By Terry Brazil
Tulare Historical Musuem
When you think of Tagus Ranch, do you think of it as part of Visalia? No! One thinks of the historic Tagus Ranch as Tulare.
Ask Tulare residents Robert Bender and Richard Bender if their dad, the illustrious Bill Bender, was the proprietor of the Tagus Ranch Store in Tulare. They will say yes. The Bender store was on the Tagus Ranch property in the years just after the money issued by Tagus Ranch, and spendable only at the Tagus Ranch Store, was no more.
Ask the family of Sim Iness if Sim picked peaches at Tagus Ranch in Tulare. They will tell you yes.
Ask if Lionel Brazil’s mother was active in the business office at Tagus Ranch in Tulare. His family will tell you yes.
Ask Peggy Daley and Bob Hill if their mom was a hard-working crew-boss who loved her work and her interaction with lifelong friends at Tagus Ranch in Tulare. They will say yes.
Ask the people who travel to Tulare to attend the Tagus Ranch Reunion, which started as an every-five-year-event and has become an annual reunion because relatives and friends enjoyed it so much, if they think Tagus Ranch is Tulare. They will say yes.
Ask Adrienne Alston, who wrote a letter to the editor that appeared June 10, 2000, in the Tulare Advance-Register and captioned “Tagus Ranch: Tulare Now and Always,” if she thinks Tagus Ranch is Tulare.
Ask the current owner of Tagus Ranch property if he thinks Tagus is in Tulare. He, being a proud Tularean, will tell you yes!
There is a wonderful article about Tagus Ranch history in the book by Derryl and Wanda Dumermuth, “Tulare Legends and Trivia from A to Z.” (This book is for sale in the gift shop of the Tulare Historical Museum.) And take a look at the photographs of historical labels of canned fruit that were sent to the East coast, a menu from the Tagus Ranch Café, photos of Tagus Ranch residents, a tent camp from Tagus Ranch – all from the Tom Hennion Archives at the Tulare Historical Museum.
There is an incredible amount of intriguing history of Tagus Ranch as a Tulare entity for reference at the museum and the next article titled, “Tagus Ranch,” that features fascinating excerpts from the archives.
Until then, if there’s anything we can do to bring Tagus back from Visalia to Tulare’s sphere of influence-a legal planning term that identifies a city’s probable physical boundaries and service area – let’s do it!