Lakeport (formerly, Forbestown, Rocky Point, Stony Point, and Tuckertown) is an incorporated city and county seat of Lake County, California. Lakeport is located on the west shore of Clear Lake, at an elevation of 1355 feet (413 m). The population was 4,820 at the time of the 2000 census.
Lakeport was first settled by Native Americans several thousand years ago. At the coming of the settlers, the Kabe-napos, a subtribe of the Pomo people, lived here within their main village. The village name was Kaci-Badon, after the water lily plant Kaci and badon which was the native name for island.
The first business in Lakeport was established in 1855. Goods were traded to the natives for their wares and baskets. The business was run by a man named Johnson, but he did not have a store location. The first shop built in the Lakeport area was constructed by Dr. Boynton.
It was William Forbes and James Parrish, however, who created the first shop in the main Lakeport area. Parish was a blacksmith and Forbes was a wagon maker. Forbes was also a pioneer undertaker. It was this investment as well as the land grant Forbes bestowed upon the county, which earned Lakeport its first name: Forbestown.
William Forbes came to the area in 1858. He purchased 160 acres (0.6 km2) on which to build his home and farm. When the county was investigating land to put the local county seat, Forbes offered 40 acres (160,000 m2) of his property with which they could build the county office on. The electorate thanked Forbes for his generosity by naming the town after him. Although the town no longer bears his name, other landmarks still retain their name association to the late William Forbes.
The first Lakeport courthouse was built from wood in 1861. The building burnt under suspicious circumstances in 1867.
In 1864, the Cache Creek Dam was built. Four years later, the locals tore the dam down and destroyed the mills it helped operate, after waters diverted by the dam flood most of Lower Lake and Anderson Ranch.
In 1872, a spotting of the legendary "Monster of Blue Lakes" or "Devil Fish" caused Indians from all around to gather at Temescal to await an expected calamity.
In 1883, William "Digger" Jones was hanged at Lakeport jail. He was the only white man ever legally hanged by the county.
In 1888, Lakeport was incorporated. For nearly a century, it was the only incorporated city in Lake County.
In 1892, Lakeport got its first telephone.
Lakeport is located at According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.8 square miles (7.2 km²), of which, 2.7 square miles (6.9 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (3.60%) is water..
The Lakeport area is located on a sediment-filled valley adjacent to Clear Lake. Exposed materials within the area are limited to serpentine and quaternary sediments. These sediments are poorly consolidated to unconsolidated mixtures of sand, silt, clay, and gravel derived from older rock in the adjacent mountains. Because of the low strength of the quaternary sediments, they are subject to rapid erosion and shallow slumping.
The greatest number of faults in the County occur in the Cobb Mountain area and Hopland Grade area running southeasterly to the southern County line. The southeastern portion of the County also appears to have considerable earthquake faults. There are also active faults within the vicinity of the City of Lakeport, including the San Andreas Fault which is 30 miles (48 km) to the west, and the Healdsburg Fault which is 15 miles (24 km) to the west. These faults have been responsible for moderate to major earthquakes in the past. The maximum creditable earthquake magnitudes are 8.25 for the San Andreas fault and 6.75 for the Healdsburg fault.
There is a potentially active rupture zone (defined as a fault that has been active during quaternary time - the last 2,000,000 years) existing immediately east of the City limits running parallel and adjacent to the shoreline of Clear Lake. Within the past 200 years, no major potentially damaging earthquakes have occurred along any faults within Lake County, including the Big Valley fault adjacent to the eastern City boundaries. Geologically, recent faulting is indicated, however, by the apparent displacement of quaternary earth materials along the Big Valley fault.
The largest earthquake to affect the City was the 1906 San Francisco earthquake which had a magnitude of 8.3. Although shaking was severe, overall damage in Lakeport was comparatively minor and generally limited to the fall of decorative masonry and chimneys.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,820 people, 1,967 households, and 1,233 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,799.8 people per square mile (694.4/km²). There were 2,394 housing units at an average density of 893.9/sq mi (344.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 88.71% White, 0.75% African American, 1.99% Native American, 1.49% Asian, 0.17% Pacific Islander, 3.49% from other races, and 3.40% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.45% of the population.
There were 1,967 households out of which 29.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.7% were married couples living together, 12.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.3% were non-families. 31.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.93.
In the city the population was spread out with 24.5% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 24.7% from 25 to 44, 22.8% from 45 to 64, and 21.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 86.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $32,226, and the median income for a family was $37,900. Males had a median income of $36,719 versus $25,089 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,215. About 13.5% of families and 15.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.9% of those under age 18 and 5.6% of those age 65 or over.
Given the fact that the Lakeport area has an economy that is based somewhat on agricultural activities occurring in the Big Valley and Scotts Valley area which involve the growing and harvesting of food and nut crops as well as the increasing wine industry, there are a significant number of transient and seasonal farm workers. The need for housing, health care services, child care, and other services is clearly evident in this segment of the population. Insufficient data is available that quantifies the total number of seasonal or transient farm laborers that are living or working in the Lakeport area.
In the state legislature Lakeport is located in the 2nd Senate District, represented by Democrat Pat Wiggins, and in the 1st Assembly District, represented by Democrat Patty Berg. Federally, Lakeport is located in California's 1st congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +10 and is represented by Democrat Mike Thompson.