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McDERMONT HISTORY


McDermont Field House is the premier sports and entertainment destination in the Central Valley.  Originally a fruit packinghouse, it has been transformed into a state-of-the-art, 172,000 square ft venue where families can spend time together, be active and have fun.

The Field House takes its name from the former owner of the packinghouse, Merwyn Arthur McDermont (1918-1988).  He purchased the packinghouse in Lindsay in 1955 and established McDermont Fruit Co.  Family lore states that the McDermonts descended from Scottish Royalty dating back to the 16th Century.

Merwyn's grandfather, Alexander McDermont and his twin brother, William came to the United States at the age of 11.  By the age of 16, the twins joined the fight in the Civil War in which William was fatally wounded.  The tradition also indicates that Alexander was present when Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address.  After the birth of his son Arthur, in 1878 in Muscatine, IA, Alexander moved west.  He started a packinghouse in Placentia, CA in 1887, becoming the first co-op manager in the citrus industry.  Arthur (Merwyn's father) married Edith, and continued to run the packinghouse in Placentia.

Merwyn Arthur McDermont was born December 2, 1918 in Riverside, CA.  Merwyn was one of five men who started Sunkist Growers.  He succeeded his father to become the owner of the Riverside packinghouse and proceeded to expand the company with the purchase of a packinghouse in Lindsay.  On the corner of Hermosa and Sweet Brier stood the original packinghouse, which would later become McDermont Field House.  J.J. Cairns' two sisters sold the structure to Merwyn in 1955.  With the acquisition of yet another packinghouse located in Exeter, he then owned three all at one time in the 1950s--in Riverside, Lindsay and Exeter called McDermont Fruit Co.  Merwyn sold off his properties in the 1970s, including the three packinghouses.

The Lindsay facility was abandoned in the early 1990s. In 2005, the City of Lindsay "rediscovered" the property and purchased it in order to begin the construction of McDermont Field House in 2006.

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Merwyn on his boat

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Photo of McDermont Fruit Co.

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Photo of McDermont Fruit Co in the 1950s