Chowchilla Ranch California. LAND PROMOTION CALIFORNIA.

Chowchilla Ranch California

San Francisco: United States Farm Land Co., [1912].

Single sheet, 18 x 24 inches, folded to form a 4 x 9 inch brochure, with cover image of a bucolic farming scene printed in full color. On one side of the sheet are twelve panels of text and b/w images from photographs. On the verso is a three-color map of California showing the location of United States Farm Land Co. holdings, as well as two smaller plat maps, one of the Chowchilla Ranch, and the other of the City of Chowchilla. Some archival reinforcements, small losses at intersections; good. Two copies located in OCLC (Yale, CHS).

The United States Farm Land Company was founded in 1910 by Orlando Alison Robertson, an experienced land speculator from Minnesota. Robertson purchased the Chowchilla Ranch—a 108,000 acre tract located in the San Joaquin Valley—in 1912, and promptly had it surveyed and divided into tracts for sale to farmers, preserving the northeast corner of the property as a town site. After creating 300 miles of roads, installing a town water system, and building a large hotel, Robertson launched an aggressive marketing campaign. This brochure assures prospective farmers that they “need have no concerns whatever about an abundant supply of water” (groundwater being close to the surface and electricity readily available) and shows off the agricultural bounty of the valley, which produces peaches, apricots, grapes, olives, citrus fruits, almonds, and berries, as well as a steady crop of alfalfa to support the feeding of hogs, cattle, and horses. Robertson set October 15, 1912 as grand opening day for his colonization project. According to the City of Chowchilla website, “some 4,000 people responded to the invitation to look over the new land, see the rodeo and partake of the free barbecue lunch,” and many of them became buyers.

Item #19915


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