average travel time to work was 27 minutes. The most common industries for males to work in were the construction industry (16%) and farming (10%). The most common industries for females to work in were education (16%) and health care (10%).

The 2007 median annual household income was $48,883 and 2008 median home price was $210,960. 19.8% of residents were below the poverty level in 2007, and 5.3% were below half the poverty level. The 2008 cost of living index was 95.1 (the United States average is 100).


Rancher William Johnson was the first European-American to settle in what is now Wheatland; he established Johnson's Ranch. When the first survivors of the Donner Party crossed the Sierra Nevadas on the Overland Emigrant Trail in January 1847, Johnson's Ranch was the first European-American settlement they reached. Efforts to rescue the remaining, still-trapped members of the Donner Party were coordinated from his ranch, and he was briefly married to one of the Donner Party survivors, Mary Murphy Covillaud, after whom Marysville was named. She divorced him because he commited domestic violence against her.

Wheatland was laid out in 1866 and acquired a post office the same year. It was incorporated as a city in 1874.

The Chinese Pyre in Wheatland was used for funeral ceremonies by Wheatland's Chinese-American community from the 1870s until February 1886, when Wheatland violently drove all its Chinese residents out of town (as did Marysville). Wheatland remained a sundown town (in which Chinese people and other people of color were threatened with violence if they attempted to live in the city or to remain in it after sundown) until apparently rather recently, although the policy became gradually less overtly stated in public.

Edward Park Duplex was elected mayor of Wheatland on April 11, 1888, the first African-American man to be elected mayor of a western United States city.

Ralph Haines Durst was a hop farmer in Wheatland and the largest employer of migrant farm workers in California. The Wheatland Hop Riot took place on his ranch in 1913.

Almeda E. McDevitt was a very successful turkey farmer in the 1920s, about eight miles northeast of Wheatland.

The History of Yuba County, California (Chapter XXVI: Bear River Townships) by Thompson & West, 1879, described Wheatland this way:

This flourishing town is situated in East Bear River township, on the southeast quarter of section twelve of the Johnson grant. . . . In 1866, the town was surveyed and laid out by George Holland, under the management of C. L. Wilson. The Oregon division of the C.P.R.R. was completed to this point in the same year, and a post-office established. The first building in the town was a saloon, which was built in 1866, before the town was surveyed. It stood where Chinatown now is, but when the town was laid out it was moved to Main street, opposite the depot, where it still stands. The next building was Ziegenbien & Co.'s store, a wooden structure on the corner of Main and Front streets. The first residence was built the same year by C. Holland, corner of Main and D streets. E. W. Sheets built a blacksmith's shop corner of Main and C streets, and Asa Raymond built a hotel on Main street, near the east end of the town. These were all the buildings erected during the first year of the town's existence. It grew very slowly until about 1871-2, when the sales of lots were quite numerous. On account of the inability of the town to protect itself against fire, and to provide sanitary regulations, etc., the citizens decided to have the town incorporated, which was accordingly done by act of the Legislature, March 13, 1874.


April: Wheatland/Beale Community Fair May: Pet Parade



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City of Wheatland Wheatland entry on Wikipedia Wheatland entry on Wikimapia Sperling's Best Places: Wheatland City Data: Wheatland, California


1. City Data: Wheatland, California