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Likely, California facts for kids

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Country  United States
State  California
County Modoc
 • Total 1.334 sq mi (3.454 km2)
 • Land 1.329 sq mi (3.442 km2)
 • Water 0.005 sq mi (0.012 km2)  0.34%
4,449 ft (1,356 m)
 • Total 63
 • Density 47.2/sq mi (18.24/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (Pacific (PST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 530
GNIS feature IDs 262452; 2583057

Likely (formerly, South Fork) is a census-designated place in Modoc County, California. It is located near the South Fork of the Pit River 18 miles (29 km) south of the county seat of Alturas, at an elevation of 4,449 feet (1,356 m). Located 6 miles (9.7 km) north-northwest of Likely Mountain, it is somewhat sheltered from prevailing southwesterly winds, and its microclimate is noticeably drier and less stormy than surrounding areas. The ZIP Code for the community is 96116. Likely has been noted for its unusual place name.


Likely lies on the south side of the South Fork of the Pit River, in the south end of South Fork Valley, in the northeastern corner of California at 41°13′50″N 120°30′15″W / 41.23056°N 120.50417°W / 41.23056; -120.50417. Fragments of the southern edge of the Modoc Plateau surround Likely on most sides.


Likely now occupies what was originally an Achumawi (Pit River) village known as Hamawe or Hammawi. The town was initially known as South Fork, named after the South Fork of the Pit River, and was renamed at the insistence of the United States Post Office, which insisted at that time that Post Offices could only have one-word names. Residents were unable to agree what to name their town until a local rancher observed that they would most likely never agree upon a name, at which point someone nominated the name, "Likely", and the name was voted in. The South Fork post office operated from 1878 to 1882. The Likely post office opened in 1886.

One of the last of the American Indian Wars was fought at Infernal Caverns, a short distance from Likely.

A 1913 book described Likely as having a population of 75, and situated along the main automobile route from Madeline to Bayley.

The Likely Peat Moss Company, Radel Inc. operated in Likely until 1987 when the non-renewing supply of high quality hypnum peat moss in nearby Jess Valley was depleted. The peat moss was strip-mined from the floor of Jess Valley and trucked 13 miles to Likely on the winding canyon road paralleling South Fork Pit River between Likely and Ivy, California. The peat moss was processed and packaged and then shipped by both truck and by Southern Pacific Railroad until rail services to Likely were discontinued. The company, Radel, was dissolved in 1987 upon the owner's retirement.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP covers an area of 1.3 square miles (3.5 km²), with 99.66% land, and 0.34% water.


The 2010 United States Census reported that Likely had a population of 63. The population density was 47.2 people per square mile (18.2/km²). The racial makeup of Likely was 57 (90.5%) White, 0 (0.0%) African American, 5 (7.9%) Native American, 0 (0.0%) Asian, 0 (0.0%) Pacific Islander, 0 (0.0%) from other races, and 1 (1.6%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6 persons (9.5%).

The Census reported that 63 people (100% of the population) lived in households, 0 (0%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.

There were 34 households, out of which 4 (11.8%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 17 (50.0%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 3 (8.8%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1 (2.9%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1 (2.9%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 0 (0%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 11 households (32.4%) were made up of individuals and 8 (23.5%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.85. There were 21 families (61.8% of all households); the average family size was 2.29.

The population was spread out with 5 people (7.9%) under the age of 18, 2 people (3.2%) aged 18 to 24, 7 people (11.1%) aged 25 to 44, 24 people (38.1%) aged 45 to 64, and 25 people (39.7%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 59.1 years. For every 100 females there were 103.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.0 males.

There were 46 housing units at an average density of 34.5 per square mile (13.3/km²), of which 29 (85.3%) were owner-occupied, and 5 (14.7%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0%; the rental vacancy rate was 37.5%. 55 people (87.3% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 8 people (12.7%) lived in rental housing units.

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