On The Map: Burrel

On The Map: Originals

Today’s story has just about everything. Travel, farming, gold, horses, cattle, war. Here’s how all those things came together to put this place on the map.

Culberth Burrel was born in Clyde, NY in 1824.

When he was 1 years old his family moved to Illinois.

He was able establish his own farm when he was 18 years old, but he sold his interest in that in 1846 because he wanted to move out west.

He had heard about this great place called Alta California.

Now remember that was under Mexican control at the time and therein lies the problem.

In 1846, while he was moving from Illinois to Alta California, war had broken out between the United States and Mexico.

He joined the army under the command of John C. Fremont.

His job, you see, was to catch horses that the army would then use.

He did a good job for 6 months and then got his discharge papers.

In 1848, California was now considered U.S. Territory.

The gold rush was on.

Culberth got into gold mining like a lot of folks did.

He did ok.

In 1852, he had $3,000 worth of gold.

He established a ranch in Solano County and eventually sold his interest in that ranch, not for money, but for cattle.

And he took that cattle to Elkhorn Station in Fresno County.

That was where a stagecoach station was located on the way from Gilroy to Visalia.

He sold his cattle ranch for more than $100,000 in 1869 and he became a major stockholder in the First National Bank of San Jose AND the Bank of Visalia.

When the Southern Pacific Railroad established a station here, they changed the name from Elkhorn to honor Culberth Burrel.

And so Burrel is on the map of Fresno County.

With Josh Dean behind the camera, I’m A.J. Fox.

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