Images of America Woodlake cover

Images of America Woodlake

First Book About Woodlake Since 1940s

An early settler, Grace Pogue wrote a book about Woodlake entitled Within the Magic Circle. Though now out of print, those words still resonate.

Pogue published three books in the 1940s. Until now they served as the only books about Woodlake.


The California town, along with its surrounding valley, is rich in both natural resources and hardworking citizens. Even those who moved from the area remain proud of their heritage.

A successful entrepreneur in southern California, Gilbert Stevenson bought two ranches. One he farmed and one he planted his dream town. On October 13, 1911,the Tulare County Board of Supervisors gave Stevenson approval to create Woodlake.

The town grew from his imagination into reality.  He merged the ranching valley into the tourist town he dreamed.

Inside Images of America Woodlake, Gary Davis and grandfather

Gary Davis and his grandfather Images of America Woodlake p. 92

About the Author

Author Marsha Ingrao credits blogging for the opportunity to write this book. Editor Ginny Rasmussen read an article she wrote about 92-year-old hardware store owner, Morris Bennett. She emailed Marsha and asked if she was interested in the project. After completing a long application, Ingrao began the task of finding photos and researching the history of Woodlake.

What Images of America Books Are Not

This book does not document every event that shaped Woodlake. Instead, it provides an overview of American and Mexican settlement from 1880 to 1980. The rich culture of the Wutchumna Yokuts inhabited the valley before 1853 and continue to live here. Frank Latta wrote Handbook of the Yokuts and many others have followed that do a much better job telling their story.

Kaweah and St. Johns Rivers Flood

Flood of Kaweah & St. John’s Rivers south of Woodlake p. 85

Thank You to Many Contributors

Today family photographs abound on and offline. Over the years fires and floods have ruined many family albums from the past. The “swamp people” caught between the Kaweah St. John’s Rivers lost the most. Tracking down pictures took the author across Tulare County.

Over 40 contributors donated photographs, text, and artifacts. The 128-page book took five months to research, gather materials and complete. Scanning family albums dating back to the 1800s and interviewing families was the adventure of a lifetime. Working with the editors and Arcadia Publishing Company made the process easy and enjoyable.

Supporting the Local High School Students

All proceeds from the sale of this book go to the Woodlake High School Foundation.

If you live near Woodlake, the high school makes a larger profit if you purchase the book locally.  Books are available at WHS High School and District Offices for $20.  We will also deliver to your doorstep – Free in Woodlake or Visalia or for a $2.50 Mailing fee.

Checks should be made out to the Woodlake High School Foundation P.O. Box 475, Woodlake, CA 93286 or you can purchase them at go to the Donate button and put Woodlake History Book on the memo line.  Please feel free to contact me at for more information.  Please share with anyone that you think is interested.