The Historic Modesto web site has been designed as a history of Modesto, California for those who have either lived here all their lives or who have come here from other parts of the state, country and world. The idea for this site was the result of questioning people about the origin of local school names or the stories behind local landmarks. While Modesto has a wonderful museum in the old McHenry Library and an accurately restored Victorian-era residence in the McHenry Mansion, there is little that remains in the city itself of the town and the people that existed in the past. Some cities have retained a section of town as a living monument to the past. Modesto, unfortunately, chose to tear down much of its historical areas in an effort to revitalize the downtown core during the late 1960s and early 1970s.
While California has rebuilt itself many times over, Modesto has not only rebuilt itself, it has pretty much wiped out its history and grown far beyond the dreams of those who built the first buildings and populated the 48-block village.
So this site is dedicated to the early settlers of Modesto and their dreams that have flourished in the great Central Valley of California. It provides a chance to look at what Modesto was and what it has become, for better or worse. To contact the Historic Modesto webmaster, click here.
The site will change and more will be added to it as time goes by. Use the menus below if the pull down menus at the top do not work in your browser.