Today we’re in a section of rural Fresno county.
About 20 miles to the southwest of the city of Fresno.
And there is a large ranch that once existed here that plays a large part in the history of Fresno County.
Lots of people emigrated to the Central Valley during the Gold Rush.
The same is true of one William Helm, born in Canada and arriving here in 1859.
He didn’t put down roots until 1865 when he settled near Big Dry Creek.
About that time, Mr. Helm became well known for raising sheep.
And before long, he was a leading rancher and the number one wool producer in the Central Valley.
As his wealth grew, he purchased a large plot of land in downtown Fresno.
And in 1881 he put his house there.
Later on he built houses for his daughters too.
In 1952, those homes were demolished and new construction began.
What was built there opened in 1959 and has been there ever since… Fresno Community Hospital.
In 1890 he paid for the construction of this building behind me.
It’s on the corner of Fulton and Mariposa in downtown Fresno.
It was one of Fresno’s first “high rises”.
And if you’re going to build a high rise building, you’re going to name it after yourself.
I present to you, the Helm Building.
But the community that was named after this man is closer to the original ranch on the western side of the San Joaquin Valley.
Helm… on the map of Fresno County.
With Joe Whittington behind the camera, I’m A.J. Fox.