About This Place
Kingsburg (formerly, Kings River Switch, Drapersville, Kingsburgh and Wheatville) is a city in Fresno County, California. Kingsburg is located 5 miles (8 km) southeast of Selma at an elevation of 302 feet (92 m), on the banks of the Kings River. The city is half an hour away from Fresno, and two hours away from the California Central Coast and Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. The population was 11,382 at the 2010 census.
Kingsburg was established as a railroad town, its site set by the Central Pacific Railroad when it completed the Valley Line in 1873. In the early 1870s, Swedish natives settled in a railroad town called "Kings River Switch". In 1874 the present town site was drawn up and the name was changed to "Kingsbury". Two years later it became "Kingsburgh" and in 1894 took on its present spelling, "Kingsburg", which was finally established as a town in 1908. By 1921, ninety-four percent of the population within a three-mile radius of Kingsburg was Swedish-American, giving the community the nickname of "Little Sweden". To keep up with the town's Swedish history they have most retail businesses designed in Swedish architecture.
For much of the town's history the fields around Kingsburg were mostly grape vineyards which produce mainly raisin and table grapes; however in 2002 a large surplus of raisins and grapes drove the price for these commodities down to an all time low. Subsequently, farmers were forced to replant the fields with stone fruit, or (particularly on the west side of town) sell their land to developers to help cope with the rising population. Kingsburg is the headquarters of Sun-Maid Growers of California, a producer of raisins and other dried fruits. Kingsburg is home to the world's largest box of raisins, built by students at California State University, Fresno.