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Oakdale, California

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Oakdale, California

City of Oakdale
South Sierra Avenue
South Sierra Avenue
Motto: "The Cowboy Capital of the World"
Location in Stanislaus County and the state of California
Location in Stanislaus County and the state of California
Country  United States
State  California
County Stanislaus
Incorporated November 24, 1906[1]
 • Total 6.095 sq mi (15.784 km2)
 • Land 6.045 sq mi (15.655 km2)
 • Water 0.050 sq mi (0.129 km2)  0.81%
Elevation 157 ft (48 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 20,675
 • Density 3,400/sq mi (1,300/km2)
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 95361
Area code 209
FIPS code 06-52694
GNIS feature ID 0277564
Hershey's Oakdale Visitor Center and Shop after it was permanently closed due to the Oakdale Hershey Plant moving to Mexico.
Looking north down Yosemite Avenue toward Downtown Oakdale.

Oakdale is a city in Stanislaus County, California, United States. It is part of the Modesto Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city was founded in 1871 when the Stockton and Visalia Railroad met the Copperopolis Railroad. Oakdale goes by the slogan "Cowboy Capital of the World." The population was 20,675 at the 2010 census, up from 15,503 at the 2000 census.

Geography and climate

The city is located in the east-central portion of the Central Valley, adjacent to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. California State Routes 108 and 120 (Tioga Pass Road) intersect in the city.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.1 square miles (16 km2), of which 6.0 square miles (16 km2) is land and 0.05 square miles (0.13 km2) (0.81%) is water.

The National Weather Service has maintained a cooperative weather station at Woodward Dam for many years. In January, average temperatures are a maximum of 52.4°F (11.33°C) and a minimum of 35.1°F (1.72°C). In July, average temperatures are a maximum of 102.8°F (39.33°C) and a minimum of 58.4°F (14.67°C). The record high temperature was 114°F (45.56°C) on July 18, 1925. The record low temperature was 12°F (-11.11°C) on December 11, 1932. Annually, there are an average of 84.6 days with highs of 90°F (32°C) or higher and an average of 30.8 days with lows of 32°F (0°C) or lower.

Average annual rainfall is 13.33 inches. There are an average of 44 days annually with measurable precipitation. The wettest year was 1958 with 22.15 inches and the dryest year was 1947 with 7.99 inches. The most rainfall in one month was 8.63 inches in January 1911. The most rainfall in 24 hours was 5.72 inches on April 3, 1958. The record snowfall was 1.5 inches in January 1930.[3]

Climate data for Oakdale, California (Woodward Dam, 1906-1967)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 71
Average high °F (°C) 52.4
Average low °F (°C) 35.1
Record low °F (°C) 14
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.61
Avg. precipitation days (≥ .01 in) 8 7 7 4 2 1 0 0 1 2 4 7 44
Source: [4]



The 2010 United States Census[5] reported that Oakdale had a population of 20,675. The population density was 3,392.6 people per square mile (1,309.9/km²). The racial makeup of Oakdale was 16,558 (80.1%) White, 163 (0.8%) African American, 210 (1.0%) Native American, 463 (2.2%) Asian, 37 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 2,386 (11.5%) from other races, and 858 (4.1%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5,398 persons (26.1%).

The Census reported that 20,488 people (99.1% of the population) lived in households, 75 (0.4%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 112 (0.5%) were institutionalized.

There were 7,288 households, out of which 3,016 (41.4%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 3,853 (52.9%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 1,009 (13.8%) had a female householder with no husband present, 436 (6.0%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 517 (7.1%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 36 (0.5%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 1,573 households (21.6%) were made up of individuals and 694 (9.5%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.81. There were 5,298 families (72.7% of all households); the average family size was 3.28.

The population was spread out with 5,766 people (27.9%) under the age of 18, 1,837 people (8.9%) aged 18 to 24, 5,436 people (26.3%) aged 25 to 44, 5,083 people (24.6%) aged 45 to 64, and 2,553 people (12.3%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34.9 years. For every 100 females there were 95.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.8 males.

There were 7,822 housing units at an average density of 1,283.5 per square mile (495.6/km²), of which 4,454 (61.1%) were owner-occupied, and 2,834 (38.9%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.7%; the rental vacancy rate was 7.7%. 12,342 people (59.7% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 8,146 people (39.4%) lived in rental housing units.


As of the census of 2000, there were 15,503 people, 5,610 households, and 4,050 families residing in the city.[6] The population density was 3,084.6 people per square mile (1,190.0/km²). There were 5,805 housing units at an average density of 1,155.0 per square mile (445.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 83.82% White, 5.48% African American, 1.09% Native American, 1.18% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 9.27% from other races, and 4.04% from two or more races.

There were 5,610 households out of which 37.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.8% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.8% were non-families. 22.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.20.

In the city the population was spread out with 28.9% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 29.1% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 92.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $39,338, and the median income for a family was $44,024. Males had a median income of $40,494 versus $24,747 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,019. About 8.6% of families and 11.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.0% of those under age 18 and 9.8% of those age 65 or over.

Soil characteristics

Historically the area has been used for orchards and other agricultural uses. Some of the common soil types found in Oakdale are Delhi sand, Oakdale sandy loam, Hanford sandy loam, and Tujunga loamy sand. Oakdale is generally on level ground at an elevation of approximately 190 feet (58 m) above mean sea level.[7] Drainage is generally to the northwest towards the Stanislaus River.

There have been several local releases of toxic chemicals that have resulted in soil contamination and aquifer contamination. Examples of these releases are:[8]

  • Beacon Service Station, 1590 East F Street, Oakdale. This release was a fuel leak caused by an underground tank failure in 1985. Approximately 2,000 gallons of product was released into the environment. The groundwater has been contaminated with reported benzene concentrations as high as 1790 parts per billion. Soil remediation began as early as 1989.
  • Chevron Service Station, 346 East F Street, Oakdale. An unknown quantity of gasoline was released. The release was discovered on May 25, 1987 through a site inspection. Groundwater is contaminated and cleanup work ensued.
  • Cruse Brothers, 663 South Yosemite Avenue, Oakdale. Diesel fuel contamination was discovered on November 11, 1988 during the removal of a 30-year old steel 500-gallon tank. The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board sent an Enforcement Action Letter on January 23, 1989.


On November 2, 2010 Pat Paul was elected mayor and will be serving her first term.


The Oakdale economy centers on agriculture, food manufacturing, and tourism.

Oakdale was the home to a satellite plant of Hershey Chocolate, but the plant closed in January 2008. It opened on May 22, 1965 and employed about 575 locals. The plant was purchased by Sconza Candy Company, which began production in October 2008. Many other large food manufacturing operations are nearby including a ConAgra Foods Hunt's plant which is one of the largest tomato processing plants in the world. Cattle ranching is common in the surrounding areas, adding to the diversity and character of the local economy.


Oakdale has a high school, a junior high school and four elementary schools. Together they comprise the Oakdale Joint Unified School District.[9]

  • Oakdale High School; mascot is the mustang.
  • Oakdale Junior High School; mascot is the ram.
  • Cloverland Elementary School; mascot is the cougar.
  • Fair Oaks Elementary School: mascot is the falcon.
  • Magnolia Elementary School: mascot is the bear.
  • Sierra View Elementary School; mascot is the coyote.

Notable people

Oakdale Cowboy Museum


The Oakdale Cowboy Museum focuses on area ranchers, rodeo cowboys and cowgirls. Exhibits include historic photographs, saddles, rodeo artifacts and cowboy gear.

The Oakdale Museum is located in the oldest home in Oakdale and focuses on the families and businesses of the area. Exhibits include historic photographs, furniture, home goods, clothing, yearbooks, and more. The museum is also a research center for people interested in finding about family from the area.

Oakdale Cheese & Specialties is owned and operated by Dutch immigrants Walter and Lenneke Bulk. Cheesemaking has been in Walter’s family for 4 generations. They specialize in Gouda and offer a variety of choices.

The Stanislaus River offers areas for rafting, kayaking, swimming, fishing, camping and hiking.

Sierra Dinner Train is located just south of the main intersection (Yosemite & F) and operates year round. The train offers everything from dinner trips to Murder Mystery & Christmas trips.


External links

  • Oakdale, California - official website
  • Oakdale Tourism & Visitors Bureau
  • Oakdale Chamber of Commerce
  • Oakdale, California at DMOZ
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