Vacaville's History

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When William McDaniel purchased land from Manuel Vaca, he agreed that a one square mile area would be used to create a township. The land was recorded on Dec. 13, 1851, and the township was called "Vacaville." In 1892 Vacaville was incorporated as a city.

Vacaville has a rich past, tracing its roots to those early days of pioneers and adventurers. Through more than 150 years, Vacaville has maintained a spirit that embraces change, yet holds on to the traditions of a colorful past.

Its beginnings found settlers staking out ranches and then farming the land. This eventually gave way to major agriculture production. At one time Vacaville was the fresh fruit capital of California, shipping fruit and nut products throughout the nation. These agricultural beginnings were reflected at the "Nut Tree" in Vacaville. Nut Tree began as a roadside fruit stand and grew to become a world-renowned restaurant complex that served as an oasis for travelers between the San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento Valley for almost 75 years. Generations of families visited Vacaville and the Nut Tree, making it a true "icon" along I-80.

Today, Vacaville is a vibrant community in one of the fastest growing areas of the nation and has become home to some of the largest and most successful life-science companies in the world, including Genentech, Alza, and Chiron. Its location makes it one of California's most attractive family communities. Yet, through it all, the pioneering spirit of Vacaville continues to thrive and bring prosperity to the residents.

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For more Vacaville history, see:

Vacaville Museum

Vacaville Heritage Council

Patwin Tribe