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History of Modesto, California

Modesto, located within the beautiful valley of the San Joaquin River, is home to the Tuolumne River. Founded in 1870, the California city was built along the shore of the Tuolumne River because it was an excellent source of continuous water. It was a modest man by the name of William C. Ralston from which the city's name was derived. It was not just his name, but the way that the man acted. Ralston was a very successful financier who everyone admired by denied to have his name as part of the city name. His choice set in place the making for the city name, the Spanish word for modest. In 1870, the Central Pacific Railroad set the city into a guaranteed future by placing their rail through the valley. The residents of Modesto then had a firm basis from which to design their roads and develop their communities. As years went by, Modesto became a very large shipping and supply hub for many of the surrounding cities. Modesto also became a well-known city for the agriculture that came from it. In 1903, the introduction of irrigated agriculture made a large difference in the way the agriculture was fed. Modesto's growth has been very beneficial to the residents and its economy. It was found that the agriculture and food industries are some of the vital components of the citiy's economics. The city produces a large number of products for the surrounding areas, including wine, peaches, nuts, dairy products, poultry, and processed foods. Although the food industry is very large, Modesto is also home to manufacturing plants that produce glass and paper products. Modesto also lays claim to the largest winery in the world, owned by Earnest and Julio Gallo. Modesto is home to Modesto Junior College and is near the Stanislaus campus built in 1957. Stanislaus is the site of the California State University and is in nearby Turlock. These schools provide a fine education for all their students. Along with these schools the city is home to the McHenry Museum, which houses Native American memorabilia and replicas of late 18th-century rooms.