On The Map: Dos Palos

On The Map: Originals

Two for one – that’s always a good deal. And there’s more than one way that applies to this place on the map.

In 1841, as part of the design map of the new canal diverting water off the San Joaquin River, some other landmarks were added, including the Sierra Pacheco, which is now called the Diablo Mountain Range. There were also other streams, and canals drawn. AND two trees, or in Spanish, Dos Palos, just to the south of the Sanjón de Santa Rita, or the Santa Rita Canal.

Henry Miller, the Cattle King of the West, established a colony named after those two trees. But the water wasn’t good. So a lot of folks moved away. They ended up moving a couple miles down the road. That new community was called Colony Center. Very few remained in the original Dos Palos Colony.

In 1905, they got their first post office and Colony Center changed their name to Dospalos but they spelled it as one word. About a year later, they switched back to the more traditional two-word spelling.

And that’s how Dos Palos came to be on the map of Merced County.

Oh by the way, if Colony Center became Dos Palos, what happened to the original Dos Palos Colony? Well that became South Dos Palos, also on the map of Merced County.

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

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