Kingston is a former town that is no longer in existence. Originally in Fresno County, until 1909 when Fresno County lands in the vicinity, south of Kings river were transferred to Kings County, California. It was located on the south bank of the Kings River 8.5 miles (13.7 km) northwest of Hanford at Whitmore's Ferry.
L. A. Whitmore established the ferry in 1854. It was founded in 1856 by Lucious A. Whitmore who operated the first ferry to cross the Kings River. The town of Kingston grew up around the ferry at the place where an old Spanish road called El Camino Viejo á Los Angeles (The Old Road to Los Angeles) crossed the river. Kingston became a stopping place on the Butterfield Overland Mail route from 1858 to 1861 and a stage route between Stockton and Visalia after 1858. A post office operated at Kingston from 1859 to 1862, and from 1866 to 1890, when the service transferred to Lillis. Until at least 1872, the only store between Millerton and Visalia was in Kingston. The first school in the area was probably the one established as early as 1860 in Kingston.
Oliver H. Bliss operated the Kingston ferry after Whitmore, beginning in 1859. Bliss built a temporary toll bridge with two boats and planking in 1872. In 1873, John Sutherland purchased Bliss's interest in both the ferry and the bridge and built a permanent bridge that year.
On December 26, 1873, Tiburcio Vásquez and his bandit gang made a bold raid, robbing the entire village. Reportedly 35 or more men were tied up and over $2,000 in loot was hauled away. Subsequently, the town declined and by the 1890s Kingston was abandoned. Oliver Bliss' livery stable was the last remaining building and stood until 1930.
The site of the town is now a California Historical Landmark (#270), which can be found in Kingston-Laton County Park in Kings County.
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.
Coordinates: 36°25′24.71″N 119°41′37.9″W / 36.4235306°N 119.693861°W