Wishon was established in 1923 as the end of the line for the Minarets and Western Railroad which served the mountain lumber industry for a few years before being abandoned. The tracks ran from Wishon on the western end of Bass Lake for 53 miles to Pinedale near the San Joaquin River just north of Fresno. The train’s chief purpose was to carry logs delivered from Central Camp by the Sugar Pine Lumber Company to the mill in Pinedale. For many years rolling stock and other relics of it’s railroading days could be seen around Wishon.
The town was named after an early pioneer of hydroelectric energy production, A. Emory Wishon. He founded the first hydroelectric powerhouse at Bass Lake. This operaton was later purchased by Pacific Gas & Electric Company which still operates several powerhouses in the mountain area. Wishon is surrounded by public picnic areas and campgrounds.
The Sugar Pine Lumber Company went out of business 8 years after Wishon was established. But the post office served the Wishon area until 1986. It was housed in a store in Wishon that was owned by John McDougald who was also the first postmaster. The post office was located on Bass Lake at what today is known as Miller’s Landing.
Wishon Area Schools
The State Center Community College District operates the Oakhurst Center which offers a wide variety of courses including vocational and traditional degree programs.
The central valley city of Fresno is the home to California State University, Fresno. Fresno State, as the locals call it, is known for its strong academic programs and for its ardent sports fans. Fresno state is the home of the Bulldogs.