The California city of Tracy is located in San Joaquin County, about 60 miles east of San Francisco. The city is accessible to points east and south via Interstate I-580. Other major thoroughfares servicing Tracy include Interstates I-5 and I-205 with California State Highway 120 also nearby. Surrounding communities include Stockton (to the northeast), Modesto (to the southeast) and Livermore (to the west). With a total population of 88,000 this is the perfect choice for your next home purchase!
Tracy Community Statistics
Tracy Regional Website
Tracy School District
Did You Know These Tracy Fun Facts?
Things to do in Tracy
Tracy’s largest event is its annual Dry Bean Festival. Usually held in early August when it began in 1987, the downtown event now takes place during the second weekend of September. The festival draws tens of thousands annually, earning the city the nickname of “Dry Bean Capital of the World.” Tracy’s premier cultural site is the Tracy Historical Museum, housing an impressive collection of photos, articles, clothing and artefacts. Volunteers provide visitors with a narrative interpretation of the displays and relate little-known facts about the city’s history. Outdoor recreational sites in the surrounding San Joaquin Valley include the Bethany Reservoir State Recreation Area, Carnegie State Vehicle Recreation Area and Caswell Memorial State Park. Most of Northern California’s top attractions can be found within 100 miles of Tracy, including Old Sacramento, Yosemite and all of San Francisco’s world-class tourist sites.
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In 1869 the Central Pacific Railroad (now Southern Pacific) completed a rail line through the area which is now known as Tracy. The rail line ran from Sacramento through Stockton then over the Altamont Pass and then by ferry service to San Francisco. Shortly after the line was built, a new town sprung up nine miles from Stockton and became known as Lathrop Junction. Lathrop consisted of a roundhouse, railroad shop, yards and hotels for feeding railroad employees. The community became the center of railroad business and the headquarters for the Central Pacific Railroad in the San Joaquin Valley.
The railroad found it necessary to build a coaling station at the base of the Altamont Pass, just fourteen miles to the west of Lathrop. The new station was called Ellis and by 1870 it had about 45 buildings serving the needs of the railroad and its employees and their families.
In 1878 construction of a new rail line was started from Oakland around the shores of San Francisco Bay, through Martinez to connect to the Central Pacific at a point three miles to the east of Ellis. The line had been built to make possible greater efficiency by avoiding hills and to eliminate the expense of helper engines. The result of the new rail line was the founding of Tracy on September 8, 1878, named for Lathrop J. Tracy, a grain merchant and railroad director in Mansfield, Ohio.
Tracy continued to grow as a railroad center. A new line through Los Banos was the fastest and least expensive way to Los Angeles. In March of 1894 railroad headquarters at Lathrop were moved to Tracy. All of the railroad equipment including engines and buildings were moved. Thus, Tracy’s beginning is in fact the story of a railroad.
Tracy was incorporated in 1910 and it grew rapidly after the first irrigation district was established in 1915. Although railroad operations began to decline in the 1950s, Tracy continued to prosper as an agricultural area. Today, the City seal reflects this history of railroads and agriculture.
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