Byron is a census-designated place (CDP) in Contra Costa County, California, United States. The population was 916 at the 2000 census.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 2.5 square miles (6.6 km²), all of it land. It is located 5.5 miles (9 km) southeast of Brentwood.
Byron's first post office opened in 1878. Byron is named for an employee of the railroad.
As of the census of 2000, there were 916 people, 286 households, and 203 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 360.1 people per square mile (139.2/km²). There were 309 housing units at an average density of 121.5/sq mi (47.0/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 75.00% White, 4.37% Black or African American, 1.09% Native American, 2.18% Asian, 0.44% Pacific Islander, 14.74% from other races, and 2.18% from two or more races. 25.87% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 286 households out of which 36.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.8% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.7% were non-families. 22.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.85 and the average family size was 3.36.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 35.0% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 18.8% from 45 to 64, and 9.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 129.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.2 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $35,938, and the median income for a family was $44,306. Males had a median income of $42,639 versus $28,889 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $21,231. About 15.6% of families and 14.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.3% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.
Byron, California is also home to the somewhat well-known and historical Byron Hot Springs, a now-abandoned resort which was a retreat that attracted many movie stars and famous athletes in the early 1900s. The first hotel was built in 1889 and was a three-story wood building, with a few cottages scattered nearby, as well as a laundry, gas plant and ice plant, all of which were destroyed by fire on July 25, 1901. A second hotel, also three stories, but made of stucco was constructed 1901-1902, but it burned on July 18, 1912. The third and final hotel, a four-story brick structure was built in 1913 and still stands.
In 1938 the resort closed, due to a series of lawsuits, probably brought about by the Great Depression, but was leased by the government in 1941 and became a military interrogation camp housing both German and Japanese prisoners of war, known as Camp Tracy, until 1945, when orders were sent to dismantle it.
In 1947 the Byron Hot Springs property was put up for sale and purchased by the Greek Orthodox Church for a sum of $105,000. It served as the Monastery St. Paul for several years. It then changed hands several times both as a resort, country club and private residence. It is currently privately owned by a developer who hopes to begin restoring the resort in early 2009, but the property is now in a state of disrepair. Plans for the restoration of Byron Hot Springs are outlined at byronhotsprings.com. In 2005, a Victorian-era carriage house on the property was burned to the ground. The hotel itself sustained some fire damage, but still stands.
Second Byron Hot Springs Hotel, 1901 - 1912
Post card of Byron Hot Springs from 1914
Byron Hot Springs 2008
Byron Hot Springs is located 1.5 miles (2.4 km) south-southeast of Byron. A post office operated at Byron Hot Springs from 1889 to 1930.
In 1993 Contra Costa County broke ground on a new airport two miles (3 km) south of Byron. On October 8, 1994, Byron Airport was dedicated. The new airport has 1,307 acres (5.29 km2) of land. 814 acres (3.29 km2) are reserved for Habitat Management Land for the San Joaquin Kit Fox, a federally listed endangered species, as well as many other endangered and special status species.
There is limited bus service to Byron by Tri-Delta Transit's route 386, that connects the community and Discovery Bay with the Brentwood Park and Ride Lot where passengers may transfer to buses connecting to other cities in the region in addition to Pittsburg/Bay Point (BART station) and Brentwood Dimes-A-Ride transit.