Old Picture of Raymond with general store on right

Raymond, California - On the old stage road to Yosemite

Welcome to Raymond

Located between Madera and Oakhurst in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains near Yosemite National Park, the small town of Raymond has played an important part in the history and development of the surrounding mountain communities and Yosemite. As mining and logging have come and gone and as other little towns have become just memories, Raymond has quietly refused to die. Although not as grand or big as it once was, the residents of this area love their mountains and, with very little coasing are happy to tell stories of days gone by.

Raymond was the hub of travel from the valley to Yosemite and high Sierra pastures. It was at one time the major shipping point of all freight heading for the hills. Beginning in 1886, it had its own railroad with a turntable in the middle of town. This rail line was at first built specifically to get tourists to the Washburns' hotel in Wawona - tourists such as President Teddy Roosevelt. The railroad allowed the granite from local quarries at Raymond-Knowles to be transported for building in far away places. Today the quarry at Knowles still produces granite eagerly sought after by builders. Always a cattle ranching area from early on, Raymond has a reputation for being the home of real cowboys and great range land.

The people of Raymond-Knowles pride themselves on their feeling of community. And today the hills again are resounding to the sounds of hammers as newcomers who have discovered the area's uniqueness build their own homesteads.

The Raymond Parade - The 3rd? Saturday in April

In 1986, Maderan Cleo Martin representing the Golden State Parade Assoc. approached the Quinns, then owners of the Raymond General Store, with an unusual request. Would Raymond sponser a parade? The group was looking for a place to have a learners' parade and Raymond fit the bill. An so the Raymond Parade was born, with a $1 entry fee the first year. Sponsered and put on with the volunteer effort of the community, the parade is known for its friendly, non-competitive atmosphere.

On Parade day the streets of Raymond come alive with the sounds of horses and tack, children's laughter, and old friends greeting each other. If you close your eyes, it's Saturday in the 1880's and the miners, quarry workers, and ranchers have once again come to town for a good time. The kids are headed to the store for penny candy and the women get a chance to visit. All that's missing today is the sound of the train whistle.

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