A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 09, 2009
California of Texas (Clyde nickname)

The city of Clyde (Callahan County) promoted itself as the “California of Texas” in 1926-1927; the city nickname even appeared on a water tower. Clyde—like California—grows many fruits and vegetables.


Wikipedia: Clyde, Texas
Clyde is a city in Callahan County, Texas, United States. The population was 3,345 at the 2000 census.

Handbook of Texas Online
CLYDE, TEXAS. Clyde is an incorporated community on Interstate Highway 20 and Farm Road 604, five miles west of Baird and eight miles east of Abilene in northwestern Callahan County. The site is on the Callahan Divide between the Brazos and Colorado rivers; its elevation is 1,980 feet above sea level. The Texas and Pacific Railway was built through the area in 1880. Local sources have it that the railroad construction crew, which numbered 5,000, including many Chinese, gathered regularly at Robert Clyde’s construction camp, just south of the tracks.
(...)
Clyde is built above an aquifer, and in 1926 its fruits and vegetables earned it the nickname “the California of Texas.” Farmers often shipped their produce out by rail.

24 September 1927, Abilene (TX) Morning Reporter-News:
Clyde, The California Of Texas, Has Bright Outlook With Oil Fruit Vegetables And Poultry Promising
By W. Homer Shanks

Google Books
Geography of the Callahan divide: a study in the adjustment of industry to environment
By Lorrin Garfield Kennamer
Published by George Peabody college for teachers, 1932
Item notes: no. 88
Pg. 60:
The town (Clyde—ed.) is advertised by the local Chamber of Commerce as the “California of Texas.”

17 July 1939, Dallas (TX) Morning News, section II, pg. 3:
Clyde Expects 35,000
Bushel Apple Crop

CLYDE, Callahan Co., Texas, July 16. Known as the “California of Texas” because of its abundant fruit crops, Clyde this year will ship more than 35,000 bushels of apples to Texas and out-of-state markets.

Google Books
A Personal Country
By A. C. Greene
Illustrated by Ancel Nunn
Published by University of North Texas Press
1998
Pg. 99:
Clyde is really an island of fertile sand in the sea of West Texas red dirt and for a long time was known as “the California of Texas” and had this painted on the municipal water tower. Peaches, apricots, berries, grapes, pears, melons—these were the rich harvest which was displayed along the Bankhead Highway in family-run fruit stands. Peanuts were a big fall item on the Clyde stop, and many a tow sack of Spanish goobers rode between my feet on the family floorboard.

Abilene (TX) Reporter-News
Clyde is ‘the California of Texas’
By Doug “Ask Doug” Williamson
Monday, March 30, 2009
Q. Someone told me that the city of Clyde has a nickname that is “The California of Texas.” That can’t be right, can it?
-- Clyde

A. I think the residents of Clyde are normal folks, so that would indicate that what you heard is untrue.

But actually, it is true.

The town was built over an aquifer, and according to the Handbook of Texas Online, “in 1926 its fruits and vegetables earned it the nickname ‘the California of Texas.’ Farmers often shipped their produce out by rail.”

Sitting on the Callahan Divide, Clyde most likely got its name from Robert Clyde. He had a construction camp for railroad crews, located just south of the tracks back in 1880. At one time, there were as many as 5,000 people working to lay the rails.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Thursday, April 09, 2009 • Permalink