In the middle of scenic agricultural lands and open spaces in the Central Valley lies the city of Escalon, home to 7,206 residents.
A historic highway – Highway 120 – literally runs through this small town, making it an easy jump-off driving launch to the historically rich and awe-inspiring regions in the Sierra Foothills, Yosemite National Park and beyond.
The name Escalon comes from the Spanish word for “step” or “stepping stone.”
Highway 120 is not the only thing bisecting the town. Running through it, parallel to the city’s Main Street and its grassy and spacious Main Street Park, is the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad which actually crosses State Highway 120 at the entrance to the heart of town as one travels toward the Sierra Foothills.
Meander through the town’s Main Street and surroundings and absorb the area’s historical wealth. If you’re pressed for time, you can have a quick glimpse of the city’s bygone days and by taking a quick tour inside the museum which is housed in one of Escalon’s old historic buildings. It’s also just across the street from the spacious linear Main Street Park which is the setting of many a town celebration throughout the year.
Directly across the old Santa Fe Railroad box car which is a central feature inside the park, is another of the town’s oldest building that is currently home to The Green Pea antiques store.
At the north corner and wall of the museum building are a mural and a historic city artifact. The mural is titled Escalon Railroad Depot as depicted during its heyday in the early 1900s. The artifact is the preserved Escalon First Fire Bell (1903-1923) which was donated to the Escalon Museum in recognition of Escalon’s volunteer firemen.
The city’s official web site boasts that it has a “low crime rate, an award-winning school district” and dotted with quaint 1920s-era downtown district.
Just off Main Street just a stone’s throw away is an imposing building which is the Escalon Library.
— ROSE ALBANO RISSO
209 staff reporter