Coordinates: 36°39′40″N 120°15′40″W / 36.66111°N 120.26111°W
Fresno City is a former settlement in Fresno County, California. It was located at the head of navigation on Fresno Slough 2 miles (3.2 km) northwest of Tranquillity, at an elevation of 164 feet (50 m). The city was named after the Spanish word for the Oregon Ash trees that commonly grew along the river banks.
The town was started in 1855, at the head of navigation on Fresno Slough. A pier was built to accommodate flatboats and barges that could make it up the shallow slough. Warehouses, houses, and the Casa Blanca Hotel were built. In 1858, it became a station on the Butterfield Overland Mail. By 1860, the telegraph line from San Francisco arrived. Plans for a much larger town were contemplated but the Butterfeild line closed in early 1861, the Great Flood of 1862 did great damage and the City was practically abandoned by 1865. A post office operated at Fresno City from 1860 to 1863. Today there are no traces of it left.
California Historical Landmark No. 488 was erected with a bronze plaque by the Fresno County Historical Association in 1952:
- FRESNO CITY
- 'Fresno City' gradually arose at the head of navigation of the Fresno Slough, and existed from approximately 1855 to 1875 - today there are no traces of it left. In 1872, the 'City of Fresno,' later the county seat, was established about 30 miles to the southwest, on the newly built Central Pacific Railroad.
- Location: On Fresno Slough, 0.8 miles north of James Road, from Tranquillity, then 1.3 miles northwest on Levee Road (dirt), Tranquillity.
Vandals removed the plaque and destroyed much of the marker which was located on Whites Bridge Road near Tranquility.
Butterfield Overland Mail 1st Division Stations
- San Francisco – Western terminus and 1st Division headquarters, located in downtown San Francisco.
- Clarks's Station – Located 12 miles south of San Francisco in what is now San Bruno.
- Sun Water Station – Located 9 miles south of Clarks Station in what is now San Mateo.
- Redwood City – Located 9 miles south of Sun Water Station.
- Mountain View Station – Located 12 miles south of Redwood City.
- San Jose Station – Located 11 miles south of Mountain View Station in the city of San Jose.
- Seventeen Mile House – Located 17 miles south of San Jose.
- Gilroy Station – Located 13 miles south of Seventeen Mile House in what is now Gilroy, California.
- Pacheco Pass Station – Located 18 miles east of Gilroy
- St. Louis Ranch – Located 17 miles east of Pacheco Pass.
- Lone Willow Station – Located 18 miles east of St. Louis Ranch near Los Banos.
- Temple's Ranch – Located 13 miles southeast of Lone Willow Station near Dos Palos.
- Firebaugh's Ferry – Located 15 miles southeast of Temples Ranch, on the San Joaquin River.
- Fresno City – Located 19 miles southeast of Firebaugh's Ferry.
- Elkhorn Spring Station – Located 22 miles east of Fresno City near present-day Riverdale.
- Whitmore's Ferry – Located 17 miles southeast of Elkhorn Spring Station on the Kings River.
- Head of Cross Creek Station – Located 15 miles southeast of Whitmore's Ferry.
- Visalia – Located 12 miles southeast of Cross Creek Station.
- Packwood Station – Located 12 miles east of Visalia.
- Tule River Station – Located 14 miles south of Packwood Station.
- Fountain Spring Station – Located 14 miles southeast of Tule River Station.
- Mountain House – Located 12 miles south of Fountain Spring Station.
- Posey Creek Station – Located 15 miles southwest of Mountain House, on Posey (Poso) Creek.
- Gordon's Ferry (Kern River Station) – Located 10 miles south of Posey Creek Station on the Kern River just above present-day Bakersfield.
- Kern River Slough Station – Located 12 miles south of Gordons Ferry.
- Sink of Tejon Station – Located 14 miles southwest of Kern River Slough Station.
- Fort Tejon – Located 15 miles southwest of Sink of Tejon Station.
- Reed's Station – Located 8 miles southeast of Fort Tejon, near the Tejon Pass summit.
- French John's Station – Located 14 miles east southeast of Reeds Station, in the vicinity of the mouth of Cow Springs Creek Canyon.
- Mud Spring, a later station operating in 1860, 14 miles east from French Johns and 13 miles north from Clayton's Station (formerly Widow Smith's Station).
- Widow Smith's Station (Clayton's Station, Major Gordon's Station) – Located 24 miles from French John's Station, in upper San Francisquito Canyon near Green Valley.
- King's Station – Located 10 miles south of Widow Smith's Station in lower San Francisquito Canyon.
- Hart's Station or Lyons Station – Located 12 miles south of King's Station, near Santa Clara River.
- Lopez Station – Located 81⁄2 miles southeast of Hart's Station, in the San Fernando Valley north of Mission San Fernando Rey de España.
- Cahuenga Station – Located 12 miles southeast of Mission San Fernando, in Cahuenga Pass, the Santa Monica Mountains.
Source: "List of Butterfield Overland Mail Stations "Itinerary of the Route"". New York Times. October 14, 1858. http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F20A10F93A551B7493C6A8178BD95F4C8584F9.