|City of Gonzales|
Gonzales water tower
Location in Monterey County and the state of California
|• Senate||Anthony Cannella (R)|
|• Assembly||Anna M. Caballero (D)|
|• U. S. Congress||Sam Farr (D)|
|• Total||1.959 sq mi (5.075 km2)|
|• Land||1.921 sq mi (4.976 km2)|
|• Water||0.038 sq mi (0.098 km2) 1.93%|
|Elevation||135 ft (41 m)|
|• Density||4,200/sq mi (1,600/km2)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC-8)|
|• Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC-7)|
|GNIS feature ID||1659726|
Gonzales is a city in Monterey County, California, United States. Gonzales is located 16 miles (26 km) southeast of Salinas, at an elevation of 135 feet (41 m). The population was 8,187 at the 2010 census, up from 7,525 at the 2000 census. Gonzales is a member of the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments.
Gonzales is an important wine cultivation area. Wineries located in Gonzales include Blackstone, Robert Talbott Vineyards, Paul Masson Vineyards, Pisoni Vineyards, Constellation Wines, Boekenoogen Winery, and Salinas Valley Vineyards. The Rex Goliath wine company is also based in Gonzales.
Gonzales is located at .
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.2 km2), of which, 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) of it (1.93%) is water.
Gonzales was originally a depot for freight trains once the Southern Pacific Railroad laid tracks through the valley in 1872.
The community was planned by Mariano and Alfredo Gonzales. The first Gonzales post office opened in 1873. The name honors the Gonzales family, owners of Rancho Rincon de la Puente del Monte, on which Gonzales was built. At that time, Gonzales was a cattle ranching and grain growers community.
Gonzales soon turned into a predominantly Swiss dairy community when John B. Meyenberg brought his original milk processing procedures to the United States. His company the Alpine Milk Company, later known as the Meyenberg Milk Company opened its first plant in Gonzales in 1906. Improvements to agriculture technology and the rich soil soon grew the Salinas Valley into the nation's premier agricultural center and all but one dairy farm disappeared.
Prior to being nicknamed the "Wine Capital of Monterey County," Gonzales was known as "The Heart of the Salad Bowl" (due to its central location in the agricultural valley). Before that it was nicknamed "Little Switzerland" (due to the similarities of the valley landscape to Switzerland as well as the predominantly Swiss community at the time).
Dairy farming gave way to vegetable raising in the 1920s and prospered due to the rich soil and advancements in irrigation, machinery and transportation facilities.
The first school house was built in 1874. The first church was the Gonzales Baptist Church, which was built in 1884 and still holds weekly worship services today.
The town was officially incorporated January 10, 1947.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Gonzales had a population of 8,187. The population density was 4,178.5 people per square mile (1,613.3/km²). The racial makeup of Gonzales was 3,464 (42.3%) White, 81 (1.0%) African American, 124 (1.5%) Native American, 190 (2.3%) Asian, 14 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 3,958 (48.3%) from other races, and 356 (4.3%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7,276 persons (88.9%).
The Census reported that 8,181 people (99.9% of the population) lived in households, 6 (0.1%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.
There were 1,906 households, out of which 1,252 (65.7%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 1,256 (65.9%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 309 (16.2%) had a female householder with no husband present, 139 (7.3%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 120 (6.3%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 11 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 155 households (8.1%) were made up of individuals and 66 (3.5%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.29. There were 1,704 families (89.4% of all households); the average family size was 4.45.
The population was spread out with 2,856 people (34.9%) under the age of 18, 957 people (11.7%) aged 18 to 24, 2,355 people (28.8%) aged 25 to 44, 1,529 people (18.7%) aged 45 to 64, and 490 people (6.0%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27.0 years. For every 100 females there were 104.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 104.4 males.
There were 1,989 housing units at an average density of 1,015.2 per square mile (392.0/km²), of which 1,019 (53.5%) were owner-occupied, and 887 (46.5%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.7%; the rental vacancy rate was 2.1%. 4,186 people (51.1% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 3,995 people (48.8%) lived in rental housing units.
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,525 people, 1,695 households, and 1,501 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,429.4 people per square mile (2,090.2/km²). There were 1,724 housing units at an average density of 1,243.9 per square mile (478.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 34.78% White, 0.80% Black or African American, 1.41% Native American, 2.05% Asian, 0.17% Pacific Islander, 55.99% from other races, and 4.81% from two or more races. 86.03% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 1,695 households out of which 61.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.0% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 11.4% were non-families. 9.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.42 and the average family size was 4.61.
In the city the population was spread out with 37.8% under the age of 18, 13.1% from 18 to 24, 30.7% from 25 to 44, 12.7% from 45 to 64, and 5.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 24 years. For every 100 females there were 108.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 109.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $41,582, and the median income for a family was $41,773. Males had a median income of $31,743 versus $27,115 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,438. About 15.0% of families and 20.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.6% of those under age 18 and 11.5% of those age 65 or over.
Local radio stations include KHIP-FM - 104.3 and KKMC-AM - 880. Television service for the community comes from the Monterey-Salinas-Santa Cruz designated market area (DMA). Local newspapers include the Gonzales Tribune, the Salinas Californian and the Monterey County Herald.
Gonzales is birthplace to Thomas Tavernetti, Honored at U.C. Davis with the Tavernetti Bell that is rung on football game days.
Gonzales is also birthplace to John Blume, the “Father of Earthquake Engineering.”
Gonzales became home to John B. Meyenberg and the Western State's first condensary. Meyenberg was the first person to perfect a successful process for the concentration of milk without the addition of sugar. His patent for Evaporated Milk was secured a few years before his arrival to Gonzales in 1904.
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