unWired Community Spotlight: Manteca, CA

Founded in 1861, Manteca was settled on 1,000 acres by Joshua Cowell, near present day downtown Manteca. The Central Pacific Railroad was built right through town soon after. Manteca was originally going to be named Monteca, but was misspelled by the railroad company and the name stuck. In 1918, Cowell became Manteca’s first mayor and the town was officially incorporated.

Until the 1980s, Manteca was a small community primarily based around agriculture. The area surrounding Manteca is known as one of the best tomato growing regions in California. To this day, many companies even consider the Manteca area to be of the best places to grow tomatoes in the world! Besides tomatoes, other top crops in the region include almonds, milk and grapes.

Although agriculture is still a huge part of Manteca today, it is no longer a small community. Since the 1980s, its population has tripled. Manteca’s exponential growth is thanks in part to rising housing prices in the Bay Area, which have driven many Bay Area residents to find more affordable housing in nearby Manteca. Less than a two-hour drive away, many residents commute to San Francisco and the surrounding areas. In fact, the city is surrounded by over 1 million people within a 30-minute drive.