Modesto: An Informal History
Modesto's history is exciting and this book draws exclusively on primary written sources to document almost the whole of its first century. This synthesis was compiled by reading news accounts from 1868 onward. The author was particularly interested in traveler's accounts that appeared in long defunct newspapers in what are now backwater towns. Everything that was read was written for an audience that has vanished in time. The delightful experience of studying the events that transpired over a period of over 36,000 days was well worth the terrible eye strain of trying to puzzle out obscure accounts from microfilm which was, in most cases, in very poor condition. The author was not influenced by any other history of Modesto; he has never read one. Surrounding areas were carefully taken into account as every great city has its hinterland. This work represents a beginning more than an end. It ends at the point where the author personally has vivid memories of Modesto. It is an introductory volume to be followed by the history the author had wanted to write first: "Modesto: A Contemporary History."
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