Welcome to the college town of Davis, one of the best-educated and brainiest cities in the country. The city of Davis and UC Davis campus have reputations for being among the safer college communities. Our students contribute to a community that is active, friendly and fun. Check it out!
Prior to the arrival of Europeans, a stretch of land along the Putah Creek (Patwin: Liwaito) was inhabited by the Puttoy, a tribe of the indigenous Patwin people. Although healthy and numerous in 1832, the tribe’s population was all but decimated, due, at least in part, to an epidemic of 1833. Some historians have speculated that this illness may have been a form of malaria introduced to the area by Hudson’s Bay Company trappers, who were among the first Europeans to thoroughly explore the area. By 1834, a small group of Puttoy survivors had abandoned their settlements, and some left for Mission Solano in what is now Sonoma County.
The site of “our town” lies north of the original streambed of Putah Creek (Rio de los Putas), which became the dividing line between Yolo and Solano counties in 1850. Formerly the home of a group of Patwin Indians, the immediate Davis area presented an abundance of plants and wildlife, sustaining both animal and human inhabitants before hunters, trappers, and the first pioneer agriculturalists brought drastic changes. During the early 1850s, livestock production and cultivation of the rich alluvial plains in the West Sacramento Valley were profitable enterprises, and a number of American and European immigrants sought title to portions of Rancho Laguna de Santo Calle, the unconfirmed Mexican land grant upon which most of the City of Davis and the University of California campus are located.