It was 1969 and me and a buddy headed to the outskirts of downtown Fresno to a transmission repair shop. It wasn’t on our itinerary but nearby was a 4 story brick structure that was clearly in the process of falling down because of neglect. I suggested that we go over and investigate and as we got closer we could read the faded letters on its water tower: SUN-MAID RAISINS. I grew up all my life in Fresno but this was my first glimpse of the old Sun-Maid Raisin plant built in 1918. There wasn’t a soul around and an easy hop over the crumbling fence lead us inside. It seemed like every one of the many factory windows had been broken out.
There was twisted metal girders lying here and there and piles of bricks that had fallen from above. We were amazed at all the rooms, staircases and abandoned facilities and began exploring every room we could get into. We were having the time of our lives investigating this old structure, never mind that it could of ended at any moment with something falling on us. When you are 18, you feel invincible and looking back now and was incredible foolish. Apparently the structure had been abandoned in 1965 when Sun-Maid moved their factory to Kingsburg. Did anybody else take a tour of the plant before it was razed?
Tap or Click to Enlarge