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Holtville, California

City of Holtville
Holtville City Hall
Holtville City Hall
Motto: "The Carrot Capital of the World"[1]
Location in Imperial County and the state of California
Location in Imperial County and the state of California
City of Holtville is located in USA
City of Holtville
Location in the United States
Country  United States
State  California
County Imperial
Incorporated July 1, 1908[2]
 • Total 1.153 sq mi (2.986 km2)
 • Land 1.148 sq mi (2.974 km2)
 • Water 0.005 sq mi (0.012 km2)  0.40%
Elevation[4] -10 ft (-3 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 5,939
 • Density 5,200/sq mi (2,000/km2)
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 92250
Area codes 442/760
FIPS code 06-34246
GNIS feature IDs 1660761, 2410780

Holtville (formerly, Holton)[5] is a city in Imperial County, California. Holtville is located 10.5 miles (17 km) east of El Centro.[6] The population was 5,939 at the 2010 census, up from 5,612 in 2000. It is part of the 'El Centro, California, Metropolitan Statistical Area'.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Climate 2.1
  • Demographics 3
    • 2010 3.1
    • 2000 3.2
  • Arts and culture 4
    • Annual cultural events 4.1
  • Government 5
  • Media 6
  • Infrastructure 7
    • Transportation 7.1
    • Police Department 7.2
  • In literature 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


The city was founded by Swiss-German settlers in the 1880s, who often entered through the U.S.-Mexican border from Mexico. The construction of railroads in the 1890s, the All-American Canal in the late 1940s, U.S. Route 80 in the 1920s later converted to Interstate 8 in the 1970s and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) economic boom in the 1990s brought more people to Holtville and the Imperial Valley.

The city of Holtville, which was originally called Holton, was founded in 1903 by W.F. Holt, and incorporated on June 20, 1908.[6] The name was changed to Holtville due to a request by the U. S. Postal Service because the name Holton sounded too much like Colton, (in San Bernardino County), the regional headquarters of the Southern Pacific Railroad at the time. The name honors W.F. Holt, founder of the community.[6][7]

The city lies on the northeast bank of the Alamo River formed by the floods of 1905-07 when the Colorado River break made the river's course turn west and filled the low-lying depression of water now known as the Salton Sea.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.1 sq mi (2.8 km2), with 1.1 square miles land and 0.40% water.


This area has a large amount of sunshine year round due to its stable descending air and high pressure. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Holtville has a mild desert climate, abbreviated "Bwh" on climate maps.[8]



The 2010 United States Census[11] reported that Holtville had a population of 5,939. The population density was 5,152.0 people per square mile (1,989.2/km²). The racial makeup of Holtville was 3,655 (61.5%) White, 37 (0.6%) African American, 41 (0.7%) Native American, 50 (0.8%) Asian, 4 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 1,977 (33.3%) from other races, and 175 (2.9%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4,858 persons (81.8%).

The Census reported that 5,939 people (100% of the population) lived in households, 0 (0%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.

There were 1,799 households, out of which 894 (49.7%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 1,033 (57.4%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 290 (16.1%) had a female householder with no husband present, 106 (5.9%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 81 (4.5%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 6 (0.3%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 319 households (17.7%) were made up of individuals and 164 (9.1%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.30. There were 1,429 families (79.4% of all households); the average family size was 3.72.

The population was spread out with 1,850 people (31.2%) under the age of 18, 618 people (10.4%) aged 18 to 24, 1,327 people (22.3%) aged 25 to 44, 1,416 people (23.8%) aged 45 to 64, and 728 people (12.3%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32.1 years. For every 100 females there were 93.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.2 males.

There were 1,937 housing units at an average density of 1,680.3 per square mile (648.8/km²), of which 904 (50.3%) were owner-occupied, and 895 (49.7%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.6%; the rental vacancy rate was 6.5%. 3,017 people (50.8% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 2,922 people (49.2%) lived in rental housing units.


As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 5,612 people, 1,564 households, and 1,340 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,920.8 people per square mile (1,900.7/km²). There were 1,617 housing units at an average density of 1,417.8 per square mile (547.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 54.4% White, 0.6% Black or African American, 0.8% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 39.2% from other races, and 4.1% from two or more races. 73.8% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,564 households out of which 52.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.9% were married couples living together, 16.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 14.3% were non-families. 12.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.5 and the average family size was 3.8.

In the city the population was spread out with 35.2% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 18.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 94.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,318, and the median income for a family was $39,347. Males had a median income of $31,328 versus $26,477 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,505. About 15.7% of families and 18.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.2% of those under age 18 and 11.8% of those age 65 or over.

Arts and culture

Annual cultural events

The city's major civic event is the annual Carrot Festival, held in late January or early February. It usually features a parade, a carnival and other activities over a 10-day period. Holtville was famous in the mid 20th century with having the Holtville "Carrot Festival" but was confused with the "Coachella Valley" name from Bugs Bunny animated shorts in the 1940s when he reads the map seeking a "Carrot Festival".


In the state legislature, Holtville is in the 40th Senate District, represented by Democrat Ben Hueso,[13] and the 56th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Eduardo Garcia.[14]

Federally, Holtville is in California's 51st congressional district, represented by Democrat Juan Vargas.[15]

History was made during the election cycle of 2006, when voters elected Lisa Bianca Padilla, becoming the first female Hispanic candidate ever to win a seat on the city council.[16]


A weekly newspaper, The Holtville Tribune, is distributed by mail and newsstand in the Holtville area. Its circulation is about 3,750. The daily newspaper, the Imperial Valley Press in El Centro, has circulation at over 20,000.



The old U.S. Route 80 once ran along Fifth Street through the center of town. A small obelisk in Holt Park, just north of Fifth Street, gives the distances to various points to the north, east and west. U.S. Route 80 has been decommissioned and made as County Route S80 in California. The portion in and near Holtville is now part of State Route 115.

Much of the east-west automobile traffic has been diverted to Interstate 8, about 2.5 miles to the south. Holtville is easily accessible through the Orchard Road interchange. The newly constructed State Route 7 connects Holtville with the factories and industrial areas of Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico.

The city was once joined by railroad to El Centro, but this line (nicknamed the "Holton Interurban"), and another railroad line going to the north, have been abandoned. The closure of the railroad station brought on economic decline to the town in the late 20th century.

Police Department

The city formerly had its own police force, but police protection is now provided by the Imperial County Sheriff's Department.

In literature

The city was featured in Milton J. Silverman's bestselling novel "Open and Shut," which chronicled the true crime story of Norma Winters, a Holtville resident who contracted for the death of her husband during the summer of 1974.[17]

See also


  1. ^ "City of Holtville, California". City of Holtville, California. Retrieved September 12, 2012. 
  2. ^ "California Cities by Incorporation Date" (Word). California Association of  
  3. ^ "2010 Census U.S. Gazetteer Files – Places – California".  
  4. ^ "Holtville".  
  5. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Holtville, California
  6. ^ a b c Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 1428.  
  7. ^ "Profile for Holtville, California, CA". ePodunk. Retrieved September 12, 2012. 
  8. ^ Climate Summary for Holtville, California
  9. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  11. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Holtville city". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014. 
  12. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  13. ^ "Senators". State of California. Retrieved April 8, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Members Assembly". State of California. Retrieved April 8, 2013. 
  15. ^ "California's 51st Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved April 8, 2013. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Open and Shut". W.W. Norton & Co., Inc. Published by Bantam Books, May 1981. ISBN 0-553-23357-2.

External links

  • Official website
  • Holtville Chamber of Commerce
  • Map of Holtville and vicinity
  • Comprehensive Statistical Data and more about Holtville

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