January 26, 2011
One of Tulare County's most prestigious landmarks - once destroyed by vandals - will be rededicated by the Tulare County Historical Society in February.
The public is invited to attend the free rededication of The Charter Oak, better known as the Election Tree, at 11 a.m. on February 5. (Directions Below)
The site of the Election Tree marks the location of the election by which Tulare County was organized on July 10, 1852, said Delora Buckman, president of the Tulare County Historical Society.
"This is where Tulare County local government was founded," Buckman said. "This is a must-attend event for residents who are interested in County history."
Tulare County Supervisor Phil Cox said the first County election literally gave birth to the establishment of Tulare County.
"On that day, county voters elected our first Sheriff, District Attorney, County Clerk, Recorder, Treasurer, Coroner, and the first County Surveyor," Supervisor Cox said.
He noted the state Legislature took action on April 20, 1852 to formally authorize the organization of Tulare County as a governmental agency, appointed the first members of the Board of Commissioners (now known as Supervisors), and calling for the election held just a few months later under the Election Tree.
Buckman said the event re-dedicates the Election Tree granite monument that marks the proximity of the first election in Tulare County. The original Election Tree Marker, placed at the election site on a large granite stone in 1949, was illegally removed on June 12, 2009.
"Community members from throughout Tulare County have shared their disbelief and concern over the destruction of this historic monument that is the birthplace of Tulare County," Buckman said.
The event will feature music, a Boy Scout Troop who will introduce the colors and comments from officials representing the Tulare County Board of Supervisors, Tulare County Historical Society and the Tulare County Sheriff's Department.
Directions from Visalia:
Go west on Hwy 198, take Farmersville exit.
Go north on overpass and turn right onto Ave. 296.
Go east on Ave. 296 briefly to Road 168.
Turn left on Road 168.
Travel on Road 168 approx. 3 miles to Charter Oak Drive (at railroad tracks).
Turn right on Charter Oak Drive, follow scenic road approx 1 ½ - 2 miles.
Dedication site on the right.