By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Taking a spin down Memory Lane
Placeholder Image

OK you Real Estate Boys; I am fairly new to Turlock and so far love it here and love the Valley.  When I moved from the right coast mid-summer my Realtor kept telling me all the neat things about Turlock and I couldn’t stop thinking about John and Paul’s “She Loves You.” Yeah, yeah, yeah.  “You’re just saying that stuff.”  Well, 6 months into my new life I am now saying the same about my newly adopted home.  I’m sort of hoping you Boys can tell me some of the changes you’ve seen over the years to this great town, Turlock. 

        – This Boy

Well now this will be a fun article to play with folks.  This is a walk down memory lane for many of us. Lar’s only been living in Turlock for about 42 years and he says there have been a lot of changes whereas Lloyd has made Turlock home for about 39 years.  Larry will go first with a few changes he has seen.  Take it away Lar.

Well, I can recall vividly driving up from Whittier on Easter break to take a look at Stan State.  Remember, 99 went through the middle of Turlock, and we turned up Geer Road and when we crossed Canal we were in the county.  The only things on Geer Road were the Shell gas station, now Burger King, and then Liberty Mkt and Manjo’s and Liberty Market.  Geer Rd. was barely a lane and half wide.  The college, then CSS, Cal State Stanislaus, had the Classroom building, the Admin, Library & Cafeteria building and the Performing Arts buildings.  Oh, and a very small Gym a half mile from the campus proper.  And as short as I am, I was taller than 90% of the trees on the campus.  Within a year the corner of Geer and Monte Vista has a new Save Mart and Beno’s.  Then the Lucky’s Center followed a few years later.  The population in Turlock in 1971 was about 13,500.    Lloyd!

OK Lar, how about this one.  Golden State Blvd. before Dels Ln. and Hawkeye went through.  There was like an old Pioneer Village there, a very old bar with a trailer park behind it.  The building was constructed of old barn wood until one night in maybe 1974 it lit up the sky and was gone.  Now it’s the City’s Transportation Center.  And since I have the typewriter, what about the fact that we had two bowling alleys?  Turlock High School was the one and only high school.  Oh, and remember having to drive all the way up McHenry in Modesto to get a MacDonald’s cheese burger?  Why, Turlock had no fast food restaurants until the MacDonald’s at Geer and Tuolumne was built in the late 70’s.  And just a bit more trivia, that corner was owned by Jennifer Larson’s grandparents.  One of the first large subdivisions in Turlock was built by Buchannan & Son, Dennis, on the eastside of Geer between Tuolumne and North Ave. 

OK Lloyd, it’s my turn please.  You’re taking up all the good stuff.  Here’s one for you sir, name the car dealerships back then.  Of course there was Bonander and Smith.  Then where City Hall is today was LeDuc’s Ford, where you drove up to the second floor for car repairs.  One more sir, OK, it was Denis Dodge next to Bonander’s.  Denis then sold out to Guyett’s.  And do you recall just how many stoplights Turlock had in the early 70’s on Golden State?  I counted 4, one at Canal, Olive, Main and Marshall.  And never forget the many Big Oranges up and down the 99.  I read an obit the franchise was owned by Bob Schmidt’s mom.  We had one at about Golden State and F St?  And there was the famous Keyes stoplight. Lastly, think of where Target, Home Depot and Safeway are today.  What was that just a few years ago?  The 85 acres was owned by Bill and Billy Henderson and they had a very special crop on the property.  Baby’s Breath.  The Hendersons were famous as they employed a generation of Turlock youth each summer to harvest the product.  OK Lloyd shift gears and what hasn’t changed in Turlock?

Alright Lar. The good ole Turlock Journal is still around.  While it was a 6 day a week evening paper in the 70’s , now it’s just a 3 mornings a week paper.  You mentioned car dealers and Smith and Bonander are still around.  Downtown is now the new and improved Downtown but not open late on Thursday evenings.  Your turn, sir.

Well, we still have Emanuel Hospital and Medic Alert, Sierra Dr. and the County Fair is still a very popular event each summer.  And then there’s Latif’s where you can still get the best home cooked meal in town from pattie melts and hamburgers and see the Presidential chair where George Bush Sr. had one of Latif’s world famous pies.  (And Bob just got rid of the historic brass scale to Minerva’s).  And let’s not forget The Toggery, Hauck’s lunch counter and the list goes on forever.

Lar, don’t forget the Christmas parade, 4th of July parade and the largest antique car swap in the world all happen in Turlock.  While years ago we were known as having a lot of churches, now we are famous for the best Crab Feeds per capita than any other town in California. 

OK, why is any of this important to real estate?  Everything we Boys just wrote about has made Turlock the place it is today.  Turlock is the “Jewel of the Valley” per Mayor John Lazar and that’s why people like you fall in love with Turlock.  The quality of life in Turlock is very special, the family values, our neighborhoods, family owned businesses all make Turlock a special place to buy a home or move a business.  Turlock is that old soft blanket you had as a kid, your old slippers vs. those new ones.  Because if you live in Turlock, there’s no place like home.