SUISUN CITY — Nearing its 165th birthday, Suisun City continues to grow, with the town’s population pushing 30,000.
It’s home to the Lawler House Gallery, a Kroc Center, a historic Amtrak station and plenty of live entertainment.
Next summer, a Walmart supercenter should open, bringing jobs and sales tax revenue.
The city dates back to 1850 when Josiah Wing, a schooner captain, found an island in the Suisun Marsh and built a wharf and warehouse there. It soon became the major agriculture shipping point for the farms and orchards in the Suisun Valley and Green Valley areas.
A train depot was built. Suisun City was bustling with several hotels along Main Street.
Fairfield was the smaller of the two towns. That changed with World War II, the construction of Travis Air Force Base and Interstate 80. Suisun City’s growth tapered off.
Tough years followed to the point that, in the early 1980s, a survey of San Francisco Bay Area communities determined that it was the least attractive place to live in the area.
The city started to get a facelift. Waterfront properties were redeveloped. Apartment complexes were razed in favor of Victorian-style homes.
The changes continued with the addition of a senior center and library.
The senior center and Veterans Hall have undergone major renovations in the past two years. Suisun City was being seen in a new light. Last year, Sactown magazine called it “a hidden getaway.”
The Suisun City Community Services Foundation was formed to develop and fund service projects. The organization introduced the first in a series of collectible ornaments featuring Suisun City scenes.
The Kroc Center is home to community events as well as offering a place for worship and workouts.
The Blue Devils Bingo Center brought new life to the Marina Center with games available Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The city hosts many events, including Christmas on the Waterfront and Fourth of July fireworks. During the summer, there are free movies on Saturday night and jazz concerts Sunday afternoons.
Suisun City has also become a recreation destination. Fishermen launch their boats to explore the Suisun Marsh. Paddle boarders and kayakers can be found on the water.
One of its best-kept secrets may be the Suisun Wildlife Center, which is home to a variety of wildlife. Some residents will call it home forever. Others are there with the hopes of being released back into their native habitat.
The city is divided by Highway 12. The east half is largely residential and commercial. The west half is old town and the waterfront area.
The 2012 census estimated Suisun City’s population at 28,560. It projected that number would grow to 28,819 in 2013.
About 39 percent of its residents are white, 20 percent black and 19 percent Asian.
Its median household income is about $72,500.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.