Is Fresno, A Woebegone City?

Spanish and Mexican explorers passed up the valley’s fertile land which seemed desolate and barren on first sight; The 49er’s, bound for the foothills, scurried through the valley in haste to reach the gold digs in the Sierra’s. Fresno grew from a long history of hardscrabble, tenacious pioneers who founded our city:

Moses Church dug the earliest canal bringing water to the barren land,
later known as the Fresno Canal System
James Faber our city’s first merchant
James Porteous designed the Fresno Scraper, now known as a bulldozer, as
well as 200 other patented devises

And the list goes on……Eventually, settled by cattle ranchers and other pioneering families, Fresno was known as the ‘sorriest most woebegone little settlement on the map’* until the railroad chose it as a new mid-state stop in 1872 and it began to flourish.

Our city is once again faced with a dilemma; what are we to become? Let’s not forget George Santayana’s apt words: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. Will Fresno leaders remember from where we came in time to no longer be known as the sorriest most woebegone city in California or are we yet again doomed to repeat the numerous mistakes of failed potential?

Downtown Fresno has one of the few remaining urban pedestrian malls designed by renowned architect Garret Ekbo along with Gruen & Associates. Filled with world-class sculptures from the likes of Stan Bitter’s, James Hansen and even Renoir, the Fulton Mall is at a cross-roads, again; Now we await the findings of another set of hired designers to breathe life into the core of the city and does not look good for the Mall’s continued future. Even in its current city neglected state, the mall clings to life and About Town Taste examines the Mall, and it’s art, on our next adventure Saturday, March 5th 10a.

As do all our tours, this one includes food tastings along the way at local eateries, all included in the cost $25pp. So the restaurants can prepare a reservation is required so give us a call today! or 559.392.4471

*History of Fresno County, CA by Paul Allen 1919


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