History of San Joaquin County, California with Biographical Sketches
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, CA - 1923
In the history of the world nations have arisen, grown to great strength and influence in the affairs of the world and then passed
away. So is it with the towns of a state. They were founded, grew to more or less importance in the community
in which they were located and having filled their place in the county's history, they passed from memory or they became sleeping landmarks
of the past. San Joaquin County has had several of the villages, some
are forgotten, some are but skeletons of their former self, and some linger along hoping for a revival of the days of "49".
Clements, Lockeford, Waterloo, Liberty, Elliott,
Mokelumne City, New Hope, Collegeville,
French Camp, Linden, Woodbridge, Banta, Atlanta are all towns of the past, post road towns
built up and maintained by the staging and teaming of the early days and the farming community. Now staging and teaming is dead and the
farmers no longer require community centers, for they ride to town on the steam or traction cars, or sail over the roads in their automobiles.
Each of the places are listed here because they had
a post office
Before the communities of Ripon and Manteca were established, Atlanta was
the trading center of this section of the county
Today Bellota is composed of widely scattered residences with only the shell
of a concrete block store and the rambling remains of Fisher's Hotel.
Acampo is a small community just outside of Stockton, California.
The community of Acampo is located 1 .5 miles north of Lodi, immediately west of the Southern Pacific
Railroad (SPRR) at Acampo Road. The town was initially established as New Liberty in I868 as a Central Pacific Railroad stop. In 1872, the
town was renamed Acampo, the Spanish word for grazing land.
Acampo never became an important rail stop but did support a freight and passenger depot for many years. In the 1880's watermelons were a
important crop in the area, but they were soon replaced by apricot, almond, and prune orchards, and vineyards. In I934, the Acampo Winery
& Distillers Inc. (later to become the Lost Hills/Barengo Winery) was established within the community. Today, Acampo is still an
important wine-producing acres
Acampo is an agriculturally-oriented rural community of 47 acres and had approximately 250 people in 1990. It is the childhood place of Real
& Chance of the reality television show I Love New York.
The community was named for Henry Banta, settler. Banta is a small unincorporated town in San Joaquin County, California. Historically, it
was a major interchange point between the Central Pacific and Southern Pacific railroads. It was located on the route of the transcontinental
railroad from Sacramento to the San Francisco Bay Area by way of the Altamont Pass and Niles Canyon before the Central Pacific bought the
route of the California Pacific which ran north of the Carquinez Strait to Vallejo. The Central Pacific diverted the California Pacific line
to Benicia, California and established a railroad ferry between Benicia and Port Costa across the Carquinez Strait.
The city of Carnegie lasted from 1895-1912.It had a population of 3500 people. It was also the site of the Carnegie Brick and Pottery
Company. The town had numerous single-family dwellings, there were two large bunk houses with over one hundred rooms each, occupied mainly
by Italian workers. Across from these was Tom Graner's Carnegie Hotel. Nearby were a bakery, Carnegie Livery Stable, Tom Collin's
Saloon, the company store, post office and a bandstand. The town died from lack of money in 1912. There are no current residents. The site
is now the Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area,5.9 miles W of I-580 on Corral Hollow Rd,9 miles SW of
Tracy. Old sidewalks and the Old brickworks foundation remain.
China Flat History
In 1963, the Camanche dam was built on the Mokelumne river
drowning Camanche, Lanhca Plana, and China Flat so that only divers can get there now.
Another of the bygone villages is Collegeville. It was so named after the college erected there in 1866 at a cost of $8,000. The building
was destroyed by fire and never resurrected. One of the first settlers in that locality was John Kehoe. Another settler was Dr. L. R. Chalmers
in 1850, and he it was who caused the location there of Morris College. The settlement is on a line between Dent and O'Neal townships and as
a farming center was quite a busy burg. Teaming for Mariposa all passed that point, also the stages for the mountain towns. At one time,
1879, it boasted of the usual wayside saloon, a blacksmith shop and wagon shop, a butcher shop, schoolhouse, church and eight or nine
dwellings. The railroad and automobiles were the cause of its decline, and there is now a grocery store, an old schoolhouse, church and two
or three residences.
Collierville is a rural community at the northern edge of San Joaquin County. Dry Creek, which forms the southern border of Sacramento County,
is a mile north of community's northern boundary. The community occupies more than a square mile along State Route 99, primarily in the vicinity
of Collier Road, but extending as far south as Jahant Road. It is surrounded by agricultural land. The area presently known as Collierville
formerly contained two separate settlements. Neither settlement remains today. The first, Liberty, was settled in 1852 as a stopping point
along the stage route between Stockton and Sacramento. Early growth of the community was spurred on by efforts to use the nearby Mokelumne
River for navigable commerce, and the town's proximity by river to Woodbridge. By 1869.
Liberty had a population of about 75 and supported three merchandise stores, a shoemaker, a dentist, a livery, two blacksmiths, a hotel, and
a wagon maker.
Liberty's prosperity was short lived. The Central Pacific Railroad designated the neighboring town of GaIt as its depot, leaving Liberty
with no freight or passenger service. As the two towns were just over a mile apart, most of Liberty's buildings were moved to Galt during
the 187Os. Other buildings were moved to New Liberty (later renamed Acampo), the next rail depot to the south. All that remains of the
historic settlement of Liberty today is the town cemetery.
Twenty years after Liberty was abandoned, a small community known as Forest Lake was created at a railroad siding less than a mile to the
west. The community was a cattle and grain shipment point for the surrounding farm areas. Forest Lake never prospered, dwindling in size
after 1900. Some 50 years later, a nursery adjacent to the old community was developed as a golf course. The surrounding area was seen as
attractive for rural homesites and began to develop with large lot ranchettes.' By the 1885, the area north and east of the golf course had
been extensively subdivided into lots of one to five acres.
Today, Collierville is a loosely-defined community along State Route 99. Most of its commercial development is focused around the
intersection of Collier Road and State Route 99. Lodi Airport, at the southern edge of the community, draws users from northern San Joaquin
County. Most of Collierville's developed land is devoted to rural residential use. Other major land uses include a golf course located in
the southern part of the community and a cemetery in the northern section. There is also a golf course north of the community along Dry Creek
near State Route 99.
The community of Coopers Corner is locked at the intersection of Acampo Road and the State Route 99 East Frontage Road, 1 .5 miles north of
the City of Lodi.
Coopers Corner was originally established as the Van Geider Tract. The City of Lodi approved the 21 lot subdivision of 2 to 2.5 acre parcels
on June 28, 1928 (the County Planning Commission was not established until December 1931). From the 1930's to the 1960's, and to a lesser
extent during the 1970's, the Van Geider Tract was subdivided into smaller parcels.
Coopers Corner is a rural community, encompassing 58 acres of land. More than two thirds of the planning area is in residential use, with
most of the existing residentially-planned lots already developed. Presently, there are about 75 single family dwelling units in the
community, housing about 250 people. The housing stock is primarily single family, with just one multi-family building (13 units) located
in the commercial area of the community.
Commercial use occupies only 2 acres, less than 5 percent of the community. These activities are located between State Route 99 and the
frontage road, and provide limited services for the residents and the surrounding agricultural areas. Uses include an auto repair shop,
auto and trailer sales, a sprinkler company, and a market with gas pumps. A public school site is located just south of Acampo Road. The
surrounding agricultural land is predominantly vineyard
Formerly known as Hawks' Corners, is in the northwest corner of Elliott Township. A. Methodist Episcopal church (South) was organized there
in 1858, and subsequently, the Good Templars, Patrons of Husbandry and Odd Fellows. The latter, as No. 288, was instituted February 25,
1880, with five charter members, and the following as officers: H. H. West, N. G.; J. W. Fitzgerald. V. G.; W. S. Hickey, Sec.;
J. Lamb, Treas. They now number thirty-three in membership.
Also a C. P. R. R. station, at the junction of the Corral Hollow R. R., built to the coal mines in Corral Hollow. When Ellis was in its
infancy, the citizens and houses of Wickland moved to that place, as being the most eligible for future prosperity, but when, this year,
Tracy was made the point of departure for the new line of rail road to Oakland, Ellis took unto itself wings, and flew to the embrace of its
more successful rival, and there is but little left at Ellis now
In 1858, W. B. Stamper took up the west half of section 16, township 1 north, range 9 east, upon which Farmington now stands. He sold lots
soon after to William and Daniel Sanderson, who put up the hotel and blacksmith shop. After the hotel was erected, Dr. Stamper named the
place Farmington, because it was the center of an extensive and rich farming county. This was on what was then the Stockton and Sonora road.
The plat surveyed by N. S. Harrold, when the Farmington branch of the Copperopolis Railroad was built through that place. The initial point
of Farmington was the "Oregon Tent" where Mr. Harrold now lives. Thayer & Wells were the first owners.
About 1859 or '60 L. J. Morrow and Alexander Harne built and stocked a general merchandise store where Farmington now is, and the postoffice
was removed there from what was the Marietta House - Thomas J. Brooks' place - three miles above. Harne is now living six miles from Stockton.
Where Mr. Patterson now lives there was another tavern, and still another where Mr. Benton now resides.
Farmington, a place now probably of about 250 inhabitants, and about seventeen miles east of Stockton, is appropriately named, being in the
midst of an excellent farming district, where wheat has been for many years the great specialty. It now has all the conveniences of
a country village, - a good graded school, and a fine building erected in 1888 at a cost of over $6,000, three hotels, two general stores,
express and telegraph offices, three blacksmith shops and a harness shop and a livery stable, besides churches and societies.
The Cumberland Presbyterian church was organized in May, 1872. Previous to this, services had been held in the Shady Grove school-house. by
Rev. C. Yager. In the fall of 1876 a church was built by the combined subscription of all denominations, at a cost of about $1,500.
The first officers were W. B. Ford, J. M. Groves and Joseph Manchester. In the pastorate, Rev. Yeager was succeeded by Dr. Crawford and E. C.
Lattia. The present pastor is Rev. Mr. Elder.
The Episcopal Methodists (North) organized a society here in May, 1878, and continued in the Cumberland Presbyterian church. It was in this
place they held their first religious services, in October previous, conducted by Rev. A. T. Palmer. In 1889 they built a church, at a cost
of $2,500, and dedicated it November 10, same year. Rev. H. J. Gregory of Linden is their present pastor.
The Southern Methodists established a class here in 1877, and Rev. R. F. Beasley is their present minister.
The school-house, of two stories, costing over $6,000 was completed in 1889. The Odd Fellows' Hall building, two stories, was erected
in 1881, at a cost of $2,500, and is used also by the K. of P.; and the lower story is used as a dance hall.
In Farmington are three hotels and taverns, three blacksmith shops, one tinware and pump shop, one harness shop, a barber shop and two
Farmington is a little settlement well named in 1859 by a man named Wm. Stamper, as it is located in the center of a vast farming district.
As early as 1848 two men named David Wells and George Thayer immigrated here from Oregon and erecting a tule house took up 320 acres of land
near the present site of Farmington. The place was known as the Oregon ranch. In 1852 Nathaniel S. Harrold purchased the Oregon ranch as a
stock farm. He increased his holdings until he had over 5,000 acres of land. In 1868 he built a handsome two-story brick residence costing
him $10,000. Another settler there in 1855 was Shubal Dunham, who also became a wealthy farmer and erected a handsome residence.
Two other well-known settlers were M. J. Drais and J. F. Harrison. In 1858 W. B. Stamper took up land on the present Farmington site, and in
the following year he sold his two lots to David and Wm. Sanderson who erected a blacksmith shop and hotel. Alexander Horn and L. J. Morrow
then opened a general merchandising store. The store, after changing hands many times, was later purchased by O. K. Dyke and Fred M. West.
When the Oakdale Railroad was built it greatly benefited the town, and in the early '90s there were three hotels, two merchandising stores,
a livery stable, three blacksmith shops, a harness store, two churches and a school. There was an Odd Fellows' lodge instituted July 11,
1882, Farmington Lodge No. 296, which is still in existence, and Crescent Rebekah Lodge No. 234, with at present twenty-eight members.
The first school was opened in a small building on the land of M. J. Drais, with Wm. Chapman as the first teacher. A new school was erected
in 1889 at a cost of $6,000. Religious services were there held as early as 1853 by a Presbyterian minister, Rev. M. Crow. In 1872, through
the work of the Rev. Charles Yager, a Cumberland Presbyterian pastor, a Union church was built through the subscriptions of members of all
denominations, at a cost of $1,500. In 1878 the Methodist Episcopal Church was organized, and in 1889 they built a $2,500 edifice.
French Camp History
One of the oldest of these towns is the historic village of
French Camp. We remember that the Hudson Bay Company had their trappers at that
point in 1837, and that in 1844, Benjamin Kelsey and his family located for a season. After the discovery of gold and the founding of
Stockton, it became quite a trading point for the Southern mines, because of the fact that teams and stages could travel from that point to
the mines, either, summer or winter. In fact the winter roads were much the best as the rains packed the sand and made durable roads.
Because of its trade some persons believe it would be a rival of Stockton. "Because of Stockton's mud," said the Republican as
late as March, 1861, "Quite a number of small craft were employed at present in conveying goods from this city to French Camp. Teams do
not attempt to come within four miles of town at present, because of the bad roads, and they pay four dollars per ton to have the goods
brought to the camp, where the teams can receive it. A gravel road to French Camp even with a high toll upon it would be a great saving to
the teamsters besides giving us one driveway out of town."
The French Camp turnpike was built to the village soon after this item was published, and the camp then became a memory. One of the first
settlers at the camp was Richard W. Noble and his family, who located there in 1852. Previous to this time Mr. Noble, who had a store at
Mariposa, erected an adobe house at French Camp, at a cost of some $14,000. It was built on a knoll in the town; the building with its wall
three feet thick being used as a storehouse for his goods. Soon after this he and Archibald Stevenson formed a partnership and opened a store
and public house. Then the store of Le Barron & Company was opened and the merchandising place of N. McKinstry. In 1850, Lansing &
Snell opened a hotel and store. And about the same time a man named Earle started a blacksmith shop and bakery.
Goods for these places during the winter were transported there up French Camp Slough, and the first man to navigate the stream was E. W.
Atwood. He began the navigation of the slough in a yawl, carrying about 1,500 pounds of freight and four passengers. Then the little steamer
Mint began running to that point, carrying passengers and freight. The first religious service was held in the home of Colonel Lansing. The
following year, 1851, a schoolhouse was erected by subscriptions from the farmers and Stockton citizens and it was used for all public
assemblies. A second story was added and this was used for a hall for the Sons of Temperance. In 1853, there were two hotels in the place
doing big business, and five lines of stages started from that point.
Glenwood encompasses about 126 acres around the intersection old Alpine Road and 8 Mile Road. Route 26 about 3 miles east of Route 99.
A total of 400 people reside in this community. Glenwood is characterized by large lot homesites, orchards, and an elementary school.
About 90 percent of the land within the Glenwood community boundaries is developed. Housing is the predominant land use, cohering about 100
acres in the community. Residential densities average about one dwelling unit per acre, but there is much variation in lot sizes within the
community. The residential areas are surrounded by orchards and agricultural land The Glenwood Elementary School provides a focal point for
the community and distinguishes the area from other rural areas on Stockton's east side.
There are about 140 housing units in Glenwood. Housing is located along Route 26 and Alpine Road, and along dead end rural streets feeding
into thee two lane roads. Commercial and industrial uses are very limited, together totaling about five acre Only 9 acres within the community
boundaries are undeveloped and available for future development.
Liberty was established in 1852 by C.C. Fugitt. First know as Davis Crossing, then Fugitts, the town finally became known as Liberty in
1859. Liberty was an important stage route between Stockton and Sacramento. In 1869,during the peak of development, Liberty had three
merchandise stores, two blacksmith shops, a shoemaker, a dentist, a wagon maker, a livery stable and C.C. Fugitts Hotel. The end of the town
came as a result of the Central Pacific Railroad establishing Galt as a stop. Most of Liberty's buildings were moved to Galt, The cemetery
is all that's left of the town of Liberty now.
(The state put up this granite boulder with no other marker or plaque near the site of Benson's Ferry and Mokelumne City) Probably not one
pioneer out of one hundred ever heard of Mokelumne City, and but few persons today could tell its location and yet when it was founded, near
the junction of the Consumnes and Mokelumne Rivers, its prospects were bright as the second largest town in the county, for it had deep water
communication with San Francisco all the year round, an advantage not possessed by any other town in the county except Stockton. Parties
began moving there in 1850. In August of that year the town was surveyed and many lots sold to individual parties for homes and business
purposes. During one week five schooners arrived, loaded with groceries, hardware and lumber. "Schooners were constantly arriving with
goods," said a writer in the spring of 1860, "and the town is increasing in size wonderfully, and several brick and wooden
buildings have been constructed." In August, 1861, the town, included twenty-three houses and a hotel, erected by George Keith at a
cost of $5,000, with lots selling in price from $600 to $1,000 each. It was a town of just ten years of history, for all the inhabitants
then moved to Lodi.
20 Mormon pioneers from the ship Brooklyn founded the first known agricultural colony in San Joaquin Valley, planting the first wheat and
crops that they irrigated by the pole and bucket method. They erected three log houses and operated a sawmill and a ferry across Stanislaus.
Their settlement later became known as Stanislaus City.
New Jerusalem was located approximately seven miles southeast of central Tracy. The existing 142-acre rural community is located on the
northeast side of State Route 33, generally north of Durham Ferry Road and west of Koster Road, approximately ? mile east of the Route 33
and lnterstate 5 Interchange. The proposal for an expanded community of New Jerusalem includes an additional 3,024 acres, for a total area
of 3,225 acres, and extends to Interstate 5 on the west and State Route 132 on the south.
The New Jerusalem Community has grown out of the cumulative land divisions around the elementary school and the Tracy Rural Fire Station,
primarily during the 1960's and 1970's. Recent subdivisions have in filled the existing rural residential areas
The existing Community is a rural residential enclave consisting of a few large-lot subdivisions, rural residences on split lots, a fire
station, an elementary school, and an agriculture airport. In 1988, the community had 64 dwellings on lots of approximately A to 2 acres in
size. The residences are generally oriented along the roads around the perimeter of the community or on short dead-end streets feeding
into these roads. The community contains less than an acre of commercial property, about 8 acres of public uses, and 42 acres of vacant or
agricultural land. Some of the vacant land has been approved for subdivisions.
Outside the existing community, but within the boundaries of the expanded community, are another 26 homes. Thus, a total of about 5.2 percent
of the expanded community is in residential or other developed uses, and 93.5 percent is in agriculture. All agricultural land within
the expanded community is designated Prime Farmland, according to the State Farmland Mapping Program.
The proposed New Jerusalem expanded community is composed primarily of single-family residential areas, a small multi4amily residential
component, a senior housing development (+ 2,000 units), a golf course, a reconstructed wetland, neighborhood and community parks, as
well as shopping centers, freeway service developments, and business and industrial parks.
The community of Peters is located at the intersection of Fine and Copperopolis Roads, 12 miles east of Stockton. The town was
surveyed in 1871 and subsequently became one of five stops on the Stockton and Copperopolis Railroad. During the late 1800s, Peters was a
grain shipment and supply center for the surrounding region. By 1880, the town contained a Wells Fargo Express Office, a telegraph office,
three blacksmiths, two saloons, a grocery store, a liquor store, a grocers, a hotel, a grain dealer, a church, and a school. None of these
uses exist today.
Peters' role as a commercial center declined during the first half of this century. By 1951 , the post office and most commercial enterprises
had closed. During the past four decades, the community has retained its agricultural character.
Peters encompasses about 930 acres of rural residences and small agricultural parcels. Most of the community consists of parcels between 2
and 10 acres in size. The smaller parcels are generally developed with rural residences, while the larger parcels contain orchards or
vineyards. The community is surrounded by commercial agriculture.
San Joaquin City
San Joaquin City was started in the fall of 1849. It was hoped in those days, that it might be possible to make this point a rival to
Stockton, "but today there are but one hotel, two saloons and restaurants and a warehouse. from: History of San Joaquin County,
Thompson & West, 1879".
This river town was established in 1849. Pioneers and freight wagons following post roads to the southern mines crossed the river nearby at
Durham's Ferry, and as a terminal for riverboats, the town played an important part in development of west side grain farming and cattle
raising. Located 1.4 miles North of county line on County Hwy J3, SE of Tracy
Taison was established in 1860 as a stage stop. The town was named after Captain G.P.Taison. In 1870 a ship canal was dug from Taison to Hog
Slough.In the mid-1880s Taison had a general merchandise store, a brick yard, a grain buying and storage firm, a justice of the peace, a
harness and saddle maker, a blacksmith shop, a wagon builders shop and a dance hall.Residents throughout this area traveled to Taison for
dances. Taison faded away when Thornton became an important stage stop. There are no current residents. The town site is located south of
Thornton, near Peltier Road. Nothing but the ship canal from Taison to Hog Slough remains
This farming center formerly known as New Hope lies at the mouth of the Mokelumne River in the midst of some of the most fertile land in the
county. The first settler was Arthur Thornton, who there located in 1855. He erected a two-story home, opened a store in which he and A.
Bortland were partners. The town in 1880 boasted of a saloon, blacksmith, stable, postoffice, and several houses. When the Western Pacific
Railroad passed through the town they established a station, erected a large freight depot, and changed the name to Thornton, in honor of
its founder. May 12, 1880 the town was visited by one of the heaviest hail storms ever experienced in the county. In twenty minutes time the
hail fell to the depth of three inches, destroying entirely the heavy fruit crops, and the lightning striking in several places destroyed
telegraph poles and trees. More Thornton History
Vernalis is an old San Joaquin Valley farming community. It was founded in 1888 when the Southern Pacific Railroad established a station
there. The name "Vernalis" is from Latin meaning "pertaining to spring" Located On Highway 33 at the Junction of Highway 132 about 14 miles
west of Modesto. There are a few residents, Vernalis Grocery. Train Station
Victor is a small community located on State Route 12 at Benella Road, immediately east of Lodi and approximately 3 miles west of Lockeford.
The surrounding vineyards and the Southern Pacific Railroad (SPRR), which runs east-west through the community, helped establish Victor as
an important fruit packing and shipping center. Much of the residential development of the community took place between 1910 and 1920, and
again after World War II. On the left: 6100 E. Victor Rd. The tiny Roma winery was already in existence in 1915 when brothers John Battista
and Lorenzo Cella bought the winery, then located in Lodi
Victor is a rural residential and agriculturally oriented community of approximately 77 acres and present the existing land use profile for
Existing residential uses occupy 23 acres or approximately 30 percent of the planning area. These dwellings are primarily older single family
homes on 7,000 to 8,000 square foot parcels.
Agriculturally-related industrial uses comprise 19 acres or 25 percent of the community. These activities, concentrated along and oriented
to the SPRR, include fruit packing and storage warehouses, box manufacturing and cherry brining operations.
Commercial uses occupy only 8 percent of the community or 6 acres, and include a market, hardware store, barber shop and a nursery. Public
uses include the Victor Elementary School, Mokelumne Fire Station, a U.S. Post Office, and the Water District's office. Most of the
surrounding land is planted in vineyards.
Wicklund was started on Old river in 1861. It is one-half mile from Mehrs' landing-place, for vessels that freighted away the coal taken
from the mines in Corral Hollow. Between 1856 and 1861, some 1,800 tons were shipped at this point. When Ellis was established as a R. R.
station on the C. P. R. R., many of the houses of Wicklund were removed to that place. The mines failing, eventually reduced the importance
of the village, and there now remain only a warehouse, hotel, blacksmith shop and the ferry, now known as Neagley's Ferry. There is a
railroad station, called Bethany, within one-half mile of the old village of Wicklund.
Suggested Central Valley Books
Collegeville, Farmington, French Camp, Thornton HistoryGene Wright
Collegeville, Farmington, French Camp, Thornton History