Atwater is located in Merced County, California, off of California State Route 99.
When the settlers arrived in the area now known as Atwater, they found a land of rolling hills and rivers -- perfect for farming.
The original inhabitants of the area were the Yokut Indians, who were later joined by Spanish settlers with land grants. The gold rush in California flooded the area with eager prospectors and hopeful farmers.
One such man was John W. Mitchell who arrived in San Francisco on February 22, 1851, who followed his brother. After establishing themselves in the town, the two brothers went into business together cutting hay. Their business grew, and so did their land acquisitions.