Fowler, California, is a small community located in the San Joaquin Valley approximately 5 miles south of Fresno. Fowler is considered one of Fresno County’s best-kept secrets. With its distinct “Americana” atmosphere, friendly citizens, close proximity to Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks, and just a few hours’ drive to San Francisco, the Central Coast, and Los Angeles – it’s considered a great place to live and work.
Fowler is unique – while it offers a small town charm, it is also a progressive community on the move. It is an ideal place for new businesses due to its prime central location, proximity to Southern Pacific railroad, major highways and business routes such as Highway 99, Golden State Boulevard, and Manning Avenue. It also offers plenty of land for business expansion projects and economic development in its large industrial corridor. Fowler is also known for its well-kept neighborhoods, attractive downtown, highly acclaimed school district, and its quality affordable housing.
Fresno County is located in the northern portion of the U.S. state of California. It was the traditional homeland of Yokuts and Mono peoples, stumbled upon by Spaniards during a search for suitable mission sites. In 1846, this area became part of the United States as a result of the Mexican War.
Fresno County was formed in 1856. Fresno is Spanish for “ash tree” and it was in recognition of the abundance of the shrubby local Ash, Fraxinus dipetala, growing along the San Joaquin River that it received its name.
The settling of Fresno County was not without its conflicts, land disputes, and other natural disasters. Floods caused immeasurable damage elsewhere and fires also plagued the settlers of Fresno County. In 1882, the greatest of the early day fires wiped out an entire block of the city of Fresno and was followed by another devastating blaze in 1883.
At the same time, residents brought irrigation, electricity, and extensive agriculture to the area. Moses Church developed the first canals, called “Church Ditches,” for irrigation. These canals allowed extensive cultivation of wheat. Francis Eisen, leader of the wine industry in Fresno County, also began the raisin industry in 1875, when he accidentally let some of his grapes dry on the vine. A.Y. Easterby and Clovis Cole (aka the “Wheat King of the Nation”) developed extensive grain and cattle ranches. These and other citizens laid the groundwork for the cultivation of Fresno County – now one of the nation’s leading agricultural regions.
Fowler, formerly known as Fowler’s Switch, has a population of almost six thousand. It is a strong agricultural community, with lush grape vineyards and expansive farmland. Fowler is located 11 miles southeast of downtown Fresno, at an elevation of 308 feet. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.5 square miles, all of it land.
Fowler’s first post office opened in 1882 and the city was incorporated June 15, 1908. The community was named for rancher Thomas Fowler, early 1870s California state senator.
Drug Abuse in Fowler
Like many California towns, Fowler has its share of struggles with drug addiction. Some statistics provided by the Fresno County Network of Care:
It is estimated that the total economic cost of alcohol and drug abuse is more than $240 billion annually. About $97 billion is due to drug abuse. This estimate includes abuse treatment, prevention costs, health care, costs due to reduced job productivity or lost earnings, crime and social welfare.
In the 1960s, 7 percent of new female drinkers were ages 10 to 14. Today the figure is at 31 percent.
Ten to 30 million children worldwide are orphaned and must support themselves by working, begging, stealing, selling sex and trafficking illicit substances. Estimates say that up to 90 percent of these street children use substances of one kind or another. The initial use of a substance among street children is known to be as early as age 5.
Inhalant use is most prevalent among young children and usually, entails inhaling or huffing household items such as shoe polish or paint thinner. More than 1,000 products widely available in households can be used as inhalants.
There is a direct connection to the use of methamphetamine and the American work ethic. As many as 9.4 million Americans have used the drug at least once. Many users are workers, high school students and truck drivers.
Every day, 3,000 kids become regular smokers, and a third of them will eventually die of tobacco-related causes. Meanwhile, two out of three 12- to 17-year-olds who smoked cigarettes in the last year show signs of addiction.
The opioid epidemic sweeping America, particularly the rural parts of northern California, has also had its impact on the area. Luckily, a wide range of options exists for both prevention and rehabilitation of substance abuse.