Galt, California, among our Old West titles…

March 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

We have many issues of the “Weekly Galt Gazette“, California, in our Old West inventory, but perhaps few of our collectors know this city–current population of some 23,000, in Sacramento County–had its start in the California Gold Rush.

In 1850, a group of farmers settled around the banks of a small stream, Dry Creek, close to Galt. Their plans were to grow beef and dairy products. In the year 1869, the town of Galt was laid out by the Western Pacific Railroad Company. The name Galt was given at the request of John McFarland, a local rancher, in honor of his home town in Canada. It was previously called Dry Creek Township after the stream by which they settled. By 1869, the community consisted of blacksmiths, dairymen and cattle ranchers. Raising cattle was the main occupation.

Galt was built almost entirely of wooden structures making fires the biggest problem for the town. However, many of the old original homes are still standing, in excellent preservation, around town.

In 1880, Galt had two general merchandise stores, one variety store, one hotel, one harness shop, two blacksmith shops, two wagon and carriage manufacture and repair shops, one wood yard, one livery stable, two barber shops, two shoe stores, two saloons, one meat market, one barely mill, Wells Fargo & Co.’s Express Office with three physicians and one attorney-at-law in town.

By the turn of the century, cattle raising and dairying gradually decreased and agriculture took over. The principal grain was wheat.

(credit: City of Galt)