Mineral King Fruit Company

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Main Location

Visalia, CA

The Mineral King Fruit Company was a California-based dried fruit grower and dryer, with headquarters in the Santa Clara valley, and orchards near Tulare and Visalia in the San Joaquin valley. The company was founded by San Jose orchardists George and Charles Fleming. In 1892, Fleming and others bought the 660 acre Richard Chatten ranch near Visalia, with intentions to immediately plant 200 acres of fruit trees[1]. This property adjoined the Jacobs fruit ranch already owned by the George A Fleming Company. The new company (formed with George and Charles Fleming, W. L. Woodrow, T. Wood, T.W. Hobson, T.S. Whipple, E.B. Lewis, and C.J. Fleming) was incorporated as the Mineral King Fruit Company.[2]

At one time, Mineral King had the largest packing plant in the world[3] The company required a $7 per share assessment on shareholders in 1904[4].

In 1913, J. H. Henry was the president, with J. W. Macaulay secretary and manager. At the time, the company owned 300 acres of prune orchards and drying plant, and produced 750 tons of prunes in the previous year. At that time, Mineral King sold primarily through J. K. Armsby, and packed at Armsby's Visalia plant[5].

The company was also responsible for agricultural development around Visalia, and helped set up ditches and canals in the area. The company also built a new concrete warehouse in the San Joaquin valley in 1917[6].

A 1898 lawsuit describes a bit of the activity in the packing house, and notes that a "Fleming" was operating the packing house at the time[7].

See Also

History of prunes in the Southern San Joaquin Valley[8].


Location Years Address Details
San Jose 1906 49 South First Street
Visalia 1891[9]


  1. Richard Chatten: in History of Tulare and Kings Counties, California. Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, 1913.
  2. Mineral King Fruit Co. and A Large Orchard: [January 9, 1892 Pacific Rural Press].
  3. "The Sunsweet Story" mentions both the San Jose founders and the size of the packing house.
  4. Notice of Assessment: April 7, 1904 Evening News
  5. September 16, 1913 California Fruit News
  6. Robert Couchman, Sunsweet Story. Sunsweet Growers, 1967.
  7. Peterson Bros. vs Mineral King Fruit Company, 74 P. 162 (CAL. 1903), decided October 16, 1903
  8. 1920 article
  9. Eugene E. Menefee, History of Tulare and King Counties, California.