The origin of the name "Moorpark" is not known, but several sources have been suggested. However, most sources agree that its origin was Admiral Lord Anson's estate Moor Park in Hertfordshire where he introduced the apricot in 1688. It is mainly believed that the city of Moorpark is named after the Moorpark Apricot, which used to grow in the area. This was confirmed by Robert Poindexter, the founder of Moorpark, in 1927. One other theory of the name is that when the Southern Pacific Railroad was surveying the local land in the 1800s for its railway, someone in the party said that the area, with its sloping hills, looked like the Scottish Moors. Hence the name Moorpark.
The valley where Moorpark is located was originally inhabited by the Chumash. The area was part of the large Rancho Simi land grant given in 1795 to the Pico brothers (Javier, Patricio, and Miguel) By Governor Diego de Borica of Alta California.
Moorpark was founded in 1887 by Robert W. Poindexter. The town grew after the 1904 completion of a 7,369-foot (2,246 m) tunnel through the Santa Susana Mountains, which allowed the Southern Pacific Railroad to establish a depot there, a depot which lasted until 1964.
In 1963, Moorpark College was founded. Moorpark College opened on September 11, 1967. Moorpark College is one of the few colleges that features an Exotic Animal Training and Management Program.
Twenty years later, Moorpark was incorporated as a city on July 1, 1983.
In February 2005, a tiger named Tuffy who escaped from a local residence was shot and killed in one of Moorpark's parks. This created a great deal of uproar, because the Animal Control officers used a gun instead of a Tranquilizer to kill the tiger, primarily because the tiger could not be shot from the proper angle for a Tranquilizer to prove effective. Candlelight Vigil memorials were held for the late Tuffy. As of 2006 the family who owned the beast was on trial for not having permits and proper caging for Tuffy.
Just a month later, in March 2005, the fairly complete remains (about 75%) of an unusually old mammoth, possibly the rare Southern mammoth (Mammuthus meridionalis), were discovered in the foothills of Moorpark at the site of a housing development.
In 2006, the Moorpark city council seceded from the Ventura County library system to create their own city library system, much like nearby Thousand Oaks. >
On February 28, 2006 a housing proposal, North Park Village, which would have added 1,680 houses on 3,586 acres (15 km²) in the north-east area of the city, was defeated by a landslide in a city election.
The city is serviced by Amtrak intercity and Metrolink commuter rail, with a train station located on High Street, in the center of the city.
The city of Moorpark has a mass transit bus system, known as the Moorpark City Transit.
The city is crossed by State Route 23, and State Route 118. the 23 north at this point transitions from a freeway to a two lane highway as it leaves Moorpark, heading for Fillmore. The same transition occurs with the 118 westbound, heading towards Ventura.
Geography & Demographics
Moorpark is located at 34°16'52" North, 118°52'25" West (34.281056, -118.873561). Central Moorpark lies in a valley created by the Arroyo Simi river, and is also named "Little Simi Valley" According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 49.9 km² (19.3 mi²). 49.3 km² (19.0 mi²) of it is land and 0.6 km² (0.2 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 1.30% water. As of the census of 2000, there are 31,416 people in the city, organized into 8,994 households and 7,698 families. The population density is 637.7/km² (1,651.9/mi²). There are 9,094 housing units at an average density of 184.6/km² (478.2/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 74.42% White, 5.63% Asian, 1.52% African American, 0.47% Native American, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 13.95% from other races, and 3.87% from two or more races. 27.81% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race. There are 8,994 households out of which 54.7% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 72.0% are married couples living together, 9.7% have a female householder with no husband present, and 14.4% are non-families. 9.9% of all households are made up of individuals and 2.2% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 3.49 and the average family size is 3.71. In the city the population is spread out with 34.2% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 32.3% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 4.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 32 years. For every 100 females there are 99.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 98.1 males. The median income for a household in the city is $76,642, and the median income for a family is $78,909. Males have a median income of $55,535 versus $35,790 for females. The per capita income for the city is $25,383. 7.0% of the population and 4.3% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 8.6% of those under the age of 18 and 7.3% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
High Schools & Colleges
The Moorpark High School mascot is the Musketeer.
The Academic Decathlon team of Moorpark High School wins many times in competitions. They have won twice in the past 6 years.
Moorpark High School's football team lost 51 consecutive games to Carpinteria High School, a national record that ended in 1997 en route to the school's first CIF championship. The two teams have not played since.
Moorpark College is a California-state funded community college located on a 134 acre (542,000 m²) property reclining on a hill in Moorpark, a town in Ventura County, California. It was established in 1963 and as of 2006, had an enrollment of 14,360 students and 175 full-time faculty members.
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