Lodi is a city located in San Joaquin County, California, in the center portion of California’s Central Valley. Take a look below for 20 fun and awesome facts about Lodi, California, United States.
1. The population was 62,134 at the 2010 census.
2. The estimated population is approximately 67,586 according to 2019 census data.
3. Lodi is the 132nd largest city in California based on official 2019 estimates from the US Census Bureau.
4. Lodi is best known for wine grape production although its vintages have traditionally been less prestigious than those of Sonoma and Napa counties. However, in recent years, the Lodi Appellation has become increasingly respected for its Zinfandel and other eclectic wine varietals, along with its focus on sustainability under the Lodi Rules program.
5. National recognition came from the Creedence Clearwater Revival song “Lodi” and continued with the “2015 Wine Region of the Year” award given to Lodi by Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
6. When a group of local families decided to establish a school in 1859, they settled on a site near present-day Cherokee Lane and Turner Road.
7. In 1869, the Central Pacific Railroad was in the process of creating a new route, and pioneer settlers Ezekiel Lawrence, Reuben Wardrobe, A.C. Ayers and John Magley offered a townsite of 160 acres (0.65 km2) to the railroad as an incentive to build a station there.
8. The railroad received a “railroad reserve” of 12 acres (49,000 m2) in the middle of town, and surveyors began laying out streets in the area between Washington to Church and Locust to Walnut. Settlers flocked from nearby Woodbridge, Liberty City, and Galt, including town founders John M. Burt and Dan Crist.
9. Initially called Mokelumne and Mokelumne Station after the nearby river, confusion with other nearby towns prompted a name change, which was officially endorsed in Sacramento by an assembly bill. Several stories have been offered about the origins of the town’s name change.
10. One refers to a locally stabled trotting horse that had set a four-mile (6 km) record, but as the horse reached the peak of its fame in 1869, it is unlikely that its notoriety would still have been evident in 1873. Alternatively, Lodi is a city in northern Italy where Napoleon defeated the Austrians in 1796 and won his first military victory. More than likely, some of the earliest settler families were from Lodi, Illinois, and they chose to use the same name as their hometown.
11. In 1906, the city was officially incorporated by voters, passing by a margin of 2 to 1. The fire department was established in 1911, and the city purchased the Bay City Gas and Water Works in 1919.
12. Additional public buildings constructed during this period include the Lodi Opera House in 1905, a Carnegie library in 1909, and a hospital in 1915.
13. Lodi gained international attention in 2005 when local residents Hamid and Umer Hayat were arrested and charged in the first terrorism trial in the state of California. In 2019, a judge recommended his conviction be overturned, citing an ineffective legal defense for Hayat – who was defended by a lawyer that had never previously served in a criminal case in a federal court.
14. The recommendation also cites a coerced confession obtained by the FBI, which one former agent described as the “sorriest confession” he had ever seen.
15. The 2020 United States Census reported that Lodi had a population of 67,586. The population density was 4,494.5 people per square mile (1,735.3/km2). The racial makeup of Lodi was 62.1% White, 1.8% African American, 0.5% Native American, 9.7% Asian, 0.4% Pacific Islander, and 17.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 22,613 persons 37.8%.
16. The Census reported that 61,457 people (98.9% of the population) lived in households, 187 (0.3%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 490 (0.8%) were institutionalized.
17. Lodi is the birthplace of A&W Root Beer, the first batch of which was made in 1919 on a hot dog cart during a parade. The spot where Roy Allen sold his root beer is now marked with a plaque. It is now sold in cans and bottles throughout the US, as well as in a chain of American restaurants. Lodi’s A&W restaurant features a vast collection of A&W novelties.
18. The Farmers Market is held every Thursday evening from May 18 through September 1 (as of 2016) on School Street in Downtown Lodi. It is hosted and run by the Lodi Chamber of Commerce. It offers a large collection of fresh produce as well as baked goods, crafts, food vendors, and live entertainment.
19. Lodi and its surroundings are well known for the cultivation of grapes and production of wine. There are many vineyards in Lodi with century-old grapevines, some going into California wines like Bedrock and Turley. Starting in the early 20th century, and right up to the early 1980s, Lodi promoted itself as the “Tokay Capital of the World” due to the abundance of the Flame Tokay variety in the area.
20. The Hill House Museum, a restored Queen Anne Victorian built around 1901 for an early, skilled jeweler/watchmaking Lodian, George Hill, contains historical exhibits relating to the history of the town, including the house’s original furniture.