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Scotts Valley, California facts for kids

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City of Scotts Valley
Back view of the Scotts Valley Civic Center and City Hall
Back view of the Scotts Valley Civic Center and City Hall
Location in Santa Cruz County and the state of California
Location in Santa Cruz County and the state of California
Country  United States
State  California
County Santa Cruz
Incorporated August 2, 1966
 • Total 4.595 sq mi (11.900 km2)
 • Land 4.595 sq mi (11.900 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)  0%
Elevation 561 ft (171 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 11,580
 • Density 2,520.1/sq mi (973.1/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 95060, 95066, 95067
Area code(s) 831
FIPS code 06-70588
GNIS feature ID 0277598
Website City of Scotts Valley

Scotts Valley is a small city in Santa Cruz County, California, United States, about thirty miles (48 km) south of downtown San Jose and six miles (10 km) north of the city of Santa Cruz, in the upland slope of the Santa Cruz Mountains. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 11,580. Principal access to the city is supplied by State Route 17 that connects San Jose and Santa Cruz. The city was incorporated in 1966.


Approximately ten thousand years ago there was a lake in the lowest elevation of Scotts Valley, and Paleo Indians lived near its shores. The lake receded to form a peat bog. Later, around 2000 BC, Ohlone people occupied areas along the remaining creeks, spring and seep areas, along permanent and seasonal drainages, and on flat ridges and terraces. Therefore, areas along watercourses are considered likely locations for prehistoric cultural resources. Several watercourses, including portions of Carbonera Creek, Bean Creek, MacKenzie Creek and the San Lorenzo River, are within the city. Permanent villages were usually placed on elevations above seasonal flood levels. Surrounding areas were used for hunting and seed, acorn, and grass gathering.

The Scott House in Scotts Valley.

Scotts Valley was named after Hiram Scott, who purchased Rancho San Agustin, including the valley, in 1850 from Joseph Ladd Majors. Before Majors, the property was owned by José Bolcoff. Bolcoff was the original settler and first European to claim title and live in what was to be Scotts Valley. He was born Osip Volkov around 1794 in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Siberia. Working as a fur trader around 1815, Bolcoff jumped ship on the Monterey Bay shoreline, quickly assimilated into the Spanish culture, and was well received by the Spanish authorities. Volkov had his Russian Orthodox Baptism validated in Mission Soledad in 1817, and was given the Spanish name José Antonio Bolcoff. Bolcoff lived with and traveled with Alta California's governor Pablo Vicente de Solá, acting as an interpreter.

Becoming a Mexican citizen in 1833, Bolcoff moved his family to his 4,400-acre (18 km2) land grant building, an adobe casa historians speculate was located near present-day Kings Village Shopping Center. Bolcoff relinquished his interest in the Rancho San Augustin, selling and accepting $400 from Joseph Ladd Majors, also known as Don Juan José Mechacas. July 7, 1846, marked the shift of power in the region from Mexico to the United States.

Hiram Scott built the Greek revival style Scott House in 1853. Situated behind City Hall, it is a Santa Cruz County Historical Trust Landmark, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The house originally stood on Scotts Valley Drive, near where a Bank of America branch is now located.

From the 1840s, money-making activity in Scotts Valley centered on several industries: lumber, grain, the milling of grain, and most importantly the tanning of hides and working of leather. Beginning in the 1930s, peat moss was removed from Scotts Valley and taken to San Francisco to supply soil for difficult indoor plants such as gardenias. When the peat ran out, sand and gravel were quarried and sold.

The area was the site of Santa's Village, a Christmas-themed amusement park which opened on May 30, 1957, on a 25-acre (10 ha) site which was formerly Lawridge Farm, part of the former Rancho San Augustin. "Residents" of the park included Santa, Mrs. Santa, and elves and gnomes who operated the rides and sold tickets. There was a petting zoo, a bobsled ride, a whirling Christmas tree ride, and a train ride, as well as a Fairy Tale Land. The park was sold in 1966 but continued to be operated under lease by the Santa's Village Corporation. When that corporation went bankrupt in 1977. the owner considered launching a Knott's Berry Farm type of complex but was denied a permit by the city of Scotts Valley, and the park closed for good in 1979.

Scotts Valley's most famous resident was film director Alfred Hitchcock, who lived in a mountaintop estate above the Vine Hill area from 1940 to 1972. Florence Owens Thompson, made famous by Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother photograph, died in Scotts Valley in 1983.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1970 3,621
1980 6,891 90.3%
1990 8,615 25.0%
2000 11,385 32.2%
2010 11,580 1.7%
Est. 2015 11,945 3.2%
U.S. Decennial Census


The 2010 United States Census reported that Scotts Valley had a population of 11,580. The population density was 2,520.4 people per square mile (973.1/km²). The racial makeup of Scotts Valley was 9,958 (86.0%) White, 101 (0.9%) African American, 57 (0.5%) Native American, 590 (5.1%) Asian, 18 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 292 (2.5%) from other races, and 564 (4.9%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1,158 persons (10.0%).

The Census reported that 11,308 people (97.7% of the population) lived in households, 264 (2.3%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 8 (0.1%) were institutionalized.

There were 4,426 households, out of which 1,588 (35.9%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 2,423 (54.7%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 474 (10.7%) had a female householder with no husband present, 189 (4.3%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 206 (4.7%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 43 (1.0%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 1,054 households (23.8%) were made up of individuals and 516 (11.7%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55. There were 3,086 families (69.7% of all households); the average family size was 3.03.

The population was spread out with 2,863 people (24.7%) under the age of 18, 969 people (8.4%) aged 18 to 24, 2,513 people (21.7%) aged 25 to 44, 3,660 people (31.6%) aged 45 to 64, and 1,575 people (13.6%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.7 years. For every 100 females there were 95.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.0 males.

There were 4,610 housing units at an average density of 1,003.4 per square mile (387.4/km²), of which 3,248 (73.4%) were owner-occupied, and 1,178 (26.6%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.4%; the rental vacancy rate was 3.2%. 8,558 people (73.9% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 2,750 people (23.7%) lived in rental housing units.


As of the census of 2000, there were 11,385 people, 4,273 households, and 2,969 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,473.7 people per square mile (955.6/km²). There were 4,423 housing units at an average density of 961.0 per square mile (371.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 88.63% White, 0.48% African American, 0.40% Native American, 4.62% Asian, 0.18% Pacific Islander, 2.15% from other races, and 3.53% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.40% of the population.

There were 4,273 households out of which 36.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.3% were married couples living together, 7.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.5% were non-families. 23.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the city, the population was spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 30.2% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 94.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $72,449, and the median income for a family was $88,573. Males had a median income of $74,183 versus $40,492 for females. The per capita income for the city was $35,684. About 0.9% of families and 2.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.2% of those under age 18 and 4.0% of those age 65 or over.


Scotts Valley is known to be home of The BarnThe Barn, a coffee house with a large area for concerts. In the '60s Janis Joplin, Grateful Dead performed in the Barn. Merry Pranksters and Ken Kesey used to show up there, as described in detail in the last chapter of Tom Wolfe’s book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

Santa's Village was an amusement park in the '60s, located near highway 17, on which site later Borland campus was built.

Geography and environment

Scotts Valley is in the west hills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, centered at 37°3′5″N 122°0′48″W / 37.05139°N 122.01333°W / 37.05139; -122.01333 (37.051381, -122.013236). State Route 17 connects Scotts Valley to Santa Cruz to the south and to Los Gatos, San Jose, and the South Bay area to the north.

According to the United States Census Bureau, it has a total area of 4.6 square miles (12 km2), all land. It is in central Santa Cruz County, in the northern portion of the North Central Coast Air Basin.

Air in Scotts Valley is typically maritime in origin, as it moves over the land from the Pacific Ocean. Summers are warm and dry, while winters are mild and generally rainy. Most rain falls as a result of winter Pacific storms between the months of November and April. Sound levels in Scotts Valley are typically in the range of 57 to 65 dBA, except for somewhat higher levels within 150 feet (46 m) from Highway 17.


Scotts Valley has mild weather throughout the year, enjoying a Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csb) characterized by cool, wet winters and warm, mostly dry summers. Due to its proximity to Monterey Bay, fog and low overcast are common during the night and morning hours, especially in the summer.

Climate data for Scotts Valley, California (1981–2010 normals)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 60.6
Average low °F (°C) 40.8
Precipitation inches (mm) 6.40
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 10.6 10.9 10.0 5.9 3.3 1.3 0.3 0.7 1.5 3.5 7.5 10.7 66.2
Source: NOAA


A computer virus discovered in Scotts Valley in September 1990 was named after the city, although Scott's Valley (computer virus) is spelled with an apostrophe.

Scotts Valley is the home of IDE Incorporated, a product design and development company.

Scotts Valley is the home of Zero Motorcycles, a company which designs and produces electric motorcycles.

Scotts Valley is the home of Gardening Unlimited, a company which distributes hydroponics and organic gardening products to its 16 national stores.

Scotts Valley is the home of Canepa Design, a company that sells and restores high-line European and American vehicles.

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