This comprehensive history of the San Joaquin Valley begins with a study of the indigenous Native American tribes of the area and their interactions with one another. It then explores the occupation by the Spanish, the trapping industry, the arrival of settlers from the eastern United States, and the formation of expansive cattle ranches. The development of agriculture and irrigation and the subsequent battles over land and water rights are addressed. Also discussed is the grand era of the railroad, which would forever change the valley, bringing light industry and modern agricultural practices.
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