The Lumber City | Madera, California’s History and Interesting Facts

Madera CA is the seat of Madera County in California. The city celebrated its 100th founding anniversary on March 27, 2007.

Lumber Industry and Madera’s Beginnings

Unlike the Modesto, Merced, Visalia, and cities in the San Joaquin Valley that came about because of the expansion of the railroad system or the gold rush mining, Madera was laid out by the California Lumber Company. It was the lumber industry that gave birth to Madera and this was announced by the Fresno Expositor in a report published on October 11, 1876. An excerpt from the report says “It promises to be quite a flourishing town, and the demand for lots is great.”

madera caAdditionally, the report says that public sale of lots was scheduled on October 24th in the same year, on a Tuesday. One month later, construction of new buildings was going at a fast rate, with more than a dozen more buildings in the process of being constructed, while more infrastructures will be belt as soon as ore workmen are hired. The rapid development gave the town a business-like appearance.

On January 10, 1877, the Expositor sent a reporter to the town to check in on the latest developments. In a matter of weeks, the town was coming to a great shape. There were probably 25 settlers with properties that a casual observer wouldn’t guess were built in such a short amount of time. There was already a hotel-like house owned by a man named Mr. Jason who was in the process of expanding the property to fully operate as a hotel business.

More Famous Places In Madera CA

Another building of similar size was saloon owned by Captain Mace. The rectangular building was 24 feet by 56 feet in size. The long side was facing the mill reservation, which is now the Yosemite Avenue. Apparently, it was the captain who was credited with owning the first real hotel in town. Next to the saloon was another saloon built by C.E Strivens.

On March 21, 1877, the residents held a meeting to discuss the construction of a school building and it was decided that construction of the school must be started right away. The educational institution spread across two acres of land and surrounded with numerous shade trees.

Despite not having its own newspaper, by April 1877, the town was getting constant exposure through regular press coverage in the Fresno Expositor. The town became the seat of the newly created Madera County in 1896. In the same year, a county park, courthouse, jail, and zoo began construction. Two years later, the first ever Chamber of Commerce was formed were forty-nine men paid charter membership dues of $2.50.

Finally, the incorporation of the city happened on March 27, 1907.

Madera Unified School District (MUSD)

The MUSD is a public school district within the city. The school district was incorporated in 1966 for the purpose of consolidating the administration of schools across the city. There 25 schools in the district, but in recent years, four new schools and the completed Madera South High School were included.

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