Explore the Fascinating History of The Lofts at Fort Visalia

In December, Self Help Enterprises unveiled its newest housing development, The Lofts at Fort Visalia. But the intriguing name is just the beginning of this extraordinary project. In this article, we'll delve into the rich...

In December, Self Help Enterprises unveiled its newest housing development, The Lofts at Fort Visalia. But the intriguing name is just the beginning of this extraordinary project. In this article, we'll delve into the rich history behind this landmark and the exciting events happening at Visalia Heritage.

Fort Visalia: Where It All Began

Visalia Heritage, a passionate advocate for preserving the city's historic buildings and resources, decided to kick off their first event at the very spot where it all began - Fort Visalia. Local historian Terry Ommen will be guiding participants through its intriguing history.

The fort was initially built in 1852 as a protective structure against the local Native People. Inside its walls, the first settlers found safety, while farming the neighboring land during the day. As time went on, the fort was no longer needed, and the settlers started building homes and other structures nearby. This area eventually became known as "Spanishtown," notorious for its rowdy frontier ambiance, filled with bordellos, saloons, and dance halls.

The Lofts at Fort Visalia: A Tribute to History

The Lofts at Fort Visalia is a housing development that not only provides much-needed low-income housing but also pays homage to the rich history of the site. Prior to construction, archaeological work was conducted, unearthing a few fascinating artifacts. These artifacts will be showcased at the event, giving visitors a glimpse into the past.

Guests will also have the opportunity to explore the Fort Visalia Heritage Room, which houses a detailed scale model of the fort. Additionally, historical plaques adorn the entrance, further enriching the historical experience.

A Musical Journey Through Time

To fully immerse participants in the historical ambiance, local fiddler Tim Johnson will be serenading the crowd with his enchanting music. Johnson, who started playing the fiddle at a young age, has had a remarkable career, performing with renowned groups like the Sons of the San Joaquin. Don't miss this chance to experience the magic of his performance.

Join the Adventure

This unique event is free and open to the public, making it accessible for anyone who wants to learn more about Visalia's captivating history. Mark your calendars for Saturday, Feb. 24, at 2 p.m., with the fiddling music commencing at 1:30 p.m. The venue is located at The Lofts at Fort Visalia, 340 E. Oak St.

For more information, contact Visalia Heritage at (559) 972-4872 or visit their website at www.visaliaheritage.org.

Rick and Susan Mangini are shown by a newly created diorama at the Fort Visalia Heritage Room in Visalia, Calif., Monday, Dec. 4, 2023 Caption: Rick and Susan Mangini exploring the Fort Visalia Heritage Room, which showcases the old lumberyard and the original site of Fort Visalia, the first European settlement that founded the town.

Come and immerse yourself in the history of Visalia at The Lofts at Fort Visalia. Witness the convergence of past and present as you explore the living legacy of this remarkable city.

1