Latitude / Longitude:
118 ft (36 m)
Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
Empire is a census-designated place (CDP) in Stanislaus County, California, United States.
In 1854, the town of Empire City was founded on the south bank of the Tuolumne River, one mile south of present-day Empire. It was reputedly named after New York City, the “Empire City”. However, some sources indicate that the town was founded as early as 1850. The town shows on the 1852 Gibbes map as Empire. It is alleged to have been almost destroyed and deserted twice, in 1852 and 1855. The town served as the head of navigation for steamboats on the Tuolumne River. Empire City became the county seat of Stanislaus County, and was flooded in the Great Flood of 1862. In 1896, the town relocated one mile north of the river, and was renamed Empire for the Santa Fe Railroad.
The population was 4,189 at the 2010 census, up from 3,903 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Modesto Metropolitan Statistical Area. Influenced by the Mexican culture, Empire is agriculturally active, and is home to the new Empire Community Park.
Downtown Empire is situated in the second town layout. It includes a small post office, a Church of the Brethren church, and the Empire Community Park with the Empire City Historic Landmark.