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Take a downtown walk past Manteca history

The downtown walking tour was developed by the Manteca Historical Society.

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Take a downtown walk past Manteca history

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POSTED December 25, 2013 9:11 p.m.

1.METHODIST CHURCH (museum)

When completed in 1918, this building served as the First Methodist Episcopal Church and was “one of the finest in Manteca.”

2.POWERS HOUSE

This was the home of Ed Powers, who turned Manteca into “The Watermelon Capital of the World” and constructed the town’s first telephone system.

3.COTRELL HOUSE

Built by J.J. Overshiner in 1913, this home was purchased by the Cotrell family in 1939.

4.MANTECA PARK

Now Library Park, Manteca Park was once the home of the Manteca softball diamond. Home plate was at the NW corner of the park, now covered by the library building.

5.SOUTHERN
PACIFIC DEPOT

The depot formerly here was built in 1911 and demolished in 1965.

6.PARR HOUSE /
 WILSON PARK

The brick home across the street was built by C.W. Forbes in 1940. It was sold to Dr. O’Connor, who used it as his home and office from 1940 to 1954. It was also owned by Clifford Parr, a former mayor.

BBuilt in 1923, this has been the home of a jail, police station and city hall. The post office was also here until 1939.

8.MANTECA CREAMERY

This was the first business in the area and probably responsible for the city’s name (“monteca” was used as a Spanish term for cream; the current name resulted from a railroad misprint). The creamery was destroyed in 1966.

9.IOOF HALL

This building is home to the oldest organization in town, the Oddfellows and the Rebeccas. It was built in 1911 and has been used as a library and post office, as well as by many different organizations.

10.COWELL
 BUILDING

Built by Joshua Cowell, this build was once the home of Leo’s Grocery, which was one of the largest employers in town.

11.EL REY THEATER

This former theater held its grand opening in 1937 and burned down August 6, 1975 during a showing of “The Towering Inferno.”

12.COWELL
 HOMESITE

This is the homesite of Joshua Cowell, the “Father of Manteca.” One of the earliest settlers, he was responsible for much of the town’s early growth and served as its first mayor.

13.KRAFT FOODS COMPNAY

A cheese company first opened here in 1921. It was later used by Kraft from 1937 to 1977 as one of the town’s mayor employers.

14.WINERY /
CANNING CO.

This was once the Manteca Winery. It was built by A. Baccileri in 1905. In 1914, the winery was expanded and became the Manteca Canning Company. Heavy competition forced it to close in 1964. Across the street is the location of the city’s first water works.

15.OLDEST HOUSE

This house is believed to be the oldest surviving home in Manteca. Originally located where the Cotrell home now is, it was moved here by J.J. Overshiner in order to make way for the current home.

16.MANTECA
HOSPITAL

Manteca’s first hospital was built here in 1919. Large enough to care for 30 patients, it was the beginning of the town’s health services. It served as a hospital until June 4, 1920. It now houses the HOPE Family Shelter.

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