On The Map: Ockenden

On The Map: Originals

Today’s story comes from a time well before air conditioning. I know that sounds like a horror story. But escaping the heat is the way this particular community won its place on the map.

In the 1860s the gold rush was over and folks were trying to get involved in other businesses.


Cattle ranching.


And a simple truth was learned by the folks who lived in the Central Valley at that time: It’s HOT in the Valley in the summer time.

If you go up into the mountains, you can find some cooler temperatures.

Thomas Ockenden was a businessman from New Zealand who had a hotel and a small dance hall for large gatherings, so that when folks wanted to escape the summer time heat, they could come up into the mountains and do just that.

The community is still named for that man…

Ockenden, on the map of Fresno County.

Oh, by the way, even though the old buildings are gone, the community of Ockenden remains an important part of the Shaver Lake area.

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

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