Merced County, California

Merced County is situated in the heart of the San Joaquin valley, between Stanislaus and Fresno. This has long been known as one of the greatest Wheat counties of California. Its area is 1,968 square miles, and its population, reported in 1880 by the United States census as 5,646, is now put down at 9,000. The county seat is Merced, which has many fine public buildings. Most of the land in the county is plain or foot-hill. It is watered by the San Joaquin and Merced rivers, which furnish facilities for irrigation. The county boasts of the largest irrigating ditch in this country, the Merced canal, which is 29 miles long, and terminates in a huge reservoir of 640 acres, five miles from Merced City. It will irrigate 300,000 acres, and it cost $2,500,000. Wheat and barley have long been the staple products, being grown without irrigation, but many acres have recently been planted to fruit and vines, and with irrigation these will prove far more profitable than grain. Stock-raising is also carried on in the foot-hills. The assessed valuation for 1889 was $14,000,000.


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