|Population: 16,000 people|
The City of Ukiah was founded in 1856, and three years later has acquired the right to be referred to as the capital of Mendocino county – one of 27 counties which have become a part of state of California since the moment of its creation in 1850. The county derives its Spanish name from the ocean cape which was discovered in 1542 during the Juan Cabrillo Expedition equipped under the order of the Spanish Viceroy of New Spain of that time Don Antonio de Mendoza.
In 1860 the first brick construction – a building of the county courthouse, where it is situated up to present day, was erected in Ukiah. It is interesting that construction of the building, which is located in the middle of a big magnolia park, cost 9,000 dollars, and it was rebuilt in 1950 at a cost of over 800,000. One more historical sight of Ukiah is a Latitude Observatory opened in 1899 among six stations of the International Latitude Service (nowadays the International Polar Motion Service) which were constructed on the 39 parallel in different parts of northern hemisphere of the glob. In the Ukiah observatory such outstanding astronomers, as Frank Schlesinger, Ferdinand Neubauer, William Meyer began their scientific career.
Ukiah has become world-wide popular for its local springs of geothermal and mineral waters. An unique hot springs resort Vichy Springs which accepted its first patients 150 years ago, enjoys a great popularity not only in the USA, but also far outside the country. Many celebrities used to come there, and Jack London named Vichy "his favorite summer home".
Nearby Ukiah there is so-called the "City of Ten Thousand Buddhas" – one of the first and the largest in America Buddhist monasteries. In 1976 an international center was founded there with a University, the Institute for the Translation of Buddhist Texts, Bell and Drum House, Hall of No Words, Chun Kang Vegetarian Restaurant and many other things that attract not only pilgrims and the people, interested in Buddhism, but also ordinary tourists.
And, certainly, the city located among a cozy fertile valley, just has to be the center of wine growing, winemaking and gardening. Pears for a long time already are considered as a "firm" export product of local gardens – big and small. It is necessary to note especially, that the Mendocino County became the first in the USA to ban the cultivation of genetically modified organisms. Therefore all products of local farms, fields, gardens and kitchen gardens with the full right to that are reputed as "natural". Besides, a brewery Ukiah Brewery is the first and unique place in America of the type where absolutely natural certificated beer is produced.
Blossoming Ukiah, being among gardens and parks, surrounded by woods of giant sequoia, can be rightly named one of heavenly spots of California, an ideal place for life. And not without reason, probably, the known author Norman Crampton who has written the book "The 100 Best Small Towns in America", has ranked Ukiah on the 6th place in the national rating and on the 1st place - among Californian "little-cities".