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Four Galt buildings to be declared landmarks

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Posted: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 10:40 am, Wed Jan 30, 2013.

The Galt City Council has allocated $900 to be spent on marker plaques to recognize four historical sites.

The decision was made last week after a recommendation by the Galt Area Historical Society. It isn't the first time the city has partnered with the society; it has chosen four spots each year since 2007 to receive plaques.

In 2007, the first year of the program, the city's four original churches received similar historical markers.

This year, society members cast votes on which four early businesses to recognize. Next, the group will ask each property owner if they can place a marker on site.

In the coming months, the following four locations will receive landmark status:

The Peck Building at the southeast corner of 4th and C streets

Galt's first bank was housed in this historic building, which takes up most of a city block.

It also previously contained the city's first supermarket. Steiner's Market was a family-owned business that was nothing like Galt had ever had before, according to Eugenia Olson, society president.

"It got so many votes because people remember when it was there," she said of the society members.

Valley Oaks Grange Hall, 347 5th St.

The city's first movie theater was located here. Olson remembers watching Saturday afternoon matinees at the old theater when she moved to Galt more than 60 years ago. Originally it showed silent movies.

Today it serves as a community center and popular site for fundraisers.

The Estrellita Ballroom, 415 C St.

In the early 1920s, this was the site of Galt's first ballroom, known as the Spanish Ballroom, according to longtime resident Louise Dowdell.

Following a fire, it was rebuilt with a maple spring dance floor that became known as one of the best in the country, she said.

In its heyday, the ballroom hosted live touring national big bands such as the Dorsey Brothers en route between San Francisco and Sacramento. It was open until the 1940s, and sometime after that became a roller skating rink.

The Estrellita Ballroom is now a privately owned venue popular for concerts, youth events and quinceañeras.

Brewster's, 201 4th St.

Now a popular restaurant, this was the site of Galt's first general store and post office, which opened in 1869.

Front Street (now 4th Street) was the center of business as farmers brought their cattle and hogs to the stockyards located south of the station to be shipped to the east, according to historians.

The building has since undergone a multimillion-dollar restoration with funds from the city's now-defunct Redevelopment Agency and is home to a popular restaurant.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

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