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Madera almost never was

For The Madera Tribune

These workers for the California Lumber Company were building the flume that provided the reason for the founding of Madera. Lumber company officials decided to terminate the flume four miles north of Borden and call it Madera.


Every historian writing of the founding of Madera includes an account of how the town was almost never built. 

As the story goes, when the California Lumber Company began building its flume from the mountains to the Southern Pacific tracks in the Valley, it had its sights on the little town of Borden for the terminus of its giant water slide. 

The railroad had just completed laying its tracks through the Valley in 1872, and in its wake several townsites were laid out by the Southern Pacific — Modesto, Merced, Minturn, Berenda, Borden, and Fresno. That’s when the lumber company came up with its idea to build a mill in the mountain forests and bring lumber to one of the railroad towns in the Valley. 


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