Rancho Cordova is one of the newer cities in our region, becoming incorporated in 2003, but its history started well before that.
The city motto is “City life reinvented” and it’s definitely done that, starting with its name which has changed a few times. It was first called “Hangtown Crossing”, because at the time Placerville was called “Hangtown.”
Later, it went by “Mills Station.” It got the name “Rancho Cordova” from one of the area’s vineyards in 1955. It was also one of the big industries.
While the gold rush brought people through the community in 1849 it was the area’s vineyards and orchards that thrived from 1850 to 1880.
After the agriculture the next big commodity was the air.
Mather Air Force Base was first occupied in 1918. It was closed in 1993 as part of the Base Realignment and Closure Act.
The other big aerial draw is the company Aerojet. It brought a lot of residents during the 1950’s and 60’s, which was the height of the space race.
Now, Aerojet specializes in missile and space propulsion, as well as defense and armaments.
Making Rancho Cordova a city was tried in both 1961 and 1978, it failed both times. The vote finally passed in the 2002 election. According to the 2010 census over 64,700 people live here.