Kerman, California

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Coordinates: 36°43′25″N 120°03′36″W / 36.72361°N 120.06°W / 36.72361; -120.06

Kerman (formerly, Collis)[1] is a city at the intersection of State Route 180 and State Route 145 in Fresno County, California, USA. The population was 12,191 at the 2006 census. Kerman is located 15 miles (24 km) west of Fresno,[1] at an elevation of 220 feet (67 m).[2]



Around 1891, the Southern Pacific Railroad Company constructed a new line between Tracy and Fresno. A watering tank and pump on that line was the beginning of Kerman, which was christened Collis in honor of the President of the road, Collis Potter Huntington. The first inhabitant, the caretaker of the pump and tank, kept the tank full of water for the thirsty engines with their long and lumbering trains. After some months, he resigned his job, not because of the work, he said, but because it was too lonesome and he was tired of being a hermit. He said he never saw anyone but the train crews and they were always in too big a hurry to carry on a conversation.

As a speculative venture, the old and very rich Bank of California purchased a huge tract of land in every County of California. The arid, barren land around Kerman seemed to be a good venture, so that happened to be the allotment for Fresno County.

After the death of its promoter, the bank became insolvent and its property was liquidated. The property here attracted the attention of two Los Angeles capitalists, William G. Kerckoff and Jacob Mansar, who saw a chance to purchase a plentiful water supply from the newly constructed Enterprise Canal, which had its source in the Kings River. The men combined the first three letters of each of their names and christined the area "Kerman." They pitched the property to Scandinavians and Germans settled in the Midwest.[1]

The Collis post office was opened in 1894, closed in 1899, re-established in 1904, and renamed Kerman in 1906.[1] Kerman incorporated in 1946.[1]

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