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Episode 4: Chowchilla and Fairmead

We leave last week’s Western Stampede behind but return to the town of Chowchilla to find out more about its history from its Dust Bowl migrants to present day immigrants, including the only Yemeni-American family living in Chowchilla. We also meet the 84-year-old grandson of one of the town’s earliest white settlers. His grandparents sold 150 horses and left the cold weather of North Dakota to start a dairy farm in Chowchilla. Their 1910 house still stands.

Like many towns back then, Chowchilla had racist housing covenants that kept certain groups of people out. But just a couple of miles from town was a place where Black people could actually buy property. At one point, the Black settlement of Fairmead had the largest single dairy in the state. We find out more about Fairmead’s past and what it can teach us today.

Alice Daniel was News Director for KVPR from 2019-2022. Daniel has a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and more than 25 years of experience as a print and radio journalist.