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Community Overview

Community Overview

Welcome to Vallejo, California – the “North Star of the Bay.” Vallejo is an attractive Northern California community, just a bit north of “the city,” situated on the banks of San Pablo Bay. We celebrate a storied history that stretches back to1844, when Mexican General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo chose this part of his vast landholding to serve as a thriving new state capitol. Following California statehood in 1850, General Vallejo donated approximately 156 acres to the creation of his dream, including an offer to lay out the city and donate $370,000 to the construction of a state capitol building, university, botanical garden, state penitentiary, several schools, asylum and hospital.

The first California Legislature convened in Vallejo in 1852, but relocated to Sacramento in just 11 days due to the poor conditions of the then unfinished city. After a year in Sacramento, the Legislature moved back to Vallejo, with the eventual goal of establishing the state capitol in Benicia – eventually happening in February 1853. Ultimately, the California state capitol changed its address one last time, relocating to Sacramento in 1854 where it has remained.


That same year Mare Island Naval Shipyard was established in Vallejo, becoming the first permanent Naval ship building and repair installation on the West Coast. Mare Island became a boon for the city of Vallejo, which grew from 26,000 residents to nearly 100,000 during the five years of World War II. The facility functioned for more than 140 years before closing in 1996. Today, Mare Island, registered as a National Historic Landmark, remains a significant historical marker in Vallejo and the Bay Area, with ongoing work continuing to preserve its heritage.

Vallejo is home to over 120,000 residents, with a large population representing descendents from Mare Island’s military and civilian personnel. Much of the area’s history can still be experienced through the area’s well-maintained historic architecture. There are more than 20 sites with landmark status and museums like the Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum and the Mare Island Artifacts Museum.

While the city is dedicated to the preservation of its past, it is simultaneously investing greatly in its future. Vallejo is currently in the midst of a modern renaissance, with redevelopment and renewal occurring in several portions of the city – notably downtown, on Mare Island and in the newer sites of Northgate and the Waterfront. These new economic development projects only add to the draw of Vallejo – a community that already boasts outstanding transportation outlets, a rich, culturally diverse community, great recreation, affordable housing, three college campuses, easy access to most any of Northern California’s wonderful and varied attractions and the most comfortable weather our state has to offer.

We invite you to come and discover for yourself what makes Vallejo the best place to live in Northern California … “Life is Good” in Vallejo!

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