Lathrop is one of many Northern California cities with a history that is deeply intertwined with the expansion of the Central Pacific Railroad. Bisected by the San Joaquin River and flanked by the Old River to the west, Lathrop spans a total area of 23 square miles, of which 1.1 square miles is water. Around 30,659 people call it home.
Its central location puts residents in proximity to the economic hubs of Silicon Valley and San Francisco Bay Area, while also keeping it close to the lush foliage of the San Joaquin Valley and the beautiful bodies of water nearby. More than 120 acres of parks can be found here.
Lathrop, CA: A former railroad town on the rise
Lathrop’s history is directly tied to the expansion of the Central Pacific Railroad. After all, it was CPRC director Leland Stanford who founded the town in the late 1800s.
Today, the city enjoys an accessible location and a dynamic atmosphere that draws businesses and residents from all over the state. And with the ongoing development of master-planned community River Islands expected to double the city’s population, Lathrop has cemented itself as one of the state’s rapidly growing cities.
A brief history of Lathrop, CA
- Prior to the establishment of railroad tracks in the city, Lathrop was a small town called Wilson’s Station with only a schoolhouse and a store.
- It was Leland Stanford, the town’s founder and director of the Central Pacific Railroad, who ordered the construction of railroad tracks near Wilson’s Station in 1868 after a longstanding dispute with Stockton government officials. This conflict eventually ended in the platting of modern-day Lathrop.
- The town was named after two people: Leland Stanford’s wife, Jane Stanford née Lathrop, and her brother Charles Lathrop. ln 1869, the Western Pacific Railroad Company completed the Mossdale Crossing at Lathrop, which was the final link of the transcontinental railroad and Pacific Coast. By the late 1870s, Lathrop was nearly a boomtown with a population of 600.
- The city saw economic decline during the late 1880s to early 1900s, until World War II brought major producers of aircraft parts and army supply depots into town. This soon led to economic and residential growth, and by the 1990s, the population had expanded to 7,000 people. It was officially incorporated in 1989.
Living in Lathrop, CA
As one of California’s fastest-growing cities, Lathrop provides abundant opportunities for residents to enjoy the great outdoors, pursue their interests, and attain high-quality education.
Park West | 16130 Sheltered Cove Circle, Lathrop
Nestled within the city’s scenic landscapes, Park West stands as a vibrant recreational facility that caters to outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. Encouraging an active lifestyle, the park offers a diverse range of amenities and features, including tennis courts, barbecue grills, basketball courts, and picnic tables.
Apolinar Sangalang Park | 13470 Slate Street, Lathrop
Formerly known as Stonebridge Park<, this 8-acre playground and recreational facility was renamed in 2006 after one of the city’s original council members. Apolinar Sangalang was also the country’s first Filipino mayor.
The sprawling facility houses a multipurpose sports field and open space, where visitors can enjoy a round of badminton, play tag with their friends, or set up a picnic under the trees. Also available are dedicated sports areas, including a baseball diamond, basketball courts, and tennis courts.
Manuel Valverde Park | 15557 5th Street, Lathrop
At Manuel Valverde Park, sports enthusiasts can showcase their skills on the baseball diamond or engage in friendly competition on the basketball courts. Sprawling open spaces allow visitors the freedom to fly a kite, play catch with their furry friends, or simply bask in the sun. For those seeking respite from the summer heat, a splash pad offers a refreshing oasis where children can cool off.
Lathrop Lakes | 19091 South Manthey Road, Lathrop
Located in Mossdale Crossing Regional Park, Lathrop Lakes is a prime fishing destination for anglers of all levels. Here, you’ll find a large variety of saltwater and freshwater species, including catfish, bluegill, and bass. Spring and fall are especially popular times to fish, but it’s more than possible to do so anytime of the year. The lakes can be accessed by boat; you can bring your own or rent one.
Old River Golf Course| 18007 Mac Arthur Drive, Tracy
Old River Golf Course is an 18-hole championship course in Tracy, only 12 minutes from Lathrop. Situated on lush natural terrain and surrounded by a canopy of trees, the public course allows players and guests to immerse themselves in a secluded and tranquil spot while enjoying a pleasant game of golf.
The course spans 6,700 yards and has multiple water features, tricky fairways, and a few doglegs that encourage players to think outside the box. Beginner golfers can utilize the course’s practice green to improve their technique, while guests can enjoy a hearty meal at the on-site restaurant.
San Joaquin River Trail
Lathrop’s location in the San Joaquin Valley means residents live close to plenty of scenic hiking and biking trails. One of these is the San Joaquin River Trail, found near the master-planned community of River Islands. The 6-mile out-and-back path offers up-close views of the river and takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes to finish. This trail is excellent for trekking, biking, or running.
Youth and adult clubs, organizations, and classes
The following clubs and classes encourage children and adults to develop their skills in sports, arts, and related fields:
- Mini Movers T-Ball
- Youth Baseball & Softball (Ages 5-13)
- Teen Volleyball (Ages 14-17)
- Adult Volleyball League (Ages 18 and above)
- Adult Summer League Basketball (Ages 18 and above)
- Teen Gymnastics
- Digital Design Classes
- Jessie’s Grove Winery | 1973 West Turner Road, Lodi
Jessie’s Grove Winery can be found in the city of Lodi, about 30 minutes from Lathrop by car. Located in the city’s northwestern region, Jessie’s Grove is a historic privately-owned winery situated in a 320-acre ranch.
Jessie’s Grove is famed for its diverse selection of vintage red wines. Among its must-tries are the Lodi Royal Tee Zinfandel, the Lodi SinSo Ancient Vine Cinsault, Alicante Bouschet, and Carignane. They also offer a premium selection of white wines and dessert wines.
- River Islands Technology Academy
- Joseph Widmer, Jr., Elementary School
- Mossdale Elementary School
- Lathrop Elementary School
- Lathrop High School
- Open-concept living and dining spaces
- Guest accommodations
- Luxurious bedrooms and master suite
- Chef’s kitchens with walk-in pantries
- Spa-inspired baths
- Second-floor laundry rooms
- Flexible floor plans
Lathrop’s location makes it an ideal place to raise school-age children, as it is served by two outstanding school districts: the Tracy Joint Unified School District and Manteca Unified School District. Some of the top-ranking schools include:
Homes for sale in Lathrop, CA
Properties in Lathrop offer generous living spaces at multiple price points, providing potential homeowners with the chance to move into a home that truly matches their lifestyle and preferences. Here’s what you can expect from a single-family home in Lathrop: