McFarland Living History Ranch seemed like a scene from an old Western during Sunday's Old-Car Show midway between Galt and Thornton. Fifty cars ranging from 1905 to 1941 models were displayed on the spacious grounds, with the restored 1878 John McFarland House serving as an impressive backdrop.
A majority of the entries were from the Galt-Lodi area. Acampo resident Dorothy Metcalf, who said she inherited her husband's 1934 turquoise Plymouth, said she brings her car to the Old-Car Festival every year.
Meanwhile, Lodi resident Clay Knittel, who entered his black 1932 Ford, said he enjoys driving the car around to picnics and other events. Recently, he took it to a wedding, with the bride and groom as passengers.
And to keep the ambiance historical, several Galt High School drama students dressed in period costume, acting as actual Galt pioneers as they walked around the grounds.
Patricia Garcia portrayed a woman named Martha Cantrell, whose husband owned farmland in Galt around 1870.
Justine Martinez portrayed Count Gulio Valensin, who owned 4,000 acres in Pleasanton before moving to Galt. Valensin, who was born in Egypt and moved to Italy, owned Sydney, considered the fastest horse in the United States. Samantha Fordis, covered with a parasol, portrayed Countess Alice Valensin.
Sidni Parkinson portrayed Elizabeth C. Fugitt, whose husband, Chism Cooper Fugitt, founded the town of Liberty, where he was the town's postmaster before becoming Galt's constable.
Students portraying William Fawcett and the Rev. William C. Steward also added to the ambiance.
While the event was to display old cars, it was also a showcase of McFarland Ranch and the house he built, which will soon become a museum.
McFarland, born in 1823, bought 3,500 acres in Galt in 1857. He gave Galt its name after the town where he lived in the province in Ontario as a child. McFarland also built the Brewster General Store, which still stands at the southeast corner of Fourth and B streets.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.