Fort Travis, Kings
|Fort Travis, Kings|
|Charter city and county seat|
|City of Fort Travis|
|• Sierran Hanzi||堡 特拉維斯|
From top clockwise: Cattle Drive Row in Downtown Fort Travis at night, the Crosby Convention Center, the University of Fort Travis Bell Tower, the Kern River Oil Field, and stores along Spartans Drive in the Fort Travis Stockyard District
|Nickname(s): Fotra, Cowtown, T-Town, The Golden City|
|Motto(s): "Nothing is Beyond Our Reach"|
Location of Fort Travis in Kings
|Sovereign state||Kingdom of Sierra|
|Counties||Elliot, Ingham, Walker, Washer (seat)|
|Foundation||August 28, 1860|
|Incorporation||February 20, 1878|
|Founded by||Thomas Baker|
|Body||Fort Travis City Council|
|• Mayor||Jamie Adado-Lentz (R)|
|• Baron||Lord Damien, 4th Baron of Crosby|
|• Total||568.52 km2 (219.507 sq mi)|
|• Land||556.45 km2 (214.847 sq mi)|
|• Water||12.1 km2 (4.66 sq mi) 2.12%|
|Elevation||123 m (404 ft)|
|• Density||939/km2 (2,432/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Pacific Standard Time (UTC-8)|
|• Summer (DST)||Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-7)|
|ZIP codes||93220, 93241, 93301–93309, 93311–93314, 93263, 93380–93390, 93399|
|Call codes||601 and 805|
The city was originally started off as an agricultural town by the name of Mosquito Valley. The settlement grew during the California Gold Rush, and was the site of early miners and ranchers. The city played a pivotal role during the Sierran Civil War. It was the closest major settlement under Republican control to Porciúncula. The site of the instrumental Folly at Tejon Pass was located approximately 42 miles due south of Fort Travis. As one of the last cities to fall to the Republicans, it was also the first major settlement to be liberated by the Monarchists. After the war, it was renamed Fort Travis, in honor of General Travis Peters, the Sierran general directly responsible for the settlement's liberation from the Republicans. Fort Travis experienced rapid economic growth thanks to the advent of railroads and refrigerated carts. The construction of this railroad network and new technology allowed the city to transport its meat and other products across the continent. Its cattle and meatpacking industries became the largest of its kind west of the Rockies at the time. The discovery of oil in the region in the early 20th-century, and the wartime economy during both world wars further accelerated Fort Travis' growth. In the late 20th century and early 21st century, the city underwent significant suburban development.
Fort Travis' long-term economic strength has been attributed to its location as it is the hub where many major railroad lines and highways converge. Today, It is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, as the presence of high-tech companies, energy and utility companies, the Sierran military, and education centers have become the primary economic contributors to Fort Travis and its vicinity. Other industries include aerospace, food processing, mining, logistics, and manufacturing. Legacy of its ranching past continues to be seen through its architecture, culture, cuisine, and music. Immigration from southern Anglo-America, particularly from Brazoria, has given the city a distinctly "Wild Western" influence. Its beef industry is internationally renowned, and is known for its dry-style (no sauce) steaks and briskets. The endemic Spanish Kern cattle breed is an iconic symbol of the city and surrounding region.
Prior to European exploration and settlement, archeological evidence suggests that there was an established Amerindian presence in southern San Joaquin Valley for at least several thousand years. The chief Amerindian group in the area were the Yokuts, a Penutian-speaking ethnic group that consisted of numerous of tribes and subgroups. Like most Sierran Amerindian societies, the Yokuts lived as hunters and gatherers, with their diet largely subsisting off of antelope, tule elk, deer, bear, fish, wild game. Although the Spaniards did visit the region in 1776, with the expedition of Spanish missionary Father Francisco Garcés, the Amerindians and outsiders did not interact until after the Mexican War of Independence. Despite this fact, it did not prevent the Spanish administrators from nonetheless claiming the region for the Spanish Crown in 1769. After Mexico gained its independence, Mexican citizens began settling in the region, taking advantage of the vast expanses of land and the Mexican government's generous land grants system. They brought with them the traditions of the vaquero, and with them, cattle and horses. Initial settlement was disastrous however, as the land was mostly tule reed-laden marshlands that harbored malaria-carrying mosquitos.
The region was susceptible to flooding caused by annual wintertime rainfall. The source of the flooding originated from the nearby Kern River, which drains from the Sierra Nevada. Due to long periods of stagnant water in swamp-like conditions,the region was a breeding ground for malaria-carrying mosquitos. This malaria situation was problematic for the settlers, causing widespread death. The area most prone to flooding is what is now downtown Fort Travis, which would be intermittently flooded and replenished from the seasonal rains. The area was nicknamed "Mosquito Valley", while the Fort Travis area was known as "The Island of Death", as it was the site of settlement where townspeople evaded submersion, but nonetheless died from the malaria or starvation.
While the Fort Travis area acquired a negative reputation, a small population of about 2,000 persisted, well into the time of the Mexican-American War, when the California Republic gained its independence from Mexico. Under the Republic, Mosquito Valley was administratively placed in the state of Central Valley. In 1848, following the discovery of gold in California, thousands of settlers and prospectors from Anglo-America, and then the world arrived to the San Joaquin Valley in large droves. In 1849, gold was discovered at the nearby Kern River, which spurred Anglo-American settlement in "Mosquito Valley" and the so-called "Island of Death". The preferred method of settlement in the Valley was log cabins. Besides mining, the predominant forms of economic activity in the region included farming and animal husbandry, the latter of which would come to define the development of Fort Travis and surrounding areas.
In the years preceding Sierra's foundation in 1858, the marshlands gradually turned into arable farmlands as workers (mostly of Chinese and Han descent) drained the wetlands utilizing an elaborate irrigation system with various drainage canals The increased availability in land triggered an even greater surge in economic development and population growth for Fort Travis. In 1867, the province of Kings was form by partition of Central Valley and the Gold Coast, with Fort Travis in the former Central Valley section that became part of this new province. By 1868, the region had reached a population of 45,000, one of the highest figures in the country at the time. Enough land had dried out, which left behind fertile grasslands which supported large grazing populations of livestock. The early opportune period was marked with frenzied land claiming and ownership. Land barons utilized their royal grants by diversifying their property with ranches and high-yielding crops. Chinese and Han workers laid down the Mid-Sierran Railway, which was the first railroad to transverse the Fort Travis area, and the first train arrived to Fort Travis on June 11, 1873.
Sierran Civil War
In 1874, the Sierran Civil War broke out in the Styxie, which led to a republican-led rebellion within Fort Travis itself. The town fell under total Republican control by mid-April 1874 and the new regime captured and imprisoned the local gentry. During the first two years of the war, Fort Travis represented the closest Republican-held settlement to the Kingdom, as it was only about 116 miles away from Porciúncula. The Tehachapi Mountains and Peninsular Ranges were the only geographical barriers protecting either side from one another, and was the principal reason the civil war was prolonged to the extent that it was.
The town was liberated on May 11, 1875, nearly two weeks after the Folly at Tejon Pass, which halted Republican advance into the heart of the Kingdom. The Monarchist victory devastated Republican troops, who were forced to retreat back to Fort Travis, which had been under occupation for nearly a year. After the Monarchist victory in the Battle of Mosquito Valley, the town was liberated and its residents welcomed to the Monarchist forces. During Republican occupation, men were forcefully conscripted into the army while the gentry were imprisoned or even executed for their connections with the monarchy. As the Republicans retreated, they burned down the townspeople's crops in an effort to stall Monarchist movements northward. The fires induced by the Republicans damaged nearly a third of the town's total crops and nearly destroyed the town itself. The town of Mosquito Valley was renamed "Fort Travis" in honor of General Travis Peters, who liberated the city and retired there after the war ended.
During the 1880s, Sierra as a nation, experienced the technological advances and economic growth brought about from the Second Industrial Revolution. National development of a transcontinental railroad network and telegram poles revolutionized trade for both Sierra and Fort Travis. The invention of refrigerated trains enabled shipping perishables such as beef and produce to farther locations across Anglo-America. Extension of the Mid-Sierran Railway and new additional paths benefited the city. Fort Travis became the center location for cattle drives, where cattle were sold and traded at the Fort Travis Stockyards. After cattle was sold to distributors, the cattle were slaughtered, cut, packaged, and then shipped to other cities. Its connections between San Francisco, Bernheim, and Porciúncula proved especially important, as it was able to transport goods to these three regional markets.
Fort Travis suffered from high rates of crime and violence due to its rapid growth. Racially-motivated violence and riots were common, which were primarily instigated by the town's whites against non-whites, particularly Asians. Shootings, lootings, fist fightings, and other civil unrest became a daily occurrence in some parts of town, which troubled city officials and the gentry class. The city gained a reputation for its crime, leading Sierran politicians including Kings Senator James Kearney to call it "Satan's very own wicked vat of bile". By 1883, the crime had become almost ignorable to the point where citizens voted for Marshal C. J. Greensworth to solve the problem. Under his protection, he mobilized a quasi-legal police force of Sierran Civil War and War of Contingency veterans in rounding up criminals and jailing them. He also sent his men to protect vulnerable cattle drive routes to provide extra security to the cowboys and ranchers. Although his actions were often extrajudicial, they were welcomed by the city's citizens and crime rates dropped drastically thereafter.
In the 1890s, the city experienced an influx of Asian and Creole immigrants, which complicated an already terse relationship between the whites and the non-whites. Fort Travis was a hotbed for cultural republicanism and the city aligned itself strongly with the Democratic-Republicans. The Democratic-Republicans in Fort Travis backed segregationist policies and fiercely defended Kings' miscegenation laws. As a result, Hapas, who were the progeny of interracial marriages, were viewed with suspicion and were sometimes denied residency based on these laws.
In 1892, Kings officially outlawed gambling, which led to a citywide crackdown on illicit gambling activities held in saloons, bars, and parlors. This legislation was meant with protest by business leaders, who felt that it unfairly targeted legitimate businesses who had held high-standard operations. Additionally, the Kings Legislature required barb fencing for all ranches and introduced zoning requirements, thus putting an end to the open ranch practice for the city's beef industry.
Fort Travis' rampant crime and social issues inspired a homegrown movement of progressive citizens. Various reformists organized together to pushing towards new legislation that would improve living conditions in the city and reduce corruption. The election of Mayor Jon Wesley in 1896 was considered a great Progressive victory as Wesley vowed to "cast the Devil out" of town. He started a prohibition campaign and forcefully closed down the town's drinking establishments, which were seen as the source of much of the city's crimes and woes. In addition, Wesley extended peace with the city's minorities, and aligned himself with the city press in exposing the corruption of his predecessors and their allies.
Early 19th century
The city underwent significant changes during the Sierran Cultural Revolution. Fort Travis was the center of controversy in 1924 when the Imperial Knights of Sierra ransacked and vandalized the Fort Travis Confucian Center, an incident which triggered violent clashes locally and added fuel to the national, revolutionary furor. Rice cultivation became a new industry and racial relations between the whites, Asians, and Hapas (and to a lesser extent, other non-whites) cooled, while technology continued to outpace the expansion of the city. The installation of telephone lines, electricity, and modern sewage system dramatically improved quality of life. Sanitation reforms caused less frequent cholera and dysentery outbreaks, and the construction of the Harena General Hospital, one of Sierra's first full-time hospitals with the latest technology of its time, allowed the city to handle its rapidly growing population. The city also underwent a transformative beautification process, as gas-lit streetlights were erected and stone paths were paved. Numerous parks and gardens also emerged, in an effort to attract Sierra's burgeoning middle class and wealthy to the city. The discovery of oil in the region also boosted interest for people in search of employment opportunities. The neighboring town of Oildale was founded, and brought over 8,000 jobs for incomers.
During World War I In 1921, Parliament approved a $57 million budget (in 2017 dollars) to build a Royal Army installation near Fort Travis in order to increase its defensive capabilities and relieve training stress from other existing bases. When the installation was completed, it was officially christened as the Camp Kroger Training Facility, and was tasked with training Army recruits, units, and other personnel for combat in desert environments. In addition, the military installation featured military research facilities used to test out new military equipment and technology.
Although the Great Depression brought tremendous economic hardship for much of Sierra and the rest of Anglo-America, Fort Travis fared relatively well as its two main industries: agriculture and oil production, continued to thrive. Its vitality in the midst of high unemployment and stunted growth attracted tens of thousands of migrants from all across the continent. When the Dust Bowl hit large parts of Brazoria and Dixie, it triggered a massive emigration movement of farmers, agricultural workers, and their families to Sierra in search of work. These people were colloquially referred to as "Okies" by Sierran locals and formed a significant component to Fort Travis' agricultural workforce prior to World War II. The Okies faced resistance from the locals as the newcomers were viewed as uncouth, violent, and uneducated compared to the recently revolutionized Sierrans.
Contemporary and modern era
After the wartime economy during World War II, Fort Travis continued to experience appreciable growth in its local market. Cheap housing and property values attracted tens of thousands of returning military veterans, and the city became a regional center for science and technology. The Kern Agricultural College (later renamed to the University of Fort Travis) conducted on-field research at Fort Travis farms and ranches, providing extensive development to modern agricultural studies and practices. In 1952, the city was hit by a Mw 7.3 earthquake, which heavily damaged the downtown area and caused over 40 deaths. The earthquake was particularly severe, dampening the otherwise robust economy the city was experiencing. Despite the slump caused by the earthquake, the city continued to rapidly transform in size, nearly tripling by 1960s, through numerous annexation campaigns, and suburban real estate extending beyond the original city limits of Fort Travis, which increased tax revenue.
In the 1980s, a combination of the housing market crash, falling oil prices, and high expenditures contributed to a long-term economic downturn that resulted in the city filing Sierra's largest municipal bankruptcy in 1993 with over $11 million in debt. As part of a controversial restructuring plan, the city agreed to cut funding for its pensions and healthcare, and sell most of its public utilities to private companies. The city eventually recovered and experienced an economic revival during the early 2000s as the city pursued an ambitious program to reinvent itself as a city of science, technology, and art. The Downtown area underwent renovations, with widened roads, spacious parks, and newer buildings which replaced old, decaying infrastructure. It also improved its transportation services to reflect its shifting, growing demographics.
Fort Travis is located in the north-central region of Kings. It sits at the horseshoe-shaped southernmost end of the San Joaquin Valley known as the Kern River Valley. The city is sometimes considered the southernmost city of the Styxie, a cultural region which spans much of the Central Valley. The southern tip of the Sierra Nevada lies just to the east of Fort Travis where the Mojave Desert begins. The Kern River Valley region in Kings is bounded by the Temblor Range to the west, the Tehachapi Mountains to the south, and the Sierra Nevada to the east. It, alongside its smaller neighbors and the nearby Sierra City form the Kern Valley metropolitan area, the seventh largest in Sierra.
The city is situated on historic wetlands, which were drained during the late 19th-century, and as a result, the land is some of the most fertile areas in the entire Kingdom. Prior to the development of the city's irrigation system, the area was subject to frequent flooding. To the northeast is the Sequoia National Forest at the foot of Greenhorn Mountains, a minor mountain range of the Sierra Nevada. To the south of the city limits is the slopes of the Tehachapi Mountains, which rises up to a mile vertically just before the Kings–Gold Coast border. The San Andreas Fault runs nearby to the west within the Temblor Range.
The city spans across four separate counties, each of which have their own distinct local government, services, and facilities. Of the four, Washer County comprises the most of the city's total area, encompassing approximately two-thirds of the city. Fort Travis is also the county seat of this county, while the other three counties: Elliot, Ingham, and Walker, mainly comprise of Fort Travis' suburban and rural neighborhoods, and have their own county seats elsewhere.
Residents of Fort Travis generally refer to the city by regions, organized by cardinal and ordinal directions (North Fort Travis, Northeast Fort Travis, East Fort Travis etc.). Much of Downtown Fort Travis in South Fort Travis is built along a rigid grid planning. This arrangement is the result of a surveyed land system of townships that were each divided into thirty-six sections of one square miles similarly arranged to those found in Teutonica and parts of the United Commonwealth. Various neighborhoods and districts received their name based on the most prominent building within the particular township or the noble family that lived there. Others received their names from the former communities that were annexed by Fort Travis, such as Stockdale or Old Town Kern.
Fort Travis features a desert climate (Köppen: BWh) characterized with long, hot, dry summers, and brief, cool, wet winters. On average, the city receives as much as 191 days of sunshine, making it one of the sunniest in Anglo-America. The city's falls are long and mild, while its springs are warm, suitable for the diverse number of crops the city grows. Despite its climate, the city is able to maintain its lush vegetation due to its advanced irrigation system and the hydrology of the Kern River Valley. Historically, Fort Travis was once partially or completely submerged underwater, and remained a marshland until the 19th century as settlers drained its water sources. Since the city only sees an average of six inches of precipitation each year, Fort Travis, like much of the rest of Central Valley communities and farms, relies on melted snowpack flowing from the Sierra Nevada. The Sierra Nevada is replenished every winter and begins melting during the early spring, providing millions of tonnes of water for the region and the Kingdom.
Generally, summer days can reach significantly high temperatures. On average, the city experiences 191 days a year where the afternoon high exceeds 90 °F (32.2 °C) and 33 afternoons above 100 °F (37.8 °C). In a given year, July is often the hottest month of the year, with temperatures subsiding by late October. Heat waves, which typically strike during the mid and late summers, can also occur during the early fall season, especially between September and early October. By contrast, winters are relatively mild, with frost and fog occasionally occurring during the early mornings. The local Tule fog is also fairly common, which reduces visibility exceptionally, elevating dangerous road conditions. The high probability of the Tule fog forming has traditionally been placed between November 1 and March 31.
Snow is extremely rare in the Kern River Valley floor, although it has occurred at least once every 20 to 30 years. The raining season usually begins around mid-October, peaks on February, before ending by early May. Precipitation is reliant on the annual atmospheric rivers that travel across Sierra when the high-pressure subtropical ridge shifts southward towards the equator, allowing rain systems to develop over the region.
Air quality is a serious issue in Fort Travis and its surrounding vicinity. It was ranked the most polluted city in Sierra in terms of both short-term and long-term particle pollution. Its high-intensity traffic volume, heavy industry production, and geography are all contributors to the severe pollution. Its location between three large mountain ranges and an annual high-pressure system allows air pollutants to remain over the city for extended times throughout the year. In addition, it is one of the most ozone-polluted cities in Anglo-America. Federal and provincial air quality regulations and measures have helped drive down the levels of pollution in the region significantly since 2008 however. The current city administration has outlined a plan to enact long-term clean energy solutions in order to improve overall air quality.
|Climate data for Fort Travis, Kings (1981–2010 normals)|
|Record high °F (°C)||82
|Average high °F (°C)||56.2
|Average low °F (°C)||39.3
|Record low °F (°C)||12
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||1.15
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||0.1
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||6.7||7.1||6.5||3.7||1.7||.5||.1||.3||1.0||1.8||3.9||5.9||39.2|
|Source: Royal Climatology Agency|
|K.S. Decennial Census|
|Two or more races||7.7%||12.4%||17.3%|
|Hispanic or Latino (of any race)||20.7%||26.5%||28.1%|
|Creole (of any race)||0.5%||0.4%||1.1%|
The 2010 K.S. Royal Bureau of Census reported a population of 534,029 for Fort Travis, with a population density of 2,432 people per square mile (939 km2). The racial makeup of Fort Travis was 308,668 (56.8%) White, 71,559 (13.4%) Asian, 45,392 (8.5%) Black, 14,418 (2.7%) Amerindian, 79,570 (14.9%) from other races, and 92,387 (17.3%) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 150,062 persons (28.1%). Creoles of any race were 5,874 persons (1.1%). Non-Hispanic Whites were 30.3% of the population in 2010, compared to 60.3% in 1980.
The census reported that 528,688 (99.0% of the population) lived in households, 3,204 (0.6%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 2,136 (0.4%) were institutionalized.
There were 171,910 households, of which 78,562 (45.7%) had children under the age of 18 living with them, 90,768 (52.8%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 24,411 (14.2%) had a female householder with no husband present, and 9,453 (5.5%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 13,580 (7.9%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 1,547 (0.9%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. About 31,459 households (18.3%) were made up of individuals, and 10,314 (6.0%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.10. There were 129,276 (75.2% of all households) families; the average family size was 3.59.
The population was distributed as 161,810 (30.3%) under the age of 18, 66,219 (12.4%) aged 18 to 24, 151,130 (28.3%) aged 25 to 44, 117,486 (22.0%) aged 44 to 64, and 37,384 (7.0%) who were 65 years of age or older. For every 100 females, there were 96.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.1 males.
There were 181,291 housing units at an average density of 737.15 per square mile (1,909.20 km2), of which 84,481 (48.6%) were owner-occupied, and 93,183 (51.4%) were occupied by renters. The houseowner vacancy rate was 2.7%; the renter vacancy rate was 6.5%. About 324,155 (60.7% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 204,533 (38.3%) lived in rental housing units.
|Portfolio 500 companies|
in Fort Travis, 2017
with Fort Travis and KS ranks.
|1||Bench & Steer||22|
Fort Travis' economy historically rested on two pillars: ranching and oil. Its growth has largely been attributed to its location on multiple rail lines and proximity to some of the country's largest and most productive farms and ranches. By the 20th century, it was one of Anglo-America's leading producers in beef and the advent of the refrigerator car allowed the city to project more of its exports further. The discovery of oil in the region during the 1920s further diversified the city's economy and provided significant, sustained economic development. Fort Travis became the center of Sierra and Western Anglo-America's petroleum industry, and was crucial during World War II. The economic boom encouraged thousands to move to Fort Travis, and attracted investment from throughout the country. Although petroleum was also found in Sierra (including the Greater Porciúncula Area), in Fort Travis, the industry has remained a viable and significant to the economy in contrast to other regional oil industries where they have faded and form only a fraction of their economies as oil reserves depleted. As of 2010, Fort Travis produces over 80,000 barrels of oil per day in addition to 33.6 million gallons of water from its oil fields.
After World War II, Fort Travis' economy diversified as its cheap real estate spurred the development of telecommunications and information technology in the region. The University of Fort Travis cultivated the city's commitment towards education and technology, and a talented workforce that undertook the city's emergent enterprises and start-up firms. The Fort Travis metropolitan area remains a significant telecommunications hub, and is home to over 3,200 companies including Cabrillo Technologies, Bench & Steer, Heartwell Enterprises, Western Gas, Palmer Systems, Bixby & Co., Fortra, Ceres Communications, Linker, Harvey Kapp, Tokki, and Media Corporation. It also houses the corporate headquarters for a number of international companies including KernCo Refreshments, Spooky's, and Zeus Restaurants.
During the 1980s, as the economy slowed down, development slowed down, especially in the downtown area as the housing market crashed. The fall of oil prices due to the global oil glut also contributed to Fort Travis' decline during these years, and thousands of jobs in the manufacturing industry were lost and outsourced to other countries or provinces. The city acquired over $11 million in municipal debt and in 1993, it filed for bankruptcy, filing the largest municipal bankruptcy in Sierran history at the time. The bankruptcy required intervention from the federal and provincial government to ensure the city could enter into a sustainable, adequate adjusting plan. Fort Travis made controversial cuts to its city pension and health care programs, and privatized its electricity, water, and sewage services as part of the restructuring agreement with its bondholders.
Since the early 2000s, the city has experienced an economic and infrastructural revival after it was able to regain stronger creditworthiness from its debt repayments. Old commercial buildings were renovated as new ones were constructed, and rising property values attracted many investors back to the city and its suburbs. Fort Travis started an ambitious program to promote itself as a city of science, technology, and the arts, and entered a partnership pathways program with the University of Fort Travis to ensure its community college students could transfer into the campus more easily. The construction of new freeways to connect the large area spurred more residential and retail development. Many corporations have now established a presence in the city through local businesses, offices, and workforce, contributing to the growing economy.
According to the Fort Travis Chamber of Commerce's 2016 release of its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city were:
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|1||Bench & Steer||21,918|
|2||Royal Army Camp Kroger Training Facility||17,281|
|4||Kern Valley Unified School District||14,449|
|5||City of Fort Travis||10,250|
|6||MacLean Healthcare Systems||9,810|
|7||Meijer Memorial Hospital||8,767|
|9||University of Fort Travis||6,030|
Fort Travis' history as a major trade destination at the intersections of the industrial Southwest Corridor and the agrarian-based Styxie has produced a distinctly frontier Western culture. Due to its midway position between the two culturally distinct regions, it has often been called the southernmost city of the Styxie and the northernmost city of the Southwest Corridor, though it is not included in the latter's official definitions. The majority of its residents are descendants of Anglo-Americans who immigrated to Sierra during the early and mid-20th century, especially during the Great Depression, from northern Brazoria and western United Commonwealth. Legacy of the city's development as a cattle ranching society has continued on present-day Fort Travis, which promotes itself as the Sierran "Cow Town".
The city has a modern, cosmopolitan culture, and has a rapidly growing and diversifying international community. About 25% of the city's population were born outside Sierra, with two-thirds of them hailing from Latin American countries. The city has had a long history of Spanish and Mexican influences, which has been present since the city's origins. Aspects of Mexican culture can be seen through the city architecture, cuisine, law, and music. The city holds one of the largest Cinco de Mayo and Dio de Los Muertos celebrations in the country each year, drawing tens of thousands of spectators and visitors. Other major annual events include the Bull-A-Thon, a three-day festival held every August, celebrating the city's past with rodeo competitions, steak cook-offs, and a large cattle drive done all in the Historic Stockyards District.
Fort Travis is home to a significant community of Basques, whose culture is celebrated every Memorial Day weekend at the three-day Basque Festival and hosted by the Fort Travis Basque Club. Other Basque cultural events are held throughout the year in coordination by the club.
Arts and sciences
During Fort Travis' economic revival in the 2000s, the city government invested millions in renovating the Downtown Area and promoting the local art community. The Harena Hall of World Art showcases over 2,400 paintings and sculptures from Europe, Asia, and Africa across four millennia, and houses several significant artifacts including the Cursed Stone, a 32.9 carat diamond imported from the United Kingdom in 1962. Other notable facilities include the Michael Stevens Museum of Natural Science, the George Miller Contemporary Art Museum, the Ian Carter Center for Performing Arts, and The Klein Theater. The Kern Valley Museum showcases permanent displays and collections of regional artifacts and a hands-on workshop demonstrating how oil is extracted from underground.
The Fort Travis Institute of Art, owned and managed by the University of Fort Travis, opened in 2007 and features over 10 galleries with a rotating collection of Sierran and Anglo-American artwork. It also exhibits over 15 acres of botanical gardens, ponds and flowering plants, with bronze and marble statues of important Anglo-American figures in the world of art, literature, science, and theater. The Institute is free for admission and was funded in part by an endowment granted by Parliament to highlight and celebrate artistic diversity and history in Sierra and beyond.
The city's cuisine reflects its history as a ranching town, which is renowned for its world-class barbecue. The cuisine's influences come mainly from Italian, German, Irish, and Anglo-American cuisines. It has been described as simple and minimalist in presentation and ingredients, compared to other Sierran regional cuisines, but rich in taste according to gastronomists. Unlike most Anglo-American barbecues, Fort Travis-style barbecue lacks any sauce and is generally prepared with minimal spices and rubs. Local popular dishes include steak and fries, chicken fingers, the Crosby sandwich, Fort Travis-style pizza, and steamed hams (charbroiled hamburgers served in steamed buns with caramelized onions and special ketchup). In recent years, local chefs and restaurants have begun experimenting with newer and fresher ingredients, incorporating a variety of vegetables, fruits, and spices to dishes, reflecting the city's shift towards a more diverse landscape and national culinary trends.
Fort Travis is home to the Fort Travis sound, a genre of country music that incorporates elements of rock-and-roll, which were played live in honky-tonk bars. The distinct style of music was developed by the residential Okies who emigrated from the United Commonwealth where country music was rising in popularity during the 1960s. The genre was a partial reaction against the Nashville sound, and has been described as a "twangy style of Fender Telecaster and pedal steel guitar music". Notable artists from Fort Travis who played Fort Travis sound include Buck Owens, Dwight Yoakam, and Merle Haggard. The metal band Korn also hails from Fort Travis.
The contemporary Fort Travis music scene has a strong electronic dance music presence. Numerous electronic artists, duos, music collectives, and bands have resided and produced their music in Fort Travis, including Stephacide, the Supreme Gentleman, Flukk, Many Moons, Chastity, and Ms. Piru Piru. Live Loss, the Sierran experimental hip hop band, started their music in Fort Travis and incorporated the idiosyncratic elements of the local music scene into their own, popularizing it nationally. Electronic music emerged from the city during the late 1990s, coinciding with a critical point in the city's history as it struggled to rebuild itself from economic stagnation and urban decay. Experimental music of various genres were created by amateur and professional artists alike, and started in the University of Fort Travis, which became known for its frequent dance blocks, rave parties, and festivals.
Fort Travis' most famous attractions are the Fort Travis Stockyards and associated events. The Stockyards are the largest of its kind, west of the Rockies, and host weekly cattle runs and rodeos on its premises. The Fort Travis Stockyard District is a designated a historic site by the National Register of Historic Places and has 9 restaurants, 4 museums, and 14 shops. Although the Stockyards have discontinued its original operations since 1972, there are a number of smaller stockyards still in use within vicinity and that are open to the general public.
Cleary Plaza at the Highridge Glen is a regional shopping and destination center, which is a large open-air lifestyle center and shopping outlet anchored by five department stores. Located in East Fort Travis, it is one of the largest shopping malls in the country and is well-known for its numerous free and public events, showcasing local artists and performers frequently. It has over 80 tenants, including 15 luxury brand stores, 30 restaurants, and a movie theater with 20 rooms, capable of seating up to 8,000 people at full-capacity. The Cleary Plaza has an internal canal system, which can be traversed by full-service gondolas, imitating the Venetian canals.
The city is home to Spooky's World, a 140-acre amusement park owned by the Spooky's Entertainment Company, featuring over 60 rides, including 4 roller coasters, which is adjoined to the sister water park, Spooky's Wet World, which has over 55 slides and 6 main pool areas respectively. Other family-friendly attractions in the city include the Kern Valley Sea Life Aquarium, the Woodbury Zoo, the Extreme Playground Indoors Center, and the Central Multiplex Sports Arena.
The city of Fort Travis operates under a council–manager government and holds citywide elections every two years. As a charter city, the framework and operations of the government are described in the Fort Travis City Charter, which consists of 10 articles and 6 addendums. The current version was adopted in June 24, 1978. There are six members in Fort Travis Council and each are elected by district alongside the mayor, who is elected at-large. The mayor is the head of government and is responsible for chairing all board meetings, leading the Council, and representing the city during ceremonial occasions. Aside from the mayor's exclusive responsibilities, the mayor participates and votes as a regular member of the board. The current Mayor of Fort Travis is Jamie Adado-Lentz (R), who assumed office on April 4, 2016.
The council is empowered through the City Charter to pass municipal ordinances, resolutions, and regulations, to appoint officials in the civil bureaucracy, to approve the city budget, and to carry out other administrative actions. The city manager, who is appointed by the Council, is responsible for the daily administration and management of city operations. In addition, the city government is composed of several departments and agencies, including the Fort Travis Police Department, the Fort Travis Fire Department, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Public Works, and the Department of Public Utilities.
The Fort Travis Police Department (FTPD) represents the largest police force in Kings, with 2,673 sworn-in officers as of January 2018. The FTPD provides law enforcement services to the city of Fort Travis and several other municipalities which have contract agreements with the department. The Department works in conjunction with the five sheriff's departments that operate within its jurisdiction to protect its citizens. In 2016, the FTPD was ranked as the most professional police force in the nation, with it having the least amount of grievances and complaints filed against it for alleged police brutality or abuse out of the country's 50 largest police departments in 2015.
Crime and public safety
|Crime rates* (2017)|
|Total violent crime||484|
|Motor vehicle theft||663|
|Total property crime||4,210|
*Number of reported crimes per 100,000 population.
2017 population: 568,822
Vandalism, traffic violations, and other offenses not included
Overall, the city's total crime rate including violent and nonviolent crimes have decreased by 12 percent since 2011, indicating a downward trend. According to city analysts and law enforcement authorities, the decline in crime can be partially attributed to continual suburban development, improving schooling, and easier access to healthcare, social welfare, and employment in the area. The city's healthy economic growth in the post-recession years have also alleviated the city's problem with homelessness and poverty as the city government has taken initiatives to help at-risk individuals and communities.
Criminal activity committed by street gangs and biker gangs peaked between the 1980s and 1990s, which drove down property values and damaged investor confidence in the city. The city was infamously known for the Carrion Killer, a serial killer (whose personal identities remains unknown) who operated around Fort Travis between 1987 and 1993, and killed 11 people through a variety of methods including pressure cooker bombs. In addition, Fort Travis earned a reputation for a high number of kidnapping-related cases, with at least three-fourths of them attributed to ransoms perpetuated by local drug cartels.
North Fort Travis is the most violent part of town, while the Downtown area and East Fort Travis are generally the safest areas in town. According to the Fort Travis Police Department, approximately 60 percent of homicides were related to drugs and gang violence, with the rate of unsolved murder cases hovering around 55% annually. In the past, the city has resorted to a number of controversial practices, including stop-and-frisk, which were meant with opposition by civil rights groups. In 2006, the police department became one of the first in the country to voluntarily equip all of its officers with body cameras, in an attempt to ensure individual accountability for officers and facilitate trust with the public over concerns of police brutality.
Drug use and deaths by drug use (particularly those administered intravenously) are related problems associated with the city's poverty and crime issues. Fort Travis has one of the highest opioid-related death rates in Anglo-America among cities with populations greater than 300,000. As a major logistical center, it has also been a major hub for large illicit drug trade routes running throughout Sierra, funneling drugs from Mexico and Central America, and distributing further north into the Styxie and Rainier.
Since 2008, the Fort Travis Police Department has made efforts to improve public awareness and understanding of its officers' line of work and duty, through the Citizens' Academy program. The program engages civilians in simulations and scenarios police officers go through daily and teaches them important public safety skills, including responsible driving tips and proper identification and reporting of suspicious behavior. The program has been praised by a number of media outlets and criminal justice watchdog organizations due to its interactive, all-inclusive nature, and has been cited as one of the primary reasons behind the police department's improved public image.
EMS and medical services
Emergency medical services (EMS) are indirectly provided by the city government through third party private companies that participate in a contractual agreement. The largest EMS provider in the area is Fidelity Life Services, which operates a fleet of over 30 ambulances and other emergency vehicles. The service is partially funded through property taxes, with a small percentage of ambulance services costs falling into out-of-pocket fees for those who use it. The city maintains its own independent 611 emergency call services and the Fort Travis Fire Department also operates its own EMS system.
The city has several major hospitals and medical facilities including the Downtown Fort Travis MacLean Hospital, Meijer Memorial Hospital, St. John's Children Hospital, the Medical University of Fort Travis Medical Center (MUFT-MC), and the Jordan Stevens VA Medical Center. In recent years, investment has been placed in the city to improve the regional medical and healthcare industry. Numerous health care research and biotechnology firms have set up operations in the city.
Federal, provincial, local, and CAS representation
|House of Commons||Senate|
|Kevin McFarland||Royalist||District 4 (Witherspoon)||Lyle Arvin||Royalist|
|Betsy Costas||Royalist||District 5 (Cheltenham)||Veronica Cervantes||Royalist|
|Henry Valmer||Royalist||District 6 (Sheffield)||Mason Delanoa||Royalist|
|Loreta Ramos||Democratic-Republican||District 9||Jacob Bondi||Royalist||District 1|
|Leslie Fallin||Royalist||District 10||Donald Berliner||Royalist||District 2|
|Peter Fong||Royalist||District 7||Bradley Corona||Royalist||District 3|
|Nancy Summers||Royalist||District 8|
|Jeff Musk||Democratic-Republican||District 9|
|Parliament of America|
|Nicholas Warwick||Royalist (American Conservative Coalition)||South Central Valley|
The Federal Correctional Service operates the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Fort Travis, a medium-security, male-inmate federal prison in West Fort Travis, where it currently houses a population of 1,200 inmates.
Downtown Fort Travis contains the offices and courtrooms for the local division of the K.S. Bankruptcy Court, as well as the K.S. District Court of Eastern Kings (in the Roderigo Alvarez K.S. Courthouse), located on Peterson Avenue. The National Surveyors' Corps maintains a field office in Fort Travis and covers a jurisdiction encompassing northern Kings, the northern Inland Empire, Central Valley, and parts of Santa Clara. It hosts the consular offices of several countries including China, Hani, and Russia.
Elections and politics
|Fort Travis Voter Registration and Party Enrollment|
as of January 15, 2018
|Party||Number of Voters||Percentage|
In an October 2014, the Poricúncula Times identified Fort Travis as the ninth-most conservative city in the Kingdom of Sierra and the most conservative city in Kings. With the exception of Elliot County, the city's composite counties: Walker, and Washer, have consistently appeared in the top twenty conservative counties in the nation. Fort Travis has been a reliable Royalist stronghold since the 1950s and includes some of the safest Royalist constituencies in the country. As of March 9, 2018, the Royalists control all three parliamentary districts in Fort Travis, three of the five provincial assembly districts, and all three provincial senate seats. At the 2016 general elections, Fort Travis voters elected Royalist MPs Kevin McFarland, Betsy Costas, and Henry Valmer. For the 2017 Royalist leadership election, 77% of voters voted for the winning candidate, Nemesis Heartwell.
In 2016 article, John Ordonia of the Fort Travis Chronicle wrote, "Fort Travis has remained staunchly conservative over the years because its majority-white and Asian precincts remain the most actively engaged citizens in the city". Ordonia attributed low turnout among the city's non-Eurasians as a significant factor behind the city's conservative politics, although this claim has been disputed. Others have pointed to the city being divided into four different counties and several parliamentary districts, effectively giving an advantage to the larger white population. The gradual decrease in the city's non-Hispanic whites in proportion to other races over the years has led to the rise of far-right political movements and groups within the city. Conservative voters are concentrated in South and East Fort Travis, near the downtown area, while Democratic-Republican and Social Democrat voters are spread across the city, with the highest concentrations in North Fort Travis.
Although Fort Travis is considered a Styxie city, the monarchist–republican divide commonly found throughout the region is largely insignificant and inconsequential in the city. This is largely the result of the original Fort Travis settlement being replaced by pro-monarchist Southerners following the Sierran Civil War, who did not embrace the cultural republicanism endemic to the Styxie, but were not as passionately monarchist as their urban counterparts. As of 2018, there are only 2 registered chapters of the pro-republican United Farmers' Front and 1 Jacobite club in the city. Although Fort Travis was under brief Republican control during the Sierran Civil War with a significant following, the city experienced dramatic derepublicanization as the Monarchists placed a military garrison in the city. The immigration of Anglo-Americans into the city who did not share the same experiences as the Styxie settlers in the city came without affinity to cultural republicanism. By the Sierran Cultural Revolution, the number of post-Civil War immigrants had displaced the pre-Civil War settlers and their descendants, thereby reducing the presence of cultural republicanism ubiquitously tied to the Styxie.
The entire city of Fort Travis and adjacent communities are serviced by one unified K-12 school district, the Fort Travis Unified School District (FTUSD). FTUSD has 66 elementary schools, 17 middle schools, and 15 high schools. The district has over 25,000 students, and is one of the largest school districts in the country, with a staff and faculty population of nearly 8,000. The FTUSD is subject to educational standards and regulations set by the Kings Department of Education and Kern Valley Board of Education.
Private and parochial schools
- Bakersfield Adventist Academy (Seventh-day Adventist)
- Bakersfield Christian High School (Baptist)
- Garces Memorial High School (Roman Catholic)
- Saint Anthony High School (Roman Catholic)
- Wagner STEM Academy (Secular)
Colleges and universities
There are a number of institutions of higher education in Fort Travis:
- Fort Travis Community College (FTCC), a community college system consisting of three affiliated campuses (Central, Oilville, and South)
- Kern University, a private university founded in 1956
- Santa Barbara Business College, a private finishing college specializing in business administration, criminal justice, paralegal studies, and healthcare administration
- Sierra National University, Fort Travis (SNU Fort Travis), a public research university affiliated with the Sierra National University system founded in 1978
- University of Fort Travis, a large private research university that was originally founded as the Kern Agricultural College founded in 1949
The University of Fort Travis (UFT) is the largest and most prominent higher education institution in the city. It is a private four-year research university with over 15,500 students in enrollment across the campuses' four schools. It also houses a law school and medical school on campus. It is one of the leading biomedical research (including research on neurological disease and psychological disorders) and agricultural research centers in the region, and was placed the 22nd best campus in Anglo-America based on a multi-factor ranking system in 2014 by the K.S. Newstar Education Report.
It also home to the Fort Travis affiliate campus of the Sierra National University system, a liberal arts college with an emphasis on the humanities and technical skills, located in the Mulberry Grove neighborhood.
Fort Travis is home to the Royal Army Camp Kroger Training Facility, the third-largest and active initial entry training center in the Sierra Royal Army. The military installation is located 16 miles west of Fort Travis. Nearly 12,000 potential soldiers are fielded and trained at the facility, with another 3,000 pursuing more advanced training prior to deployment or commission. Other facilities affiliated with the Sierra Royal Army include the Royal Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Travis District and the K.S. Army Chaplaincy Center. The facility also houses the CAS Allied Western Command, which provides logistical and communicative support for all CAS troops operating in Western North America. Several major national and international defense contractors are also based in Fort Travis, including Quadratic and BRISK.
The Spencer National Guard Base is located 12 miles southwest of Fort Travis, and is jointly owned by the Sierran Royal Air Force and the Kings Air National Guard. The 149th Fighter Wing is assigned to this location and trains at the facility year-round. The 66th Aviation Troop Command of the Kings Army National Guard is also based on this base.
|Fort Travis Bucks||Anglo-American Football League||Winchester Stadium||1979||2 (XXI, XXVI)|
|Fort Travis Steers||American Basketball Association||Palmer Arena||1985||3 (1992, 1999, 2006)|
|Fort Travis Strikers||American Baseball League||Watts Park Arena||1998||0|
|Fort Travis Storm||Continental Hockey League||Rabobank Arena||1990||5 (1996, 1997, 2003, 2008, 2017)|
Fort Travis is represented by teams in four professional sports leagues: the Anglo-American Football League, the Continental Hockey League, the American Basketball Association, and the American Baseball League. The AAFL's Fort Travis Bucks, the CHL's Fort Travis Storm, the ABA's Steers, and the ABL's Strikers all play in and utilize facilities in Fort Travis. In addition, Fort Travis is represented by collegiate sports teams. The University of Fort Travis Condors has a strong athletics program, with 14 varsity sports, which competes in AACA Division II (Southwest Conference). The Sierra National University, Fort Travis Blazes also has its own athletic programs, with 12 varsity sports, and competes in the AACA Division X (PCAL).
Of the professional and collegiate sports teams in Fort Travis, the most successful team has been the CHL's Fort Travis Storm. Established in 1990, the Storm currently play in the Rabobank Arena in downtown Fort Travis. The team has won a total of five Preston Cups, with the most recent win in 2017 against the Eastern Conference's champions, the Louisville Bourbons. The Fort Travis Storm currently holds the distinction of winning the most Preston Cup titles out of any CHL franchise in Sierra, and the fifth overall in total Preston Cup titles.
In addition, Fort Travis is located near a number of motor racing and off-highway vehicle venues. The Fort Travis Speedway is a ⅓-mile (500 m) banked clay oval track, located in Highland Knolls, where it hosts sprint car and dirt track races weekly. Drag strip racing is held at the Highway 99 Speedway. The Buttonwillow Speedway is another popular racing destination, located in the nearby town of Buttonwillow. The Kern County Raceway Park is another motorsport venue that operates within Fort Travis and includes a motocross motorcycle track.
Other major sports venues in Fort Travis and vicinity include the Glen Avon Sports Village (also known as the Central Sports Multiplex), a large park with 16 baseball fields, 16 soccer fields, and 8 football stadiums, and the McIntyre Aquatic Center, a facility with an Olympic-sized swimming pool, saunas, smaller recreational pools, slides, and whirlpool. The Kern Valley Soccer Park, located 18 miles northeast of Fort Travis, is the largest soccer facility of its kind in the nation, with 20 soccer fields. The Kern Valley Golf Courses features an 18-hole course which is owned and managed by the Estates at the Echelons in West Fort Travis.
The Chili Bowl, one of Anglo-American college football's largest bowl games are held in Fort Travis every May.
The largest newspaper serving the city of Fort Travis is the Fort Travis Chronicle, which first began circulating in 1947. It was originally owned by Fort Travis natives Tyler Greenfield and Scott Stebbings before they sold it to Media Corporation in 1997. It has a paid-subscription readership and circulates about 30,000 papers daily, and has begun focusing on its digital content and website. The newspaper releases an edition daily and produces a trilingual Sunday news edition (English, Spanish, and Han). In 2004, The Fort Travis Examiner was launched by 16ON to compete with The Chronicle but folded due to below-optimal profits and ceased operations within 5 years during the Great Recession.
Other print news sources in the form of smaller newspapers, weeklies, magazines, and periodicals include The Kern Sierran, Kings Sentinel-Observer, and the Fort Travis Bulletin.
The Fort Travis metropolitan area is the 7th largest designated market area (DMA) in Sierra and is served by a number of national and local television stations and affiliates. The major television studios in the area include:
KGED 97.6 FM broadcasts Top 40 music and a morning talk show throughout the Fort Travis designated market area. KXD 101.1 FM airs an eclectic mix of electronic dance music and avant-garde music. KKG 88.5 FM airs a jazz music format and includes news programming during the morning.
Fort Travis is serviced by three controlled-access highways (freeways) and six limited-access highways (expressways), of which two are Interprovincial highways (Interprovincial 2 and Interprovincial 99. These two Interprovincials (which both run in a north–south general orientation) connects Fort Travis and vicinity directly to the Greater Porciúncula Area (to the south) and the Styxie heartland (to the north). In 2015, the Fort Travis section of Interprovincial 99 was named the deadliest freeway segment in Sierra due to the high number of fatalities and accidents occurring on the road. Most of the accidents are a result of the local Tule fog, a thick fog that usually forms in the mornings during the months between November and March. The high incidences of accidents have led to one of the highest dashcam ownerships per capita in the country.
The main commercial airport which serves the Fort Travis metropolitan area is the Travis Peters International Airport (TRP), located 15 miles southeast of Downtown Fort Travis, near the community of Arvin. It is the eighth-busiest airport in the country, and served over 8 million passengers in 2017. It has scheduled domestic flights to San Francisco City, Porciúncula, Las Vegas, and Honolulu, as well as international flights to Manila, Taipei, St. Louis, Houston, and New York City. The airport is operated by the Kern Valley Transportation Commission, an independent agency.
In addition, the city has two general aviation airports, Tupman Field (TPF) and Cawelo-Shafter Airport (CSH), which see enplanements exceeding 50,000 each year. There are also air fields associated with the Spencer National Guard Base, which is used by the Sierran Royal Air Force and the Kings Air National Guard, as well as the aviation units of the Sierran Royal Army.
Fort Travis is home to the Kern Valley Central Rail Yard, one of the largest classification yards in Anglo-America, which sees an average of 70 freight trains each day, and connects the region to the Southwest Corridor to the south, the Styxie to the north, and the Las Vegas metropolitan area to the east. The City of Fort Travis operates and maintains its own MetroLink, which is connected to the Great Sierran Rail Network through the Vaquero Line. Smaller commuter lines within the Fort Travis metropolitan area connects travelers to other parts of the region, including Sierra City and Monterey.
The Greater Fort Travis Transit Authority (GFTTA) is the primary operator and provider of public transit in the Fort Travis metropolitan area. The agency owns over 40 buses and runs 24 lines throughout the area. The public transit agency was founded in 1996, after city voters approved a ballot measure to commission city-run public buses. Previously, public transit was provided independently by private contractors. Under the Greater Fort Travis Transit Authority, the agency runs its own fleet of buses and contracts the service of private companies for certain areas within the general vicinity of Fort Travis.
- Andong, Korea (2002)
- Dodoma, Tanzania (1996)
- Jinan, China (2008)
- Kassel, Germany (1983)
- Konya, Turkey (2001)
- Nagoya, Japan (1985)
- Reggio Emilia, Italy (1997)
|Crome||Oildale||Sequoia National Forest|