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California Counties
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California Counties

The state of California is divided into fifty-eight counties. On January 4, 1850, the California constitutional committee recommended the formation of 18 counties. They were Benicia, Butte, Fremont, Los Angeles, Mariposa, Monterey, Mount Diablo, Oro, Redding, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Sonoma, and Sutter. The last California county to have been established is Imperial County in 1907.

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Tulare County, California

Tulare County Education, Geography, and HistoryTulare County, Califronia Courthouse

Tulare County is a county in the state of California. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 442,179. Its county seat is Visalia. Tulare county was created on  April 20, 1852. The county is named for Tulare Lake, once the largest freshwater lake west of the Great Lakes. Drained for agricultural development, the site is now in Kings County, which was created in 1893 from the western portion of the formerly larger Tulare County.

Tulare County comprises the Visalia-Porterville, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area. The county is located south of Fresno, spanning from the San Joaquin Valley east to the Sierra Nevada.

Etymology - Origin of Tulare County Name

 While hunting for deserters in 1772, Commandante Fages discovered a great lake surrounded by marshes and filled with rushes which he named Los Tules (the tules). It is from this lake that the county derives its name. The root of the name Tulare is found in the Mexican word tullin, designating cattail or similar reeds.


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

Tulare County History

Tulare county was created in 1852 at the same time Siskiyou and Sierra counties were designated, the large area was maintained until 1856, when Fresno County was created from territory taken from Tulare, Mariposa and Merced counties. In 1861 part of the eastern territory was cut off and joined with parts of Fresno, Mariposa and Calaveras in forming Mono County. Kern County, cut from the southern part of Tulare, was originated as Buena Vista County in 1855. The county was not officially termed Kern until 1866. That portion of Tulare lying east of the Sierras, with a portion of Mono, was set apart for Coso County in 1864, the name being changed to Inyo County in 1866. In 1872 the southern boundaries of Tulare and Inyo were changed by placing them on the sixth standard parallel south of Mount Diablo, thus drawing a direct line across the state, which still forms the northern boundary of San Luis Obispo, Kern and San Bernardino counties. In 1874 the Fresno-Tulare line was re-formed, placing the boundary along township and section lines rather than along the mountain ridges as theretofore. In 1875-76 another slight change in the Fresno-Tulare line was made, returning to Fresno five square townships, this boundary continuing to the present time. In 1893 Kings County was created from the western part of Tulare.

Tulare County consists of 4,863 square miles, or 3,158,400 acres. 

The county has an interesting historical quality which dates back to 1770. The first Americans to visit the valley came after 1800. The settling of the country about Visalia, the creation of the county, the struggles of the early settlers, the wars with the Indians, and the growth and development of the country present an interesting story which can be found in a number of the published histories for the county.

Geography: Land and Water

Tulare County, California is one of the largest counties in  San Joaquin Valley. Geographically it is situated about midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, the two principal cities of the Pacific Slope.

The county, with mountain masses covering nearly half of its area on the eastern side and the balance of its expanse a level and fertile plain, originally extended from Mariposa County, on the north, to the Los Angeles County line, on the south, and from the summit of the Coast Range Mountains, on the west, to the summit of the Sierra Nevadas on the east.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Northeast: Inyo County
  • South: Kern County
  • West: Kings County
  • Northwest: Fresno County


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