Limousine Santa Maria Los Angeles, Los Angeles Santa Maria , Santa Maria LAX, LAX Santa Maria
City of Santa Maria
Population : 86,931 (2009)
Median Income: $ 49,638 (2008)
Elevation : 216 feet
City's Area: 19.3 Square Miles
Water Area: 0.40 Square Miles
Highest: 65-54 *F
Lowest: 52-39 *F
John Wayne Airport: 198 Mi.
LAX Airport : 160 Mi.
Ontario Airport : 200 Mi.
Santa Maria is a city in Santa Barbara County, on the Central Coast of California. Santa Maria's estimated population in November 2008 was 91,972 and has surpassed that of Santa Barbara, making it the largest city in the county. The estimated population of the area is about 161,227, which includes the Santa Maria Valley, the city of Guadalupe and the unincorporated township
of Orcutt. The city is notable for its wine industry and Santa Maria Style Barbecue.
The Santa Maria Valley, stretching from the Santa Lucia Mountains toward the Pacific Ocean, was the homeland of the Chumash people for thousands of years. These Native Americans made their homes on the slopes of the surrounding hills among the Oaks, the banks of the Santa Maria river among the Sycamores, and along the beach areas. They had plank-built boats, called Tomol, for ocean fishing.
In 1769, the Portolà Expedition passed through the Santa Maria Valley on the first Spanish land exploration up the coast of the Las Californias Province, in route to the Monterey Bay area. Soon Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa was established to the north in 1772 and Mission La Purísima Concepción was established south of the valley near present day Lompoc in 1787. In 1821, when Spain left Alta California after the Mexican War of Independence was won, the mission lands in Santa Maria Valley became a Mexican land grant called Rancho Punta de Laguna in 1844.
In 1850, when California gained statehood, the rich soil drew farmers and other settlers, and the Santa Maria River Valley became one of the most productive agricultural areas in the state. Agriculture is still a key component of the economy for the city and the entire region.
Between 1869 and 1874, four of the valley's prominent settlers, Rudolph Cook, John Thornburg, Isaac Fesler, and Isaac Miller, farmed the land that today corners on Broadway and Main Street. The townsite map was recorded in Santa Barbara in 1875. The new city was first called Grangerville, then Central City. The city's name was changed to "Santa Maria" on February 18, 1885, because mail for the community was being sent by mistake to Central City, Colorado. "Santa Maria" comes from the name that settler Juan Pacifico Ontiveros had given to his property 25 years earlier.
The Santa Maria Valley saw oil exploration begin in 1888, leading to large-scale discoveries around the turn of the century. In 1901, Union Oil discovered the large Orcutt Oil Field in the Solomon Hills south of town, and along with a number of smaller companies began pumping oil. By the end of 1903, Union Oil had 22 wells in production. Several significant discoveries followed. In the next 80 years several large oil fields were found, and thousands of oil wells were drilled and put into production in the area. Oil development intensified in 1930s, with the discovery of the Santa Maria Valley Oil Field right underneath the southern and western parts of the city of Santa Maria, which spurred the City's growth even further. By 1957 there were 1,775 oil wells in operation in the Santa Maria Valley, producing more than $640 million worth of oil.
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