Cars drive down West Texas Street in downtown Fairfield. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)

Discover Solano spring 2014

Discover Solano Spring 2014: Fairfield

By From page DIS25 | March 31, 2014

A public art event in 1995 asked “Where is Fairfield?” and a plane flew over the city with that question on a banner. At NorthBay Medical Center, babies were given T-shirts that posed the same question.

Halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento is the easy answer – although residents might note that description overlooks the rich history of Fairfield.

The city is the Solano County seat and home to Travis Air Force Basis — along with attractions that include the Budweiser brewery, Jelly Belly, Solano Town Center mall and the Rancho Solano and Paradise Valley golf courses.

Fairfield began in 1856 when nearby Suisun City had waterfront shipping access crucial for pioneer-era communities. A treeless plain is how one writer described Fairfield.

But an offer to the county of land to build a government center was too good a deal for voters to pass up and in 1858 they approved moving the county seat from Benicia to Fairfield.

Buildings constructed for government are among Fairfield’s most impressive structures. The 1911 county courthouse is under renovation while the modern six-story county Government Center dominates downtown.

By World War 11, after decades of playing second fiddle to Suisun City, Fairfield was on its way to becoming the second largest city in Solano County, The United States Air Force decision in 1942 to build a major base installation on land east of Fairfield boosted the area economy. Travis Air Force Base was annexed to Fairfield in 1966.

Fairfield’s projected population in 2014 is 113,532, according to the city. The community covers 37 square miles and its location along Interstate 80 and Highway 12 between the Bay Area and Central Valley make it a regional crossroads.

The rich past of Fairfield may be rivaled only by its future. In 2003, as Fairfield celebrated its 100th anniversary as a city, officials buried a time capsule at City Hall, with an opening date of 2103.

Hotels/Motels: 18

Number of rooms: 1,440

Chamber of Commerce: Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce, 1111 Webster St., Fairfield; 707-425-4625, www.ffsc-chamber.com


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