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Lodi ( LOH-dye) is a city located in San Joaquin County, California, in the center portion of California's Central Valley. The population was 62,134 at the 2010 census. The estimated population is approximately 67,586 according to 2019 census data. Lodi is the 132nd largest city in California based on official 2019 estimates from the US Census Bureau.
Lodi is best known for winegrape production although its vintages have traditionally been less prestigious than those of Sonoma and Napa counties. However, in recent years, the Lodi Appellation has become increasingly respected for its Zinfandel and other eclectic wine varietals, along with its focus on sustainability under the Lodi Rules program. National recognition came from the Creedence Clearwater Revival song "Lodi" and continued with the "2015 Wine Region of the Year" award given to Lodi by Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
When a group of local families decided to establish a school in 1859, they settled on a site near present-day Cherokee Lane and Turner Road. In 1869, the Central Pacific Railroad was in the process of creating a new route, and pioneer settlers Ezekiel Lawrence, Reuben Wardrobe, A.C. Ayers and John Magley offered a townsite of 160 acres (0.65 km2) to the railroad as an incentive to build a station there. The railroad received a "railroad reserve" of 12 acres (49,000 m2) in the middle of town, and surveyors began laying out streets in the area between Washington to Church and Locust to Walnut. Settlers flocked from nearby Woodbridge, Liberty City, and Galt, including town founders John M. Burt and Dan Crist.:31
Initially called Mokelumne and Mokelumne Station after the nearby river, confusion with other nearby towns prompted a name change, which was officially endorsed in Sacramento by an assembly bill. Several stories have been offered about the origins of the town's name change.