Madera (Spanish for wood), is a city in California and the county seat of Madera County. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city’s population was 61,416, up from 43,207 in 2000. Located in the San Joaquin Valley, Madera is the principal city of the Madera Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is part of the Fresno-Madera-Hanford Combined Statistical Area. The city is also home to the Madera Unified School District. The town was named after the Spanish term for lumber. The town was laid out by the California Lumber Company in 1876. From 1876 to 1931, a 63-mile water flume carried lumber from the mountains to Madera where the lumber was shipped by train.
The first post office at Madera opened in 1877 and the town incorporated on March 27, 1907. One of the city’s first African Americans to hold an elected office was Rev. Naaman N. Haynes, who was voted in as school board trustee in the 1960s.Landmarks include the historic Madera County Courthouse, the notable Madera water tower, and a fully operational drive-in movie theater.Madera is located at 36°57′41″N 120°03′39″W. The geographic center of California is 38 mi (61 km) east of Madera. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.8 square miles (41 km2), all land. Madera is the location of the Madera AVA wine region.
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