Rodeo ( ) is a census-designated place (CDP)
located in Contra Costa County, California on the shore of San Pablo Bay.
population was 8,717 at the 2000 census. The town is named for the
common in the late 1800s.
from the surrounding hills were regularly driven down through the
old town to a loading dock on the shoreline of San Pablo Bay for shipment to slaughterhouses, a practice which
continued through the early decades of the 20th century.
town of Rodeo is served by the Interstate
freeway and State Route 4. The Southern Pacific Railroad
line passes through Rodeo; however, Rodeo has not been a stop on
the railroad since the 1950s.
much of its history to brothers John and
Patrick Tormey, who purchased tracts
of land from the Ygnacio Martinez
Pinole estate in 1865 and 1867.
Becoming successful ranchers and businessmen, they would amass
sizable fortunes and eventually hold public office. Patrick Tormey (for
whom the nearby town of Tormey is named) had visions of this area of Contra Costa County becoming the
meatpacking and canning center of the Pacific coast.
partnership with the Union Stockyard Co. in 1890, he sold some of
the land to them and began to lay out plans and make large
investments for the stockyard facilities. Eventually, streets were
graded and lots were prepared for homesteads, thus creating the
town of Rodeo.
Tormey also sold land in the nearby town of Oleum to the
California Lumber Co. for use as a lumberyard (which eventually
would be sold to the Union Oil
Co. for an oil refinery site). He also sold land in
nearby Selby, which was
used by the Selby Smelting & Lead Co.
He also personally
funded the meatpacking plant, corrals and the Rodeo Hotel.
The first post office opened in 1892.
After recession in 1893, Patrick Tormey struggled to keep finances
going as business began to close, culminating with the bankruptcy
of the Union Stockyard Co. Patrick Tormey would be plagued with
lawsuits over the bankruptcy for the remainder of his
life.Residents were able to continue to find work
in nearby towns of Crockett (C&H Sugar),
Vallejo (the Mare Island Naval Shipyard), Hercules (Hercules Powder Co.), and the aforementioned Union
Oil Co. in Oleum.
Rodeo as a community managed to continue on, but was devastated in
the 1906 San Francisco
. In the aftermath, the town would rebuild much
like other communities in and around the greater San Francisco Bay area.
Today there is a large oil
refinery adjacent to Rodeo, currently operated by ConocoPhillips
According to the United
States Census Bureau
, the CDP has a total area of
7.4 square miles (19.1 km²), all land. Public education
is provided by Rodeo Hills
Swett High School
in the neighboring town of Crockett.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 8,717
people, 2,882 households, and 2,204 families residing in the CDP.
The population density
1,183.3 people per square mile (456.7/km²). There were 2,984
housing units at an average density of 405.1/sq mi
(156.3/km²). The per capita income
for the CDP was $21,432. About 6.0% of families and 6.8% of the
population were below the poverty line
including 8.5% of those under age 18 and 6.2% of those age 65 or
PETA and Rodeo
In October 2003, animal rights group PETA
town to change its name because it invokes images of the sport of
, which they claim is harmful to animals.
As a replacement name, they suggested Unity, an acknowledgement of
's role in saving the area
economically in the late 19th century. PETA offered to donate
$20,000 worth of veggie burgers
local schools if the name was changed.
the hometown of Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Lefty Gomez for
the New York Yankees, Green Day's Billie
Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt from
Green Day, as well as wackpacker Eric the Midget.
History of Rodeo, CA by Michael Tormey
- San Francisco Chronicle 22 October 2003 'The only
name in town' by Steve Rubenstein"