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History of Fresno, California

Fresno, California, was once inhabited by the Yokuts. They were the only people to reside in the area until half way through the 19th century. The Yokuts made the area inhabitable by way of irrigation. The land that the Yokuts chose for their home is fertile and perfect for the agriculture of the time. When the California Gold Rush began, the area saw a sudden increase in population, beginning in 1848. Although a large number of people came to the area, it was not officially settled until the late 1860s, and a city was officially founded in 1872. Fresno was settled in a area abundant with white ash trees. In Spanish, Fresno means ash tree. In 1876, the city introduced the first irrigation system for the farmers. As the city continued to grow throughout the 20th century, it became a center for many industries. That large variety of industries led to a city-wide problem in 1910. It was that year that a large labor dispute arose, led by industrial workers that produced products for World War I. Although the dispute was one of the city's largest, it was quickly settled. Over the next 40 years the surrounding county grew to become the nation's largest agricultural supplier, delivering goods throughout the country. Some of the 250-plus major markets included cotton, cattle, poultry, dairy items, fruits, vegetables, dried fruits, wine, cotton goods, glass, carpets, forest products, and machinery. Fresno also has become home to many new technologies and markets. Many of the new markets are the leading industries of electronics, machinery, and science. Fresno is host to a variety of attractions, some of which include a symphony orchestra, numerous museums, a zoo, and gateways to the Yosemite, Sierra, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon national parks. Education is an important factor to the population of Fresno, which is why the city is home to many higher educational institutions. The larger schools in the area include Fresno Pacific College, built in 1944, and California State University-Fresno built in 1911.