On The Map: Madera County

On The Map: Originals

This is the story, not of a city and how it got its name, but the origin story of a county and how dirty politics helped it claim its place... on the map.

I promised you a story on how Madera County came to be.

Madera County was actually part of Fresno County originally, and the people in the town of Madera wanted to separate from the County of Fresno.

They wanted to be masters of their own fate.

And a meeting was called January 28th, 1893.

When the delegation from Madera arrived, they found that every seat was taken by people who were NOT in favor of separation.

Right at the beginning of the meeting, a fire alarm sounded, and all the good citizens of Fresno got up from their seats and ran outside to fight the fire.

At that same moment, the delegation from Madera took their seats.

It turns out the fire was a false alarm.

Dirty tricks, maybe. But at the end of the meeting Madera had the chance to form their own county.

Oh, by the way, we’re filming today in front of the old Madera County Courthouse. It was built in 1900, but it was put on the National register of Historic Places on September 3rd, 1971.

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

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