Patterson is a city in Stanislaus County, California, United States. The population was 11,606 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Modesto Metropolitan Statistical Area. Patterson is known as the "Apricot Capital of the World".
Patterson is the eastern terminus of State Route 130 as defined by state legislation, although the route is unbuilt in Stanislaus County. A freeway has been proposed for construction along this route, passing directly through the Diablo Range west of the city toward the San Francisco Bay Area.
The history of Patterson begins with the measuring of the Rancho Del Puerto and the subsequent grant of the land to Mariano and Pedro Hernandez on January 30, 1844 by Manuel Micheltoreno, then Governor of the Californias. This Mexican Land Grant was for land stretching east of the present day Highway 33 to the San Joaquin River. The northern boundary was Del Puerto Creek and the southern boundary was just south of present day Marshall Road.
Samuel G. Reed and Ruben S. Wade made claim to the land on January 7, 1855. A patent encompassing the land grant was signed by President Abraham Lincoln. Reed and Wade received title to 13,340 acres (54 km2) on August 15, 1864. Reed and Wade then sold the grant to J. O. Eldredge on June 18, 1866 for $5,000. Mr. Eldredge held title for only two months before selling it to John D. Patterson on August 14, 1866 for $5,400.
John D. Patterson purchased additional land, and upon his death on March 7, 1902, a total of 18,462 acres (75 km2) were willed to Thomas W. Patterson and William W. Patterson, his estate executors, and other heirs. The land was sold to the Patterson Ranch Company on May 16, 1908 for the sum of $540,000 cash gold coin.
Thomas W. Patterson subdivided the land into ranches of various sizes and plotted the design of the town of Patterson. Determined to make Patterson different from most, he modeled his town after the Cities of Washington D.C. and Paris, France, using a series of circles and radiating streets. Major streets were planted with Palms, Eucalyptus and Sycamore trees.
The Patterson Colony map was filed with the Stanislaus County Recorders office on December 13, 1909. Sales of the ranch properties and city lots commenced. Patterson was the third city in Stanislaus County to incorporate on December 22, 1919.
As of the census of 2007, there were 20,875 people, 3,146 households, and 2,608 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,037.5 people per square mile (1,561.4/km²). There were 3,262 housing units at an average density of 1,134.8/sq mi (438.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 55.65% White, 1.89% African American, 1.47% Native American, 2.10% Asian, 0.42% Pacific Islander, 31.54% from other races, and 6.92% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 56.96% of the population.
There were 3,146 households out of which 53.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.9% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.1% were non-families. 13.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.62 and the average family size was 3.94.
In the city the population was spread out with 36.4% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 30.0% from 25 to 44, 16.0% from 45 to 64, and 7.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 100.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $47,780, and the median income for a family was $51,422. Males had a median income of $36,207 versus $27,679 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,746. About 8.6% of families and 12.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.5% of those under age 18 and 15.2% of those age 65 or over.
As of May 2007, the city's population is now 20,875.
In the state legislature Patterson is located in the 12th Senate District, represented by Republican Jeff Denham, and in the 26th Assembly District, represented by Republican Greg Aghazarian. Federally, Patterson is located in California's 18th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +3 and is represented by Democrat Dennis Cardoza.
During the first weekend in June, Downtown Patterson hosts the town's largest celebration of the year, the Apricot Fiesta. The event begins on Friday with several beauty pageants, including one for the youth called Little Mr. and Miss Apricot. That evening, the Miss Patterson pageant takes place and offers high school- and college-aged ladies an opportunity to win scholarships. Winners from Little Mr. and Miss Apricot and Miss Patterson are featured in the parade the following day. The Patterson Library hosts an art show during the celebration, and displays on local history are held open to the public at the Patterson Museum, also known as the Center Building and located at the center of Patterson. The three-day celebration also features fireworks shows and, during early mornings, hot air balloons departing from the football stadium at Patterson High School.
Patterson is home to Patterson Repertory Theatre, which was founded in 2003 by Tori Lee Scoles and Colton Dennis. Patterson Repertory Theatre, endearingly known as Patterson Rep, presents three Main Stage productions and two Youth Theatre productions a year at the Patterson High School Auditorium. Every spring, Patterson Rep and the City of Patterson host the Annual Art and Wine Gala which showcases local talented artists.
Patterson experienced much residential growth in the California real estate boom and widespread exurban development which occurred in the latter part of the 1990s and continued into the 2000s. Several housing communities have been developed, and continue to be developed. In 2005, Patterson was the fastest-growing city in Stanislaus County, and the second fastest-growing city in California.
In addition to the building of these residences are other proposed developments, including the building of a new elementary school, a skate park, and the construction of a shopping mall.