History of Reedley
"The World's Fruit Basket"
Reedley is located in the central San Joaquin Valley portion of California, lying just inland between the State's coastal mountain ranges and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Within an hours travel time, Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks can be enjoyed. The Monterey Peninsula and Pacific Ocean are less than three hours away. The valley floor is the richest intensive agricultural production area in the world. Reedley's economy continues as predominantly based upon agricultural production and agriculturally-oriented industry. Although it has diversified in recent years, local economy continues to be significantly dependent upon the underlying agricultural character of the region. The people in Reedley are some of the friendliest and most neighborly you will meet. Reedley’s citizens are a community mix of many converging cultures and peoples, from Asian, African, Central American, European, Mexican, Native American and South American, making for a tasteful community that provides some of the best exposure of social and cultural living in one place. Reedley College enhances our community with its multitude of programs and student exchange efforts. From pre-school to High School, our educational facilities are some of the very best in the Central Valley; from public to private we can possibly surpass your expectations.
Reedley is situated approximately twenty five miles southeast of the City of Fresno and equidistant from the City of Visalia situated southeast of Reedley. Manning Avenue, a four-lane divided major arterial street, connects the city with State Highway 99 twelve miles to the west. State Highway 180 is located eight miles north of the City, and both highways are heavily used by local, regional, and national residents, travelers, and motor carriers. In addition to its location near these major highways, the community lies adjacent to the Tulare Valley Railroad and the Southern Pacific Railroad lines. Reedley offers manifold opportunities for work, recreation and just plain living. The City offers multiple opportunities for business start up and growth for retail, commercial and industrial. Our 2010 Buxton Retail site analysis and propensity study is available to you in order to make those important and vital business decisions.
Civil war hero Thomas Law Reed settled here to provide wheat for Gold Rush miners in the mid 1800's. His donation of land for a railroad station site established the town as the center of the Valley's booming wheat business. Railroad officials commemorated his vision by naming the fledgling City in his honor. When mining fever began to fade, wheat demand slackened. Kings River water was diverted for crop irrigation, and the region began its over 100-year tradition of bountiful field, tree, and vine fruit harvests. Our hope is that you visit once just to taste how good the “World’s Fruit Basket” really is. We are confident you will decide on a second bite (pardon the pun) or even decide to stay. The City strives to build from its past and improve on its future. We invite your comments as to how we can better serve you and all who visit.
With water and railroad services in place, farming families of European immigrants were recruited, and the settlement was incorporated in 1913, with Ordinance No. 1 adopting and prescribing the style of a Common Seal on February 25, 1913. An important element in the early town was a colony of German Mennonites, whose strong traditions and values still shape Reedley's culture. The population today is diverse and multi-cultural and Reedley boasts a current population equal to 20,500. Each of the town's major ethnic groups has shown strong civic leadership, a desire to retain cultural and religious traditions, and the ability to work successfully together for Reedley's betterment. Among the community's 25 churches are Armenian, Baptist, Buddhist, Catholic, and many other congregations. The area's forty-one organizations and twelve civic clubs include Filipino community organizations, a Finnish organization, and American Lebanese Women's Club, several Hispanic and Latin American organizations, and a Japanese organization among the many sports, cultural, conservation, charitable, and civic associations. In 1988 Reedley celebrated the first one hundred years of its multi-cultural heritage, and the 75th anniversary of incorporation. May you have a peaceful and productive day!
Education is a vital part of community life, with seven elementary, three junior, and two high schools, both public and private. Over 6,000 students are served by these facilities, part of the Kings Canyon Unified School District. For seventy years, Reedley College has capped the local educational structure, providing area residents with a lively assortment of classes, programs, activities, and community events. Part of a 106 campus and 71 district California Community College system, it has a total on and off-campus enrollment of over 6,252. Small classes, on-campus housing, an excellent library, strong career guidance resources, and a spirited athletic program add to the college's appeal. Students can select certificate or associate degree programs in a wide variety of educational majors. Within a thirty mile radius of the City are California State University, Fresno City College, College of the Sequoias (Visalia), two law schools, a Christian college, and a graduate professional psychology school. Local television and radio stations, the Reedley Exponent newspaper which provides local communication and perspective opportunities, a full range of newspapers from around the country, a local branch public library, and an active historical society and local museum complete the community's education profile. May you have a peaceful and productive day!
Reedley contributes a wide variety of agricultural products to the County's economy. The area's rich, fertile soil produces the finest fruit, nut, vegetable, grain and cotton varieties. Since 1946, Reedley has been known as the Fruit Basket of the World because we lead the nation in the shipping of fresh fruit. Thirty fruit and vegetable packing and cold storage facilities, including the world's largest plant, along with nearby wineries, supply tree and vine fruit products of consistently high quality. Related manufacturing industries in Reedley include boxes and packing machinery, and automatic packing equipment. May you have a peaceful and productive day!
The Council-Manager form of government administers a general fund operating budget of over $4,700,000 with a total budget in excess of $15,000,000. The City has had a Planning Commission since the 1940's and provides full City services including a municipal airport, water system, sewer plant, and trash collection. A modern, acute-care hospital with a new birthing center provides comprehensive medical coverage. The active Chamber of Commerce & Visitor's Bureau and Reedley Downtown Association are responsible for significant on-going revitalization and beautification. May you have a peaceful and productive day!
Key to Reedley, however, is its exceptional recreational amenities. On the banks of the Kings River, sandy beaches and clear stretches of open water lure enthusiasts for swimming, fishing, boating and water-skiing. Parks along the river draw families and friends from great distances for frequent picnics and festivities. The City's public parks, swimming pool, and comprehensive recreational program, along with its annual community-wide pageants and festivals, complete with three area golf courses, nearby Pine Flat Reservoir and the redwoods, lakes, streams, and hiking trails minutes away in the mountains. Reedley's spectacular setting is enhanced by the entertainment and shopping radius surrounding the city center, and its success in combining the best of its rural heritage and contemporary urban comforts. May you have a peaceful and productive day!