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Tehama County, California
County of Tehama
Ishi Wilderness.jpg
State Theater 1946 - Red Bluff, CA.JPG
Lassen NP headquarters.jpg
Front of William B. Ide Adobe.JPG
Images, from top down, left to right: Black Rock in the Ishi Wilderness, State Theatre in Red Bluff, Park Headquarters in Lassen Volcanic National Park, front of the William B. Ide Adobe
Official seal of Tehama County, California
Location in the state of California
Location in the state of California
Country  United States
State  California
Region Shasta Cascade
Incorporated 1856
County seat Red Bluff
Largest city Red Bluff
 • Total 2,962 sq mi (7,670 km2)
 • Land 2,950 sq mi (7,600 km2)
 • Water 12 sq mi (30 km2)
Highest elevation
9,239 ft (2,816 m)
 • Total 65,829
 • Density 22.225/sq mi (8.5809/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (Pacific Standard Time)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (Pacific Daylight Time)

Tehama County ( tə-HAY-mə; Wintun for "high water") is a county located in the northern part of the U.S. state of California. As of the 2020 census, the population was 65,829. The county seat and largest city is Red Bluff.

Tehama County comprises the Red Bluff, California micropolitan statistical area, which is also included in the Redding-Red Bluff, California combined statistical area. The county is bisected by the Sacramento River.


Tehama County was formed from parts of Butte, Colusa, and Shasta Counties in 1856.

The county is named for the City of Tehama. The origin of the name is not known. Suggested possible roots are the Arabic word تهامة tehama ("hot low-lands"), the Spanish word tejamanil (shingle), or "high water" in the dialect of local Native Americans.

The first permanent non-indigenous settlers in the area that is now Tehama County were Robert Hasty Thomes, Albert Gallatin Toomes, William George Chard, and Job Francis Dye. The four men were each given land grants by the government of Mexico in 1844. Thomes received Rancho Saucos, Toomes received Rancho Rio de los Molinos, Chard received Rancho Las Flores, and Dye received Rancho Primer Cañon o Rio de Los Berrendos. Later in the same year Josiah Belden received Rancho Barranca Colorado.

Famous early figures include Kit Carson, who took part in a fight that gave name to Bloody Island and Battle Creek, Jedediah Smith, John Fremont, and William B. Ide, the first and only president of the California Republic.

The history of Tehama County includes the January 1886 relocation of Red Bluff's Chinese population, followed by the August 1886 torching of Red Bluff's Chinatown by alleged arsonists. The January 29th, 1886 edition of The Daily Alta detailed 'The Anti-Coolie Move' and confirms that a secret anti-Chinese meeting was convened in the town of Tehama, and an organization established to relocate the estimated 2,000 Chinese in and around Vina. Secret daily anti-Chinese caucuses in Red Bluff were also held.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,962 square miles (7,670 km2), of which 2,950 square miles (7,600 km2) is land and 12 square miles (31 km2) (0.4%) is water. Watercourses in Tehama County include Dye Creek and Payne's Creek. The county is intersected by Sacramento River. A small part of Lassen Volcanic National Park extends into the northeast corner of the county.

National protected areas

  • Lassen National Forest (part)
  • Lassen Volcanic National Park (part)
  • Mendocino National Forest (part)
  • Sacramento River National Wildlife Refuge (part)
  • Shasta-Trinity National Forest (part)


Major highways

Public transportation

Tehama Rural Area Express (TRAX) operates local service in Red Bluff and service to Los Molinos and Corning. Greyhound buses stop in Red Bluff.


Red Bluff Municipal Airport and Corning Municipal Airport are two general aviation airports.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 4,044
1870 3,587 −11.3%
1880 9,301 159.3%
1890 9,916 6.6%
1900 10,996 10.9%
1910 11,401 3.7%
1920 12,882 13.0%
1930 13,866 7.6%
1940 14,316 3.2%
1950 19,276 34.6%
1960 25,305 31.3%
1970 29,517 16.6%
1980 38,888 31.7%
1990 49,625 27.6%
2000 56,039 12.9%
2010 63,463 13.2%
2020 65,829 3.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010 2020

2020 census

Tehama County, California - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010 Pop 2020 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 45,603 41,340 71.86% 62.80%
Black or African American alone (NH) 349 391 0.55% 0.59%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 1,205 1,167 1.90% 1.77%
Asian alone (NH) 625 985 0.98% 1.50%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 64 96 0.10% 0.15%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 67 324 0.11% 0.49%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 1,644 3,588 2.59% 5.45%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 13,906 17,938 21.91% 27.25%
Total 63,463 65,829 100.00% 100.00%

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.


Places by population, race, and income

2010 Census

The 2010 United States Census reported that Tehama County had a population of 63,463. The racial makeup of Tehama County was 51,721 (81.5%) White, 406 (0.6%) African American, 1,644 (2.6%) Native American, 656 (1.0%) Asian, 76 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 6,258 (9.9%) from other races, and 2,702 (4.3%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13,906 persons (21.9%).



Census-designated places

Other unincorporated places

Population ranking

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Tehama County.

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)
1 Red Bluff City 14,076
2 Corning City 7,663
3 Lake California CDP 3,054
4 Los Molinos CDP 2,037
5 Rancho Tehema Reserve CDP 1,485
6 Gerber CDP 1,060
7 Bend CDP 619
8 Tehama City 418
9 Manton CDP 347
10 Richfield CDP 306
11 Proberta CDP 267
12 Vina CDP 237
13 Las Flores CDP 187
14 Mineral CDP 123
15 Paskenta CDP 112
16 Flournoy CDP 101
17 Paynes Creek CDP 57

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Tehama para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Hispanic astronauts
Joseph M. Acaba
Sidney M. Gutierrez
George D. Zamka
John D. Olivas
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