A Nonprofit for the Preservation of Visalia’s Historic Structures and Resources

was founded in 1978 by a group of concerned citizens alarmed by the growing number of demolitions in Visalia’s historic neighborhoods. With no formal protections in place for these homes and buildings, something had to be done.

Through partnership with the City, thousands of properties were cataloged and photographed by 160 volunteers over a six-month period. The City then prepared a report called the Historic Preservation Element, which recommended establishing a Local Register of Historic Structures, an Historic District, and an Historic Preservation Ordinance, along with a City Historic Preservation Advisory Committee to oversee these properties. Separately the report recommended that a private, nonprofit organization was also needed.

As a result, VISALIA HERITAGE was founded.

Three distinct areas make up the Historic District which contains thousands of buildings with 350 of those properties listed on the Local Register of Historic Structures.

The homes shown in these old photos are all listed on the Local Register and still stand today – just a small cross section of many beautiful buildings that were saved and preserved through the efforts of
VISALIA HERITAGE, the City, and may Visalians since 1978.

Now in our 46th year, the work of VISALIA HERITAGE continues and we are still focused on the preservation of our collective past through community engagement.

Visalia Heritage’s Accomplishments Since Inception

Visalia Heritage Room
at The Lofts at Fort Visalia

People inside museum with history photos
Opening reception held December 7, 2023

This mini museum tells a visual story of Visalia’s first 100 years through photos of early Visalia and a diorama of Fort Visalia. Located downtown at 340 East Oak Avenue, the Heritage Room at the Lofts is on the site of Visalia’s first structure built by European settlers when they first arrived in 1852.

Visit Monday – Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Visalia Then and Now
Walking Tour

Scan the QR Code or click on the link to start the
Walking Tour video

Or pick up a printed version at Visit Visalia at 112 E. Main Street

This tour was created in partnership with Visit Visalia

Currently Underway is
the Creation of Visalia’s History Museum & Heritage Center

Visalia Heritage intends to be vibrant and inclusive in celebrating and preserving the rich cultural heritage of our community. We envision opening a center that serves as a catalyst for cultural exchange, education, and engagement, fostering a deep sense of pride and connection to our collective past. Through dynamic exhibits, immersive experiences, and interactive programming, we aim to inspire curiosity, promote understanding, and ignite a passion for our diverse heritage. By embracing our history and traditions, we strive to create a shared space where people of all backgrounds can come together to celebrate, learn, and grow, ensuring that our cultural legacy continues to thrive for generations to come.

Rendering of a building
Rendering of Future
Visalia’s Museum and Cultural Center

Would you like to be a part of this exciting endeavor?

VISALIA HERITAGE is a 501(c)3 Nonprofit Corporation founded in 1978 to celebrate and uphold Visalia’s rich heritage through preservation of historic structures and resources for future generations.


JOIN OR RENEW YOUR ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP this month to support the work of Visalia Heritage. With your annual membership you will receive free or discounted entrance to certain Visalia Heritage events in the coming year and receive our email newsletter.

Members who joined in or after October 2023 do not have to renew until next year.


$25 Individual——$50 Couple/Family——$10 Student