Winters is a city in rural Yolo County, California, located along Interstate 505 and Putah Creek. The estimated population of Winters was 7,034 as of July 2015.
Winters has hot, mostly dry summers and cool, wet winters: a hot-summer Mediterranean climate.
Winters post office was established in 1875 and the city was incorporated in 1898. The name honors Theodore Winters, who provided half of the town’s land. Another important early pioneer as John Reid Wolfskill, a California pioneer who helped establish the development of California’s agricultural industry in the Sacramento Valley in the 19th century. He started the agricultural development of the area with the planting of orchards and vineyards in 1842. Born in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky and a pioneer of Solano County, “he was the first English speaking man to settle in the area around what is now Winters, California”. In 1935, Wolfskill’s heirs deeded 100 acres of the Wolfskill Ranch in Winters to the University of California, Davis, which had been founded in 1908. The land was to be used for an experimental orchard.
The top employers in Winters are: the Winters Joint Unified School District (220 employees); the Mariani Nut Company (200 employees); the Buckhorn Restaurant Group (100 employees); Double M Trucking (70 employees) and Pavestone (50 employees.)
In 2016 the town of Winters was featured by Sunset Magazine in their “Wild About Winters” article:
“Nothing against Davis- a most enjoyable college town, perfect for biking and loaded with art galleries and fun, ethnic eateries, or historic Woodland, but it’s the baby-small town of Winters, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, that gets my vote. Even the locals think their town is “cute as a button”. Stop in at the Visitor Center to pick up a map for a do-it-yourself, Historic Homes Of Winters Tour, or just wander the picturesque three-square blocks that make up downtown. When I spied the nostalgic white gazebo perched in the center of Rotary Park, I almost took a seat to see if the 76 trombones from “The Music Man” would soon be marching in.
“West of Sacramento, discover a small town with artsy flair. Neighborhoods of restored Victorians, pocket parks, a thriving downtown bursting with local art and independent restaurants ? this hardly sounds like your average exit off the interstate. That’s why the small town of Winters is a refreshing mini detour just off I-505. Walk the downtown’s five blocks and discover a friendly community boasting good eats, art galleries, quirky shops, and live music. A busy Art Walk is held on the first Saturday of each month but you’ll find a proud local spirit anytime.”
Drug Abuse in Yolo County
Like many small towns in Northern California, Winters has had its problems with drug abuse. The Yolo County Department of Health Services Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Division published findings and guidelines on substance abuse in the area. According to the report, the substances of choice for which patients are admitted for addiction are:
Heroin, Other Opiates/synthetics 7%
Cocaine – 3%
Methamphetamine is an illegal drug in the same class as cocaine and other powerful street drugs. It has many nicknames—meth, crank, chalk or speed being the most common.
Crystal meth is used by individuals of all ages but is most commonly used as a “club drug,” taken while partying in night clubs or at rave parties. Its most common street names are ice or glass.
It is a dangerous and potent chemical and, as with all drugs, a poison that first acts as a stimulant but then begins to systematically destroy the body. Thus it is associated with serious health conditions, including memory loss, aggression, psychotic behavior and potential heart and brain damage.
Highly addictive, meth burns up the body’s resources, creating a devastating dependence that can only be relieved by taking more of the drug.
Crystal meth’s effect is highly concentrated, and many users report getting hooked (addicted) from the first time they use it. It is one of the hardest drug addictions to treat and many die in its grip.
Meth seizures along the Mexico-California border and at the San Diego airport and seaport quadrupled from 3,693 to 14,732 pounds between 2009 and 2014, according to data shared by US Customs and Border Protection. Cannabis and cocaine seizures dropped in the meanwhile, from 277,542 to 132,075 pounds for marijuana and from 7,906 to 4,869 pounds for cocaine.
The abundance of this drug combined with its highly addictive nature makes this a serious problem for the area. Fortunately, help is at hand: drug education programs for prevention, plus several reputable drug rehabilitation options are available, both in- and out-patient programs, to help those ravaged by addiction to find the beauty in small town life once again.