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Coordinates: 36°49′31″N 119°42′11″W / 36.82528°N 119.70306°W / 36.82528; -119.70306

City of Clovis
—  City  —
Location in Fresno County and the state of California
Coordinates: 36°49′31″N 119°42′11″W / 36.82528°N 119.70306°W / 36.82528; -119.70306
Country United States
State California
County Fresno
 - Mayor Harry Armstrong
 - Mayor Pro Tem Jose Flores
 - Senate Dave Cogdill (R)
 - Assembly Michael Villines (R)
 - U. S. Congress Devin Nunes (R)
 - Total 23.03 sq mi (37.07 km2)
 - Land 23.03 sq mi (37.07 km2)
 - Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 361 ft (110 m)
Population (2009)
 - Total 95,128
 Density 4,004/sq mi (1,545.6/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 93611-93612 & 93619
Area code(s) 559
FIPS code 06-14218
GNIS feature ID 1656303
Pollasky Avenue, Old Town Clovis

Clovis is a city in Fresno County, California, United States, northeast of Fresno. As of May 1, 2009, the population was 95,128. Clovis is located 6.5 miles (10.5 km) northeast of downtown Fresno,[1] at an elevation of 361 feet (110 m).[2]



The city of Clovis began as a freight stop along the San Joaquin Valley Railroad. Organized on January 15, 1890 by Fresno businessmen Thomas E. Hughes, Fulton Berry, Gilbert R. Osmun, H.D. Colson, John D. Gray, and William M. Williams, in partnership with Michigan railroad speculator Marcus Pollasky, the SJVRR began construction in Fresno on July 4, 1891 and reached the farmlands of Clovis Cole and George Owens by October of that year. The railroad purchased right-of-way from both farmers, half from each - the east side from Cole and the west side from Owens - and ran tracks up the borderline between the two properties. The railroad agreed to establish a station on the west side of the tracks and to call it "Clovis". The Clovis station, after which the town was named, was on the Owens side of the track.

Cole and Owens later sold land to the person of Marcus Pollasky for development of a townsite. Fresno civil engineer Ingvar Tielman mapped the townsite on behalf of Marcus Pollasky and recorded the townsite map on December 29, 1891. The original townsite featured streets named for the officers and principal investors of the railroad – (Benjamin)Woodworth, (Marcus)Pollasky, Fulton (Berry), (Thomas) Hughes, (Gerald)Osmun, and (O. D.) Baron. The townsite, named Clovis by its owner Marcus Pollasky, was laid out on what was originally Owens' land.

The railroad was completed as far as the town of Hamptonville (now Friant) on the banks of the San Joaquin River, just 26 miles (42 km) from its point of origin in Fresno. Following a celebration of the completion of tracklaying in November, 1891, the railroad began official operation in January 1892.

The first year of operation of the railroad coincided with the beginnings of a deep national economic decline. Farmers were unable to get profitable return on their crops, banks and railroads failed nationwide. The SJVRR was unable to generate sufficient revenues to pay its debt, was leased to the Southern Pacific Railroad and subsequently bought by SPRR in 1893. The completion in 1894 of the lumber flume from the Shaver Lake mills to a yard in Clovis adjacent to the SJVRR track provided the impetus for further development of the area around the Clovis Station and the town began to take shape as lumber yard employees build homes close to their employment. Service businesses, churches, and schools became necessary, and the town was begun.

At the same time as the railroad was being constructed, a group of Michigan lumbermen began acquiring thousands of acres of timber in the Sierra Nevada Mountains east of Clovis. They built a dam on Stevenson Creek and created a lake that would enable them to move freshly cut lumber to a mill located next to the lake. They then constructed a 42-mile (68 km), 25-foot (7.6 m) high, V-shaped flume that started at the foot of the dam. As lumber was rough cut at the mill, it was loaded into the flume and propelled by water to a planing mill in the new town of Clovis.

The first post office opened in 1895.[1]

Fresno newspapers in 1896 described Clovis as a growing town of nearly 500 homes and businesses. Clovis was incorporated as a city in 1912. Principal streets in the town center are still named for the railroad's officers, except for Fulton Street, which was later named Front Street, then Main Street, and is now Clovis Avenue.

The last surviving structure built by the railroad is a depot now located near the site of the original Clovis Station. It has been long believed that this depot originally stood on the Tarpey Ranch near the intersection of Ashlan and Clovis Avenues. Evidence has surfaced that the depot may have been originally on the Las Palmas vineyards. In 1999 it was moved to its present location in the town's center, at the northeast corner of Clovis Avenue and Fourth Street, and was restored by the Clovis Historical Society in partnership with local businesses and contractors.

Clovis has a long history as a western town known for its slogan, "Clovis - A Way of Life." Since 1914, the Clovis Rodeo has been held on the last weekend in April, with a parade on Saturday morning, followed by the rodeo that afternoon and all day Sunday. Also contributing to the "Clovis way of life" are a number of street festivals, including Big Hat Days, ClovisFest, and the weekly Friday Night Farmer's Market held between mid-May and mid-September every year.

Many buildings in the town core have been renovated. Older storefronts on Clovis Avenue, the main street running through town, have been restored and new buildings have been designed with facades that resemble those found in the early 20th century. The historic center, with its fresh new look, has been reborn as "Old Town Clovis."


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 23.03 square miles (37.07 km²), all of it land.

Clovis is situated midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, bordering Fresno, in the agriculturally rich San Joaquin Valley. Lying at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, which includes Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks, Clovis has been known as "Gateway to the Sierras" since its incorporation in 1912.

The formation of alluvial fans in this part of the San Joaquin Valley has led to a rather flat regional geography. The Clovis area has active and potentially active seismic fault zones.[3] The elevation of Clovis is approximately 355 feet (108 m) above mean sea datum[4] According to the Flood Hazard Boundary Map produced by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, part of Clovis is within the 100-year flood zone, such as some of the area near the Clovis Towne Center. The groundwater flow in Clovis is generally to the southwest.

Clovis, California
Climate chart (explanation)
average max. and min. temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: / NWS


Clovis, like much of Central California has year-round pleasant weather:
-On average, the warmest month is July.
-The highest recorded temperature was 115°F in 1905.
-On average, the coolest month is December.
-The lowest recorded temperature was 17°F in 1913.
-The maximum average precipitation occurs in March.


As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 68,468 people, 24,347 households, and 17,675 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,000.2 people per square mile (1,544.1/km²). There were 25,250 housing units at an average density of 1,475.2/sq mi (569.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 75.82% White, 1.90% Black or African American, 1.50% Native American, 6.49% Asian, 0.16% Pacific Islander, 9.50% from other races, and 4.64% from two or more races. 20.27% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 24,347 households out of which 41.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.4% were married couples living together, 13.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.4% were non-families. 22.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.79 and the average family size was 3.29.

In the city the population was spread out with 30.7% under the age of 18, 9.2% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 9.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 92.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $42,283, and the median income for a family was $50,859. Males had a median income of $39,630 versus $28,072 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,690. About 7.6% of families and 10.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.1% of those under age 18 and 7.1% of those age 65 or over.

The population, as of 2007, is over 92,000.

Clovis Image Gallery

Clovis Unified School District

  • Elementary schools
Cedarwood, Century, Clovis, Cole, Copper Hills, Cox, Dry Creek, Fancher Creek, Fort Washington, Freedom, Fugman, Garfield, Gettysburg, Jefferson, Liberty, Lincoln, Maple Creek,Miramonte, Mountain View, Nelson, Pinedale, Red Bank,

Reagan Elementary, Riverview, Sierra Vista, Tarpey, Temperance-Kutner, Valley Oak, Weldon Harold L. Woods, Bud Rank

  • Middle schools
Clark Intermediate, Kastner Intermediate, Alta Sierra Intermediate, Reyburn Intermediate, Granite Ridge Intermediate
  • High schools
Buchanan High School, Clovis East High School, Clovis High School, Clovis West High School, Clovis North High School, Enterprise High School, Excel High School Gateway High School,
  • Area Colleges
Institute of Technology, State Center Community College

Notable Residents


  1. ^ a b Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Quill Driver Books. p. 1018. ISBN 9781884995149. 
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographical Names Information System: Clovis, California
  3. ^ Phase I Environmental Site Assessment, Clovis Towne Center, Clovis, California, Earth Metrics Inc report 10283, October, 1989
  4. ^ U.S. Geological Survey, Clovis, California, 7.5 Minute Quadrangle, 1964, photorevised 1972).
  5. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links

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