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Community Profile Galt

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Posted: Friday, May 18, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 12:14 pm, Wed May 23, 2012.

Galt takes pride in calling itself a Great American Little Town that still offers quaint events like the annual Strawberry Festival and bike rodeos.

It is located halfway between Stockton and Sacramento, making it an ideal place for commuters. But many Galtonians have lived in this agriculturally rich city for generations and look forward to inviting visitors to relish in the area’s natural beauty.

The Cosumnes River Preserve is one of the city’s crown jewels. The protected property offers sweeping views of the Cosumnes River and wide viewing areas for more than 250 species of birds, some native only to the area.

The preserve is located just off Interstate 5 and Twin Cities Road. There is a visitors’ center, picnic grounds and self-guided walking trails. Several times a year, it hosts special events.

Like many area cities, Galt was founded along a waterway. Gold miners set up camp near a small stream known as Dry Creek with plans to grow beef and dairy products.

The town was laid out by the Western Pacific Railroad Company in 1869 and named for a local rancher’s home town in Canada.

Many of the original homes are still standing, in excellent preservation, around town.

By the turn of the century, cattle raising and dairying gradually decreased and agriculture took over. Some of the biggest farmers in the area were John McFarland, Andrew Whitaker, John F. McCaulley and Richard Rude.

One of those has been memorialized at the McFarland Ranch, one of Galt’s historical points of interest. The Galt Area Historical Society works closely with City Hall to maintain the property.

In recent years, the city has made facade improvements and transformed its Old Town shopping district into a popular spot for upscale dining at restaurants such as Brewsters Bar and Grill. A movie theater and bowling alley are planned, as is a possible passenger train stop in the future.

Galt Place, a three-story 90-unit affordable senior housing project, opened last year. The first floor houses for retail and dining, including a Velvet Creamery ice cream shop.

The Galt Market, the state’s only municipally-owned and operated flea market, draws both diverse vendors and shoppers from as far away as the Bay Area every Tuesday and Wednesday. It offers both free parking and free admission, and is conveniently located off Highway 99 and C Street.

The city is also home to a number of annual community events including an Eggstravagazna Easter weekend celebration and the Strawberry Festival held each May. It draws thousands of visitors anxious to sample from the food booths and watch a Mr. and Miss Strawberry be crowned. There is also a bike and car show.

Mayor Barbara Payne is especially proud of the city’s festivals that attract visitors beginning with the Winter Bird Festival in January.

The Galt Area Historical Society hosts events for adults such as the Old Car Show and the Old Tractor and Machines Event, and family friendly activities such as Kite Day each spring.

Galt has a number of neighborhood parks. An active Galt Senior Club also sponsors a number of activities for the city’s most seasoned.

Galt native Stephanie Brown Trafton drew attention to this small Sacramento County city when she won the gold medal in the discus throw at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

The city is also home to the family-owned Spaans Cookie Company, which ships baked goods to grocery stores nationwide. The factory is located in Old Town.

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