On The Map: Borden

On The Map: Originals

One of the sad things about the "on the map" series is that sometimes, the communities we research simply don't exist anymore. But you can still find evidence of these places that now only live - On The Map.

In the late 1800s as the southern pacific railroad was redesigning the landscape, rail stations were popping up every few miles, and they all needed names.

Sometimes the name would be connected to a local name already established, whether it was a Spanish or Native American name.

Sometimes railroad officials would get the station named after them, or a family member.

In 1858, a group from Alabama settled here and they called it the “Alabama Settlement”.

Well, that name wasn’t going to stick.

The railroad suggested, and the settlement agreed to name their community after their civic leader.

Dr. Joseph Borden was the prominent citizen who got his name on the town.

the town was built entirely by Chinese labor, and the mortality rate was very high.

And now, this marker and the cemetery behind me are all that remain of the town of Borden, on the map of Madera county.

Oh by the way, if you’re ever on freeway 99 in the vicinity of Borden, glance toward the median, safely, of course.

Because on the north side you’ll see a cedar tree, and on the south side you’ll see a palm tree, and that signifies the separation between northern and southern California.

With Emily Lucas behind the camera, I’m AJ Fox.

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