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Tecopa
Location in Inyo County and the state of California
Location in Inyo County and the state of California
Tecopa, California is located in the United States
Tecopa, California
Tecopa, California
Location in the United States
Country United States
State California
County Inyo
Area
 • Total 18.657 sq mi (48.323 km2)
 • Land 18.589 sq mi (48.146 km2)
 • Water 0.068 sq mi (0.177 km2)  0.37%
Elevation
1,339 ft (408 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 150
 • Density 8.04/sq mi (3.10/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (Pacific (PST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
92389
Area codes 442/760
FIPS code 06-78050
GNIS feature ID 0250293
Canyon scene along road into the China Ranch, CA
Badlands along the road to the China Ranch date farm, south of Tecopa

Tecopa (formerly Brownsville) is a census-designated place (CDP) in the Mojave Desert, in Inyo County, California, United States. Tecopa is located 9 miles (14 km) south-southeast of Shoshone, at an elevation of 1,339 feet (408 m). The population was 150 at the 2010 census, up from 99 at the 2000 census.

One of Tecopa's popular features is its natural hot springs.

Tecopa was named after the Paiute leader Chief Tecopa.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 18.7 square miles (48 km2), of which, 18.6 square miles (48 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (0.37%) is water.

History

The Old Spanish Trail and the later wagon road called the Old Mormon Road or Salt Lake Road, passed from Resting Springs, east of the modern site of Tecopa, 7 miles to Willow Spring on the east bank of the canyon of the Amargosa River (then called Saleratus Creek), below Tecopa and above the mouth of China Ranch Wash. In 1859, THE PRAIRIE TRAVELER, a popular handbook for overland travelers at that time described it:

"The spring is on the left of the road, and flows into Saleratus Creek. Animals must not be allowed to drink the Saleratus water."

There the trail turned to follow the river south to Salt Springs.

William D. and Robert D. Brown, brothers, founded the town in 1875, and named it Brownsville. When Jonas Osborne bought out the Browns, he renamed the town after Indian Chief Tecopa. Mines developed nearby in the 1860s and Tecopa served as the settlement. The town's original site was 5 miles (8 km) southeast of Resting Springs. Kasson, California was nearby. The present location was developed along the Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad, which reached the site in 1907.

A post office operated at the original site of Tecopa from 1877 to 1881. A post office opened at the new site in 1907, was closed in 1931, and reopened in 1932.

Demographics

2010

At the 2010 census Tecopa had a population of 150. The population density was 8.0 people per square mile (3.1/km2). The racial makeup of Tecopa was 119 (79.3%) White, 1 (0.7%) African American, 8 (5.3%) Native American, 2 (1.3%) Asian, 0 (0.0%) Pacific Islander, 1 (0.7%) from other races, and 19 (12.7%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8 people (5.3%).

The whole population lived in households, no one lived in non-institutionalized group quarters and no one was institutionalized.

There were 92 households, 13 (14.1%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 22 (23.9%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 2 (2.2%) had a female householder with no husband present, 6 (6.5%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 6 (6.5%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 2 (2.2%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 56 households (60.9%) were one person and 28 (30.4%) had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 1.63. There were 30 families (32.6% of households); the average family size was 2.60.

The age distribution was 19 people (12.7%) under the age of 18, 5 people (3.3%) aged 18 to 24, 17 people (11.3%) aged 25 to 44, 59 people (39.3%) aged 45 to 64, and 50 people (33.3%) who were 65 or older. The median age was 57.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 138.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 133.9 males.

There were 159 housing units at an average density of 8.5 per square mile (3.3/km2),of which 92 were occupied, 57 (62.0%) by the owners and 35 (38.0%) by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 6.6%; the rental vacancy rate was 10.3%. 96 people (64.0% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 54 people (36.0%) lived in rental housing units.

2000

At the 2000 census there were 99 people, 60 households, and 22 families in the CDP. The population density was 5.3 people per square mile (2.1/km2). There were 133 housing units at an average density of 7.2 per square mile (2.8/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 88.89% White, 1.01% Black or African American, 7.07% Native American, and 3.03% from two or more races. 4.04% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Of the 60 households 10.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 28.3% were married couples living together, 6.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 63.3% were non-families. 55.0% of households were one person and 30.0% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 1.65 and the average family size was 2.50.

The age distribution was 10.1% under the age of 18, 4.0% from 18 to 24, 14.1% from 25 to 44, 28.3% from 45 to 64, and 43.4% 65 or older. The median age was 63 years. For every 100 females, there were 80.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.0 males.

The median household income was $12,344 and the median family income was $16,250. Males had a median income of $0 versus $31,250 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $10,395. There were 30.8% of families and 38.6% of the population living below the poverty line, including 100.0% of under eighteens and 27.0% of those over 64.

Economy

Historically, Tecopa's economy was based on mining, has been slowly transitioning to an ecotourist and resort town. A major attraction in tecopa is the Tecopa Ecological Reserve, which hosts a natural ground fed hot springs.

Tecopa also has minimal agriculture activities, mostly revolving around Date Farming.

Transportation

Public transportation in Tecopa is operated by Eastern Sierra Transit Authority as a fixed route lifeline service to residents of Tecopa to Pahrump twice a month. In October 2020, service was suspended because the contractor serving this route, Pahrump Senior Center, sold the route to a third-party vendor and failed to meet contractual obligations Eastern Sierra Transit Authority is in the process of finding an alternative provider for the Tecopa bus route

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