Mariposa (formerly Logtown) is a census-designated place (CDP) in and the county seat of Mariposa County, California, United States. The population was 1,373 at the 2000 census. Its name is Spanish for "butterfly", after the flocks of Monarchs seen overwintering there by early explorers.
Mariposa is located at at 1,949 feet (594 m) in elevation. It lies in the rugged foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Mariposa Creek flows through the town.,
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 3.2 square miles (8.3 km²), all of it land.
Mariposa County includes much of Yosemite National Park, and a good deal of the local economy is related to the Park and to tourism. The county courthouse, constructed in 1854, is the oldest in continuous use in California. Tours are available.
The county lies at the southern end of the Mother Lode, and Europeans were attracted to Mariposa by gold. During the 19th century California Gold Rush, its streams were panned and deep mines worked the underground veins. At one time John C. Frémont lived here and owned claims to much of the mineral wealth of Mariposa. He later was the first US Senator from the state, and the first Republican candidate for President.
The town was founded as a mining camp. The original town site was located about 0.5 miles (0.80 km) further downstream. After a flood during the winter of 1849/50, the town was moved to higher ground at a site the miners called Logtown. In time the old name was restored, and the Mariposa post office opened in 1851.
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As of the census of 2000, there were 1,373 people, 676 households, and 327 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 426.4 people per square mile (164.6/km²). There were 754 housing units at an average density of 234.1/sq mi (90.4/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 86.82% White, 0.58% African American, 6.34% Native American, 0.87% Asian, 1.82% from other races, and 3.57% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.83% of the population.
There were 676 households out of which 21.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.4% were married couples living together, 13.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 51.5% were non-families. 47.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 27.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.94 and the average family size was 2.77.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 20.6% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 23.2% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 27.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 80.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.7 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $18,144, and the median income for a family was $27,344. Males had a median income of $26,771 versus $26,635 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $22,436. About 28.0% of families and 24.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.5% of those under age 18 and 5.5% of those age 65 or over.
In the state legislature Mariposa is located in the 14th Senate District, represented by Republican Dave Cogdill, and in the 25th Assembly District, represented by Republican Tom Berryhill. Federally, Mariposa is located in California's 19th congressional district, which is represented by Republican George Radanovich.