Described by the Associated Press as the "First New Town of the Millennium," Mountain House reinterprets the golden American age, mixing familiar hometown elegance with ultramodern technology and environmental sensitivity. Located in the gateway to the San Francisco Bay Area, Mountain House conveniently sits in the picturesque west side of the San Joaquin Valley. Just 20 minutes from the East Bay and about an hour from San Francisco, Mountain House allows easy access to the rapidly expanding Bay Area.
Mountain House uses a variety of innovative technologies to provide environmentally friendly services and amenities. For example, a computer controlled irrigation system senses rainfall and automatically shuts off sprinkler systems to conserve water. All homes are available with an electrical car outlet in the garage in order to promote environmentally friendly cars. Water meters use radio transmission technology to provide faster, more efficient meter readings. Traffic signals will be timed and monitored through a central hub to detect traffic flow and ease traffic congestion. These are just a few ways Mountain House uses technology to provide basic services for residents and conserve resources. Residents in Mountain House receive the best of both worlds: conveniences of a modern age, with a comforting and welcoming neighborhood feeling of the past.
Though strategically located near the Bay Area and close to major freeways, Mountain House was designed not simply to be another commuter town, but to be a self-sufficient community offering employment, goods, services, and recreation all within its boundaries. Land use and circulation are designed to encourage walking, bicycling, and transit use in a highly landscaped, visually attractive community. It has a current population of approximately 10,000 (2010 census data) and is expected to grow to nearly 44,000. Mountain House was designed to maximize community benefits while minimizing adverse impacts on surrounding areas. With the influx of residents, businesses, and industrial areas, Mountain House ensured that people would be able to live, work, attend school and shop without having to drive outside the community, thus reducing traffic impacts.
Upon full build-out, residential development at Mountain House will consist of 12 neighborhoods, each organized around a Neighborhood Center containing a park, a K-8 school, and a small commercial area. The neighborhoods will each have a separate identity, including design and landscaping. Major shopping and other services will be met by the Village Centers and the Town Center, the civic and commercial focus of the community, which is designated for mixed use commercial, office and residential development. Employment centers will include office and industrial parks. The Mountain House Creek corridor and the Old River edge will be enhanced as part of an overall parks and open space system.
Public Schools and Colleges
Each community in Mountain House boasts a K-8 school in the Lammersville School District with excellent educational facilities and top-notch equipment. The Mountain House schools are already ranked among the best in the county.
Currently, Mountain House residents attend high school a few miles away in nearby Tracy, though plans are in place to build an all-new high school. The newest campus of Delta Community College opened its doors in 2009. Focusing on Math, Science and Technology, the Delta College Mountain House campus will offer a comprehensive schedule of day and evening general education classes, as well as several specialized certificate programs
Mountain House History
The Mountain House area was originally inhabited by the American Indian Cholbon tribelet of the Northern Valley Yokuts. The tribelet’s territory extended westward along Old River to just west of Bethany. In the late 18th century the Spanish explorers led by Juan Bautista de Anza, traveled from the San Francisco Bay to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The Spanish never settled in this region and the land was mostly used for agriculture and stopping off points for transportation and trade.
The name Mountain House originates from the Gold Rush era. When miners traveled from San Francisco to the Sierra foothills, they often rested about midway at a house called "Mountain House" at the bottom of a range of hills. The first Mt. House structure took the form of a blue tent and was built in 1849 by Thomas Goodall. With the help of American Indians, Goodall built an adobe house on the site where Mountain House became a rest stop for miners, stockmen, rancheros and immigrants. Simon Zimmerman purchased the stop and through his hard work Mountain House became a famous way station on the road to Stockton.
In the mid-1850s Mohr’s Landing developed around Old River to support commerce and trade. Unfortunately, in the early 1860s flooding of the Old River destroyed Mohr’s Landing and a regional farmer, Eric Wicklund, built a new town near the Mountain House site. The town of Wicklund became the transportation and trade center for the area. During the 1870s the arrival of the Central Pacific Railroad allowed faster transportation of goods and Wicklund’s commerce faded.
In 1878 the first train ran through Bethany Railroad Station and Bethany became a new center for trade. To accommodate growth, the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District was formed in 1916 to transport water, which eased dependency on dry farming. Through the 1920s Bethany grew to include a church, blacksmith shop, general store, bar, dance hall and post office. During this time the Mountain House School was built in the foothills of the region.
In 1940 the last remaining structure of Bethany, the Bethany Post Office was torn down. Since then, the land in the Mountain house area has primarily been used for agriculture.