Welcome to the City of Exeter

watertower2The city of Exeter is situated at the base of the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. The area has scenic beauty, a thriving business community and a population who take great pride in the town’s heritage, quality housing, good schools and a very low incidence of crime.
Exeter is located on State Highway 65, 2 miles south of Highway 198 and 15 miles east of Highway 99. Exeter is within a 3 to 4 hour drive of both Los Angeles and San Francisco, and 30 minutes from the entrance to Sequoia National Park.
Situated in the middle of California’s agricultural heartland the great San Joaquin Valley, one of the world’s most fertile valleys, Exeter is known for the sweetest oranges in the world. Exeter is also known for its abundant supply of citrus, deciduous fruits, nuts and table grapes.
National recognition was given to Exeter in 2000 as “One of America’sPrettiest Painted Places.” Professional artists have painted huge murals depicting the history and culture of the area on exterior walls throughout the downtown area. There are currently 29 murals in this outdoor art gallery, and move are planned. Group tours can be arranged.
One of the newer facilities in the community is the Exeter Bark Park. The park is becoming a popular gathering spot for residents and visitors alike.
Exeter’s city leaders are determined to retain our small town charm while making room for conservative growth. Exeter has a variety of antique stores, specialty shops, services, restaurants, lodging and a long tradition of annual events and festivals.


Before the coming of the European settlers, the area that is now Exeter was part of a vast plain where elk, antelope and deer grazed and spring wildflowers bloomed in profusion.  Native American Indians made their homes in the oak forest two miles north of the present town.

In 1888, as the railroad carved its way through the southern San Joaquin valley, towns grew up along its route.  D.W. Parkhurst, representing the Southern Pacific Railroad, bought land from John Firebaugh, an early settler, and the town of Exeter was born, named after Parkhurst’s native Exeter, England.

MuseumThe development of water resources and the planting of fruit trees and vines brought growth to the little community.  The first school was built in 1897, the high school district was organized in 1908, and the residents voted to incorporate in 1911.  Cattle ranching was an integral part of Exeter’s history.  The Gill Cattle Company of Exeter was established in the late 1800’s and is still in operation.  Once the largest cattle ranching business in the United States, the company owned and leased more than six million acres of land in nine western states.

Boasting the finest navel oranges in the world, Exeter, California, has a rich agricultural heritage built on a hundred years of American tradition.  Exeter is known for growing the sweetest oranges in the world and as the “Citrus Capital of the World”.Street Sweeper

City Hall Under Construction

In 2011 Exeter paused to celebrate 100 years as an incorporated city.   A number of special events occurred throughout the year, including the planting of a Centennial Time Capsule, a Centennial parade, and a full day of activities in City Park culminating in a concert by the Sons of the San Joaquin.   Throughout the remainder of the year, additional Centennial-themed events took place to celebrate Exeter’s 100th birthday.


City Offices:

To find out more about the City of Exeter and our services, the following locations may be helpful:

City Hall (Finance, Planning, and Community Services):

137 North F Street, Exeter CA 93221

Administrative Offices (City Administrator, City Clerk, City Council):

100 North C Street, Exeter CA 93221

Police Department: 100 North C Street


location in tulare countyAs of the 2010 Census there were 10,334 residents in Exeter.   Additional demographic breakdowns should be available soon.   The remainder of the demographic data below comes from the previous census.

As of the 2000 Census there were  9,168 residents, 3,001 households, and 2,325 families residing in the city.  The population density was 4,110.9 people per square mile (1,587.3/km2).  There were 3,168 housing units at an average density of 1,420.5/sq mi (548.5/km2).  The racial makeup of the city was 69.73% White, 0.69% African American, 1.47% Native American, 1.30% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 23.20% from other races, and 3.57% from two or more races.  Hispanic or Latino of any race were 38.25% of the population.

There were 3,001 households out of which 45.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.6% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.5% were non-families.  18.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older.  The average household size was 3.02 and the average family size was 3.43.

In the city the population was spread out with 33.7% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 18.2% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who were 65 years of age or older.  The median age was 30 years.  For every 100 females there were 92.9 males.  For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.9 males.

entering on hwy 65The median income for a household in the city was $33,738, and the median income for a family was $37,033.  Males had a median income of $32,308 versus $27,371 for females.  The per capita income for the city was $13,795.  About 14.2% of families and 19.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.8% of those under age 18 and 12.0% of those age 65 or over.
Click here for the U.S. Census Bureau Fact Sheet from Census 2000.