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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Clovis in Fresno County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

The San Joaquin Valley Railroad

 
 
The San Joaquin Valley Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, circa April 10, 1996
1. The San Joaquin Valley Railroad Marker
The original brass marker
Inscription. In 1891, Marcus Pollasky formed a company to construct a railroad from the junction of the Southern Pacific Co. tracks in Fresno to the Sierra with the idea that eventually the railroad would cross the mountains and open the San Joaquin Valley to direct traffic with the East.

The railroad was constructed as far as Hamptonville, now known as Friant, and subsequently was taken over by the Southern Pacific. In securing right-of-way for the railroad Pollasky promised Clovis Cole to build a depot in exchange for right-of-way. Cole also donated land for the townsite. So the San Joaquin Valley Railroad was directly responsible for the founding of the City of Clovis.

Commemorated this 10th day of October, 1971

 
Erected 1971 by James Savage Chapter No. 1852, E Clampus Vitus. (Marker Number 14.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the E Clampus Vitus marker series.
 
Location. This marker has been replaced by another marker nearby. It was located near 36° 49.8′ N, 119° 42.05′ W. Marker was in Clovis, California, in Fresno County. Marker could be reached from South Clovis Avenue (State Highway 168) near Villa Avenue, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map
The San Joaquin Valley Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, circa April 1991
2. The San Joaquin Valley Railroad Marker
Original brass marker, photo taken 19 years ago
. Located in Treasure-Ingmire Park between Villa Avenue and Sierra Street. Marker was at or near this postal address: 908 Villa Avenue, Clovis CA 93612, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this location, measured as the crow flies. Tarpey Depot (approx. 0.3 miles away); Clovis Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); September 11th California Memorial (approx. 3 miles away); Fort Washington (approx. 5 miles away); Christmas Tree Lane (approx. 6.1 miles away); Frank Chance Field 1935-1941 (approx. 7.2 miles away); Fresno Assembly Center (approx. 7.4 miles away); Fresno Traction Company (approx. 7.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Clovis.
 
More about this marker. The original brass marker erected in 1971 was stolen in early 2009. The replacement marker of black granite was erected 38 years to the day with 2 of the people that originally dedicated the monument in attendence. One of them present for the 1971 dedication was Harry Armstrong who returned 38 years later to attend the dedication as Mayor of Clovis, California.
 
Regarding The San Joaquin Valley Railroad. The railroad was located close to the end of the flume that brought wood down from the mountains to build the
The Replacement Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson
3. The Replacement Marker
Commemorated this 10th day of October 1971
Rededicated this 10th day of October 2009
James Savage Chapter No 1852
E Clampus Vitus

Marker is mounted on original base at the same location of the original marker.
homes of Clovis and Fresno. There is a marker nearby indicating the end of the flume. The restored original Tarpey Train Depot is also located nearby.
 
Additional comments.
1. Land not "donated"
Every where it is consistently and erroneously told that Cole donated land for the depot, the town, the right-of-way, etc. He did not. He sold it. SOLD, not given. The original deed is on display at the Clovis Museum. Go see.
    — Submitted October 7, 2014, by Rus Stolling of Clovis, California.

 
Categories. Railroads & StreetcarsSettlements & Settlers
 
The San Joaquin Valley Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson
4. The San Joaquin Valley Railroad Marker
Original newspaper article showing the dedication in 1971.
The San Joaquin Valley Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, March 2009
5. The San Joaquin Valley Railroad Marker
A group of Clampers in shock after discovering the theft of the original brass marker in early 2009.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 22, 2010, by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California. This page has been viewed 1,498 times since then and 62 times this year. Last updated on February 27, 2010, by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California. This page was the Marker of the Week March 28, 2010. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on February 22, 2010, by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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