Tulare History Timeline

1773 Commandante Tagus, emissary for the Spanish Governor, discovers a large lake and names it "Los Tules".

1825 Jedediah Smith leads first band of settlers into the San Joaquin Valley.

1847 Daniel Berry travels north through the San Joaquin Valley, past Tulare Lake, after General John Fremont's troops were disbanded in Los Angeles.

1860 Dr. W.F. Cartmill starts farming northwest of Tulare, and later establishes the first dairy operation in the area.

1870 Isaac & Charlotte Wright arrive at the site of what later became the city of Tulare and build a log cabin at what is now 457 South H Street. Alice Lottie Wright - first white child born in Tulare.

1872 Town of Tulare is born as the Southern Pacific Railroad arrives on July 25, with Andrew Neff as engineer of the first train into town. Dr. Peter Goble & wife Elizabeth arrive in Tulare from Ohio. Southern Pacific roundhouse and machine shops built south of Inyo. Cartmill House built at 304 West Tulare Avenue.

1874 Daniel Berry returns with his family and settles on a farm west of Tipton.

1875 Fire destroys nearly all of Tulare's 43 buildings. The schooner "Andross" is built at Buzzard's Roost (now Waukena) to carry hogs from Atwell Island (now Alpaugh).

1876 Andrew Neff & Victoria Wright marry on New Year's Eve, and soon build a house that still stands at 457 South H Street. First church (Congregational) is built in Tulare on West King Street.

1876 Frank Giannini plants first wine grapes in this area. James Zumwalt (grandfather of Admiral Elmo Zumwalt) arrives in Tulare and builds the Palace Ranch Northwest of Tulare.

1878 The schooner "Water Witch" is brought from San Francisco to Tulare Lake by "Eating" Smith.

1879 Jabez & Kittie Gist arrive from Kentucky.

1881 Methodist Church organized in Tulare.

1882 Library Hall (later Tulare's Women's Club House) is built by Southern Pacific for its employees.
Wheeler brothers (blacksmiths) arrive in Tulare. Later connected by marriage with family of Turner Nelson (see 1893).
First home of Methodist Church built at Kern & G Streets. Masonic Lodge founded by John Goble and others.
"Tulare Register" first newspaper in Tulare is published.

1883 Fire destroys 25 business buildings.

1884 Central School opens for first students. Paige & Morton Ranch founded west of Tulare.

1885 Smith College founded in the little triangle at Elm Street and Park Avenue. It later became an extension of USC. Christian Church organized in Tulare.

1886 Fire destroys 77 business buildings.

1887 Lash Pharmacy opens for business. First Baptist Church organized in Tulare. St. John's Episcopal Church organized in Tulare. Christian Church built at Tulare Avenue and G Street.

1888 City incorporation approved by voters.
Visalia & Tulare Railroad founded (lasted 10 years). First engineer is George Wright. President Benjamin Harrison gives stump speech at the Tulare depot.Pratt building (Masonic Temple since 1926) built at Tulare Avenue & H Street.

1889 Formation of Tulare Irrigation District with issuance of $500,000 in bonds, with no hint of trouble to come.

1890 Daniel Zumwalt founds first creamery and cheese factory near present site of Liberty School. First high school students enroll at Central School.

1891 City Hall and Fire Station constructed in 100 block of South "K" Street.
City devastated as Southern Pacific moves roundhouse and shops to Bakersfield. First Baptist Church built at King & "M" Streets.

1893 Worldwide depression begins. Irrigation bonds become a crushing burden. Turner Nelson arrives in Tulare. Eleven seniors earn diploma in first graduating class.

1894 Dr. John Barnes Rosson arrives in Tulare.

1895 Smith College closes, another victim of the depression.

1897 Santa Fe Railroad arrives in Tulare.

1898 Congregational Church burns.

1900 New Congregational Church is built at Tulare Avenue and "H" Street.

1901 St. John's Episcopal Church is built at King and "G" Street.

1903 Bond-burning celebration.

1904 Tulare Winery built by Frank Giannini on Mooney Blvd.

1905 Carnegie Library built at Kern & "I" Street.

1908 High School built on East Tulare Avenue.

1909 Dairyman's Co-op organized by Isaac Wright, son-in-law William Higdon, and others.

1910 Linder home built at Sycamore & Cherry. "The Oaks" built at Oaks and Merritt by P. Montgomery, Manager of Paige & Morton Ranch--later renamed "Merritt Manor" after purchase by Hulett C. Merritt, owner of the Tagus Ranch.

1912 Tagus Ranch founded. With 7,000 acres, the largest fruit ranch in the world.

1913 New Methodist Church built at site of original sanctuary, Kern and "G" Street

1919 First annual Tulare County Fair.

1920 Wilson & Roosevelt elementary school opened

1922 Hotel Tulare opens at Tulare & "K" Street.

1927 Tulare Theater (the Pride of the Valley) opens at Tulare & "L" Street.

1929 Dr. Rosson retires at age of 84.

1930 Dr. Rosson dies.

1931 Maurice Preston (later Air Force General during WW II) graduates from TUHS.

1937 Present TUHS Administration-Auditorium building completed. Present City Hall completed at Kern & "M" Street.

1938 Elmo "Bud" Zumwalt graduates from TUHS. Later became U.S. Chief of Naval Operations, nation's highest ranking naval officer. Snow melt and heavy rains flood valley towns and farms.

1941 Rankin Field graduates its first class of aviators.

1945 Rankin Field closes after training 10,000 pilots.

1948 Bob Mathias graduates from TUHS and wins Olympic Games gold medal in Decathlon in London.

1951 Tulare District Hospital dedicated.

1952 Bob Mathias wins second Olympic Games gold medal in Decathlon at Helsinki, Finland.
Sim Iness (class of "48) wins Olympic Games gold medal in discus at Helsinki, Finland.

1954 Central School abandoned.

1955 Flood of 1938 repeated. Brooks Gist publishes his first book, High Sierra Adventure.

1959 Merritt Mansion razed. Tulare Western High School opens with freshmen & sophomores only.

1962 Hotel Tulare goes out of business.

1963 Old library razed and new library opened at Tulare & "F" Street.

1968 First Annual California Farm Equipment Show held at fairground.

1969 Tulare Lake fills again.

1970 Elmo "Bud" Zumwalt becomes U.S. Chief of Naval Operations.

1972 City celebrates centennial.

1975 Tulare Theater closes after 48 years of operation. Tower Square dedicated after two city blocks were razed with the help of redevelopment funds.

1980 Brooks Gist dies in the Sierra. Tulare Theater razed to make way for Wells Fargo Bank.

1983 Tulare Lake fills. Tulare Historical Museum dedicated. Cost $361,946.
Hotel Tulare destroyed by arsonist.

1992 Museum expansion completed. Cost $376,000.

 

 

1930 Robert Bruce Mathias born in Tulare, CA.

1941 Stricken with anemia as a child.

1944 Enters Tulare Union High School participating in football, basketball, and track.

1948 TUHS football becomes Valley champions. Competes in State high school track meet.
Wins National Decathlon Championship, Bloomfield, NJ at age 17. Wins gold medal XIV Olympiad, London, England, youngest decathlon champion ever. Enters Kiski Prep School, participating in football and track. Wins Sullivan Award.

1949 Wins National Decathlon Championship in Tulare. Enters Stanford University participating four years in track and two in football.

1950 Wins National Decathlon Championship in Tulare, setting world record.

1951 Plays in Rose Bowl for Stanford. Enters USMC boot camp, San Diego, CA.

1952 Wins National Decathlon Championship/Olympic Tryouts in Tulare. Wins gold medal XV Olympiad, Helsinki, Finland, first man to ever win two consecutive Olympic Decathlons.

1953 Graduates from Stanford.

1954 Marries Melba Wiser. Active service in USMC. Begins movie career, starring in "The Bob Mathias Story" with War Bond.

1954-1960 Good Will Ambassador to various countries. President Eisenhower's personal representative to 1956 Olympics in Melbourne
Stars in movie, "China Doll" with Victor Mature and Ward Bond. Stars in movie, "The Minotaur" with Rossana Schiaffano.
Stars in movie, "It Happened in Athens" with Jayne Mansfield. Stars in T.V. series, "The Troubleshooters" with Keenan Wynn.

1966-74 Elected to U.S. House of Representatives.

1976 Bob and Melba divorce.

1977 Appointed Director of U.S. Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, CO. Marries Gwen.
"Bob Mathias Stadium" dedicated at TUHS.

1980 America boycotts Olympic Games in Moscow.

1983 Appointed Executive Director National Fitness Foundation.

1930 Garland Simeon (Sim) Iness born in Keota, OK.

1934 Iness family migrates to California and city of Tulare during Dust Bowl; eventually living on Tagus Ranch.

1946 TUHS football becomes Valley champions. High School track meet does not include discus. Wins collegiate open discus event at Pasadena Games. Places sixth in 1948 Olympic Trials.

1948-49 Enters Compton Junior College participating in football and track. Compton J.C. wins 1948 Junior Rose Bowl game. Sets National Junior College Discus Record. Joins Naval Reserve. Compton football/track coach is Ken Carpenter -1936 Olympic discus gold medalist. Compton football squad includes future NFL Hall of Famer Hugh McElhenney.

1949 Enters University of Southern California, participating in track.

1951 Temporarily drops out of school to support a family. Competes under affiliation of Los Angeles Athletic Club.

1952 Returns to USC. Sets American discus record. Sets Olympic Trials record. Wins gold medal XV Olympiad, Helsinki, Finland, setting Olympic record. AAU tour of Europe. Briefly part of SC football squad; quit due to a rib separation.

1953 Sets American record. Sets World record. AAU tour of Scandinavia. Last collegiate season.
Selected as member of 1952 Men's All-America Track and Field Team. Honorably discharged from Naval Reserve.

1954 Appears in movie "Lady Godiva" with Maureen O'Hara. Appears in movie "Sign of the Pagan" with Jack Palance and Jeff Chandler. Named to Sports Illustrated's list of "All-Time U.S. Olympians". Graduates from USC, with bachelor and masters degree in Education.

1955 Bows out of movie "The Harder They Fall" with Humphrey Bogart, in order to teach.
Begins teaching and coaching football at Porterville High School. Retires from discus competition, due to collapsed lung.

1960 Carries Olympic Torch through Tulare along with Bob Mathias, for 1960 Squaw Valley Winter Olympics.

1961 Marries Dolores Hutchinson.

1967 Begins teaching and coaching football and track at Porterville College.

1973 Retires from coaching.

1994 Retires from teaching."Sim Iness Gymnasium" dedicated at TUHS.

1996 Sim Iness passes away at the age of 65.