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Danville, California

Town of Danville
The Clock Tower square in the heart of downtown Danville
The Clock Tower square in the heart of downtown Danville
Motto: "Small town atmosphere, outstanding quality of life."[1]
Location in Contra Costa County and the state of California
Location in Contra Costa County and the state of California
Town of Danville is located in USA
Town of Danville
Location in the United States
Country United States
State California
County Contra Costa
Incorporated July 1, 1982[2]
 • Mayor Mike Doyle[3]
 • State senator Steve Glazer (D)[4]
 • Assemblymember Catharine Baker (R)[5]
 • United States representatives Mark DeSaulnier (D) and Eric Swalwell (D)[6]
 • Total 18.028 sq mi (46.693 km2)
 • Land 18.028 sq mi (46.693 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)  0%
Elevation[8] 358 ft (109 m)
Population (2013)
 • Total 43,341
 • Density 2,400/sq mi (930/km2)
Time zone Pacific (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 94506, 94526
Area code 925
FIPS code 06-17988
GNIS feature IDs 277497, 2412403

The Town of Danville[9] is located in the San Ramon Valley in Contra Costa County, California. It is one of the incorporated municipalities in California that uses "town" in its name instead of "city". The population was 42,039 in 2010. According to Businessweek, Danville is the 41st most expensive zip code in America.[10] Danville is one of California's top 25 wealthiest cities, and one of the wealthiest suburbs of Oakland and San Francisco.[11] Danville also ranks as the 2nd highest-income place in the United States with a population of at least 40,000.

Danville hosts a farmer's market each Saturday next to the San Ramon Valley Museum.[12]

The Iron Horse Regional Trail runs through Danville. It was first a railroad that has been converted to an 80-foot (24 m) wide corridor of bike and hike trails as well as controlled intersections. Extending from Dublin to Concord, the trail passes through Danville. Walkers, bikers, skaters, and joggers usually find the trail a source of outdoor recreation and exercise.

The Danville Library hosts a number of community events, such as the annual Halloween activities for kids and book sales. The Museum of the San Ramon Valley is located in downtown Danville and hosts regional history exhibits and traveling shows in the converted railroad station adjacent to the Iron Horse Regional Trail.

Danville is home to two main public high schools: Monte Vista High School and San Ramon Valley High School. There is a continuation high school called Del Amigo, which is stationed next to San Ramon Valley High. It is also home to The Athenian School, a private college preparatory school for grades 6-12 that is nestled in the foothills of Mount Diablo State Park. Danville's public schools are rated some of the best in California, with 98% of its high school graduates attending colleges and technical schools.

Danville is also home to the Village Theatre and Art Gallery, hosting children's theatre, Broadway shows and art discussions.[13]


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Climate 2.1
  • Demographics 3
    • 2010 3.1
    • 2000 3.2
  • Politics 4
  • Business 5
    • Largest employers 5.1
  • Points of interest 6
  • Education 7
  • Seasonal events 8
  • Notable people 9
  • See also 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12


For over 130 years, Danville's history has been one of change and growth.[14] Often referred to as the "Heart of the San Ramon Valley," Danville was first populated by Native Americans who lived next to the creeks and camped on Mount Diablo in the summer. Later it was part of Mission San Jose's grazing land and a Mexican land grant called Rancho San Ramon.

Danville is named, in part, after Daniel Inman, who bought 10,000 acres (4,000 ha) there in 1854 with his brother Andrew, using their Gold Rush earnings. They rejected the name "Inmanville" and settled on Danville. However, "According to the modest Dan, the name was chosen as much or more out of respect for Andrew's mother-in-law, who was born and raised near Danville, Ky.," says one historical account. Initially a farming community, the Town of Danville switched from wheat to fruits and nuts after the Southern Pacific Railroad built a spur line through the area in 1891. It developed as a residential suburb starting in 1947 when the first sizable housing tracts were constructed and its population boomed in the 1970s and 1980s.[15]

The Danville Post Office opened in 1860 with hotel owner Henry W. Harris as the first postmaster.[16] Harris reported in 1862 that there were 20 people living in the town proper, with 200 ballots cast in the last general election. Hearing stories of the prosperity to be found in California, people from the mid-west and east began to settle in Danville and the surrounding valleys. Most new residents had been farmers and observed that the valley land was fertile and the weather benign, altogether an ideal place to settle. The 1869 census counted nearly 1800 people in the combined Danville and Lafayette areas. They squatted or purchased land from the Mexican and other owners and established ranches, farms and businesses.

Settlers raised cattle and sheep and grew wheat, barley and onions. Later the farms produced hay, a wide variety of fruit crops (apples, plums, pears), walnuts and almonds. In the 1800s horses and wagons hauled these products north to the docks at Pacheco and Martinez, following Road No. 2, which wound by San Ramon Creek and was almost impassable in the rainy season.

Churches, schools, farmers unions and fraternal lodges began as the community evolved. The Union Academy, a private high school begun by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, served the County from 1859 to 1868 when it burned down. The Danville Presbyterian Church was dedicated in 1875, following a vote of Protestants regarding what denomination it should be. The new building was described as the handsomest church building in the County by the writers of the day.

In 1873, Danville Grange No. 85 was chartered with Charles Wood elected as the first Worthy Master. The Grange began as a family farmers union and included all the Valley "movers and shakers." It served as the focal point for community social, educational and political activity for years and still meets at its Hall on Diablo Road.

A remarkable number of early Danville buildings remain today such as the houses belonging to the Boone, Osborn, Young, Spilker, Podva, Vecki, Root, Elliott and Hartz families. The original 1874 Grange Hall exists as well, and the original Danville Hotel remains downtown and is currently being renovated as of 2014. Many of the early pioneer names appear on the streets and schools, including Baldwin, Harlan, Wood, Love, Hemme, Boone, Bettencourt and Meese.

When the Southern Pacific Railroad came to the Valley in 1891, Danville changed dramatically. The farmers built warehouses and shipped crops by rail in any kind of weather, and the residents traveled to and from Danville with an ease they had not experienced before.

John Hartz sold 8.65 acres (3.50 ha) of his land for the Danville Depot and granted land access to the station. He then subdivided and sold lots east of the station, shifting the town's focus from Front Street to Hartz Avenue. Eventually, a bank, drug store, saloon, doctor's office and Chinese laundry joined the houses lining the street. The Danville Hotel originally sat across from the station and was moved to face Hartz avenue in 1927.[17]

The twentieth century found Danville affected by the wars, the Spanish flu, the depression and new immigrants. The Valley became a melting pot of Chinese, Portuguese, German, and Japanese immigrants. They often began working in the hay fields or as cooks and gardeners, later becoming blacksmiths, landowners, teachers and storekeepers.

Residents worked diligently to improve their community. In 1910 a public high school district was organized and San Ramon Valley Union High School was built; a library supervised by Lillian Close opened in 1913 with 104 books; St. Isidore's Catholic Church was first established at Hartz and Linda Mesa in 1910; and an Improvement League spearheaded the first streetlights and paved roads in 1915.

Danville continued to be farm country well into the 1940s. The whole Valley had 2,120 people in 1940, growing to 4,630 by 1950. Developments such as Montair and Cameo Acres were built, the water and sewer districts extended their boundaries, and the new I-680 freeway which sliced through Danville in the mid-1960s altered Danville permanently.

The Valley population leaped from 12,700 in 1960 to 15,900 in 1970, to 21,100 in 1975 to 26,500 in 1980. The 1980 census showed that 82 percent of Danville's 26,500 had arrived after 1970. In 2000, Danville's population reachd 40,484. Many newly successful individuals particularly from the booming Silicon Valley looked to San Ramon Valley as a safe area with great schools, leading to a large increase of Danville residents.

In 1982, Danville citizens voted to incorporate their community.


Adjoining towns and cities are San Ramon to the south, Diablo, and Alamo to the north. Walnut Creek is 9 miles (14 km) north, while Pleasanton is about 12 miles (19 km) south.

Interstate 680 serves as the main means of transport out of the town.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 18.0 square miles (47 km2), all of it land.

Danville is set in a narrow section of the San Ramon Valley with the Las Trampas Ridge to the west and the Diablo Range to the east. The most prominent landmark of Danville is the backdrop of Mount Diablo, which stands to the east at 3,849 feet (1,173 m) and provides a picturesque backdrop for Danville and neighboring towns and cities. Sycamore Creek drains some of the Mount Diablo slopes and flows through Danville.


Extreme temperatures range from 115 °F (46 °C), recorded in 1950, to 18 °F (-8 °C), recorded in 1990.[18]

Climate data for Danville, California
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 56
Average low °F (°C) 39
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.87
Source: [19]



The 2010 United States Census[23] reported that Danville had a population of 42,039. The population density was 2,331.9 people per square mile (900.3/km²). The racial makeup of Danville was 34,942 (83.1%) White, 372 (0.9%) African American, 67 (0.2%) Native American, 4,417 (10.5%) Asian, 68 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 509 (1.2%) from other races, and 1,664 (4.0%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2,879 persons (6.8%).

The Census reported that 41,796 people (99.4% of the population) lived in households, 56 (0.1%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 187 (0.4%) were institutionalized.

There were 15,420 households, out of which 6,034 (39.1%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 10,389 (67.4%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 1,140 (7.4%) had a female householder with no husband present, 449 (2.9%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 452 (2.9%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 84 (0.5%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 2,801 households (18.2%) were made up of individuals and 1,365 (8.9%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71. There were 11,978 families (77.7% of all households); the average family size was 3.10.

The population was spread out with 11,196 people (26.6%) under the age of 18, 2,117 people (5.0%) aged 18 to 24, 8,050 people (19.1%) aged 25 to 44, 14,628 people (34.8%) aged 45 to 64, and 6,048 people (14.4%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44.5 years. For every 100 females there were 93.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.3 males.

There were 15,934 housing units at an average density of 883.8 per square mile (341.3/km²), of which 13,020 (84.4%) were owner-occupied, and 2,400 (15.6%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0.8%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.3%. 36,137 people (86.0% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 5,659 people (13.5%) lived in rental housing units.

Demographic profile[24] 2010
Total Population 42,039 - 100.0%
One Race 40,375 - 96.0%
Not Hispanic or Latino 39,160 - 93.2%
White alone 32,834 - 78.1%
Black or African American alone 355 - 0.8%
American Indian and Alaska Native alone 47 - 0.1%
Asian alone 4,360 - 10.4%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone 61 - 0.1%
Some other race alone 110 - 0.3%
Two or more races alone 1,393 - 3.3%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 2,879 - 6.8%


As of the census[25] of 2000, there were 41,715 people, 14,816 households, and 11,867 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,305.6 people per square mile (890.3/km²). There were 15,130 housing units at an average density of 836.2 per square mile (322.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 86.30% White, 0.92% Black or African American, 0.21% Native American, 9.00% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 0.91% from other races, and 2.55% from two or more races. 4.66% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 14,816 households out of which 42.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.7% were married heterosexual couples living together, 7.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.9% were non-families. 15.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.78 and the average family size was 3.13.

In the town the population was spread out with 28.6% under the age of 18, 4.2% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 29.3% from 45 to 64, and 10.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 94.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $129,515, and the median income for a family was $148,013.[26] Males had a median income of $120,203 versus $75,706 for females. The per capita income for the city was $62,537. About 2.4% of families and 3.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.5% of those under age 18 and 4.3% of those age 65 or over.


The town of Danville is by far the most Republican political subdivision in heavily Democratic Contra Costa County as well as the entire East Bay. According to the California Secretary of State, as of October 22, 2012, Danville has 28,577 registered voters. Of those, 12,007 (42.0%) are registered Republicans, 9,631 (33.7%) are registered Democrats, and 5,918 (20.7%) have declined to state a political party.[27]

Danville is one of the few remaining cities or towns in the San Francisco Bay Area to have a plurality of Republican registered voters. The others include the affluent towns of Atherton, Hillsborough, and Clayton.


A cargo airline, Asia Pacific Airlines, is headquartered in Danville. However, it conducts no operations in Danville (its main base of operations is Guam).[28]

Largest employers

According to the Town's 2014 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[29] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Costco 284
2 Keller Williams Realty Danville 212
3 J. Rockcliff Realtors 134
4 Safeway 117
5 Crow Canyon Management Corp. 84
6 Danville Nursing & Rehabilitation Center 81
7 Lunardi's Market 73
8 Alain Pinel Realtors 71
9 Sotheby's International Realty 67
10 Marshall's 64

Points of interest

Museum Of The San Ramon Valley
Town Meeting Hall
Museums and historic sites


Public schools

Danville Schools are included in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District.

Private schools
  • San Ramon Valley Christian Academy (Christian)
  • St. Isidore's School (Roman Catholic)
  • The Athenian School (non-denominational)

The Danville Library of the Contra Costa County Library is located in Danville.[30]

Seasonal events

  • The Danville International Children's Film Festival which has featured guests like Alyson Stoner, Joey Travolta, and Daryl Sabara.[31]
  • The Fourth of July parade
  • Hot Summer Nights, which is held the third Thursday on Hartz Avenue in Downtown Danville in July and August, features hundreds of vintage pre-1960s automobiles on display with live music.
  • The Fall Arts Festival in late October draws craftspeople and artists with their works of highest quality.
  • Annual Christmas Tree lighting

Notable people

See also



  1. ^ "Town of Danville". Retrieved February 4, 2015. 
  2. ^ "California Cities by Incorporation Date" (Word). California Association of  
  3. ^ "Town Council". Town of Danville. Retrieved February 4, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Senators". State of California. Retrieved March 21, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Members Assembly". State of California. Retrieved March 21, 2013. 
  6. ^ "California's 15th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  7. ^ "2010 Census U.S. Gazetteer Files – Places – California".  
  8. ^ "Danville".  
  9. ^ "Danville Municipal Code 1-10.1". Retrieved 2007-12-07. 
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Danville Farmers' Market". Archived from the original on 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  13. ^ "The Village Theater". Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ "A Town is Born". Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  16. ^ Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 622.  
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Monthly Averages for Danville, CA (94506)". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2012-02-29. 
  19. ^ "Monthly Averages for Danville, CA (94506)". Retrieved 2013-02-11. 
  20. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  21. ^ "CENSUS OF POPULATION AND HOUSING (1790-2000)".  
  22. ^ Area reported as Alamo-Danville during the 1970 census, which recorded a population of 14,059. (The separate communities of Alamo and Danville were not returned separately by the census).
    2011 estimate
  23. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Danville town". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Demographic Profile Bay Area Census". 
  25. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  26. ^
  27. ^ CA Secretary of State – Report of Registration – October 22, 2012
  28. ^ "Contact Info". Asia Pacific Airlines. Retrieved on June 2, 2009.
  29. ^ Town of Danville CAFR
  30. ^ "Danville Library." Contra Costa County Library. Retrieved on April 1, 2010.
  31. ^ The Danville International Children's Film Festival Archived August 1, 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ "Leroy Chiao Biography on NASA". Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  33. ^ Keene, Lauren (May 7, 2011). "UCD graduate, partner win $150,000 investment on 'Shark Tank'". The Davis Enterprise.
  34. ^ "Don't Blame It On Danville". Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  35. ^ Coile, Zachary (June 1, 2007). "Danville boy wins Scripps Spelling Bee".  
  36. ^ Branch, Kirsten (September 27, 2010). "CityRead 2010 Features Capt. 'Sully' Sullenberger's Book, 'Highest Duty'". Patch Media.
  • U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Danville, California

External links

  • Official website
  • Danville Chamber of Commerce
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