“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Historical Markers and War Memorials in Coalinga, California

Clickable Map of Fresno County, California and Immediately Adjacent Jurisdictions image/svg+xml 2019-10-06 U.S. Census Bureau, Abe.suleiman; Lokal_Profil;; J.J.Prats/dc:title> Fresno County, CA (116) Inyo County, CA (131) Kings County, CA (8) Madera County, CA (40) Merced County, CA (37) Mono County, CA (76) Monterey County, CA (246) San Benito County, CA (55) Tulare County, CA (84)  FresnoCounty(116) Fresno County (116)  InyoCounty(131) Inyo County (131)  KingsCounty(8) Kings County (8)  MaderaCounty(40) Madera County (40)  MercedCounty(37) Merced County (37)  MonoCounty(76) Mono County (76)  MontereyCounty(246) Monterey County (246)  SanBenitoCounty(55) San Benito County (55)  TulareCounty(84) Tulare County (84)
Fresno is the county seat for Fresno County
Coalinga is in Fresno County
      Fresno County (116)  
      Inyo County (131)  
      Kings County (8)  
      Madera County (40)  
      Merced County (37)  
      Mono County (76)  
      Monterey County (246)  
      San Benito County (55)  
      Tulare County (84)  
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1 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — “Dr. Bill”Born August 4, 1904 – Passed September 27, 1963
Dr William H. Gilliatt was born in Sommerville, Massachusetts He graduated from Aurora College, Illinois and Boston University Medical School. Dr. Gilliatt or “Dr. Bill” as he was generally called, came to Coalinga as a young doctor in . . . Map (db m64060) HM
2 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — “Wooden Walking Beam”
This pumping unit, known as a wooden walking beam, was one of the oldest and last remaining in actual use within the Coalinga oil fields. Put into service in July of 1918, it was in continuous use until November 1979. Initial production was 170 . . . Map (db m64108) HM
3 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — 1911 Boiler
This boiler used to sit in the Claremont Oil Lease, known as Section 24-D. The boiler was used to create steam to inject into the ground to make the pumping of crude oil easier. In the early 1960s the boiler was moved onto the Polvadero Lease to be . . . Map (db m64104) HM
4 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — 5th Street, Coalinga 1912
This is a 1912 view of Coalinga’s 5th Street. From this spot looking northwest, can be seen some of Coalinga’s newest buildings of the time. To the immediate left can be seen a side portion of the Amy Building, next the Rockwell building, Pleasant . . . Map (db m63915) HM
5 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — A.P. May Inc.1903 – 1973
A.P. May migrated from England in 1884, homesteaded at the mouth of Los Gatos Creek, in 1888 was one of the first to open a store in Coalinga. The store is now Coalinga Hardware. He started the store on a very small scale in the early part of . . . Map (db m64082) HM
6 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — Amy BuildingBuilt 1907 – Destroyed 1983
A.P. May, Coalinga area pioneer and indomitable personality in the building of the town. In 1903, Mr. May constructed five galvanized iron buildings at this site. A project, in which his associates tried to discourage him because they believed that . . . Map (db m63913) HM
7 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — 344 — Arroyo de Cantua14 Miles
Headquarters of notorious bandit Joaquin Murieta. Killed here July 25, 1853 by posse of state rangers led by Captain Harry Love. Terrorized mining camps and stage operations during his career.Map (db m151585) HM
8 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — 344 — Arroyo de Cantua14 Miles
Headquarters of notorious bandit, Joaquin Murieta. Killed here July 25, 1853, by posse of State Rangers, led by Captain Harry Love. Terrorized mining camps and stage operations during his career.Map (db m229467) HM
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9 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — B.M. Food Market1919-1983 Baptiste Motte
At the age of 16, in the year of 1897, Baptiste migrated from Les Barraques, France, to homestead in the Jacalitos canyon, with a desire to be a cattleman. For living expenses, Baptiste worked fourteen years as an A.P. May store clerk-manager. The . . . Map (db m63971) HM
10 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — Bob’s 76 Service296 E. Elm Street – 1939-1960 — “Bob’s 76 Service, Robert Schatt, owner” —
Mr. Robert “Bob” Schatt purchased a lot at this location in 1938. The lot was bought from a Mr. Tom Glenchur for the purpose of building a “Union Oil” service station. Bob opened the station in 1939. During World War II, Bob . . . Map (db m64161) HM
11 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — Bordagaray’sOne of the “Oldest Bars in the West”
Dominique Bordagaray was born in St. Jean Pied de Port, Basses Pyrenees, France. Immigrated to the United States in 1893. Moved to Fresno Co. in 1895 and worked as a sheepherder until 1908. He established a sheep shearing camp at “Turk”, . . . Map (db m64062) HM
12 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — Cheney Bros. Building1906 – 1983 — Founders: Frank, Tom Walter and Jonathan Guy Cheney —
In 1906, Coalinga was a boom town and there was a great need for blacksmithing and transporting. So the Cheney family decided to move to Coalinga from Cheney’s Grove, Illinois by way of Petaluma and Maricopa, Calif. The Cheney Bros. started with . . . Map (db m63889) HM
13 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — Coaling Station A
Station A was one of three mines (A. B. & C.) in the Coalinga Hills where coal was mined. The coal was transfered (sic) from mule driven ore wagons. Then by coal cars pulled by old Betsy to the transfer dock at Alcalde in Warthan Canyon, from there . . . Map (db m229468) HM
14 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — Coaling Station A
This is the approximate site of Coaling Station A established by the S.P.R.R. in the late 1880’s from which the City of Coalinga derived its name.Map (db m229469) HM
15 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — Coalinga Carnegie LibraryBuilt 1914 – Dismantled 1955
In took one word to describe the Coalinga Carnegie Library – “Beautiful” Carnegie, Andrew, 1839-1919 American industrialist and philanthropist, born in Scotland. Walter Ochs was the successful bidder at $15,797.00. The . . . Map (db m64059) HM
16 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — Coalinga Opera HouseOpened Nov. 22, 1907 – Burned July 29, 1910
During its short life, the Coalinga Opera House presented the top entertainers of the time. Coalinga was a boomtown with considerable wealth and the town’s people could afford the very best. Located directly across the street was the Grand Central . . . Map (db m64163) HM
17 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — Coalinga School1908 – 1983
Coalinga School built in 1908 was five times larger than Coalinga’s first school. Over the years it became affectionately known as the Polk Street school. Not long after the school was first built, a fire burned the original bell tower. The . . . Map (db m64106) HM
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18 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — Coalinga Union High SchoolErected 1910 – Dismantled 1933
The Union High School was erected by W.J. Ochs according to the plans of J.W. Dolliver, the San Francisco architect in charge of the work. Mr. Ochs’ winning bid for the school contact was $19,650.00. Official Opening of the Union High School was . . . Map (db m64021) HM
19 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — Coalinga Veterans Memorial
To those who Bravely gave Their lives in Our cause For freedom And to those Who can’t forget We can but say We too rememberMap (db m64246) WM
20 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — Coalinga Woman’s ClubZenith Hall
January 1905, Mrs. Anria Kerr invited ten lay friends to meet at her home to form the “Coalinga Ladies Improvement Club.” Their goal was to “promote harmony and improve social and civic needs.” In 1907 they joined the General . . . Map (db m64020) HM
21 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — Coalinga’s First Rail Station – 1891
In the 1880’s coal was being mined in the hills of southwestern Fresno Co. In 1888 the Southern Pacific Railroad extended it’s line from Goshen to Alcade, south and west of present day Coalinga. A spur line was built from the mine to the railhead. . . . Map (db m64084) HM
22 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — Coalinga’s First School1896
Coalinga’s first school opened with forty one students and two teachers. After 1908 and the opening of the Polk Street School, it is believed to have been converted to the local library. This school building still exists today as family housing. . . . Map (db m64105) HM
23 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — Coalinga’s Notorious Whiskey Row “1909”
F St., sometimes Front St., now Forest St. Established after the railroad was built in 1888 on one-half city block directly across from the Depot. Parts of the row burned many times over the years, always to be rebuilt. The final demise of the Row’s . . . Map (db m64081) HM
24 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — Crescent Meat Co.1905 – 1968
Jacob Zwang was born in Sennefeld, Baden Germany and migrated to the United States in 1896 at the age of 16 years. He arrived at 2:00 o’clock in the morning and was met by his uncle Moses Levy, and cousin Albert Levy. This was the start of a . . . Map (db m64061) HM
25 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — First National Bank of CoalingaConstructed 1909 - Destroyed by Earthquake and Fire in 1983
The bank was a community business project spear-headed by Mr. A.E. Webb. Prominent folks were identified at the time by Mr. F.J. McCollum were the Peelers, the Boyles, Hivieys, Pikes (founders of Republic Supply), Turners, Heavys, Zwangs, Robinsons, . . . Map (db m63916) HM
26 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — First Presbyterian Church of CoalingaBuilt 1908 – Dismantled 1981
Article taken from Hanford Journal April 2, 1908 “Celebration at Coalinga opera house, orator drops dead. 2nd anniversary of city incorporation. Rev. Z.L. Nesbutt made an excellent address when he sat down and fell over into the lap of . . . Map (db m64018) HM
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27 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — Fredrick Tibbits and Louis O’Neill1896
In the 1880s coal was being mined in the hills of southwest Fresno County. In 1888, the Southern Pacific Railroad extended its line from Goshen to Alcade, south and west of present-day Coalinga. The San Joaquin Valley Coal Mining Company developed a . . . Map (db m64080) HM
28 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — Grammar SchoolBuilt in 1910 – Dismantled in 1945 — Affectionately known as “Sunset School” —
Sunset School was a beautiful two and one half story building made of brick and stone In 1902 oil was eighteen to twenty cents a barrel. In 1905, oil advanced to forty cents a barrel and in the fall of 1908, oil raised to sixty-two and one-half . . . Map (db m64057) HM
29 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — Harry S. Watanabe(1896 – 1987)
Harry Watanabe was 19 years old when he came to Coalinga from Japan in 1915. Watanabe first worked at Ayers Drug Store and the Sullivan Hotel. It was in 1928 that Watanabe found his niche in life and the vocation that left his mark on Coalinga. . . . Map (db m64107) HM
30 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — Liberty “Airdome Theater”Built in 1904 – Terminated with the advent of “talkies” and evaporating coolers.
Built by Dominique Bordagaray, who emigrated from St. Jean Pied de Port, Basses Pyrenees France. Soon after Coalinga began building he bought six lots on “C” St. and fifth, where he built a row of store buildings. In one of these he ran . . . Map (db m63969) HM
31 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — Motte FountainIn appreciation from Vince and Lois Motte
Vince Motte was born at home in Coalinga on the 6th of August, 1913. He is the youngest son of Westside pioneers Baptiste and Josephine Motte. Baptiste homesteaded, what is now Motte Canyon in the Jacalitos Hills south of Coalinga. Later he . . . Map (db m64022) HM
32 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — Pleasant Valley HotelBuilt 1918 – Burned 1935
The Pleasant Valley Hotel was erected by a number of local men to fill an urgent need of the city. The other hotels and boarding houses were filled to overflowing every night, and many a visitor had to spend the night on the streets. It was later . . . Map (db m63973) HM
33 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — Premier Creamery
Fountain & Bottling Company 1917 "A Bottle of Milk is a Bottle of Health" Original Site at 358 N. 5th St. the 6th & Elm St. Site established in 1938. The Premier Creamery served Coalinga for over 60 years. The business sold milk, butter, . . . Map (db m113003) HM
34 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — Richfield Service Station
R.C. Baker Memorial Museum Richfield Service Station Built in Coalinga On the corner of Fifth and Glenn St. 1934 Restored in 2003 Moved to this location 2004 Restored by Wayne James and The R.C. Baker Museum . . . Map (db m63890) HM
35 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — Row of Store Buildings Destroyed By Earthquake in 19831904
In 1909 Dominique Bordagaray purchased six lots on 5th and “C” Streets and built row stores on them as Coalinga began to grow. The row stores included a French laundry, cigar shop, and liquor store, bicycle shop and confectionery shop. The French . . . Map (db m63917) HM
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36 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — St. Paul’s Catholic ChurchOriginal Church built 1907 – Moved to Huron 1949
Coalinga was a mission attached to the St. Brigid’s Parish in Hanford up to 1907, when Rev. E. Girarde was appointed the first pastor of Coalinga’s new St. Paul’s Catholic Church. St. Paul’s was served by sixteen pastors from 1907 to 1945. In 1945 . . . Map (db m64058) HM
37 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — Sullivan HotelBuilt in 1904
Oscar Sullivan built the Hotel and featured the Sullivan Grill and Restaurant. By 1905 the Sullivan had the reputation as one of the finest establishments on the Westside. Many wedding receptions and other special occasions were held at the . . . Map (db m64083) HM
38 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — The Bertrich BlockConstructed 1906 – Destroyed 1983
A story in the “Coalinga Oil Record: described it as, “A two story modern brick building, of which the second story is under construction, and when completed will be one of the most modern equipped apartment houses in the valley.” . . . Map (db m63972) HM
39 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — The Earthquake of 1983
On May 2nd, 1983 at 4:42 P.M. a major earthquake of 6.7 magnitude lasting 45 seconds destroyed 54 buildings in downtown Coalinga. Only 31 people were injured and miraculously there were no deaths. The earthquake also destroyed over 300 homes and . . . Map (db m63914) HM
40 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — The Phelps BuildingErected 1910 – Dismantled 1967 (Built by W.J. Ochs)
October 8, 1910, Coalinga Daily Oil Record: “Phelps Building Asset to Coalinga Excellent View of Coalinga’s Wonderful Field Can Be Obtained From Roof of Sky Scraper” "One of the recent additions to the city of Coalinga . . . Map (db m63970) HM
41 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — The Rockwell BuildingBuilt in 1904 – Destroyed by earthquake in 1983
Jim Rockwell started construction on his hotel during the oil boom of the 1900’s. The boom was unsurpassed in fast money, hard work, and rough play. People were sleeping in the streets with their pockets full of money and no place to stay. The . . . Map (db m63974) HM
42 California, Fresno County, Coalinga — Webb BuildingOpened February 1906 – Destroyed by Earthquake May 1983
It was built by A.E. Webb, an Englishman, who came to join English friends A.P. May and Elgar Adams in homesteading on the Los Gatos. The building was two stories tall with a full basement. It was built as a monument to Coalinga’s future. The Webb . . . Map (db m63893) HM
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Feb. 20, 2024