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Elijah S Silvey first settled in the Dixon area in 1852, and the community became known as Silveyville. A landowner named Thomas Dickson donated 10 acres of land near the California Pacific Railroad line for a town site and depot. The people of Silveyville literally picked up their town and moved it to the spot donated by Thomas Dickson. (Dickson was a Minister, School Teacher and Farmer). Dickson supervised the town's relocation and originally the towns name was to change from Silveyville to Dicksonville, however; a rail shipment of merchandise arrived mistakenly addressed to Dixon and through the railroad clerks misspelling the name (Dickson) to Dixon; the city of Dixon remained.
Dixon was incorporated in 1878. In its early years, Dixon was known for grain and later, for alfalfa and dairy farming. In 1916 Dixon became the site of the Solano County Fair, indication what a popular event horse racing had become. Even with Dixon maintaining one of the best horse race tracks around, the event was still called Dixon May Fair. In 1933 the State of California legalized race horse betting. By 1936 the Dixon May Fair became the 36th District Fair Association. In the 1940s and 1950s, Dixon became known nationally for its sheep production. It was in Dixon, during the mid 1980s that the celebration of lamb came into being. The festival founders wanted a local event singling out Dixon as a major sheep producer in the region. Dixon has a national reputation as a sheep industry leader.
Once a year Dixon is the gathering place for 50,000 plus people who come from all over California to enjoy the Dixon May Fair, which brings music headliners from around the country. It also becomes Lambtown USA for two days each summer, with great food and entertainment. After all the festivities are over Dixon returns to its small town flavor, fascinating history, proud residents and a continuing commitment to the land.
Today Dixon, located in Solano County, the fastest growing of the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties along the Transcontinental railway corridor. Dixon maintains its small town charm while providing easy access to the attractions of Sacramento and San Francisco, the Napa and Sonoma wine regions, the rugged Northern California Coast and Lake Tahoe. Dixon California is just down the freeway from the University of California at Davis and is the last town east before the Solano County line. Dixon is a country paradise amid two of the most popular and dynamic metropolitan environments in the nation. Just 67 miles from San Francisco and twenty minutes from Sacramento. It is surrounded by open country. The downtown area is neat and well cared for, and the whole town retains a small town flavor. As the town moves from rural to suburban, more middle class families are moving into the area. Reasonable land prices and an affordable cost of living make Dixon a perfect place to live, work, and to locate a business.