Fresno County, California

Fresno County lies midway in the great San Joaquin valley, between Merced and Mariposa on the north and Tulare on the south. It is the third largest county in the state, having an area of 8,093 square miles. Its population, given by the 1880 census as 9,478, has increased enormously within the last five years, and is now estimated at 33,000, while the yearly increase is fully 5,000. Fresno, the county seat, is in the geographical center, and is the seat of the greatest raisin-producing section in the United States. The new acreage planted to raisin grapes this season is 10,000 acres, making the total acreage 36,000. Other large towns are Madera, Huron, Kingsburg and Selma. Two-thirds of the county is level as a barn floor, with soil of inexhaustible fertility. Here an elaborate system of irrigating canals has converted thousands of acres into one great vineyard of raisin grapes. While other fruits are less profitable than the grape, they are largely cultivated for drying and canning. The irrigating canals are capable of watering one thousand square miles, and this capacity can be increased. Besides all the ordinary agricultural products, Fresno produces a. large amount of alfalfa, honey, sorghum, sweet potatoes and Egyptian corn. In the eastern part of the county are some of the loftiest peaks of the high Sierra, rising more than 14,000 feet above sea-level. The mountain slopes are clothed with the finest growth of redwood and sugar pine. The assessed valuation in 1889 was $35,387,173.


Source: California State Gazetteer and Business Directory 1890, Volume II, R. L. Polk & Company, 1890.

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Created December 2, 2015 by Judy White