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Redding, officially the City of Redding, is the county seat of Shasta County, California, in the northern part of the state. It lies along the Sacramento River, is 162 miles (261 kilometers) north of Sacramento, and 120 miles (190 km) south of the Oregon border. Interstate 5 bisects the entire city, from the south to north before it approaches Shasta Lake, which is located 15 miles (24 km) to the north. The 2010 population was 89,861. Redding is the largest city in the Shasta Cascade region, and it is the fourth-largest city in the Sacramento Valley, behind Sacramento, Elk Grove, and Roseville.
During the gold rush, the area that is now composed of Redding was called Poverty Flats. In 1868 the first land agent for the Central Pacific Railroad, a former Sacramento politician named Benjamin Bernard Redding, bought property in Poverty Flats on behalf of the railroad so that it could build a northern terminus there. In the process of building the terminus, the railroad also built a town in the same area, which they named Redding in honor of Benjamin Redding. In 1874 there was a dispute over the name by local legislatures and it was changed for a time to Reading, in order to honor Pierson B. Reading, who founded the community of Shasta, but the name was officially changed back to Redding by 1880. It has been called Redding ever since.
Before European settlers came to the area, it was heavily inhabited by a tribe of Native Americans called the Wintu. At their height, the Wintu had as many as 239 villages in the Shasta County area.
Although Europeans had been to California as early as 1542, when Juan Rodríquez Cabrillo sailed to what is now the San Diego Bay, the indigenous Indians were probably the only people to inhabit the far Northern California region until Russian fur trappers came through the area in 1815.
The first European settlement in the area was established in 1844 by Pierson B. Reading, an early California pioneer who received a Rancho Buena Ventura Mexican land grant for a 26,632 acre area that is now occupied by Redding and Cottonwood, California. At the time of its establishment, it was the northernmost nonnative settlement in California.
During the gold rush, the area that is now composed of Redding was called Poverty Flats. In 1868 the first land agent for the Central Pacific Railroad, a former Sacramento politician named Benjamin Bernard Redding, bought property in Poverty Flats on behalf of the railroad so that it could build a northern terminus there. In the process of building the terminus, the railroad also built a town in the same area, which they named Redding in honor of Benjamin Redding. Redding was officially incorporated on October 4, 1887
In the early twentieth century the town's economic growth was spurred on by the significant copper and iron mineral extraction industry in the surrounding areas. However, the mining industry eventually declined, causing the economy and population to go down by 1920. It recovered by 1930 though. In the thirties the economy saw a boom due to the construction of Shasta Dam to the northwest. The building of the dam, which was completed in 1945, caused Redding's population to nearly double, also spurring the growth and development of other towns in the area.
Redding continued to grow steadily in the nineteen fifties due to a number of factors, including the region's growing lumber industry and tourism brought about by the newly completed dam. The constructions of Whiskeytown and Keswick dams also helped boost the economy by bringing new workers to the area. Highway Interstate 5 was also built during the sixties and seventies, which added to development and tourism in the region.
Growth in Redding during the 60s and 70s was also caused by Redding officials annexing a number of surrounding county areas, including an area east of the Sacramento River made up of the unincorporated community of Enterprise. Enterprise residents voted to support the annexation primarily to acquire less expensive electricity via Redding's municipal utility, which receives power from the dam.
During the 1970s, the lumber industry suffered from declines due to multiple circumstances. The decline caused a large amount of lumber mills in the area to close down and heavily impacted the Redding area. Things picked up, though, because of a retail and housing boom in the late 1980s that continued until the mid-1990s.
In 2017, the city adopted a new flag after holding a redesign contest.
Redding is located at 40°34′36″N 122°22′13″W (40.576606, −122.370325). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 61.2 square miles (159 square kilometers). 59.6 square miles (154 km2) of it is land, and 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2) of it (2.50%) is beneath water.
Redding is located at the very northwestern end of the Central Valley, which transitions into the Cascade foothills. The city is surrounded by mountains to the north, east, and west and fertile farm land to the south. Outermost parts of the city are part of the Cascade foothills, whereas southern and central areas are in the Sacramento Valley.
The elevation in Redding is 495 feet (151 meters) on average, whereas anywhere to the north, east, or west of downtown ranges between 550 feet (170 m) and 800 feet (240 m) feet. Southern portions range between 400 feet (120 m) and 500 feet (150 m).
The Shasta Dam on the Sacramento River provides a considerable level of flood protection for Redding. The dam is capable of controlling flows up to 79,000 cubic feet (7,300 cubic meters) per second. The flow rate exceeded this threshold in both 1970 and 1974.
Soils in and around town are composed mostly of clay or gravelly loam texture, with red or brown mineral horizons. They are slightly or moderately acidic in their natural state.
There are several rare and endangered species in Redding and its immediate vicinity. The Redding Redevelopment Plan EIR notes the California State listed endangered species, slender Orcutt grass (Orcuttia tenuis), occurs in eastern Redding near the municipal airport, where vernal pools are known to exist. This endemic grass is a Federal Candidate for listing and is endangered throughout its range, confined to several populations, and seriously threatened by agriculture, overgrazing, and residential development. Vernal pools provide the preferred habitat for this plant, which the California Native Plant Society considers a rare and endangered species.
Redding has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen: Csa), with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. Winter (October–April) provides the most precipitation of any season in Redding—the weather tends to be either rainy or foggy and at times, snow occurs. Summers are hot and dry, but rain is possible, usually with a thunderstorm. The average daily maximum temperature in July stays near 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius). The highest official recorded temperature in Redding was 118 °F (48 °C) on July 20, 1988. That was recorded at the nearby Redding airport. Some people in town recorded as high as 122 °F (50 °C) that same day. Redding has an average possible sunshine of 88%, the second-highest percentage (after Yuma, Arizona) of any US city.
The city receives an average of 4.8 inches (12 centimeters) of snow annually. It rarely gets sleet or freezing rain. Frost occurs commonly in December through February, less often in March or November. In spring, rain is common. Tornadoes are extremely rare; flooding occurs only around the area near the Sacramento River. The coldest temperature recorded in Redding was 17 °F (−8 °C).
The 2010 United States Census reported that Redding had a population of 89,861. The population density was 1,468.9 people per square mile (567.2/km²). The racial makeup of Redding was 77,117 (85.8%) White, 1,092 (1.2%) African American, 2,034 (2.3%) Native American, 3,034 (3.4%) Asian, 156 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 2,307 (2.6%) from other races, and 4,121 (4.6%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7,787 persons (8.7%).
The Census reported that 87,841 people (97.8% of the population) lived in households, 1,138 (1.3%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 882 (1.0%) were institutionalized.
There were 36,130 households, out of which 11,012 (30.5%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 16,001 (44.3%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 4,806 (13.3%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,984 (5.5%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 2,570 (99.0%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 204 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 10,344 households (28.6%) were made up of individuals and 4,622 (12.8%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43. There were 22,791 families (63.1% of all households); the average family size was 2.94.
The population was spread out with 20,518 people (22.8%) under the age of 18, 9,436 people (10.5%) aged 18 to 24, 21,725 people (24.2%) aged 25 to 44, 23,424 people (26.1%) aged 45 to 64, and 14,758 people (16.4%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.4 males.
There were 38,679 housing units at an average density of 632.3 per square mile (244.1/km²), of which 19,968 (55.3%) were owner-occupied, and 16,162 (44.7%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.3%; the rental vacancy rate was 6.9%. 48,179 people (53.6% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 39,662 people (44.1%) lived in rental housing units.
The economy in Redding is largely a service economy. Therefore, employment is spread across a wide range of service professions that include healthcare, retail, and tourism.
According to the City's 2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), these are the top employers in the city:
In the California State Legislature, Redding is in the 1st Senate District, represented by Republican Ted Gaines, and the 1st Assembly District, represented by Republican Brian Dahle.
In the United States House of Representatives, Redding is in California's 1st congressional district, represented by Republican Doug LaMalfa.
The city council is composed of Mayor Brent Weaver, Vice Mayor Kristen Schreder, Adam McElvain, Francie Sullivan, and Julie Winter. The city manager is Barry Tippin.
Redding is a general law city operating under the council-manager form of government.
Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service to Redding, operating its Coast Starlight daily in both directions between Seattle, Washington, and Los Angeles, California VA Portland, Oregon; Sacramento, California; Oakland, California; San Jose, California; Santa Barbara, California and all Intermediate station stops. Amtrak California also provides Thruway Motorcoach service to Stockton or Sacramento for connections to the San Joaquins, which serve the San Francisco Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley and the Los Angeles area via bus connections.
Redding provides a city bus transportation system called RABA (Redding Area Bus Authority). RABA provides routes throughout the city of Redding and also provides transportation throughout Redding's suburbs. Transportation is also available by Sage Stage to Alturas and Trinity Transit to Weaverville. Redding is also served by the intercity bus companies Greyhound and Fronteras del Norte.
Air transportation for the Redding area is provided by two general aviation airports. Redding Municipal Airport, located south of Redding, has scheduled flights from SkyWest (United Express). The smaller Benton Airpark is located on the western side of Redding.
This is an alphabetical list of notable people who were born/raised/worked in, lived in, or whose identity was significantly influenced by Redding, as well as music groups that were founded in the area.
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