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Escalon, California
City of Escalon
Escalon, Land of Peaches and Cream, welcome sign
Escalon, Land of Peaches and Cream, welcome sign
Location of Escalon in San Joaquin County, California
Location of Escalon in San Joaquin County, California
Escalon, California is located in the United States
Escalon, California
Escalon, California
Location in the United States
Country  United States
State  California
County San Joaquin
Incorporated March 12, 1957
Area
 • Total 2.35 sq mi (6.08 km2)
 • Land 2.28 sq mi (5.90 km2)
 • Water 0.07 sq mi (0.17 km2)  2.85%
Elevation
118 ft (36 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 7,132
 • Estimate 
(2019)
7,574
 • Density 3,321.93/sq mi (1,282.85/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (PST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
95320
Area code(s) 209
FIPS code 06-22790
GNIS feature ID 1656002

Escalon (Spanish: Escalón, meaning "Step") is a city in San Joaquin County, California, United States. The population was 7,132 at the 2010 census, up from 5,963 at the 2000 census. Escalon is a Spanish word meaning "stepping stones." The name comes from founder James Wheeler Jones who came upon the name in a book in the Stockton Free Library and liked the name so much he gave the name to the town.

Geography

Escalon is located at 37°47.5'N 120°59.5'W (37.7984,-120.9969), where State Highway 120 crosses the BNSF railroad. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2). 2.3 square miles (6.0 km2) of it is land and 2.85% is water.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1960 1,763
1970 2,366 34.2%
1980 3,127 32.2%
1990 4,437 41.9%
2000 5,963 34.4%
2010 7,132 19.6%
2019 (est.) 7,574 6.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

The 2010 United States Census reported that Escalon had a population of 7,132. The population density was 3,011.5 people per square mile (1,162.8/km2). The racial makeup of Escalon was 5,823 (81.6%) White, 30 (0.4%) African American, 80 (1.1%) Native American, 96 (1.3%) Asian, 22 (0.3%) Pacific Islander, 823 (11.5%) from other races, and 258 (3.6%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1,928 persons (27.0%).

The Census reported that 7,117 people (99.8% of the population) lived in households, 15 (0.2%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.

There were 2,476 households, out of which 975 (39.4%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 1,484 (59.9%) were married couples living together, 291 (11.8%) had a female householder with no husband present, 143 (5.8%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 130 (5.3%) unmarried. 469 households (18.9%) were made up of individuals, and 241 (9.7%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.87. There were 1,918 families (77.5% of all households); the average family size was 3.28.

The population was spread out, with 1,933 people (27.1%) under the age of 18, 675 people (9.5%) aged 18 to 24, 1,736 people (24.3%) aged 25 to 44, 1,898 people (26.6%) aged 45 to 64, and 890 people (12.5%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36.0 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.2 males.

There were 2,610 housing units at an average density of 1,102.1 per square mile (425.5/km2), of which 1,792 (72.4%) were owner-occupied, and 684 (27.6%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.5%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.9%. 5,082 people (71.3% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 2,035 people (28.5%) lived in rental housing units.

Economy

Industry

Escalon has a large agricultural industry which is based on the fertile farmland surrounding the city. Escalon is home to one of the largest walnut processing facilities in the world, DeRuosi Nut. Some of the largest employers in Escalon include; DeRuosi Nut, GoldRiver Orchards, Grower's Choice, and Roche Bros Inc. are many of the nut processing plants that lie in the heart of Escalon accounting for a great deal of the local agricultural economy. Escalon is always growing its agriculture in new ways.

DeRuosi Nut Facility
DeRuosi Nut Headquarters

Principal employers

Major employers in the city include:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Kraft Heinz (formerly Escalon Premier Brands) 750
2 Hogan Mfg., Inc. 160
3 DeRuosi Nut 124
4 GoldRiver Orchards
5 Barton Ranch
6 Roche Bros Inc.
7 Grower's Choice

Sports

The Escalon High Cougars represent the local high school in the Trans Valley League, in which they are founding members. The Escalon High Varsity football team has enjoyed numerous success over the years. Winning three State Championships in the past 30 years. The Cougars are currently the 33rd winningest team in the state of California among all divisions with a record of 563-276-43 as of the end of the 2019 season.

Education

In 1963, representatives from eight component districts (Burwood, Collegeville, Dent Union, Escalon Union High, Farmington, Four Tree, Lone Tree, and Van Allen)began a series of six meetings commissioned by their component boards to explore the concept of creating one unified school district to serve the educational needs of the districts involved. At the conclusion of these meetings, a recommendation was forwarded to the County Superintendent of Schools that the eight districts form a unified district. The recommendation was approved by the San Joaquin County Board of Education in October 1964.

On February 24, 1965, a public hearing was held on the proposal in the Escalon High School library. An election day of March 8, 1966 was designated by County Superintendent Gaylord Nelson. Voters approved the unification and on March 15, 1966, the San Joaquin Board of Supervisors created what would soon become the Escalon Unified School District, effective July 1, 1967.

Currently, the Escalon Unified School District is made up of 4 elementary schools (Collegeville Dual Language Immersion, Dent, Farmington and Van Allen), one middle school (El Portal), one comprehensive high school (Escalon High), one continuation high school (Vista) and one charter school (Escalon Charter Academy/Gateway Home School).

Schools

  • Escalon High
  • Vista High
  • El Portal Middle
  • Dent Elementary
  • Van Allen Elementary
  • Farmington Elementary
  • Collegeville Elementary
  • Escalon Charter Academy

Transportation

Escalon HD
Aerial view of Escalon.

Highways and Roads

California State Route 120 runs through Escalon connecting it to the Bay Area and to the west through Oakdale where it merges with California State Route 108 to the Sierra Nevada. McHenry Avenue runs south towards Modesto crossing the Stanislaus River over the newly rebuilt McHenry Bridge. Escalon currently has 4 stoplights in town all within a 1/4 mile proximity.

Future Development

South McHenry Avenue: This project will widened from two lanes to three lanes from Narcissus Way to Jones Road (3300 lineal feet). The improvements will include pavement widening and curb and gutter on the east side. It is anticipated that no right of way will be required but won't be confirmed until the project is in the design phase. This project is awaiting approval in 2030 for completion by 2036

Ullrey Ave./ McHenry Ave. Traffic Signal: design and construction of a signal at the intersection of McHenry Avenue and Ullrey Avenue.

SR 120 at Brennan Avenue In 2020 $446,066 was approved for intersection improvements, no traffic signal. The project is slated for completion in 2026.

Escalon Bellota Road Improvements Widen 2 to 4 lanes with shoulders from Escalon City limits to Mariposa Road. Project is estimated to be completed by 2025.

Caltrans Intercity Rail Construct double main track, panelized turnouts, relocate/renew siding turnout, and realign existing track. From Stockton to Escalon. No estimated completion date.

French Camp at Hwy 120 Roundabout The 2020 SHOPP, approved in May 2020, included the following Collision Reduction item of interest, Route 120 near Manteca, at French Camp Road. Construct roundabout. Programmed in FY23-24, with construction scheduled to start in December 2024. Total project cost is $16,204K, with $10,536K being capital.

Railroads

Caboose 2
This Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad caboose is located in Escalon's Main Street Park and owned by the Escalon Historical Society. The caboose sits very near the spot where the Santa Fe depot was erected as one of the new town's first buildings in the late 1890s. The first train passed through Escalon in 1896.

Escalon has two railways through town. The former Tidewater Southern Railway comes west into town from Manteca along Highway 120 until it hits McHenry Avenue and heads south out of town. This railway is owned and operated by Union Pacific Railroad and is still in use today, though the tracks end at the city limits of Jones Avenue.

The other railway in town is the BNSF Railway Stockton Subdivision which has two tracks, divides the town in a northwest to southeast direction. Oftentimes two trains will meet and pass on opposing rails through town, often backing up traffic along Highway 120 for over 20–30 mins. The Santa Fe Railway San Francisco Chief served Escalon as a flag stop until 1971 along this line — this was the final passenger rail service to the town.

Notable people

  • Rod Beaton – an American journalist and media executive with United Press International
  • Herbert A. Calcaterra – WWII US Navy sailor for whom the ship USS Calcaterra was named for his deeds during WWII
  • Alice Estes Davis – Disney legend/Costume designer for Disney films, television, and theme parks
  • James Lew – American martial arts actor

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