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Tuolumne County ( "To All o' Me", with a silent N) is a county located in the Sierra Nevada of the U.S. state of Californiamarker. The northern half of Yosemite National Parkmarker is located in the eastern part of the county. As of 2000 the population was 54,501. The county seat is Sonoramarker, the county's only incorporated city.


Tuolumne County was one of the original counties of California, created in 1850 at the time of statehood. Prior to statehood, it had been referred to as Oro County. Parts of the county were given to Stanislaus Countymarker in 1854 and to Alpine Countymarker in 1864.

The name Tuolumne is of Native American origin and has been given different meanings, such as Many Stone Houses, The Land of Mountain Lions and, Straight Up Steep, the latter an interpretation of William Fuller, a native Chief. Mariano Vallejo, in his report to the first California State Legislature, said that the word is "a corruption of the Indian word talmalamne which signifies 'cluster of stone wigwams.'" The name may mean "people who dwell in stone houses," i.e., in caves.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,274 square miles (5,891 km²), of which, 2,235 square miles (5,790 km²) of it is land and 39 square miles (101 km²) of it (1.71%) is water. A California Department of Forestry document reports Tuolumne County's include federal lands such as Yosemite National Park, Stanislaus National Forest, Bureau of Land Management lands, and Indian reservations. Notable landforms in the county include Table Mountain.

Cities and towns

Special Districts

Special districts in Tuolumne County include:
  • Belleview Elementary School District
  • Big Oak Flat-Groveland Unified School District
  • Chinese Camp Elementary School District
  • Columbia Fire District
  • Columbia Union Elementary School District
  • Curtis Creek Elementary School District
  • Groveland Community Services District
  • Jamestown Elementary School District
  • Jamestown Fire District
  • Mi-Wuk Fire District
  • Sonora Elementary School District
  • Sonora Union High School District
  • Soulsbyville Elementary School District
  • Strawberry Fire District
  • Summerville Elementary School District
  • Summerville Union High School District
  • Tuolumne County Air Pollution Control District
  • Tuolumne County Water District No. 1
  • Tuolumne Fire District
  • Tuolumne Regional Water District
  • Tuolumne Utilities District
  • Twain Harte Fire District
  • Twain Harte-Long Barn Union Elementary School District
  • Yosemite Community College District

Adjacent Counties

National protected areas

Transportation Infrastructure

Major highways

Public Transportation

Tuolumne County Transit bus routes radiate from Sonora to serve most of the county. In Columbia, a connection can be made to Calaveras County Transit.Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) serves the Tuolumne Meadows portion of Yosemite National Parkmarker, however, there is no direct connection between Tuolumne County Transit and YARTS.


Columbia Airportmarker and Pine Mountain Lake Airportmarker are both general aviation airports.


As of the census² of 2000, there were 54,501 people, 21,004 households, and 14,240 families residing in the county. The population density was 9/km² (24/mi²). There were 28,336 housing units at an average density of 5/km² (13/mi²). The racial makeup of the county was 89.45% White, 2.10% Black or African American, 1.82% Native American, 0.72% Asian, 0.17% Pacific Islander, 2.89% from other races, and 2.84% from two or more races. 8.16% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 94.7% spoke English and 3.5% Spanish as their first language.

There were 21,004 households out of which 26.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.40% were married couples living together, 9.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.20% were non-families. 26.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.82.

In the county the population was spread out with 20.70% under the age of 18, 7.60% from 18 to 24, 25.30% from 25 to 44, 27.90% from 45 to 64, and 18.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 111.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 112.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $38,725, and the median income for a family was $44,327. Males had a median income of $35,373 versus $25,805 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,015. About 8.10% of families and 11.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.20% of those under age 18 and 4.00% of those age 65 or over.


Presidential election results
Year GOP DEM Others
2008 55.2% 14,700 42.5% 11,319 2.3% 620
2004 60.0% 15,745 38.5% 10,104 1.5% 386
2000 55.5% 13,172 39.4% 9,359 5.0% 1,196
1996 47.3% 10,386 40.7% 8,950 12.0% 2,636
1992 35.3% 8,525 38.1% 9,216 26.6% 6,437
1988 54.0% 10,646 44.2% 8,717 1.8% 352
1984 58.1% 10,485 40.4% 7,283 1.6% 283
1980 54.9% 8,810 33.9% 5,449 11.2% 1,804
1976 46.9% 6,104 49.9% 6,492 3.1% 407
1972 54.3% 5,894 42.3% 4,596 3.4% 366
1968 47.5% 4,330 42.9% 3,913 9.6% 876
1964 36.6% 2,861 63.2% 4,939 0.3% 20
1960 49.1% 3,691 50.3% 3,781 0.6% 44

Tuolumne is a strongly Republican county in Presidential and congressional elections. The last Democrat to win the county was Bill Clinton in 1992. Tuolumne is part of California's 19th congressional district, which is held by Republican George Radanovich. In the state legislature Tuolumne is in the 25th Assembly district, which is held by Republican Tom Berryhill, and the 14th Senate district, which is held by Republican Dave Cogdill.

In the 2008 presidential election, 14,988 votes were counted for John McCain with now president Barack Obama receiving 11,532 votes. [12413]



  • "Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit: 2005 Pre-Fire Management Plan, September 28, 2005 Edition," California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, 09-28-2005, pp. 16.
  • US Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics.
  • CNN News, "Local and National Election Results - Election Center 2008", CNN News, November, 2008.

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