Early Fresno

Anatomy of a Frontier Town: Maynard Dixon’s Fresno

“Anatomy of a Frontier Town: Maynard Dixon’s Fresno” was researched and written in the 1995-96 school year by students from Bullard T.A.L.E.N.T. School, Bill Coate’s 5th-grade class (Fresno, California).

Maynard Dixon, a renowned artist of the West, was born in Fresno California in 1875, just three years after its founding. Dixon left his hometown when he was 17 or 18 years old and never came back. His future was too bright and his vision too broad for the confines of frontier Fresno

Maynard Dixon went on to carve a niche in the world of painting, and his somewhat turbulent life became well known. His boyhood in Fresno, however, remained cloudy until the discovery of his mother’s diary in the Southern Historical Collection of the University of North Carolina. This document was loaned to the Madera Method for study and publication by its students.

The Dixon diary rips away the curtain of time and reveals not only the early life of Maynard Dixon but that of the tiny town in which he grew up. The reader of “Anatomy of a Frontier Town” catches rare glimpses of both the boy and his town in their infancy.

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