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Madera: The first 25 years

For The Madera Tribune

In 1900, Madera celebrated its 25th birthday. In that quarter of a century, it had grown from a village into a town, as this photo of East Yosemite Avenue shows.


In 1876, George Armstrong Custer died at the Little Bighorn. Rutherford B. Hayes won the Presidency of the United States, and the town of Madera was born.

Rocked in the cradle of a wooden flume that carried lumber from the mountains 60 miles away, Madera grew rapidly, and its economic base broadened. Visitors arrived by the hundreds to catch the stage to Yosemite Valley.

Irrigation gave an impetus to agriculture, and by 1890, Madera had become a thriving little community of 1,500 residents. With lumber, tourism and farming pumping its economy, it grew from a village into a town.


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