Sonntag, 28. Februar 2016

Orangevale is a rather young settlement, founded around 1844 in an agricultural area with abundant orange groves, olive orchards, chestnut, walnut and oak trees. Initially the site name was Santa Juanita Grant under governance of State of Mexico. The settlement is a foundation of a colonization company that developed there fruit tree plantations. First map records of a village street network with the name ORANGE VALE COLONY date into the years 1888 and 1895. 

Orangevale is a settlement without independent municipal administration, a so called CDP (census designed place), located at a distance of 25 kms northeast of Sacramento. The number of inhabitants in 2010 was 33.960 (2000 : 26.705). Most important local press media is the Orangevale Sun.

Orangevale north of Lake Natoma and the Mississippi Bar anthropogenic Landscape Monument
Source : Google Earth

Orangevale is situated in the center-north of the Sacramento Valley, a 700 km long and aproximately 100 km wide plainland surrounded by the Sierra Nevada, Klamath Mountains, Transverse Range and Coastal Ranges mountain heights. The Valley here is traversed by three greater watercourses, the Sacramento, Feather and American River. The American River flows from the artificial barrage Folsom Lake in Sierra Nevada until it´s confluence with Sacramento River. Orangevale is situated at the northern river bank where the Nimbus Dam, constructed between 1952 and 1955, retains the waters of the American River and moulds so the Lake Natoma freshwater reservoir. Between the dam, the lake and the town extends a large former gold dredge mining area (Mississippi Bar), where gravel from the ancient river bed was heaped up and extended over miles as so called "dredger rockpiles" or "gold mining cobble piles". The cobble pile heaps form characteristic anthropogenic landscape structures, similar the Peruvian Nazca Lines, that extend also south Natoma Lake inside the "White Rock - Deer Creek Hill" Prairie Desert as contemporary relics from California Gold Rush era.    

Orangevale Cobble Piles. Slagheaps composed of gravel extracted with gold dredgers from the bed of the American River and deposited after gold washing in longitudinal, sinous heaps, forming now an characteristic anthropogenic landscape structure.
Image Source : Google Earth 

Gold mining with water streams, washing gold from gravel beds. A similar mineral exploitation method could have generated the symmetric structures on the Orangevale Cobble Piles.
Source : Wikipedia

An interesting fact of gold mining is, that during "gold washing" only gold flakes and "nuggets" could be extracted from the dredged riverbed gravel, meanwhile the mineralized gold remained inside the gravel. To obtain it, the gravel has to be crushed until fine sand that later is submitted to chemical gold extraction with acids. This extraction method requires great technical effort and rigorous environmental protection measures, so that the remaining dredger rockpiles south of Orangevale nowadays only slowly are conversed into valious mineral by specialized companies. This process is partially visible in the military rocket engine testing area of the northern White Rock / Deer Creek Prairie managed during the past decades by the  Aerojet Rocketdyne Company. 

Conversion of mineralized gold containing gravel heaps into crushed fine sand for chemical gold extraction south of Orangevale / Lake Natoma.
Source : Google Earth

The Sacramento Valley as part of the nowadays US State of California was administrated between 1549 and 1821 as Alta California colony by the "Viceroyalty of New Spain" before it became a mexican province following the Independence of Mexico. First reported european intromissions dated already to the year 1542 with the exploring expeditions under spanish-portuguese and later english (1579) flag. Since these early times are reported decreases of autochtonous native populations - the indigenous tribes.

Since the Mexican independence the immigration pressure from other parts of North America towards the Alta California province raised considerably and led to independence movements that had as consecuence the Mexican-American war of 1846-1848 that led to the integration of the Californian territory in the United States of America and the opening of the country for an even more massive and organized immigration during the so called Gold Rush era (1848-1852).

At that time the Sacramento Valley was still homeland of numerous native indigenous tribes that lived as hunters-gatherers in tight coexistence with nature. In the region, where Orangevale was founded in 1844, lived the indigenous Maidu-People with several tribes. The european cultural and land administrational habits (land titles) soon forced in consecuence the native people to remove from their originary fishing, hunting and gathering grounds. 

In the following decades the impact of european culture forced the natives to change their traditional manners and livelihood towards incompatibility with the immigrant way of life. Gold washing destroyed the indians fishing grounds, hunting was restricted due to the immigrants "land titles". During the 1860ies the colonial administration and US military developed a policy of removal of the remaining natives towards Indian Reservations, of which one of the most famous became Chico Rancheria about 100 kms north of Orangevale, where the ranch owners, John Bidwell and Annie Kennedy Bidwell established an indigenous friendly policy.   

The center of the Sacramento Valley 69 km northwest of Orangevale is occupied by a prominent landmark, that since ancient times constituted an important spiritual and religious monument of the indigenous tribes, and that also became attributed by the immigrants mistical and magical significance: The Sutter Buttes. The mountain range is considered by the Maidu and Wintu Indians as resting site of the souls of their ancestors during their voyage through "next world". The european naming of "The Buttes", called "Middle Mountain" by the natives, remembers Johann August Sutter, a swiss-german immigrant and founder of the colony New Helvetia at the site of the later City of Sacramento.

The "Middle Mountain" at Yuba City, 69 kms northwest Orangevale, is the most prominent landmark of Sacramento Valley and a sacred site for native indians and immigrants
Image Source: 

Maidu is an ethnological term for the native groups that setteled between Río Sacramento and the Sierra Nevada Foothills. Maidu People are composed of members of the Mountain Maidu (Yamani Maidu), Southern Maidu (Nisenan), the Koyoom-k´awi (Concow) and the Mechoopda tribe or group.

In the actuality the tribal stucture of Maidu People seems to be mostly memorized in museums and memorials of indian culture. Originary native activities of Maidu progenies are not extensely reflected in Internet but exists as Mechpooda Maidu organization and member of the indigenous Inter Tribal Council of California.  

Historic photography of the "Treaty of Rancho Chico from 1st August 1851". The "George Eastman House" document shows several headman of  regional native tribes and the treaty comissioner O.M.Wozencraft. Also participated the Maidu headman Luck-y-an as one of 9 indian tribe representants and John Bidwell.
Image Source: Wikipedia   

The Sacramento Valley is an geomorphological region with high tectonic activity. This might be one of the reasons for an regional settlement pattern without higher buildings, what led to the enormous spacial extension of the town borders and the use of former agricultural land as housing area. Whole Sacramento County between Folsom Lake and Sacramento City, including Orangevale is covered so with residencial areas that merge without visible town borders. Orangevale is seamlessly surrounded by Fair Oaks, Citrus Heights, Roseville, Granite Bay and Folsom. 

The northern neighbourtown of Orangevale, Roseville, lodges the MAIDU REGIONAL PARK with Maidu Community Center, Roseville Maidu Library, Maidu Sports Complex, Maidu Elementary School and Maidu Museum and Historical Site (fb presence).

Indigenous establishments in the inmediate vecinity of Orangevale: The Maidu Regional Park.
Source: Wikimapia

The latest population census from 2010 gives a racial composition for Orangevale that indicates the dominance of White (87,4 %) habitants, followed by Latinamerican 10,2 %, Asian 3,1 %, African-American 1,4 % and Native American with 0,9 % of the town residents.

Cultural most impactant establishments of Orangevale are the Orangevale Public Library and the yearly Pow-Wow-Days and Country Fair that take place every third weekend of May in the Orangevale Community Park. Art and Culture Meetups are rather unlisted meanwhile Gun Clubs, even female shooting associations, seem to enjoy more popularity. This focus is a result of the population structure composed predominantly of families with children living in single mansions whereas in towns with High Schools, Universities and a higher degree of single inhabitants and living communities the demand for a more diverse cultural offer is greater.

Orangevale has no Town Center in the proper sense of the terms meaning. A most accurate description of the settlements structure would be the one of a "composition of residencial, recreational, shopping and green centers". As main green center could be considered the Orangevale Community Park at the crossroad of Hazel Ave and Oak Ave along the Oak Ave until Orange Heights, where the Casa Roble Fundamental High School is situated.

View along Oak Ave over Hazel Ave Crossroad towards Orangevale Community Park
 and Linda River with further Orange Heights straight ahead.
Image : Google Street View

View along Central Ave towards east between Hickory Ave and Hazel Ave at the height of Coleman Elementary School (Californian Montessori Project)
Image : Google Street View   

The main commercial center of Orangevale ist situated along the Greenback Lane between Hickory Ave and Filbert Ave (Pecan Hills) where dozens of supermarkets, stores, and restaurants with extense parking places surrounded by decorative palms and pine trees dominate the towns architecture.

The Orangevale main commercial Shopping Mall CABLE PARK CENTER at Greenback Lane between Hazel Ave and Beech Ave
Image : Google Street View

Beautiful residencial quarters extend along the central Pecan Ave
Image : Google Street View

A typical Orangevale residencial area in the Illinois Ave
Image : Google Street View

Modern residencial housing area near Lake Natoma in Dredger Way
 Image : Google Street View

Summarizing the review about Orangevale based exclusively on data available directly from Internet without further literature search and informational data requests, fountains for a direct relationship of the "Orange"-namegiving of the Californian town with the ancient Nassau County in Germany and Orange County in France haven´t been found, even if for several other settlements or regions with that same name in the United States a reference to the european counties was pretended by immigrants (See project world map).

California is homeland of a further "Orange" with the Orange County south of Los Angeles and the City of Orange there. If the namegiving also for these sites is an exclusive reference to citrus fruit cultivations or if the French interventions in Mexico (1838-39 / 1862-67) might have been the root for the namegiving in reference to the french town of Orange and it´s relation to the german Nassau County will be discussed during the further project studies. 

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