Different kind of ranch reunion

Tagus Ranch, in central California between Tulare and Visalia, was an agriculture icon where, at one time, 7,000 acres of boysenberries, blackberries, peaches and cotton were raised. It was a magnet for Dust Bowl refugees made famous in The Grapes of Wrath. The ranch had worker camps, a post office, a school and a company store, and paid its workers with Tagus dollars good only at the Tagus store.

Reunion organizer Ernie Dodson was 10 when he moved from Oklahoma with his family and started to work in the berry fields. “The majority of the people who worked there were just hard-working families trying to make a living,” Dodson said. Anyone who lived or worked at the ranch was invited.

From a story by Shannon Darling in the Visalia Times-Delta, Visalia, California.