On The Map: Clovis

On The Map: Originals

Lots of communities were named after a person in the Central Valley, but it's not always the pioneers, the settlers, or the immigrants who are remembered. Sometimes it's the second generation that gets their name... on the map.

Stephen Cole made his way from Indiana to California in 1873. His oldest son made money by transporting lumber or grain in the area. He expanded the family business to 50,000 acres of farmland which earned that young man the nickname of “Wheat King of the United States”.

In 1891, A railroad speculator from Michigan named Marcus Pollasky worked out a deal to put what became known as the San Joaquin Valley Rail Line on a portion of Cole’s land as well as a portion of the next farm owned by George Owen. Pollasky offered to buy 1 square mile of land from Mr. Cole and Mr. Owen, for $4,000, which is about $300,000 in today’s money.  He established a township around that rail station in December of that same year.

Even though the original rail station was on the Owens’ side of that property, Mr. Pollasky decided to name the rail station after “The Wheat King” himself, Mr. Cole… Mr. “Clovis” Cole, on the map of Fresno County.

Oh by the way, that original rail station still exists. It was refurbished and reopened in 2000 and you can see it in Old Town Clovis. It’s not the original location. That was actually down in Tarpey, a couple miles down the road, but that’s another story.

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

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