December 26, 2005
Take a trip back in time by driving 11 miles west of downtown Fresno on palm tree-lined Kearney Boulevard to visit the Kearney Mansion and Museum. Open only on weekends, guided tours are offered on the hour each afternoon. The boulevard takes you past the agricultural remnants of Fresno.
M. Theo Kearney was a pioneer of agribusiness here. His story and the history of the area are told by docents who conduct the tours. Located in Kearney Park, the mansion has been maintained in its original condition with many of the original furnishings. The fireplaces in nearly every room are beautiful. The original wallpaper is still intact. Kearney was originally from Liverpool, England. He then went to San Francisco before buying his land in the Fresno area. He became known as the “Raisin King,” as he developed the industry in the region.
Tours last about 45 minutes and there is a small gift shop. The gift shop is open during the week from 10 to 4pm. Group and school tours are available. There is also an online store. It is best to drive your own car, as taxis are nearly nonexistent and very expensive. Be prepared for high temperatures in the summer. The mansion is not air-conditioned.
From journal West Side Fresno