Earlimart is a rural unincorporated community located in southern Tulare County, approximately 25 miles south of Visalia and 40 miles north of Bakersfield along State Highway 99. Earlimart was originally established in 1880 by the San Joaquin Valley Railroad (now known as the Southern Pacific Railroad) as a rail stop called Alila or “land of flowers.” Community members changed its name to Earlimart in 1910, choosing that name because the variety of melons grown by local farmers ripened early, and thus were considered “early to market.” Hence “earli-mart.”
Tulare County’s Earlimart branch library was established in October 1914 in the Alila School. The present branch library was built in 1959, and is located at 780 East Washington Street.
The community is predominantly rural, and industry is agriculturally-related, with many packing houses and cold storage facilities. Vineyards are prevalent in the surrounding area. Earlimart is also home to three schools: Alila Elementary, Earlimart Elementary and Earlimart Middle School.
Located along the Highway 99 corridor, Earlimart is considered a Prime Development Area. There are many prime Agricultural and Industrial properties available in this community. Earlimart has immediate access to rail and highway.