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Tulare County California

Tulare County. Organized in 1852, Bounded north by Fresno, east by Inyo, south by Kern, and west and northwest by Monterey and Fresno. Area, (including Tulare Lake of 600 square miles) 5,600 square miles. Assessed valuation of property for 1374, $4,296,231.

County seat, Visalia. Principal towns: Farmersville, Piano, Porterville, Tulare, and Vandalia.

The resources are in agriculture, mines and forests, the great basin of Tulare being of exceeding fertility, and the high Sierra which forms the eastern portion being clothed in noble forests, and also comprises a section of the mineral belt, which extends from north to south through the State.

The topographical features of the county are marked and distinctive. The highest peaks of the great dorsal chain, as a mighty column, fringe the eastern border. Mounts Kaweah, 14,000 feet high; Tyndall, 14,386; Whitney, 15,000; Williamson, 15,000; and others, exceeding fifty in number, of over 13,000 feet above the sea, are the grand sentinels of the Sierra towering above all other lands of the United States. The scenery among these mountain peaks is of inexpressible grandeur. Granite walls, like cyclopean masonry, rise with perpendicular face many thousand feet above the dark cañons they enclose, and serrated ridges of needle pointed rocks run in confused irregularity from peak to peak. Throughout the region the well-known Yosemite is often reproduced.

Bright meadows are in the deep valleys once filled by the ice of the glacial period, and the gigantic trees of 115 to 120 feet in circumference and near 300 feet high are found on the mountain sides at an elevation of 6,000 to 7,000 feet above the sea. Among these towering peaks several large rivers have their source, as King's River, Kaweah, Tule, and Kern, and Owens, on the western slope. The mam range is divided into two ridges through which runs Kern River, rising in the northeastern part of the county and following a southern course for about 100 miles turns westward into the valley and sinks in the lake which bears its name. In the high Sierra, near the border hue of Inyo County is Mineral King District, where ledges of great size and value are reported as existing, bearing lead, gold, and silver. In the foothills bordering the valley placer gold is obtained, though no renowned mining camp exists in this quarter. The western extreme of the county is in the Monte Diablo range, which late developments show is as well filled with minerals as is the Sierra Nevada on the opposite side of the great valley, and here too will probably be found quicksilver, coal, or other minerals of value.

But the present source of wealth is in the fertile soil. Agriculture and stock raising are the principal employments of the people. The broad valley of Tulare extends from the foothills of the Sierra to the Coast Range, a distance of about 50 miles, and the breadth of the county is about 60 miles. Of this area about two-thirds is tillable and highly productive, while a greater portion of the remainder is covered by the water of Tulare Lake and the surrounding marsh land. This lake is the singular feature of the county and the valley having a length of about 30 miles, by 20 in breadth, expanding to greater proportions in seasons of heavy rains. From this lake a canal is proposed for navigation and irrigation, to connect with the San Joaquin. Several large rivers, and numerous small creeks empty into the lake, which has no outlet excepting in seasons of freshet, when it discharges its waters into the San Joaquin. It is well supplied with fish, and myriads of waterfowl make it their home. The surrounding valley is of great fertility, and all the products of the temperate and semi tropical climates can be grown.

The apple, the fig, and the orange, wheat, corn, cotton, sugarcane and tobacco, are in the range of its productions. The San Joaquin Valley branch of the Central Pacific Railroad crosses the county on the eastern shore, and by this means it is brought into easy communication with the metropolis.

Officers: John Clark, County Judge; J E. Denny Clerk, Recorder and Auditor; W. W. Cross, District Attorney; C. R. Wingfield, Sheriff and Tax Collector; John W. Crowley, Treasurer; F. O. Jefferds, Assessor; G. W. Smith, Surveyor; Martin Baker, Coroner and Public Administrator B. P. Merrill, Superintendent Public Schools.

California Gazetteer | AHGP California

Source: Pacific Coast Business Directory for 1876-78, Compiled by Henry G. Langley, San Francisco, 1875

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