The ground surface is so nearly level that you have no sense of contour. . . . It is not a former lake, although in large part it is a former swamp. Geology characteristically repeats itself around the world and down through time, but---with the possible exceptions of the Chilean Longitudinal Valley and the Dalbandin Trough in Pakistan---the Great Central Valley of California has no counterpart on this planet.

~ John McPhee, Assembling California

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Community Voices

  • <b>Title:</b> Avila Family, Fresno, 1942.  Ethnic Oral History Project, 1977-1978: Mexican American Community<br/>
  • <b>Title:</b> May Day Celebration in Kearney Park, 1930s, Kearney Ranch, 2003 Collection. Courtesy of Gertrude Waller Kovacevich. <br/><b>Caption:</b> © Fresno Historical Society Archives <br/>
  • <b>Title:</b> The Kunishige Family. Tozuchi (Harry) and Haru with their sons Fred and Kearney at the rear of the Kearney Servantsí Quarters, c. 1915.  Kearney Ranch, 2003 Collection Courtesy of the Kunishige Family.<br/><b>Caption:</b>  © Fresno Historical Society Archives <br/>

African Americans in the Central Valley, 2004-2005
The African American experience in the Central Valley is explored through stories of longtime residents and community elders.  Subjects include:  African American migration to the Central Valley, social, political and cultural organizations in the community, the importance of religion in personal and community life, changes in neighborhoods and districts, discrimination, and personal remembrances of African American farming families, laborers, professional and business people. Click here for descriptions of completed interviews.

Ethnic Oral History Project, 1977-1978
Over fifty interviews were conducted in the late 1970s as part of the CETA-funded Ethnic Oral History Project.  These oral histories with members of the African American and Mexican American communities profile life in Fresno and surrounding towns from pre-World War I through the 1970s.

Kearney Ranch, 2003
As part of the Centennial Celebration of Kearney Mansion, a reunion was held in June 2003.  Over thirty original residents of the Kearney Ranch, who lived in Kearney Park from the 1920s through the 1960s, attended the event. Seven interviews were conducted with original residents. These interviews highlight personal memories of the park and ranch town during the University of California years.

Years of Valor – Years of Hope: Tulare County and the War Years, 1941-1946
This project, funded in part by the California Council for the Humanities and conducted through the Tulare County Public Library, recorded stories from Tulare County residents during the war years. The collection includes home front stories from the men, women and children of Tulare County towns, Japanese-American internees, and braceros.  It also documents the experiences of World War II veterans and pilots who trained at Sequoia and Rankin Fields in Visalia and Tulare. For more information on the project and full transcriptions see the Tulare County Library’s website.

Last Updated Friday, June 22, 2018 - 12:25 AM.