Brawley is a city in Imperial County, California, United States. It is part of the 'El Centro, California Metropolitan Statistical Area'. The population was 22,052 at the 2000 census. The town has a significant cattle and feed industry presence and hosts the annual Cattle Call Rodeo. Year-round agriculture is an important economy in Brawley. Summer daytime temperatures often exceed .
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.8 square miles (15.1 km²), all land except for the New and Alamo rivers pass by the town. Brawley's elevation (like other Imperial Valley towns) is below sea level.
There were 6,631 households out of which 48.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.0% were married couples living together, 17.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.6% were non-families. 17.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.28 and the average family size was 3.71.
In the city the population was spread out with 34.5% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 18.1% from 45 to 64, and 9.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 96.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $31,277, and the median income for a family was $35,514. Males had a median income of $34,617 versus $25,064 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,881. About 22.5% of families and 26.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.0% of those under age 18 and 14.1% of those age 65 or over.
The majority of Brawley's residents are of Mexican and Latino origins, but was home to large transplated white, East Indian, Chinese, Filipino and African American sections in the 20th century. The city is remarkably diverse in a rural but international portion of Southern Cal. about 30 minutes(22 miles) from Mexico.
Brawley has a higher percentage of persons and families in poverty than most cities of its size in California and the US. It is also known for having the largest amount of teenage pregnancies and teenage parents in California and for it's size in the nation.
The Planters Hotel
The Planters opened in 1927 and was a true community project in that some of the city's forefathers of the time formed a consortium to raise $100,000 to build the hotel. Planters became a center of business in the downtown district and was headquarters for much of the cattle, produce and sheep industries. At the time, there was a race to build a new Hotel betweein Planters and the soon to be Ciudad. The Planters did not win this race, as it was the Ciudad that won. Planters was last because it took longer to build since the builders implemented the latest retrofitting building method.
Planters also had the distinction of being named by the community as the consortium had a drive in which residents were asked to come up with a name. The Chamber's only information recall that the Planters name was coined for the farming community. Since farmers would do a lot of planting throughout the year, naming it Planters seemed to fit the hotel's agricultural history at the time.
Over the years, movie stars including actors like John Wayne and Clark Gable, stayed at the Planters Hotel. As the hotel began to deteriorate, the top most floors were closed to customers. In the 1990s all that would remain open would be the Planters Bar found on the bottom level. Becoming a bar and club various nights through the week to completely close in 2005 for renovation. Just prior to the hotel's closing, it has been rumored that famed screenwriter Tom Bleecker stayed there.
The Planters Hotel was destroyed in a fire in March 2007. That day was very tragic to many of the people and buisnesses that had resided in the town.
Brawley has a minor league ballpark (Blake Edmondson Field) where the Kansas City Athletics and later Oakland Athletics used the field as a spring training facility in the 1960s but played home games in Stark Field in nearby El Centro, yet it hasn't held a team for a while (see Imperial Valley Brahmas of the independent Golden State League and Imperial Valley Magic of the collegiate Pacific Southwest Baseball League). They seek an Arizona Winter League team in 2008-09 to compete with teams in Yuma, Arizona, Palm Springs, California, Blythe, California, Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico and San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mexico.
There is also the Sacred Tree. It is a well known landmark throughout the town of Brawley. There are few people who don't know what the Sacred Tree (ST) is. There is one particular group of adolescents who have made it their personal goal to maintain it. They have also made it their personal goal to support it and protect it at all costs. They have created an organization named the STA (Sacred Tree Association). They are also known for their salutations of other "non-members" of the STA. They salute them by saying " Hey, It's Mr. Rodgers" When you hear this, you know that person is part of the STA.