Clovis is a city in Fresno County, California, adjacent to the larger city of Fresno. As of 2006, the city had an estimated population of 89,924. Situated midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, bordering Fresno, in the agriculturally rich San Joaquin Valley, Clovis is known as the "Gateway to the Sierras;" the city's nickname signifys its location at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, which includes Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks.
The city first formed as a freight stop along the San Joaquin Valley Railroad that was organized on January 15, 1890 by Thomas E. Hughes, a Fresno businessmen, along with his partners. The project began construction on July 4, 1891 and reached the farmlands of Clovis Cole and George Owens by October of that year. Rights-of-way were purchased from both farmers. Tracks were laid between the two properties and a station was built and named Clovis. The property was later sold by the farmers to Marcus Polasky and by 1891, Fresno civil engineer Ingvar Tielman mapped the site for city's development.
Since its early days, the city has thrived because of its rich farmland and transportation resources. Today Clovis maintains its frontier heritage and the preservation of its history. The city's slogan "Clovis - A Way of Life" is celebrated annually since 1914 with events like the Clovis Rodeo and Parade, and street festivals like Big Hat Days, ClovisFest, and the weekly Friday Night Farmer's Market. Sites in the original city have been renovated in recent years. Older storefronts on Clovis Avenue reflect the history of the town with reconstructed facades that resemble those found early in the 20th century. A prime example of this is the Historic Center which promotes "Old Town Clovis" with exhibits of local artifacts and narrative displays. The last surviving structure built by the railroad is the depot, located near the site of the original Clovis Station. Other notable sites and attractions include Cottonwood Park, Clovis Towne Center, and Helm Canal.