The City of Fresno is located in the heart of the state in the fertile San Joaquin Valley. From the agricultural fields on the valley floor to the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevadas, the Fresno area truly offers something for everyone. The ‘Who’, ‘What’, ‘When’, ‘Where’, and ‘Why’ begins here as we help you Discover Fresno!
2010 View of Fresno's Skyline
Fresno was founded by the Central Pacific Railroad Company in 1872. The location for the town was uninviting at best, with barren sand plains in all directions. However, Leland J. Stanford, a Company Director for the railroad, was so impressed with a wheat field he saw in the distance that he decided this was the place for the new station.
In 1875 the Central California Colony was established south of Fresno which set the model for a system of development that was used throughout the San Joaquin Valley. Tracts of land were subdivided into 20-40 acre parcels, irrigated from a system of canals and often landscaped with boulevards of palms, eucalyptus or other drought-resistant trees. By 1903 there were 48 separate colonies or tracts in Fresno County which drew farmers and their families from Scandinavia and from across the United States.
1882 View of Fresno, Courtesy of Fresno Historical Society ArchivesFresno became the county seat in 1874 and was incorporated in 1885. By 1890 the population was over 10,000. The first streetcars were introduced in 1892 and streetcar suburbs soon followed. The area has had an ethnic mix from the earliest years with Chinese railroad workers and Scandinavian farmers joined by Germans from Russia, Japanese and Armenians and by the early 20th century a large Hispanic population.
Click here for more information on the area’s history.
Fresno is now the fifth largest city in the state of California. Centrally located, Fresno is the financial, industrial, trade, and commercial capital in the Central San Joaquin Valley. This dynamic city is the hub of a region rich in heritage, resources, and people.
Fresno is a unique mixture of more than 80 different nationalities. The various cultures that make up the community of Fresno are much like mosaic pieces that together make a beautiful picture. Fresnans are not only diverse, they are also warm and friendly people and I encourage you to take the opportunity to become acquainted with your neighbors and business colleagues.
With a population of over 480,000, many consider Fresno to be the perfect size—offering the best of urban amenities and opportunities with the unique charms and easy living of a small town. There are many wonderful cultural and recreational experiences available in, or near, the city of Fresno and I recommend that you and your family take the time to explore the area.
To learn more about Fresno and the Central Valley, visit the Fresno
Historical Society webpage!
Official California Visitors Guide 2011