On The Map: Earlimart

On The Map: Originals

They say all’s fair in love and war. Apparently, this applies to real estate sales too. Because it was a bit of dishonesty that ended up influencing the final name of this place on the map.

In 1873, the Southern Pacific railroad named this area “Alila”.

That word means “land of flowers”.

It was the preferred name of this station because it’s also a palindrome, meaning it’s spelled the same way backwards and forwards.

And over the next 20 to 25 years this community encountered a little bit of a problem: People weren’t moving here in great numbers.

It’s not really clear why.

After all, other Central Valley communities didn’t have a problem attracting folks to come establish their farms.

So, the powers that were in charge decided when all else fails…

Lie about it.

Folks who were trying to sell land put out the word that if you raised crops here, they would come to maturity before pother places in the Central Valley, meaning you could harvest earlier than other folks.

And so, in 1907, the town of Alila… the name was changed to Earlimart, on the map of Tulare County.

With Nikki Purewal behind the camera, I’m A.J. Fox.

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