History

Reflections of Visalia: Arizona Charlie — Visalia’s Rainbow Chaser

Text and photos submitted by Terry L. Ommen T he pages of history are filled with characters who were bigger than life, and Visalia has had its share. One was an amazing adventurer named Abraham Henson...

Reflections of Visalia: Visalia’s Early Days With the Wheel

Text and photos submitted by Terry L. Ommen   T he bicycle! It’s an amazing mechanical contraption that when pedaled using human power propels the rider forward. It can move quickly or slowly, keep the operator upright...

Reflections of Visalia: Harry Graeter — Visalia’s Candy Man

Text and photos submitted by Terry L. Ommen   H arry and Ella Graeter came to Visalia in 1900, the same year that they were married in San Francisco. Exactly what brought the newlyweds here is unknown,...

Reflections of Visalia: Hyde Ranch Dairy and the Giant Milk Bottle

Text and photos submitted by Terry L. Ommen   I t would be difficult to find an old Visalia name more recognizable and respected than Hyde. Almost without fail, the name makes it to everyone’s short list...

Reflections of Visalia: Pioneer Collapses Under the Strain

Text and photos submitted by Terry L. Ommen   T he history of Solon Borglum’s famous Pioneer statue is filled with celebration and sadness, and Tulare County played a part in much of it. For years, it stood...

Reflections of Visalia: A Visalia Lawman’s Quest to Become Governor

Text and photos submitted by Terry L. Ommen   Visalia can rightfully look back with pride on the many of its pioneers who went on to achieve important and noteworthy things. Some accumulated extraordinary wealth in...

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...