Hollister is a city in and the county seat of San Benito County, California, in Central California. Take a look below for 13 interesting and fascinating facts about Hollister, California, United States.
1. With a 2019 census population of 36,687, Hollister is one of the largest cities in the Monterey Bay Area and a member of the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments.
2. The city is an agricultural town known primarily for its local Blenheim apricots, olive oil, vineyards, pomegranates, and chocolate.
3. The area of modern-day Hollister was historically inhabited by the Mutsun band of the Ohlone Native Americans.
4. With the construction of Mission San Juan Bautista in 1797, the Ohlone were forced into the California mission system.
5. The town of Hollister was founded on November 19, 1868, by William Welles Hollister on the grounds of the former Mexican land-grant Rancho San Justo.
6. At the time, Hollister was located within Monterey County, until San Benito County was formed by the California Legislature in 1874 from portions of Monterey, Merced, and Fresno counties.
7. The city is intermittently the site of an annual motorcycle rally around July Fourth. The riot at the original 1947 event was the basis for the 1953 film The Wild One. The rally was revived in 1997 as the Hollister Independence Rally.
8. In 2005, the Hollister City Council discontinued their contract with the event organizers, the Hollister Independence Rally Committee, due to financial and public safety concerns.
9. The event was canceled in 2006 due to lack of funding for security, but returned in 2007 and 2008. The format of the rally in 2007 differed markedly from previous rallies, with vendors on San Benito Street instead of motorcycles.
10. The bikes were forced to park on side streets and a strict downtown curfew was imposed, with the entire area being locked up at 9:00 pm. This event was popular with bikers and some local establishments profited, but the city footed the bill for much of the expenses and was left liable when organizers filed bankruptcy.
11. The 2009–2012 rallies were canceled, but the annual rally was reinstated in 2013, and was expected to be profitable for the town.
12. Following a biker gang shooting at the 2014 rally, Hollister mandated that bars must stop selling alcohol after midnight during the 2015 rally.
13. The 2015 rally unexpectedly left the city with a $92,000 loss following a dispute with the promoter. In 2016, the city hired its third promoter in four years; turnout for the 2016 rally was expected to be around 40,000. The San Francisco Chronicle characterized the 2017 rally crowd as “retired, friendly, weather-worn and excruciatingly law abiding”, and estimated the motorcycle attendance around 10,000.