Population Increase: Migration

From the bay to the crossroads

Manteca is a town created by the railroads back in the late 19th century. With the premission of land owner, Joshua Cowell, The Southern Pacific Railroad laid its track across the ranchers plot of land. When construction was complete the station the residents agreed to the name “Monteca,” but the railroad company misprinted the name as “Manteca.” Thus, in 1861, Manteca was founded.


In a not to distant past, Manteca looked operated in a very different manner. In the 1970s the now suburban town was still primarily an agricultural town, growing mainly almonds, grapes, and pumpkins.

South San Joaquin Irrigation District: Laying the Groundwork for Migration

Established in 1909, the South San Joaquin Irrigation District(SSJID) produces a source for irrigated waters and also flood control of the local areas, such as Manteca.

In 1978, construction was completed on a dam in the New Melones Lake. The new dam more easily distributed water to the surrounding area. Especially for Manteca, when the water came, so did the people.

Bay Migration

Not long after the completion of the dam in New Melones, Manteca saw much of its agricultural land turn into housing development. The space and resources were now more available and the housing was cheap. At the same to the bay area developing as well. Bay area started to become to costly for the residents so, many people began to move inland. Manteca at the time offered intising incentives to perspective residents. The housing was new, the water plentiful and its convinent location just off of Highway 99 and 120, made commuting to work very much possible.

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