1849: Benson’s Ferry established.
1850: Mokelumne City surveyed.
1861: Union Township created by the county.
1861-62: Big Flood year; Benson’s Ferry and Mokelumne City washed away.
1863: Survivors of the flood founded New Hope.
1870: New Hope School District founded.
1878: New Hope Post Office founded, with Arthur Thornton as postmaster.
1880: Reclamation district established, levees built. During this time New Hope had a blacksmith, shop, stable, saloon and post office.
1885: White wooden schoolhouse built.
1901: New Hope local telephone company organized.
1904: Arthur Thornton obtained the right of way for the Western Pacific Railroad.
1909: New Hope renamed Thornton.
1914-15: World War I brought Mexican farmworkers to work on the sugar beets and bean crops.
1920: Filipino farmworkers came to plant and harvest asparagus.
1922: New red brick school building built.
1928: Sacramento Valley Packing Company formed.
1939: Packing company becomes Thornton Canning Company. First farm labor camp established under federal act, composed of tents, 105, corrugated steel buildings and 38 garden homes.
1949: Thornton Community Hall built.
1951: Fire department formed.
1952: Current New Hope School completed.
1963: Mokelumne Manor built to house low-income residents and farm laborers instead of camps.
1967: Current post office built. Mater Ecclesiae, a branch of St. Anne’s Catholic Church, dedicated.
1978: New water system replaces water wells.
1979: Final link of Interstate 5 completed, Thornton celebrates. Portuguese society built their community hall.
Source: Charlotte Cameron, author of “History of Thornton,” published for the Galt Area Historical Society