History

REFLECTIONS OF VISALIA: Baby Visalia and the Early days of Flight

Text and photos submitted by Terry L. Ommen Visalia’s fascination with flight probably dates back to the late 1800s when balloon ascensions came to town. The shows were well-received and packed with danger, which might,...

REFLECTIONS OF VISALIA: Overall – Visalia’s Best Athlete?

Text and photos submitted by Terry L. Ommen To most Visalians today, the name Orval Overall means nothing. It’s simply an odd moniker, difficult to pronounce and probably the result of a parental christening mistake....

Reflections of Visalia: The Great Alexander Works His Magic on Visalia

Text and photos submitted by Terry L. Ommen The Great Alexander was a town favorite. Of all the circuit-riding entertainers, he was without a doubt the most popular, and that’s why during the decade of...

Reflections of Visalia: An Outlaw, Reformer and His Mystery Movie

Text and photos submitted by Terry L. Ommen I t was hard to believe that Edward Morrell, the man who was nearly killed by lawmen in Visalia, was coming back to town. After all, he didn’t...

Wells, Fargo & Company and A Visalia Family Legacy

Text and photos submitted by Terry L. Ommen   T his is a story of two giants. One is a business called Wells, Fargo & Co., an enterprise that would go on to become one of the...

Reflections of Visalia: A Man to Match His Mountain

Text and photos submitted by Terry L. Ommen T hroughout history, there have been those who have accomplished many important things, clearly living beyond the ordinary. Whether they discovered a life-saving vaccine, developed a revolutionary new...

The Fenwick Sanatorium • An Interesting Love Story

Text and Photos Submitted by Terry L. Ommen Over the years, Visalia, like other communities, has had its share of accident victims and those with illnesses requiring medical attention. In the very early years, medical care...
palace hotel

The Forgotten Offspring of the Palace Hotel

Text and photos submitted by Terry L. Ommen It’s been pretty well established that the old Palace Hotel building on the northeast corner of Main and Court streets is one of Visalia’s oldest commercial structures still...

A Plain Building with a Special Mission

There’s a building in Visalia that can easily be overlooked by those on the hunt for architectural beauty. It doesn’t have a fancy cupola, portico, cornice work or any other eye-catching design feature. It is simple and looks like a box. In fact, to many walking or driving by it today, the structure may appear to be an extension of the ornate Tulare County Jail, the building to its west. But clearly, these buildings on the northeast corner of Oak and Church streets are two distinct buildings with two different, although related, histories.

A Fitting Tribute In Bronze

During the four-year-long American Civil War, some 2.1 million men served as soldiers with the Union forces. Much has been written about these fighters, but many do not realize that women also worked on the front line, volunteering for important roles such as spies and nurses. When the bloody conflict ended in 1865, the men and women returned home, proud to have served and grateful to have survived the United States’ deadliest war.