Welcome to Hanford, California
"Welcome to Hanford, CA."
The City of Hanford is described by the Hanford Visitor Agency as one of California's "Hidden Treasures" . The metaphor is delightful for this little treasure of a city, tucked away between I-5 and Highway 99 ( which links the rural towns of the Central Valley ). Hanford is the county seat of Kings County in the heart of California's fertile San Joaquin Valley. This great valley in the interior of the state is the bountiful source of a treasure of Ag riches for the entire world, including, dairying, cattle and cotton. Hanford had its roots in the expansion of the Southern Pacific Railroad system in the 1870's. James Madison Hanford, the highly respected railroad paymaster, land agent, and assistant to the railroad president, was given the honor of selecting the new town site and giving it his name. The site was established in 1877 near a Chinese shepards simple camp. The city was incorporated in 1891. The name Kings County has a royal association. It was named for the Kings River, its western and northern boundaries, upon independance. "The River Kings" was the English translation of the name given by the early Spanish explorers to commemorate the holy day when they first set eyes on the river in 1805. The monarchs in this case were the Three Holy Kings, the wise men from the New Testament Christmas Story. It is needless to say that Hanford holds a great deal of history and treasures to explore. Hanford won the Helen Putnam Award for Excellence from the League of California Cities in 1985 and 1986. It also received American City/County Magazine's Urban Development Award in 1986. The city has also been honored as "Tree City, USA" several times by the National Arbor Day Foundation. Hanford's most recent acheivment was to win the national award for being one of the five "Prettiest Painted Places in America", judged by Better Home and Gardens and Architecture Magazine. Come visit our small little peice of history and enjoy....
"A History of Chinese Americans in Hanford"
China Alley is a short street in Hanford which served as the major center for Chinese Americans in Kings County. Chinese Americans who settled in teh Hanford area were employed in railroad construction and the production of fruits and vegetables in the San Joaquin Valley. The Taoist Temple, an historic property listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is located in China Alley. Several of the brick buildings along China Alley stand vacant today including the L.T. Sue Herb Co. shop. The herb company was founded by Lok Ting Sue, a famous Chinese American herb doctor who had many patients, both Chinese and White, and was very successful financially. Chinese herb doctors were often patrionized in the nineteenth century because western medicine was not always reliable, and its methods were often extreme, such as the practice of bleeding. Chinese herbal medicine, though not always effective, was not harmful, and it had centuries of use behind it.