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Weott
census-designated place
Country  United States
State  California
County Humboldt County
Area
 • Total 0.771 sq mi (1.998 km2)
 • Land 0.753 sq mi (1.949 km2)
 • Water 0.019 sq mi (0.049 km2)  2.45%
Elevation 300 ft (100 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 288
 • Density 373.3/sq mi (144.14/km2)
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP Code 95571
Area code(s) 707
GNIS feature IDs 237419; 2583075

Weott is a census-designated place in Humboldt County, California. It is located 375 kilometres (233 mi) north of San Francisco, California and 40 kilometres (25 mi) due east of the Pacific Ocean. Lower Weott is situated at an elevation of 100 metres (330 ft) along the Avenue of the Giants and in the flood plain of the South Fork of the Eel River. The population was 288 at the 2010 census. Note that Weott is not related to Camp Weeott, a fishing village established about 1925 and destroyed in the 1955 flood which was located 60 kilometres (37 mi) northwest of Weott, near Ferndale, California.

History

The town of Weott is believed to be named after a sub-grouping of the Wishosk people who lived at the delta of the Eel River 60 kilometres (37 mi) northwest of current-day Weott. The Wishosk word for that area and the people who lived there was wíyat. Wiyot is now the general name for this group. The town of Weott is beyond the bounds of the areas known to have been utilized or inhabited by the Wiyot. In 1849, when whites arrived looking for new supply routes to the Trinity gold mines, the Sinkyone peoples were living in the area. The Wiyot were further north and currently occupy the Table Bluff Reservation outside Loleta. Indian Agent Redick McKee's 1851 expedition brought a rush of homestead filings. Native groups militated against this. The resulting conflicts led to the establishment of organized vigilante committees such as the Volunteer Company of Dragoons and continued through at least the 1870s.

Before 1925, Weott had been known informally as Helm's Mill or Helm's Camp. Helm's Camp set up where redwood ties for the railroad being placed along the Eel River. Then as McKee's Mill (named for Ernest McKee, who operated a shingle mill just east of lower Weott, the building of which still stands). When it put in a request to the United States Postal Service for a post office in that year, however, the residents had to decide on a definitive name. At least one source records that the residents were required to do this because there was already a town named McKee in California, but this appears to not be true. One source says that a naming contest led to the name Weott, another that the USPS chose the name from several submitted. The ZIP Code is 95571, with four-digit suffixes tied to post office box numbers. There is no home delivery in Weott. Weott is in area code 707.

Flooding

Though Weott had been hit by a flood in 1930, its recent history is shaped by two major floods. In 1955 December, lower Weott was partially destroyed when the South Fork of the Eel River overflowed its banks. The town largely re-built, but In 1964 December, a Pineapple Express, a rare phenomenon in which a warm mass of moist Pacific air, a flow of cold air from an Alaskan high, a low pressure trough off the coast and a strong westerly air flow with gusts up to 80 km/h (22 m/s), created the greatest flood in the recorded history of California's North Coast. The storm was so intense that it destroyed 26 U.S. Geological Survey stream gauges. As a result, much of the flood data comes from qualitative reports and post-flood estimates. Other northern California rivers, such as the Russian, Eel, Klamath and Rogue Rivers, also rose to unprecedented heights. Rainfall totals as high as 76 centimetres (30 in) were recorded for the 9-day period of the storm and 29 centimetres (11 in) for the 24-hour period between 1964 December 21 and 22. The South Fork of the Eel River is estimated to have peaked at nearly 5,700 cubic metres per second (200,000 cu ft/s) at a station 20 kilometres (12 mi) south of Weott, nearly 80 cubic metres per second (2,800 cu ft/s) greater than the 1955 flood. Tens of small towns were inundated. One of the worst hit was Weott.

Due to the 1955 and 1964 floods, nearly all residents now live in the hills above the flood plain, mostly at elevations of 120 metres (390 ft) - 200 metres (660 ft). The greater area of Weott encompasses the Bull Creek, Dyerville, South Fork, Camp Grant and Burlington areas. Weott's local services are run by the Weott Community Service District, which controls the town's sewage treatment facility and water supply. The town's water originally came from a property 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) east of Weott. It now comes from a spring west of town, across the Eel River. The California State Parks has tried to provide Weott with alternatives to the spring, which is on State Parks land, including constructing a well on the Weott side of the river in 2003. This well had too much sediment, though, and was not usable. The WCSD has surveyed lands in the surrounding watershed but has yet to find an alternative water source. In summer, early morning and late evening fog typically protect the area from temperature extremes. Though daytime highs occasionally reach into the high 30 °C (86 °F)s, they are more typically below 30 °C (86 °F). Due to its proximity to the ocean and its position in the shadow of 1,030 metres (3,380 ft) high Grasshopper Peak, the area has an intense rainy season lasting from November through May. Locals report typical annual accumulations of 200 centimetres (79 in), though the range is 70 centimetres (28 in) to 250 centimetres (98 in). Due to its moist climate, the town is surrounded on most sides by redwoods. Though most of the redwoods are second growth, the adjacent Humboldt Redwoods State Park has nearly 7,000 hectares (17,000 acres) of old growth and includes Rockefeller Forest, the largest contiguous stand of old growth redwoods still in existence. Weott is located close to Giant Tree, a 108 metres (354 ft) tall redwood, and the Dyerville Giant, a 113 metres (371 ft) tall redwood that toppled in 1991. Due to a lack of water storage capacity, Weott sometimes suffers from water rationing in the summers.

Demographics

The 2010 United States Census reported that Weott had a population of 288, 100% of whom lived in households. The population density was 144.2 people/km². The racial makeup of Weott was 87.5% White, 4.5% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 1.0% from other races, and 6.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.9%. There were no African Americans or Pacific Islanders recorded.

There were 134 households, out of which 26.9% had children under the age of 18, 38.1% were opposite-sex married couples living together, 10.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 9.7% had a male householder with no wife present. There were 11.2% unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 1.5% same-sex married couples or partnerships. 35.1% of households were made up of a sole occupant, 6.7% had a sole occupant 65 or older. The average household size was 2.15. 58.2% of households housed families; the average family size was 2.67.

The population age distribution was spread out relatively evenly: under 18 years, 18.8%, from 18 to 24, 6.9%, from 25 - 44, 23.3%, from 45 - 64, 38.2% and 65 and older 12.8%. The median age was 45.6 years. For every 100 females there were 102.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 103.5 males.

There were 143 housing units at an average density of 71.6/km², of which 65.7% were owner-occupied and 34.3% were renter-occupied. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.1%; the rental vacancy rate was 4.2%. 70.5% of the population lived in owner-occupied housing units and 29.5% lived in rental housing units.

Arts and culture

Events

Since 1972, the Avenue of the Giants Marathon has taken place on the first Sunday in May, starting 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) north of Weott at the Dyerville Bridge. It has included a 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) race since 1993 and a 21.1 kilometres (13.1 mi) race since 2002. The Humboldt Redwoods Marathon has taken place on the second Sunday of October since 1976. It now also includes a 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) and 21.1 kilometres (13.1 mi). The 21.1 kilometres (13.1 mi) race has served as the Pacific Association of the United States Track and Field Association championship for several years. There is a large spaghetti feed at Milligan Hall for the runners before the races. Since 1951, Weott has also been host to the Southern Humboldt Garden Club Flower Show. It is currently held at the Agnes J. Johnson Elementary School on the fourth Sunday in May. Local gardeners enter prized roses and other flowers from their gardens for a chance to win ribbons and prizes. The show also includes plant sales, food and other crafts. There are various seasonal activities at the Humboldt-Redwood State Park headquarters, including guided nature walks and Christmas tree lightings.

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