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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Knights Ferry in Stanislaus County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Knight's Ferry

 

—1849 - 1930 —

 
Knight's Ferry Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, April 30, 2011
1. Knight's Ferry Marker
Inscription. Knight's Ferry was founded by Captain William Knight, a member of Fremont's expedition of 1844. This town was a center of great mining activity and was a distributing point for the mother lode country.
In 1854 the first sawmill and flour mill for this territory was erected by Locke and Dent.
General U.S. Grant visited his brother-in-law George Dent, in 1854.
Knight's Ferry was the county seat of Stanislaus County from 1862 until 1872.

Erected by the Major Hugh Moss Chapter
Daughters of the American Revolution
of Modesto.

 
Erected 1930 by Daughters of the American Revolution, Hugh Moss Chapter.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Daughters of the American Revolution marker series.
 
Location. 37° 49.136′ N, 120° 40.324′ W. Marker is in Knights Ferry, California, in Stanislaus County. Marker is at the intersection of Sonora Road and Dent Street, on the left when traveling west on Sonora Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 17601 Sonora Road, Oakdale CA 95361, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Knights Ferry Hook & Ladder (within shouting distance of this marker); Miller's Saloon (within shouting distance of this marker); Knights Ferry No. 2 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Knights Ferry - The Store
Knight's Ferry Marker - wide view image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein
2. Knight's Ferry Marker - wide view
(about 300 feet away); Tulloch’s Mill (approx. 0.4 miles away); Knights Ferry Covered Bridge (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus (approx. 0.4 miles away); Buena Vista (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Knights Ferry.
 
More about this marker. The marker is mounted on a low stone monument in the Knights Ferry Community Club Park, just across the street from the Community Club.
 
Also see . . .
1. Knight's Ferry. Malakoff.com's page of history for Knight's Ferry. Includes links to additional pages for individual historic building's in Knight's Ferry. (Submitted on May 11, 2011.) 

2. Covered Bridges of the Sierra Nevada Region. Sierra College Press' page on the history of Knight's Ferry and its covered bridge. (Submitted on May 11, 2011, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.) 
 
Categories. Settlements & Settlers
 
Welcome to Historic Knight's Ferry image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, April 30, 2011
3. Welcome to Historic Knight's Ferry
The following series of pictures presents a number of the historical buildings in Knights Ferry, in west-to-east order. (The above sign, however, is actually located to the east of the main part of town.)
Knight's Ferry Firehouse image. Click for full size.
By Roger Sturtevant, January 22, 1934
4. Knight's Ferry Firehouse
The Knight's Ferry Hook and Ladder Company was established in 1871. (Image courtesy of the Historic American Buildings Survey.)
Knight's Ferry Firehouse (Sonora Road x Dent St.) image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, April 30, 2011
5. Knight's Ferry Firehouse (Sonora Road x Dent St.)
Although this appears similar to the structure in the previous picture, it is a 1976 reconstruction of the original structure, which was destroyed by a flood in 1955.
Community Club House - Established 1923 (17601 Sonora Road) image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, April 30, 2011
6. Community Club House - Established 1923 (17601 Sonora Road)
This page's Knight's Ferry marker is found directly across the street from this building.
I.O.O.F. Hall (17615 Sonora Road) image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, April 30, 2011
7. I.O.O.F. Hall (17615 Sonora Road)
The IOOF hall was built by George McCabe in the late 1880's. Stanislaus Lodge No. 170 was founded in 1870 and still meets in the hall today.
Miller's Hall (17631 Sonora Road) image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, April 30, 2011
8. Miller's Hall (17631 Sonora Road)
Constructed around 1864, Miller's Hall has served as a saloon, a pool hall, dance hall, card room, bordello, and private residence. Nowadays Miller's Hall houses the town museum, post office, a read-and-return library, a boutique, the Knight's Ferry Community Services District Office, and an ice cream parlor.
General Store (17701 Sonora Road) image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, April 30, 2011
9. General Store (17701 Sonora Road)
Built in 1852. Said to be the oldest grocery store in California.
Fire Station No. 2 (17700 Sonora Road) image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, April 30, 2011
10. Fire Station No. 2 (17700 Sonora Road)
Built by Isaac Dakin 1853 (or possibly several years later, sources vary) and used as a blacksmith shop. Destroyed by fire. Rebuilt by voluntary labor and donations, and now used a fire station.
Knight's Ferry Community Church (Ellen Street x Shurl Street) image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, April 30, 2011
11. Knight's Ferry Community Church (Ellen Street x Shurl Street)
Erected 1860. Rebuilt 1900. Rededicated 1948.
Jail (east end of Sonora Road/Main Street) image. Click for full size.
By Roger Sturtevant, January 22, 1934
12. Jail (east end of Sonora Road/Main Street)
Image courtesy of the Historic American Buildings Survey.
Knights Ferry Jail image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, April 30, 2011
13. Knights Ferry Jail
One source has this building as being a powder house in Oakdale, before being moved to Knights Ferry. The Historic American Building Survey merely notes the structure as 19th Century, without attribution. Yet on the structure itself, barely visible is the lower righthand corner is a small sign saying "Knight's Ferry Jail 1912". Regardless of the jail's construction date, it undoubtedly would have been an extremely uncomfortable place to be stuck in during the hot summer days.
Tulloch's Mill - view from northwest image. Click for full size.
By Robert W. Kerrigan, circa October 1936
14. Tulloch's Mill - view from northwest
A grist mill stood here as early as the 1850's. A replacement was erected in its place after the flood of 1862, and sometime before 1900 the mill was converted to a hydroelectic plant, which supplied electricity to the area into the late 1920's. (Image courtesy of the Historic American Buildings Survey.)
Tulloch's Mill - view from north image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, April 30, 2011
15. Tulloch's Mill - view from north
Tulloch's Mill today is roofless. A 1950 picture held by the Bancroft Library (not pictured) shows the roof to be in a state between that shown in these two pictures - still extant, but failing.
Knight's Ferry Covered Bridge, spanning the Stanislaus River image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, April 30, 2011
16. Knight's Ferry Covered Bridge, spanning the Stanislaus River
The Knight's Ferry Bridge was built in 1863-64 to replace an 1857 uncovered wooden truss that was destroyed in a flood. This was an important crossing on the heavily traveled Stockton-Sonora Road during the California Gold Rush. The Knight's Ferry Bridge is the longest covered bridge west of the Mississippi River. - Historic American Buildings Survey statement of significance
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 6, 2011, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 857 times since then and 56 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 6, 2011, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.   3. submitted on May 7, 2011, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.   4. submitted on May 6, 2011, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.   5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on May 7, 2011, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.   11. submitted on May 10, 2011, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.   12, 13. submitted on May 7, 2011, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.   14. submitted on May 10, 2011, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.   15. submitted on May 9, 2011, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.   16. submitted on May 7, 2011, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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