How would you like to celebrate Thornton's rich history? You will get that chance later this year as community leaders and volunteers celebrate the town's 150th birthday. Organizers plan a parade, antique car show and a history exhibit.
"We want to get a horse and buggy," said Paula Soto, Thornton's community social services director for the county.
Antique farm equipment will be transported to Thornton for the birthday bash, and Soto is looking for local vendors from the public library, Mater Ecclesiae Catholic Church and New Hope School to sell water and snacks.
The Galt Area Historical Society and Thornton's new Assemblywoman Susan Eggman, D-Stockton, will help in the planning process, Soto said.
The birthday celebration was originally planned for June 15, but it may have to be postponed because it may take longer for organizers to get the necessary permits from San Joaquin County, Soto said.
Like many towns in the region, Thornton was founded near the Mokelumne River's edge. Mokelumne City, the first town in the area, was located 3 miles north of current-day Thornton. The town is on the confluence of the Mokelumne and Cosumnes rivers.
After several name changes, the name Thornton was chosen when Arthur Thornton, who owned 1,000 acres, offered the right-of-way through his land with the belief a new railroad would bring business to the town, then known as New Hope. Arthur Thornton came to the area from Scotland in 1865 and operated the town's general store, saloon, post office and Wells Fargo office.
Western Pacific honored Thornton by naming its new station and large freight depot after him. The town was officially renamed Thornton five years later on Nov. 26, 1909, according to the Galt Area Historical Society.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.