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Caswell Memorial State Park named for landowner
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RIPON – From its plush riparian jungle, warm summers and cool waters, Caswell Memorial State Park has long been a place of discovery, recreation and escape.

For one man, though, it was home.

It was his heart.

Landowner Thomas Caswell, the man for which the park is named, owned the park’s original 134 acres. His wish was that the land be preserved, and his children granted that wish in 1950 by donating the land to the State of California.

Caswell Memorial State Park eventually grew to 258 acres and was opened to the public in 1958.

To this day, the park continues to fulfill Caswell’s dying wish. It protects the riparian oak woodland, as well as the riparian brush rabbit.

Caswell Memorial State Park is located at 28000 South Austin Road in Ripon.

The Stanislaus River serves as the park’s main attraction and the area’s life source, offering the visitor an abundance of activities and pursuits.

Among the many options:

• Fishing, the river is home to bass, catfish, crappie and more;

• Nature trails, with up-close views of the ecosystem;

• Bird watching, of which red-shouldered and red-tailed hawks are the most prevalent. 

The California Department of Parks and Recreation contributed to this article. For more information, visit


209 staff reporter