Just 11 miles northwest of Madera, surrounded by pastures, pistachios and grape vineyards, lies the town of Fairmead — a little-known enclave of approximately 1,400 residents with a long history.
As the town celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, the citizen-organized group Fairmead Community and Friends is making tremendous efforts to draw attention to Fairmead’s rich past and celebrate its potential for the future.
Barbara Nelson, president of Fairmead Community and Friends, formed the group shortly after retiring in 2005 and moving back there to take care of her mother.
Nelson first moved with her family from Alameda to Fairmead in the eighth grade. Even prior to moving, she wasn’t a stranger to the Central Valley, having visited her great grandmother in Madera during the summers, helping her pick beans and cotton in the fields...