Castaic, California facts for kids
Castaic Dam (photographed October 7, 2007)
Location within Los Angeles County
|• Total||7.278 sq mi (18.851 km2)|
|• Land||7.261 sq mi (18.806 km2)|
|• Water||0.017 sq mi (0.045 km2) 0.24%|
|Elevation||1,280 ft (390 m)|
|• Density||2,612.67/sq mi (1,008.70/km2)|
|Time zone||Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)|
|• Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC-7)|
|ZIP codes||91384, 91310|
|GNIS feature ID||2582966|
|U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Castaic, California|
Castaic, California (also spelled Castec, or Kashtiq), is a rural unincorporated community located in the northern part of Los Angeles County, California. Many thousands of motorists pass through Castaic daily as they drive to or from Los Angeles on Interstate 5. Castaic Lake is part of the California Water Project and is the site of a hydro-electric power plant. Castaic is located approximately 40 miles (64 km) northwest of the downtown Los Angeles Civic Center and about 10 miles (16 km) north of the city of Santa Clarita, California.
On Spanish documents, the original spelling was Castec, which represented the Chumash Native American word Kashtiq, meaning "eyes". Castec is first mentioned on old boundary maps of Rancho San Francisco, as a canyon at the trailhead leading to the old Chumash camp at Castac Lake (Tejon Ranch).
Modern Castaic began in 1887 when Southern Pacific set up a railroad siding on the line between Piru and Saugus Station, naming it "Castaic Junction". Between January and April 1890, the Castec School District adopted the new spelling, Castaic.
Consistent with that spelling, some pronounce "Castaic" with three, instead of two, syllables.
Between 1890 and 1916, the Castaic Range War was fought in Castaic country over ranch boundaries and grazing rights. It was the biggest range war in U.S. history.
A feud started over Section 23, where the Stonebridge subdivision is now. William Chormicle had legally bought the property, but William "Wirt" Jenkins was already storing grain on it and said he had filed for ownership. During a heated dispute, Chormicle and a friend shot and killed two of Jenkins's cowhands. They were acquitted in court.
Jenkins, however, was the local Justice of the Peace with friends of his own, and the feud quickly grew into war. Former Los Angeles Rangers (with whom Jenkins had fought) and other notables were drawn in. The war claimed dozens of lives and foiled a negotiator, a forest ranger whom President Theodore Roosevelt had sent in to quell it.
The hamlet of Castaic began in 1915 with the opening of the original Ridge Route, which brought travelers looking for gasoline, water, food, and lodging to the community. Some of the earliest businesses started in Castaic are Castaic Brick (founded 1927) and George Dunn's Wayside Dairy (founded 1929). Sam's Place (Sam Parson, proprietor) on the Ridge Route has long since gone and is now a memory. Castaic is a major truck stop along the Interstate 5 freeway.
Castaic has the last traditional cattle roundup—with horses, lariats, and branding irons—in Los Angeles County. It has been held by the Cordova family since 1834, when the family first settled here. Members of the Cordova family were scouts for the U.S. Army during the Mexican War in 1846 and helped identify bodies during the St. Francis Dam disaster in San Francisquito Canyon in 1928. Operations scaled back in 1967 when the government seized around 1,000 acres (400 ha), including the ancestral ranch-house, for the planned Castaic Lake and dam.
Castaic covers 7.3 square miles (19 km2) of area and includes the Val Verde and Chiquito Canyon areas. Castaic Lake is the southern terminus of the west branch of the California Water Project. A 1,175-megawatt pumped-storage hydroelectric plant at the north end of Castaic Lake captures the energy from the falling water descending toward the Los Angeles area.
Today travelers still enjoy stopping at Castaic for their needs but also enjoy nearby amenities including Castaic Lake and Pyramid Lake, where boating and swimming are favorite pastimes.
The area is seismically active. On January 3, 2015, a pair of earthquakes of magnitude 3.1 (location: , depth=9.0 km (5.6 mi)) and 4.2 (location: , depth=8.9 km (5.5 mi)) were reported about 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) north of Castaic. The epicenter was 16 miles (26 km) from Santa Clarita, California.
This region experiences warm and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F (22.0 °C). During the months of June though September, however, the average high temperature ranges from the 90s F (30s C) to above 100 °F (38 °C). According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Castaic has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Castaic had a population of 19,015. The population density was 2,612.5 people per square mile (1,008.7/km²). The racial makeup of Castaic was 13,607 (71.6%) White (57.1% Non-Hispanic White), 630 (3.3%) African American, 119 (0.6%) Native American, 2,162 (11.4%) Asian, 26 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 1,466 (7.7%) from other races, and 1,005 (5.3%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4,716 persons (24.8%).
The Census reported that 18,946 people (99.6% of the population) lived in households, 69 (0.4%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized. This statistic, however, does not include the population of the North County Correctional Facility, a Los Angeles County Jail with a population of 3,800 fully institutionalized inmates.
According to the 2010 United States Census, Castaic had a median household income of $106,538, with 7.0% of the population living below the federal poverty line. The population was spread out with 5,761 people (30.3%) under the age of 18, 1,717 people (9.0%) aged 18 to 24, 5,144 people (27.1%) aged 25 to 44, 5,302 people (27.9%) aged 45 to 64, and 1,091 people (5.7%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.6 years. For every 100 females there were 101.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.8 males.
There were 5,932 housing units at an average density of 815.0 per square mile (314.7/km²), of which 4,843 (84.2%) were owner-occupied, and 908 (15.8%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.2%; the rental vacancy rate was 6.7%. 16,231 people (85.4% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 2,715 people (14.3%) lived in rental housing units.
The historical spellings of Castaic (Kashtiq, Castec, and Castac) all are written as having two syllables. Long-time residents have generally held that Castaic is therefore pronounced to rhyme with "beef steak" (i.e., "kasteak"). More recently, many have taken to an alternate pronunciation, based on the current spelling, with three syllables, to rhyme with "prosaic" (i.e., "kastayik").
In 2013, at a meeting over the planned Castaic High School, people in attendance argued over which pronunciation was right.
Castaic, California Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.