The California Gold Rush of 1849 brought a huge influx of people to the state. In just two years, the population of San Francisco grew from 1,000 to 25,000. However, only a small percentage of gold-seekers actually struck it rich, and many ended up in debt or poverty.
Fresno County, located in central California, has a rich history dating back thousands of years. The region was originally home to various Native American tribes, including the Yokut and Mono peoples, who lived off the land and relied on agricultural practices for sustenance.

European exploration in the area began in the late 1700s when Spanish explorers led by Juan Bautista de Anza arrived. The Spanish established missions in the region in order to convert and colonize the Native American population. Mission San José del Parrón and Mission San Miguel were founded in what is now Fresno County, contributing to the region's cultural and religious heritage.

During the period of Mexican rule in the early 1800s, the Mexican government granted large land grants, including the Fresno Grant, to encourage settlement and agriculture. This led to the establishment of several ranchos and the growth of the farming industry in the area.

In 1856, Fresno County was officially formed, named after the abundant ash trees that populated the area's waterways. The county's growth was further facilitated by the construction of the Southern Pacific Railroad in the late 19th century, which connected the region to other major cities in California.

Today, Fresno County is known for its thriving agricultural industry, producing a wide range of crops, including grapes, citrus fruits, almonds, and cotton. The county has also experienced significant population growth, becoming a bustling urban center while still maintaining its agricultural heritage. Fresno County continues to play an important role in California's economy and remains a vibrant and diverse community.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Fresno County, California.

  • 1856 - Fresno County is established as one of California's original counties.
  • 1867 - The first general store in the county opens in Fresno.
  • 1872 - The Southern Pacific Railroad reaches Fresno, spurring growth and development.
  • 1874 - Fresno experiences its first major flood, causing significant damage to the area.
  • 1885 - The city of Fresno is incorporated.
  • 1901 - Construction of San Joaquin Light and Power Company's hydroelectric plant begins, providing electricity to the region.
  • 1939 - The Fresno Municipal Airport opens, improving air travel access to the county.
  • 1952 - Construction of Millerton Lake begins, providing a new water source and recreational area for the county.
  • 1978 - The Fresno County Courthouse is added to the National Register of Historic Places.
  • 1990 - Fresno County's population exceeds 600,000.
  • 2006 - The Fresno area experiences a significant housing boom followed by a downturn due to the national economic crisis.