|Population: 60,000 people|
County: San Joakin
Any guidebook on Manteca mentions that this town is conveniently located at the crossroads of major highways in Northern California - an hour from the San Francisco and Sacramento, two hours from Fresno, three hours from Reno, and five hours from the Los Angeles. And though the town population is just 60 thousands, it is surrounded by 1 million people within a 30-minute drive. The traffic flow through the place is impressive - over 100,000 people a day.
Manteca is considered a relatively young town since its active development started only in 1970s, with the advent of high tech industry. Until then, there was little activity in Manteca that was not related to agriculture. Fertile soil, prolific climate, clear water, all so important to farming were rightly appraised even by the first settlers that came to this part of California is the middle of XIX century. The official year of establishment of Manteca is 1870, when Central Pacific Railroad went through this area, and the track was laid through the center of one of the local farms. It was incorporated as a city in 1918.
The city owes its name to an ordinary typo. The name chosen by the founders was Monteca. The citizens of the town were justly dismayed when the railroad printed the first tickets and they found the name misspelled, "Manteca" (Spanish for "lard"). And though many of the townspeople were unhappy with the error, it was never corrected, and Monteca remained Manteca.
The old typo does not prevent the new Manteca be a fast growing comfortable city with an annual increase in population of several thousand. Manteca of today is not just a site for business and manufacture, but also one of the California cultural centers. There are about ten museums and art galleries, four theatres, three concert halls, several annual fairs, carnivals and other mass entertainments.