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Lafayette

Trip Planner USA  /  California  /  Lafayette
(4.8/5 based on 190+ reviews for 1 attraction)
Things to do: trails
Lafayette is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. As of 2011, the city's population was estimated to be 24,285. Today Lafayette is known for its wealthy inhabitants and pastoral rolling hills. The town is also known for excellent schools within the highly ranked Acalanes School District. In 2012, estimated median household income in Lafayette was over 150,000 dollars, more than double the statewide average and nearly triple the national average.Origin and early historyBefore the colonization of the region by Spain, Lafayette and its vicinity were inhabited by the Saclan tribe of the indigenous Bay Miwok. Ohlone also populated some of the areas along Lafayette Creek. The indigenous inhabitants' first contact with Europeans was in the late 18th century with the founding of Catholic missions in the region. These initial contacts developed into conflict, with years of armed struggle, including a battle on what is currently Lafayette soil in 1797 between the Saclan and the Spanish, and eventually resulting in the subjugation of the native population.Most of what is currently Lafayette was given as a Mexican land grant, Rancho Acalanes to Candelario Valencia in 1834. The name Acalanes seems to have come from the name of a native village in the area, Ahala-n.American settlement started with the arrival of Elam Brown from St. Joseph, Missouri in 1846. He purchased Rancho Acalanes in 1848. The settlement continued to steadily grow due to its proximity to San Francisco; starting with Brown's group of 18 settlers, by the census in 1852, 76 people were listed as living in the area. Brown founded a mill in 1853. A school began in 1852 in a one-room schoolhouse, taught by a 25-year-old Kentucky migrant, Benjamin Shreve. By 1865 the school had expanded to 43 students in five classes, and so in 1868 a tax levy of $1,000 was used to build a new schoolhouse; school expanded from a five-month year to a nine-month year. In 1893, a new schoolhouse was built to accommodate the increasing number of students; this building still stands today.
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