History About Vacaville, CA

Early History

The land that is now Vacaville was originally inhabited by the Patwin Native Americans. The Patwins lived in the area for thousands of years prior to European settlement.

In 1842, Manuel Vaca received a land grant from the Mexican government for the area around modern day Vacaville. Vaca started a cattle ranch on his land, which eventually grew to 49,000 acres. The town of Vacaville gets its name from the Vaca family.

Early Settlers

In 1850, William McDaniel was one of the first Americans to settle in the Vacaville area. He built a home and started cultivating wheat on his 300 acre ranch.

Other early settlers in the 1850s included John Greenshields, Josiah Allison, John Markell, Thomas P. Dove, and George Buck. These men all established wheat farms in the fertile soils around Vacaville.

Growth and Development

Vacaville began to grow rapidly in the late 19th century with the arrival of the railroad and the founding of fruit orchards and vegetable farms.

The Railroad

In 1868, the California Pacific Railroad established a station in Vacaville, connecting the town to major cities like Sacramento and San Francisco. This brought more settlers and commerce to the area.

Fruit and Vegetable Farming

In 1871, a farmer named James M. Pleasants planted the first fruit orchard in Vacaville. This started a trend of fruit and vegetable farming in the area. By the 1890s, Vacaville was shipping trainloads of fruits and vegetables around the country. Important early crops included peaches, apricots, plums, cherries, pears, prunes, tomatoes, and beans.


The town of Vacaville incorporated in 1892 with a population of about 900 residents. F.M. Chadbourne was elected the first president of the Vacaville Board of Trustees.

20th Century Growth

Vacaville saw even more rapid growth in the 20th century, partially due to nearby Travis Air Force Base.

Travis Air Force Base

Travis Air Force Base opened in 1942 during World War II. It brought thousands of service members to the area and provided an economic boost to Vacaville.

Post-War Building Boom

After World War II ended in 1945, Vacaville saw a major housing boom to accommodate all the veterans and their families moving to town. Subdivisions like Elmira, Alamo Gardens, and Browns Valley sprang up around Vacaville.

Interstate 80

The construction of Interstate 80 through Vacaville in the 1960s connected the city to San Francisco and Sacramento via freeway. This made Vacaville more accessible and attractive for commuters.

Factory Outlet Stores

In the 1970s and 80s, Vacaville became home to many popular factory outlet stores. Brand name stores like Bugle Boy, Bose, and Levis drew shoppers from across Northern California.

Population Growth

Vacaville’s population exploded in the second half of the 20th century. It grew from around 2,000 in 1940 to over 90,000 by the year 2000.

Historic Sites and Landmarks

Vacaville has preserved some of its historic sites and buildings, giving residents and visitors a glimpse into the past.

Old Town Vacaville

The Old Town district in downtown Vacaville has many preserved 19th century buildings, including the old Town Hall, the Washoe House, the Masonic Lodge, and several homes and commercial buildings from the late 1800s. Walking tours are available.

Nut Tree Railroad

The California State Railroad Museum operates historic trains at the Nut Tree Railroad site in Vacaville. Riders can take an excursion on an early 20th century steam train.

Fiesta Days

Vacaville hosts its annual Fiesta Days celebration downtown to commemorate the city’s heritage. The event includes a parade, carnival rides, craft fair, and music performances.

Vacaville Heritage Council

The Vacaville Heritage Council operates the Vacaville Museum and works to preserve historic sites and artifacts around the city.


Vacaville has an elected city council and mayor. It uses a council-manager form of government.

City Council

The Vacaville City Council has five members, elected to four year terms. The mayor is elected directly by voters, while the other four council members are elected by district. As of 2023, the mayor is Ron Rowlett and the council members are Jeanette Wylie, Michael Silva, Roy Stockton, and Nolan Sullivan.

City Manager

The city council appoints a city manager to run the day-to-day operations of the city government. As of 2023, the Vacaville City Manager is Aaron Busch.


Here are some key facts about Vacaville’s current demographics:

  • Population – 101,193 (2020 census)
  • Median Age – 37.5 years old
  • Racial Makeup
    • White – 59.4%
    • Hispanic/Latino – 24.5%
    • Asian – 9.5%
    • Black – 7.1%
    • Other – 4.1%
  • Median Household Income – $86,195

Vacaville has seen steady population growth over the past few decades. It has also become more racially and ethnically diverse. Latinos now make up about a quarter of the population.

Public Schools

Vacaville has public schools managed by the Vacaville Unified School District.

High Schools

  • Vacaville High School
  • Will C. Wood High School
  • Vacaville Christian High School (private)

Middle Schools

  • Browns Valley Middle School
  • Jepson Middle School
  • Pinole Valley Middle School
  • Vaca Pena Middle School

Elementary Schools

There are 17 elementary schools in Vacaville. Some of the largest are Padan, Cooper, and Hemlock.

Economy and Major Employers

Here are some of the major industries and employers that drive Vacaville’s economy:

  • Travis Air Force Base – over 14,000 military and civilian employees
  • Medical centers – Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, NorthBay Medical Center
  • Retail – The Outlets at Solano, Nut Tree Plaza, VacaValley Marketplace
  • Manufacturing – Genentech, ALZA Corporation, Hunter Douglas
  • Food production – Basic American Foods, Earthbound Farm
  • Education – Vacaville Unified School District, Solano Community College

Many residents also commute to jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Attractions and Things to Do

Some of the most popular attractions and activities in Vacaville include:

  • Lagoon Valley Park – Large recreation area with hiking, fishing, and boating
  • Nut Tree Plaza – Open air shopping center with dining, entertainment, and events
  • Vacaville Premium Outlets – Over 140 brand name outlet stores
  • Pleasants Valley Road Wineries – Winery tasting rooms in scenic countryside
  • Vacaville Museum – Local history and culture exhibits
  • Rocky Hill Center for the Arts – Performing arts theater hosting concerts and live shows
  • Annual events – Fiesta Days, Miss Solano County Pageant, Christmas Parade

Vacaville offers both outdoor recreation and urban amenities for residents and visitors to enjoy. It retains its small town charm while continuing to grow and develop.


Monday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Tuesday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Thursday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Contact Us.

Get Solutions For All Fencing Services

Every day from

9:00 — 5:00

Call to ask any question



  • Take I-80 E from SF. After 55 mi, take exit 43A to I-505 N. Drive 15 mi, take exit 29 to Vaca Valley Pkwy. Turn right, go 3.5 mi. Turn left on Leisure Town Rd, destination on right after 0.9 mi.
  • From SF, take I-80 E. After 1 hr, take exit 43A to I-505 N. Go 15 mi, take exit 29 to Vaca Valley Pkwy. Turn right, go 3.5 mi. Turn left on Leisure Town Rd, destination 0.9 mi on right.
  • From SF on I-80 E, drive 55 mi. Take exit 43A to I-505 N. After 15 mi take exit 29 to Vaca Valley Pkwy. Turn right, go 3.5 mi. Turn left on Leisure Town Rd, drive 0.9 mi, destination on right.