Early Visalians loved to be enter-tained. Whether it was children singing and dancing for their parents at a school program, adults donning costumes for a fancy ball or street performers prying a grin from a passerby, Visalia has always been a welcoming place for those willing to make other people smile.
Visalia has had railroad service since 1874, when the residents, disappointed by being cut off from the newly created Southern Pacific line, built a connecting railroad between Goshen and Visalia and called it the Visalia Railroad Company. Other railroads followed, like the Visalia-Tulare Railroad, the Southern Pacific and another line that would become the Santa Fe.
Although Visalia cannot lay claim to having the first newspaper in California, it had the first in the southern San Joaquin Valley.
For the first few years of Tulare County’s existence, there were no hospitals. The sick were cared for at home by loved ones, who oftentimes used old family remedies passed down through generations. If a doctor was available, the lucky patient might get a visit or two.