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E Clampus Vitus relocate Mormon wheat monument
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Three members of E Clampus Vitus removed a piece of history that was first dedicated in 1949 to its new home at the community’s museum in the former Ripon Library building on West Main Street at Acacia Avenue. Don Lucas, of Monumentus Erectus, and his crew Mike Stavrakakis and L.J. de Mauri hold the marker that tells of the first wheat harvested in Ripon in 1846. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin
RIPON - It was all about pioneers and raising wheat near Ripon in 1846 when a Mormon colony was first established. A historical marker on a Fourth Street park lawn has told the story since 1949.

E Clampus Vitus members who pride themselves in caring for historical markers have been busy in Ripon moving a bronze piece of history from the community center to the new location of the Ripon museum on West Main Street at the former site of the Ripon Library.

Monumentus Erectus is the term used for the team that actually works on caring for the established markers in Stanislaus and Merced counties.  They made an exception in plying their trade in Ripon when they heard of the need.  Clampers Don Lucas, Mike Stavrakakis, and L.J. de Mauri volunteered their time to make it all possible – one of many historical markers they have moved in the past.

As the story goes, 20 Mormon pioneers form the ship Brooklyn founded the first known agricultural colony near Ripon in 1846 where the first wheat was planted and harvested.  They irrigated their crops by the pole and bucket method, and erected three log houses, operated a sawmill and a ferry to cross the Stanislaus River.

The settlement was later known as Stanislaus City.

The “tablet” as the marker was referred to was placed by the California Centennial Commission and the base was furnished by the Alameda County Camps of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, dedicated October 22, 1949.

The Ripon Museum had been located at Stouffer Park on near the river until recently when it was moved to the vacated library building.  Gunert Steel donated the rebar for the base that is being installed in front of the library.