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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.

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Early History

Ralston

1870s

Early 1900s

1940s Modesto

McHenry Mansion

The Arch

Trees and Parks

Hotel Modesto

Stages and Screens

People

Sports

Coming Soon

 

What's New

 

About Historic Modesto

 

Coming Soon

 

Historic Modesto Shop

 

ModestoMania

 

Timeline

 

Early Regional History

 

Ralston

 

The 1870s

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Irrigation: Water Wealth

 

1870s Part 2

 

Early 1900s

 

1933 - Gallo Winery

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1940s Modesto

 

1960s High School Days

 

Gallo Timeline

 

McHenry Mansion

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The Arch

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Hotel Modesto

 

Stages & Screens

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Trees & Parks

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Del Webb Field

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Rogers Fountain

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Belt Printing

 

Saving the Mansion

 

Thru the Years

 

More Stages & Screens

 

The Strand

 

The State

 

Graceada Park

 

Baseball Greats

 

Restoration

 

The Fountain Today

 

James Algar

 

Jack Elam

 

Frederick Faust

 

George Lucas

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Frank Mancini

 

James Marsters

 

John Martel

 

Timothy Olyphant

 

Harve Presnell

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Jeremy Renner

 

Chester Smith

 

Andrew Toti

 

Anne Veneman

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Tisha Venturini

 

Episode III Premiere

 

American Graffiti

 

Star Wars

 

Lucas Plaza

 

Playbill Obiituary

 

Presidential Praise