Seniors Explore Chowchilla

36384275 Yours truly loves a city name like Chowchilla. Let’s pay a visit and see what we can learn that might be of interest to senior travelers. This city of around 19,000 inhabitants, in Madera County, California, lies 37 miles northwest of Fresno and is conveniently located inside the Fresno metropolitan area.

The name “Chowchilla” is derived from the indigenous American tribe of Chaushila Yokut Indians who once lived in the area. The name is apparently a reference to the warlike nature of the Chaushila tribe, later on to be associated with “bravery”. The town’s high school retains the moniker of “Redskins” as their local mascot.


Chowchilla houses two California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation women’s facilities, the Central California Women’s Facility and Valley State Prison for Women.

Seniors Visit A ‘Dig Site’

The development of Chowchilla is closely associated with Mr. Orlando Alison Robertson, who was born in Prosperity, Pennsylvania. Robertson became interested in developing California around 1910 and organized the United States Farm Land Company. He purchased the Chowchilla Ranch on May 22, 1912. On February 7, 1923, the City of Chowchilla was incorporated.


Senior visitors can spend some quality time in Chowchilla. There are a number of parks and recreational facilities. In addition, the city offers bars, casinos, restaurants and shopping centers.

Merced College is nearby. Attractions in the area include Berenda Reservoir, Veteran’s Memorial Park, Meux Home Museum, RC Wisener Park and Sports & Leisure Park. Toss in the clubs and play a round or two at the Pheasant Run Golf Course.

Perhaps you have heard of the proposed rail system in California. Chowchilla is the proposed northern terminus of the first leg of the California High-Speed Rail system. I’d be sure to visit the Fossil Discovery Center, a family-friendly museum and dig site showcasing fossils from the middle Pleistocene period.

 Seniors Experience Western Stampede

Stampede 1

Facebook suggests places for seniors to stay, to eat and to explore. A Classic Car Show will take place on September 24 in Veterans Memorial Park. The local Chamber of Commerce wants you know about Chowchilla’s Luncheon of the Year that is always popular with the locals.

Western Stampede is another big draw that features a herd of cattle driven right though the city. There seems to always be a few visitors who want to view the Chowchilla District Cemetery that maintains manual records.

And I almost forgot to mention the Madera County Fair held in Chowchilla. Seniors set your GPS for Chowchilla and enjoy this California community. -jeb

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