Porterville is located along the foothills of the Sierras straddling State Highway 65, The town is 165 miles north of Los Angeles. The City has a strategic central location to major markets and a ready access to major transportation routes.
The discovery of gold in 1848 brought a tremendous migration to California, and prairie schooners rolled through Porterville between 1849 and 1852. Wagon trains of gold seekers passed on through, but other travelers found the land rich and remained to establish farms. A store was set up in 1856 to sell goods to miners and the Indians, who lived on tribal lands along the rivers. Royal Porter Putnam came to the village in 1860 to raise cattle, horses and hogs. He bought 40 acres of land and built a two-story store and a hotel on the highest point of the swampy property – the present day corner of Oak and Main. The town took its name from the founder's given name because another Putnam family lived south of town.

The Southern Pacific Railway brought in the branch line from Fresno in 1888. The Pioneer Hotel and Bank were built by businessmen from San Francisco. Porterville was incorporated in 1902 as miners moved into the area to extract magnetite ore, and the Chamber of Commerce was formed in 1907.

Agriculture has been the major source of economic growth in the area. The City is the center of a large farming area noted especially for citrus and livestock. Industry has become a significant factor in community development. The Wal-Mart Distribution Center, National Vitamin, Beckman Instruments, Standard Register, Sierra Pacific Apparel, Royalty Carpeting and other small companies have facilities in Porterville. Several large public facilities are also located here. These include the Porterville Developmental Center, Sequoia National Forest Headquarters, the Army Corps of Engineers Lake Success Facility, and the Porterville College campus of the Kern Community College District.

City of Porterville
291 N. Main Street
Porterville, CA 93257

Porterville Police Department 559-782-7400
Porterville Fire Department 559-782-7526

Porterville Chamber of Commerce
93 North Main Street, Suite A
Porterville, California 93257
(559) 784-7502