Friday, December 26, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Rio Vista: Solano’s gem on the Sacramento River

rio development, 4/18/2013

Downtown Rio Vista and the waterfront are the centerpiece of the city's “priority development area” for the One Bay Area initiative. (Daily Republic file)

By
From page SOL5 | August 24, 2014 |

RIO VISTA — Rio Vista this year will conduct an expansive mural project that will paint the side of Books Rio V in a historical light, depicting what the  building once used to be, a saloon.

The city already has a mural on the side of the fire station showing a flashback in history. The community advocate group RioVision hopes many more will come, enabling the city to be known for its murals as well as its fishing, boating, drawbridges and windmills.

And don’t forget the movies – Rio Vista’s wide spot on the Sacramento River has doubled in films for the Mississippi River in notable adaptions of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn dating back to the early 1900s. Dozens of other notable movies – from silent to talkies – brought in famous stars and directors such as William Desmond, John Ford, Cecil B. DeMille, Jackie Coogan and perhaps even John Wayne when “The Big Trail” was filmed there in 1930.

Today, the iconic windmills signal entrance from the west and the Helen Madere Memorial Bridge brings in visitors from the east. Madere was a Rio Vista city councilwoman.

The annual Rio Vista Bass Derby and Festival brings in the boaters and anglers by the hundreds. This year is the 67th annual derby – the oldest in the west – even though the first one was actually held in 1933. Striped bass isn’t the only catch in town, either – the derby also includes sturgeon. The festival portion, featuring games, rides and music, was added later. This year the event is Oct. 10-12.

The city offers a variety of shopping downtown, pets to books or knickknacks, manicures and hair salons. There are also several restaurants worth a visit. While browsing downtown on the weekend, drop into the Rio Vista Museum, 16 N. Front St., to learn some Rio Vista and Delta history.

The original town was established at the junction of Cache Slough and the Sacramento River in 1855. It went through several names before the wife of the postmaster named it Rio Vista. After a devastating flood in 1862, the location was moved 2 miles to its present location. It is about 21 miles east of Fairfield, about 55 miles from San Francisco and 45 miles from Sacramento.

According to the United State Census Bureau, the city’s population estimate in 2012 was 7,563. Census information for 2010 indicates that 81.6 percent of the population is white, 12.42 percent is Hispanic, 5.05 percent black and 4.9 percent Asian. More than 32 percent of the population is 65 and older – nearly triple the state’s percentage, largely due to the Trilogy senior development.

Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or swinlow@dailyrepublic.net. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swinlowdr.

Rio Vista at a glance

City Hall: One Main St., 374-6451

Website: www.riovistacity.com

City Manager: Tim Chapa

Mayor: Norman Richardson. Elected in 2012, term expires in 2016. Reach at nrichardson@ci.rio-vista.ca.us.

Vice Mayor: Constance Boulware. Elected in 2010, term expires in 2014. Reach at cboulware@ci.rio-vista.ca.us.

Councilman: David Hampton. Elected in 2012, term expires in 2016. Reach at dhampton@ci.rio-vista.ca.us.

Councilman: Timothy Kubli. Appointed in 2012, term expires in 2014. Reach at tkubli@ci.rio-vista.ca.us.

Councilman: Jim McCracken. Elected in 2012, term expires in 2016. Reach at jmccracken@ ci.rio-vista.ca.us.

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