Mammoth Orange Food Stand for Sale in California

The decades-old food stand is up for grabs, but many claim it to be a historical monument

Want a giant orange to add to your… backyard? Head to Fairmead, Calif., where the famous Mammoth Orange stand is being fought over by potential buyers.

It’s not your typical food stand — the Mammoth Orange, which has sat on the side of Highway 99 for 58 years, is a run-down, graffiti-ridden orange. But after the orange was put up for sale in April, more and more people say the giant orange is a part of history.

The fruit stand was one of the last fruit-shaped fruit stands in the country; the Los Angeles Times reports that it opened in 1958 — before the first McDonald’s opened — and was last open in 2008. It was one of hundreds that would line the streets of California. Since it’s fallen into disrepair, the city put it up for sale. One local resident, Kathy Parrish, offered $1,000 for the orange. Now, the Chowchilla District Historical Society is fighting to keep the orange in the city of Fairmead. The city has now put the orange up for auction for the two parties to battle it out.

Originally, there were plans in 2008 to re-open the stand and renovate it, but the Fresno Bee reports that those plans dried up in the recession. Parrish said that she planned to renovate the orange and operate it next to her own fruit and vegetable stand on Avenue 9. The historical society says if they win the bid, they hope to have the orange registered under the National Register of Historic Places.

It’s hard to imagine a giant orange eliciting such strong emotion, but for residents of Fairmead, the orange holds a lot of memories. Said one historian, Gloria Scott, to the LA Times, "There's a lot of people for whom these fruit-shaped stands tug at the heartstrings… They hold multiple levels of nostalgia: migration, agriculture, transportation, family road trips."