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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Fresno County History

First airplane in Fresno, 1907. Transportation Collection © Fresno Historical Society Archives

Oral Histories 1964 – 1978
The Fresno Historical Society houses a collection of oral histories recorded in the 1960s and 1970s. These recordings contain some rare memories, such as one woman’s vivid description of the 1895 Fresno Courthouse fire and a former policeman recalling the days of working his “beat” in the 1920s. 

Wintersteen Aviation, 1984-1987
Between 1984 and 1987, William Wintersteen conducted ten individual oral histories of pioneer aviators.  These interviews contain memories of barnstorming, aerobatics, local airports, teaching at WWII flight schools, building airline companies, and performing stunt flying in Hollywood movies.

Last Updated Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 10:07 PM.