Kingsburg Travel Guide

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The history of Kingsburg is unique with its single ethnic origin. In the early 1870s, news of good farming, warm climate and free government land prompted two Swedish natives to settle in a Central Pacific Railroad (now Union Pacific) town called "Kings River Switch". In 1874 the present town site was drawn up and the name was changed to "Kingsbury". Two years later it became "Kingsburgh" and in 1894 took on its present spelling, "Kingsburg".

Before widespread irrigation, huge wheat farms were the source of Valley wealth and problems. Transient workers with no ties to any community spent their wages in the saloons of whatever town they found themselves. Overindulgence often resulted in gunshot-punctuated exuberance that often spilled into the streets. Kingsburg was no different. By 1886 there were four hotels and several saloons causing consternation to a growing town population. Alarmed community leaders, hoping to incorporate their city, led the fight to clean up the town. The fight was between "drys" who wanted all saloons within the city limits closed, and "wets" who wanted to maintain status quo. On May 11, 1908, "drys" won the day. Kingsburg was incorporated and all but two saloons were closed.

In 1921, ninety-four percent of the population within a three-mile radius of Kingsburg was Swedish-American, giving the community the nickname of "Little Sweden."

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