The City of Santa Paula, California is located 65 miles northwest of Los Angeles and 14 miles east of Ventura and the coastline of the Pacific Ocean. Santa Paula is the geographical center of Ventura County, situated in the rich agricultural Santa Clara River Valley. The City is surrounded by rolling hills and rugged mountain peaks in addition to orange, lemon and avocado groves. In fact, Santa Paula is referred to as the "Citrus Capital of the World."
The original community that has become known as Santa Paula was established by the Chumash Indians as the villages of Mupu and Srswa. The land was later given away as part of a Spanish land grant to Rancho Santa Paula and Saticoy in 1840. In the 1860's, the area was subdivided into small farms. In 1880, oil was discovered in Santa Paula leading to the formation of the Union Oil Company in 1890.
The City of Santa Paula was incorporated on April 22, 1902.
In the early 1900's Santa Paula was considered the pre-Hollywood film capital, the "Queen of the Silver Screen." Even today, Santa Paula is noted for its movie personalities (silent and sound) who resided in and adjacent to the city and a TV or movie crew is not an unusual sight in the community.
The City is a major distribution point for citrus fruits in the United States and is also noted for avocado producing and processing. The community has a quaint, small town image, ideal climate and reasonably priced housing, which is why Santa Paulans refer to their community as "Hometown USA." Santa Paula maintains its own identity and is in close proximity to the many tourist, recreational, and cultural activities that abound in Southern California.
Santa Paula covers an area of 4.6 square miles and has a population (as of the 2000 Census) of 28,598 which is 26.4% White, 71.2% Hispanic or Latino and 2.4% all other races. The State of California estimates Santa Paula's population at 29,182 as of January 1, 2007. Santa Paula is California's 237th largest city.