Get to know Santa Maria, CA

The city of Santa Maria in Santa Barbara County is known for its wine industry and barbecue style.  Settlers were attracted to the Santa Maria River Valley following the Mexican-American War for the rich soil.  Agriculture became a staple to the economy and still is today.  From 1869 to 1874 settlers formed the townsite that was recorded by the county in 1875.  It was originally called Grangerville and then Central City before becoming Santa Maria in 1885.  The arrival of the post office necessitated the name change to distinguish it from Central City, Colorado.  Oil exploration began in 1888, and the discovery nearby of Orcutt Oil Field in 1902 saw many wells open for production.  Oil development increased with the discovery of the Santa Maria Valley Oil Field in 1934, spurring growth.  The City of Santa Maria was incorporated in 1905.  In addition to agriculture, recent years have seen retail, aerospace, communications, manufacturing, and other industries diversify the city’s economy.  The top employers are the Vandenberg Air Force Base and the Santa Maria-Bonita School District.

Quick Facts

Population: 102,618

Median Household Income: $50,433

Median Property Value: $262,200

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