On The Map: Centerville

On The Map: Originals

Disasters can change the course of a town’s history. That happened to one central valley community not once, but twice before it finally found a place to settle on the map.

Well, the only reason why anybody moved here originally was the proximity of the Kings river.

In 1852 the gold rush was on and folks were doing OK getting some gold but it wasn’t long before they switched the economy from gold panning to cattle raising and farming.

The original community was called Scottsburg.

That’s named for William Scott.

He was the second Sheriff of Fresno County.

There was a popular ferry service here because lots of folks were traveling from LA to Stockton and back and the Kings River was pretty big at the time.

That popularity contributed to the town’s early growth.

In 1862, a flood along the Kings River completely wiped the town out, I mean nothing left.

The Kings River was so clogged with debris, that the course of the river changed.

Folks put a new city along this new river path and they called it “Kings River”.

It’s obvious, but they even had a post office.

In 1867, another flood caused that community’s residents to flee to higher ground to the area where this community now stands.

And the name represents its central location along the Kings River.

Centerville on the map of Fresno County.

Oh, by the way, at one point Fresno County even considered making Centerville the county seat.

But it lost that vote to the city of Fresno.

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

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