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Chowchilla is a city in Madera County, California. The city's population was 18,720 at the 2010 United States Census, up from 11,127 at the 2000 U.S. Census. Chowchilla is located 15mi northwest of Madera, at an elevation of 240 feet (73 m). It is a principal city of the Madera - Chowchilla metropolitan statistical area.The city is the location of two California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation facilities, the Central California Women's Facility and Valley State Prison.EtymologyThe name "Chowchilla" is derived from the indigenous American tribe of Chaushila Yokut Indians which once lived in the area. The name evidently translates as "murderers" and is apparently a reference to the warlike nature of the Chaushila tribe. It is also to be known among the Yokuts tribes later on to be associated with "bravery". The Chaushila Indians were inadvertently responsible for the first white men "discovering" Yosemite Valley, which occurred when they were being pursued by a band of whites. References to the tribe still abound in Chowchilla, and until 2016 the town's high school used the moniker "Redskins" as their mascot.HistoryThe first post office at Chowchilla opened in 1912, and the city incorporated eleven years later, in 1923.Plan your trip to Chowchilla and other United States destinations using our handy United States attractions planning site.
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