The Full Wiki

Visalia, California: Map


Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:

Visalia ( ) is a Central Californiamarker city situated in the heart of California’s agricultural San Joaquin Valleymarker, approximately southeast of San Franciscomarker and north of Los Angelesmarker.Visalia is the 47th largest city in the state of Californiamarker and the 203rd largest in the United Statesmarker. Often referred to as the Gateway to the Sequoias and nicknamed The Jewel of The Valley, Visalia has an estimated population of 123,670 and spans over in Central Californiamarker. Additionally, the Visalia Metropolitan Area is home to nearly 500,000 residents. Its inhabitants are known as "Visalians". In 2007, Visalia was named the 3rd fastest growing city in Californiamarker and 19th fastest growing city in the U.S.marker

Settled in 1852, Visalia is the oldest permanent inland settlement between Stockton, CAmarker and Los Angeles, CAmarker. As the county seat and largest city of Tulare County, Visalia serves as the economic center to the region known as the Sequoia Valley, one of the most productive single agricultural areas in the United Statesmarker. Visalia lies within miles of the tallest mountain range in the contiguous United States, the Sierra Nevada (see Mount Whitneymarker, which is located in Tulare and Inyo counties), and is the closest major city to Sequoia National Parkmarker, home to some of the largest living things on Earth, the Giant Sequoia trees. It is known as "Where The Valley Meets The Giants."


Visalia street scene, 1900

The Visalia Area was first settled by the Yokuts and Mono Native American tribes thousands of years ago.

When Californiamarker achieved statehood in 1850, Tulare County did not exist. The land that is now Tulare County was part of the huge County of Mariposamarker. In 1852, some pioneers settled in the area, then called Four Creeks. The area got its name from the many watershed creeks and rivers flowing from the Sierra Nevada Mountains. All the water resulted in a widespread swampy area with a magnificent oak forest. The industrious group of settlers petitioned the state legislature for county status and on July 10 of that same year, Tulare County became a reality.

Tulare County Courthouse, 1876

One of the first inhabitants of a fort built by the settlers, unnecessarily as it turns out; to protect themselves from Native Americans was Nathaniel Vise. Nathaniel was responsible for surveying the new settlement. In November of 1852, he wrote, "The town contains from 60-80 inhabitants, 30 of whom are children of school age. The town is located upon one of the subdivisions of the Kaweah River and is destined to be the county seat of Tulare.” In 1853, that prediction became a reality and Visalia has remained the county seat since that time.

Visalia City Hall, 1911

Visalia is named for Nathaniel Vises' ancestral home, Visalia, Kentuckymarker. Early growth in Visalia can be attributed in part to the gold rush along the Kern River. The gold fever brought many transient miners through Visalia along the way and when the lure of gold failed to materialize, many returned to Visalia to live their lives and raise families.

In 1858 Visalia was added to John Butterfield's Overland Stage route from St. Louismarker to San Franciscomarker. A plaque commemorating the location can be found at 116 East Main Street. Included in the early crop of citizens were some notorious and nasty individuals who preyed upon the travelers along the Butterfield Stage route. Many saloons and hotels sprouted up around the stage stop downtown and commerce was brisk if a bit risky.

The next memorable event was the arrival of the telegraph in 1860. Visalians then could get timely information of the events taking place on the East Coast which would ultimately develop into the Civil War.

During the Civil War, many of citizens of Visalia couldn't decide whether Visalia should stand on the side of the North or the South, so they simply had a Mini Civil War of their own on Main Street.

No one really knows the outcome of the war, but apparently it was concluded to the satisfaction of the participants and life returned to normal.

The federal government however, was not so easily convinced and reacting to concern about sedition banned Visalia’s pro-south Equal Rights Expositor newspaper and established a military garrison. Camp Babbitt was built in 1862 to stop overt southern support as well as maintain law and order in the community. During these Civil War years, Visalia was incorporated which gave the town new rights. The second incorporation in 1874 moved Visalia into city status with a common council and an ex-officio Mayor and President.

Once a creek side settlement, Visalia is now a thriving city with over 120,000 inhabitants, and has become a community that takes great pride in the small town feel and high quality of life that accompanies big city amenities.


As of 2009, there were 123,670 people, 39,589 households, and 37,255 families residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 75.3% White, 36.3% Hispanic or Latino of any race, 6.5% Asian, 2.1% African American, 0.5% Native American, 6.6% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. There were 39,589 households out of which 41.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.9% were married couples living together, 14.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.8% were non-families. 20.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.05 and the average family size was 3.64.

In the city the population was spread out with 31.3% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 19.7% from 45 to 64, and 10.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 93.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.9 males.

According to a 2006 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $51,870. The median income for a family was $61,074. Males had a median income of $36,670 versus $26,717 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,475. About 10.1% of families and 13.3% of the population were below the poverty line.


Visalia is irregularly shaped and covers a total area of , of which, of it is land and none of it is covered by water. Visalia is located at 36°19'27" North, 119°18'26" West (36.324100, -119.307347) .

The highest point in the Visalia area is Mount Whitneymarker. Located at the far reaches of the Sierra Nevada, it reaches a height of . The hilliest parts of the Visalia area are the entire Sierra Nevada foothills east of the city. The major river is the St. John's River, which begins at Lake Kaweahmarker and is largely seasonal. There are also many creeks and ditches that flow through Visalia.


Visalia is subject to aftershocks due to its proximity to the Pacific Ring of Fire. The geologic instability produces numerous fault lines both above and below ground, which altogether cause approximately 10,000 earthquakes every year. One of the major fault lines is the San Andreas Faultmarker. No major earthquakes have hit the Visalia area. All but a few quakes are of low intensity and are not felt. Parts of the city are also vulnerable to floods. The San Joaquin Valleymarker and metropolitan areas are also at risk from blind thrust earthquakes.


Visalia is somewhat like a Mediterranean climate, but more like a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification Bsh), and receives just enough annual precipitation to stay out of Köppen's BWh (desert climate) classification. Visalia enjoys plenty of sunshine throughout the year, with an average of only 26 days with measurable precipitation annually.

The period of April through October is warm to hot and dry with average high temperatures of and lows of , however temperatures frequently exceed and occasionally reach .

The period of November through March is mild and somewhat rainy with average high temperatures of and lows of , but temperatures could occasionally drop to low 30s (~5°C) or be as high as for few days during winter.

Visalia averages of precipitation annually, which mainly occurs during the winter and spring (November thru April) with generally light rain showers, but sometimes as heavy rainfall and thunderstorms. The valley gets slightly less rainfall, while the mountains get slightly more. Years of average rainfall are rare; the usual pattern is bimodal, with a short string of dry years (perhaps ) followed by one or two wet years that make up the average. Snowfall is extremely rare in the valley, but the mountains a couple miles east of city limits receive snowfall every winter. The greatest snowfall recorded in Visalia was just below on January 25, 1999.



The Visalia area is rich in native plant species due in part to a diversity in habitats, including creeks, rivers, hills, and mountains. Native plants include: Incense Cedar (Calocedrus decurrens), Oak (Valley oak), California Bay (Umbellularia californica), Manzanita (Arctostaphylos manzanita), Hummingbird Sage, (Salvia spathacea), Mountain Mahogany (Cercocarpus betuloides), Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa), California fuchsia (Epilobium cleistogamum), Monkeyflower (Mimulus), Penstemon, Western Melica (Melica californica), and Deer Grass (Muhlenbergia rigens).

Environmental Issues

Owing to geography, heavy reliance on automobiles, and agriculture, Visalia suffers from air pollution in the form of smog. The Visalia area and the rest of San Joaquin Valleymarker are susceptible to atmospheric inversion, which holds in the exhausts from road vehicles, airplanes, locomotives, agriculture, manufacturing, and other sources. Unlike other cities that rely on rain to clear smog, Visalia gets only of rain each year: pollution accumulates over many consecutive days. Issues of air quality in Visalia and other major cities led to the passage of early national environmental legislation, including the Clean Air Act. More recently, the state of California has led the nation in working to limit pollution by mandating low emission vehicles. Smog levels are only high during summers because it is dry and warm. In the winter, storms help to clear the smog and it is not as much of a problem. Smog should continue to drop in the coming years due to aggressive steps to reduce it, electric and hybrid cars, amongst other pollution reducing measures taken.

As a result, pollution levels have dropped in recent decades. The number of Stage 1 smog alerts has declined from over 100 per year in the 1970s to almost zero in the new millennium. Despite improvement, the 2006 annual report of the American Lung Association ranked the city as the 11th most polluted in the country with short-term particle pollution and year-round particle pollution. In 2007 the annual report of the American Lung Association ranked the city as the 4th most polluted in the country with short-term particle pollution and year-round particle pollution. In 2008, the city was ranked the third most polluted and again fourth for highest year-round particulate pollution.


The city is divided into many neighborhoods, many of which were incorporated places or communities. There are also several independent cities around Visalia that are popularly grouped with the city of Visalia, due to its immediate vicinity. Generally, the city is divided into the following areas: Downtown Visalia, North Visalia, The Eastside, Southwest Visalia, the Industrial Area, Mooney, and the Westside.


The Economy of Visalia is driven by agriculture (especially grapes, olives, cotton, citrus, and nursery products), livestock, and distribution and manufacturing facilities (electronics and paper products are a couple of significant manufacturing sectors). Light manufacturing and industrial/commercial distribution represent the fastest growing portion of Visalia's employer base.

Tulare Countymarker, College of the Sequoias, and Kaweah Delta Health Care District are the city's largest employers.


In Popular Culture

St. Mary's Catholic Church
Visalia Buddhist Temple


With 233,293 Christians in the Metropolitan Area (85,000 in city proper) the region has a large population of Christians. Many Churches of the Mennonite, Catholic, Assemblies of God, Southern Baptist Convention, American Baptist Churches in the USA, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Church of the Nazarene, United Methodist Church, Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Christian Churches, and Churches of Christ can be found throughout the city. Most are located in South Visalia along Caldwell. The area in North Visalia along Murray and Houston contains a large number of Catholics.

The city of Visalia is planning to build another Catholic Church along Caldwell.

Because of Visalia's large multi-ethnic population, a wide variety of faiths are practiced, including Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Sikhism, Bahá'í, various Eastern Orthodox Churches, Sufism and others. Immigrants from Southeast Asia for example, have formed a Buddhist Temple making the city home to the only Buddhist Temple in the Southern San Joaquin Valleymarker.


The major daily newspaper in the area is the Visalia Times-Delta; El Sol is the city's major Spanish-language paper. There are also a number of smaller regional newspapers, alternative weeklies and magazines, including the Valley Voice Newspaper, Tulare Advance-Register and Tulare Voice (which focuses coverage on Tulare), Valley Response, ROI Magazine, Living Here (which focuses on living in the Greater Visalia Area). In addition to the English- and Spanish-language papers, numerous local periodicals serve immigrant communities in their native languages, including Armenian, Laos, Hmong, and Chinese. Many cities adjacent to Visalia also have their own daily newspapers whose coverage and availability overlaps into certain Visalia neighborhoods.


Visalia is home to the Visalia Rawhide (a "high-A" class team of the Arizona Diamondbacks) of Minor League Baseball. The Rawhide compete in the California League.


Visalia City Hall

Local Government

Like much of the San Joaquin Valleymarker, more resident voters are registered in the Republican Party than the Democratic Party.

Of the 51,718 registered voters in Visalia; approximately 31.9% are Democrats and 49.1% are Republicans. The remaining 19.0% are Independents or are registered with one of the many smaller political parties, like the Green Party or the Libertarian Party.

Visalia is a general law city governed by a five-member City Council including the mayor and vice mayor. The City Council hires a city manager to carry out policies and serve as executive officer. Every odd-numbered year either two or three members are elected by the people to serve a four-year term. Each March the City Council meets and chooses one of its members as mayor and one as vice-mayor.

Visalia Post Office

County, State, and Federal Representation

In the state legislature Visalia is located in the 18th Senate District, represented by Republican Roy Ashburn, and in the 34th Assembly District, represented by Republican Connie Conway.Federally, Visalia is located in California's 21st congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +13 and is represented by Republican Devin Nunes.

The United States Postal Service operates the Town Center Post Office at 111 West Acequeia Avenue, the Visalia Post Office at 2345 West Beech Avenue,, and the Millenium Post Office at 100 North Akers Street, The Town Center Post Office received listing in the National Register of Historic Places on January 11, 1985.

Crime and Safety

The Crime in Visalia has been a major problem concern for Visaliansmarker over the past couple of years.


Colleges and Universities

Visalia City/Tulare County Public Library

Schools and Libraries

Visalia Unified School District serves the entire city of Visalia, as well as several surrounding communities, with a student population of about 30,000. The Tulare County Public Library operates it's largest branch, the Visalia Branch in Downtown Visalia. There are other smaller libraries in Visalia, such as the Visalia Learning Center.


Visalia Transit Center

Public Transportation

The Visalia City Coach (now the Visalia Transit) operates environmentally-friendly and convenient public transportation to, from and within the communities of Visalia, Goshen, Farmersville and Exetermarker. The Visalia City Coach also provides Dial-A-Ride curb-to-curb para-transit service on a shared-ride, demand-response basis to locations within the city limits of Visalia, Goshen and Farmersville.

The Visalia Towne Trolley serves the Downtown Visalia area.

The Tulare County Area Transit (TCaT) provides the public transit services between Visalia and smaller communities throughout the greater Visalia Area. Service includes Fixed Route and Demand Responsive services that are offered Monday through Saturday.

The Sequoia Shuttle provides convenient, affordable, and an environmentally-friendly alternative form of transportation from Visalia and Three Rivers to the majestic Sequoia National Parkmarker.

The Loop is an easy, safe and free way for all school aged kids to get to community centers and recreation centers throughout Visalia where activities for youth are happening.

Air Transportation

Visalia has one airport, the Visalia Municipal Airportmarker .

Other major nearby commercial airports include:

Sister Cities

Visalia has 2 sister cities, listed chronologically by year joined:

See Also


  1. Metropolitan statistical area| Population Estimates| July 1, 2007
  2. USA: Metropolitan Statistical Areas Estimates Nov. 2007
  4. calruralhousing
  5. Visit Visalia - About Visalia
  6. The Tulare County Chamber of Commerce. A Few Facts about Tulare County California: History of Tulare County. Visalia, California. 1959. 11.
  7. Visalia History
  8. City of Visalia - Demographics
  9. City of Visalia - Demographics
  10. Earthquake Facts
  14. Driveclean from the California Government web site
  15. People at Risk In 25 U.S. Cities Most Polluted by Short-Term Particle Pollution. American Lung Association. Retrieved on January 5, 2007.
  16. People at Risk In 25 U.S. Cities Most Polluted by Year-Round Particle Pollution. American Lung Association. Retrieved on January 5, 2007.
  17. Employment and Industries in the Visalia, California Area
  18. Visalia Economic Development Corporation
  19. Visalia-Top Employers
  20. Tulare County Major Employers List – 2007
  21. Visalia, California (CA) Detailed Profile
  22. Tulare County, California (CA) Detailed Profile
  23. Visalia Rawhide: Home]
  24. politicalsub.xls in PDF
  25. " Post Office Location - VISALIA." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on October 29, 2009.
  26. " Post Office Location - VISALIA." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on October 29, 2009.
  27. " Post Office Location - VISALIA." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on October 29, 2009.
  28. " Official Zoning Map." City of Visalia. Retrieved on October 29, 2009.
  29. National Register Information System, National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service. Retrieved October 29, 2009.
  30. US Census, District information
  31. Visalia Transit
  32. Dial-A-Ride
  33. Visalia Towne Trolley
  34. Tulare County Area Transit (TCaT)
  35. Sequoia Shuttle
  36. The Loop
  37. City of Visalia

Further Reading

External Links

Embed code:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address