Submitted by the North Fork History Group —
Let’s go back in time for a few moments…
REMEMBER in 1995, Huell Howser of the TV show “California’s Gold” visited North Fork to ask the question – is North Fork the exact center of California?
Thanks to Fresno State University and the GPS equipment, the Cal Center, located on National Forest Land, was declared the Exact Center of California. Those words became our Motto – “North Fork, the Exact Center of California.” We bore that proudly on hats, photographs, magnets, videos, etc.
REMEMBER that in 1998, the North Fork History Group, with the permission from the Sierra National Forest, worked at the site to make it attractive to visitors who would visit. Barney and Mark Rohrbaugh volunteered their tractor to haul the 800 lb. rock up the hill to the site. Buckets of cement were hauled up the hill in a powered wheelbarrow.
Volunteers Jerry Thompson and Jake Patton joined members of the North Fork History Group in working the concrete smooth. They chose a simple design depicting a compass rose on which visitors could stand to experience the Center, and send photos back home stating – “I’m standing on the exact center of California!”
BUT – The big celebration came later for the North Fork History Group, complete with champagne, when a brass plaque was inset into the recessed area of the large rock, completing the new monument at the Center of California. A happy ending to a lot of commitment and work from everyone.
BUT – The ending to this story doesn’t end with members toasting what they hoped would be an incentive for people to visit and promote the great community of North Fork.
NO – It ends with a sadness–someone tried to take away the spirit of North Fork by stealing the bronze plaque from the monument. They even scraped around the brass surveyors marker trying to steal that as well.
To those who “tried” to deflate our pride of North Fork – well, you didn’t succeed. The community of North Fork is made up of many very special people who love this town. So beware–we of North Fork are fighters for what we believe in.
The North Fork History Group