unWired Community Spotlight: Madera, CA

unWired Community Spotlight is a series highlighting the communities that make Central California a great place to live. unWired is proud to provide fast and reliable Internet to homes and businesses in Madera and the surrounding areas.

Located in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, Madera was created by California Lumber Company in 1876 and was named after the Spanish word for lumber. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, lumber travelled down a 63-mile water flume from the mountains into Madera, which was named the world’s longest lumber flume in 1900. When the lumber arrived in Madera, it was transported by the Central Pacific Railroad. Since the early 1900s, Madera has exploded into an agricultural center. Top agricultural exports in the area include almonds, pistachios, dairy and figs. In fact, Madera County is #1 in fig production in California.

In addition, Madera is one of the oldest grape growing regions in America and is an official AVA (American Viticultural Area). The Madera AVA produces 10% of the wine grapes in California. Previously, the grapes grown in Madera were used only for low-priced wine; however, in more recent years, the grapes are sent to Napa and Sonoma and are used for more prestigious wines. For those interested in visiting wineries in the Madera AVA, the Madera Wine Trail features eight wineries throughout Madera County.

A lesser-known landmark in Madera is the “Where the Palm Meets the Pine” trees, located in the median on Highway 99, south of Avenue 11. A palm tree to the south and a pine tree to the north symbolizes the center of California and represents the foliage of both Northern and Southern California. Other historic landmarks in Madera include the oldest fully operational drive-in movie theater in California and the former Madera County Courthouse, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

*Photo courtesy of madera.gov

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