Exeter, California

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Exeter is a city in Tulare County, California, United States. The town of Exeter is situated near the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.

Exeter is located on State Highway 65, 2 miles (3.2 km) south of Highway 198 and 15 miles (24 km) east of Highway 99. Exeter is within a 3 to 4 hour drive of both Los Angeles and San Francisco, and 30 minutes from the entrance to Sequoia National Park.

The public school system in Exeter consists of: Exeter Union High School (9-12), Wilson Middle School (6-8), Rocky Hill Elementary (3-5), Lincoln Elementary (K-2) and Kaweah High School (a continuation high school). The 1999-2000 enrollment was: grades K-8, 1,936 and grades 9-12, 1101 students.

Exeter’s population is over 10,347.

Elevation : 350–575 feet (110–175 m) above sea level

Average rainfall : 11.47 inches (291 mm)



Before the arrival of European settlers, Native Americans settled an area in an oak forest two miles north of Exeter. The town site was a plain that possessed elk, antelope and deer.[1]

The town site traces its roots to the construction of a railroad lines through the San Joaquin Valley, by 1888 a line passed through the area. A representative of the Southern Pacific Railroad, D.W. Parkhurst, purchased the land from an early settler, John Firebaugh, and formed the town which he named after his own hometown of Exeter, England.[1]

After water supplies were established, agriculture grew in the surrounding areas and drove the growth of the community. Cattle ranching also grew, led by the Gill Cattle Company, which opened in the late 1800s and was once the largest such business in the United States.[1] In October, 1929, Exeter was the site of a large Anti-Filipino race riot. A mob stormed a Filipino work camp, bludgeoning 50 Filipino laborers and burning their camp to the ground. This race-riot sparked a wave of Anti-Filipino hatred on the West Coast. [2]

Professional artists depicting the history of the area have painted huge murals on exterior walls throughout the downtown area. There are currently 28 murals in this outdoor art gallery and more are planned.[3]

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