The legacy of the Brix Mansion

German-born Herman H. Brix, oil magnate and land speculator, was the owner of a true rags to riches story. The wealthy pioneer county resident made a statement in 1909 that he’d build the finest residence in the city, and it still stands a little over one hundred years later as a testament to his industry, [...]

Read more

Workmen pose for a photograph in the summer of 1892 on the wood face of the rock-filled Shaver sawmill dam.
Workmen pose for a photograph in the summer of 1892 on the wood face of the rock-filled Shaver sawmill dam.

The old Shaver dam

The draining of Shaver Lake for repairs this winter presented a once-in-a-lifetime chance to revisit history. The old Shaver dam, hidden from sight for decades, was fully exposed for a few weeks. It was a reminder of the lumber trade and ingenuity that helped shape the development of the Central Valley. Before Fresno County was [...]

Read more

The bustling trade center of Kingston circa 1873, the year the town was raided by outlaw Tiburcio Vasquez and his gang.
The bustling trade center of Kingston circa 1873, the year the town was raided by outlaw Tiburcio Vasquez and his gang.

Kingston

Almost nothing remains of ghost town of Kingston, but it lives on in history largely because of an event that broke the a quiet of a Christmas season evening, nearly 140 years ago. The settlement, on the south bank of the Kings River near present-day Laton, was founded around 1855 by pioneer L.A. Whitmore, who [...]

Read more

Fresno Bee library
Fresno Bee library

Southern Pacific depot

Built on the birthplace of Fresno, the Southern Pacific Railroad depot represents the city’s transition from a dusty plains outpost to the West’s leading agribusiness center. The 1889 depot is the city’s oldest commercial building. Railroad officials were so impressed by the success of pioneer rancher A.Y. Easterby, who grew 2,000 acres of grain on [...]

Read more

Youths escape the summer heat at the popular Zapp's Park swimming pool, circa 1912, with some of the venue's rides in the background. Thousands would gather here for the most popular day of the season: 4th of July.
Youths escape the summer heat at the popular Zapp's Park swimming pool, circa 1912, with some of the venue's rides in the background. Thousands would gather here for the most popular day of the season: 4th of July.

Zapp’s Park

Decades before today’s water-themed amusement parks, Zapp’s Park was the place to be on the 4th of July. Fireworks lit up the north Fresno sky. The Fresno Portuguese community used the holiday to put on their annual feed. Kids would stand in line for a block for free refreshments.

Read more