Valley sites part of 'Images of America'

jholland@modbee.comSeptember 2, 2013 

    alternate textJohn Holland
    Title: Staff writer
    Coverage areas: Agriculture, Turlock; local news editor on Sundays
    Bio: John Holland has been a reporter at The Bee for 12 years. He has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and previously worked at the Union Democrat in Sonora and the Visalia Times-Delta.
    Recent stories written by John

Three new books tell the history of Riverbank, the Stockton 99 Speedway and wineries in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

The books are part of the "Images of America" series from Arcadia Publishing, which mainly uses photographs and captions to relate the stories of places, events and other topics.

The details:

• "Riverbank" was compiled by Glenn Allen Ditman, a great-grandson of prominent business owners in town, and the Riverbank Historical Society.

The book recounts how the town was established as a Stanislaus River ferry crossing in the 1850s and later was a hub for the Santa Fe Railroad. It includes a 1912 magazine article that calls Riverbank "a lusty youngster destined to have much money spent on it."

The photos and captions tell of stores, schools, churches, canneries, the Army ammunition plant and other parts of Riverbank's past.

• "Wineries of the Gold Country" was compiled by Sarah Lunsford, a journalist in Murphys, one of the centers of winemaking.

The book tells how Gold Rush settlers established wineries and made the region a major producer in the late 1800s. It stretches to the modern-day operations, a few of them in Tuolumne County, but most from Calaveras north.

• "Stockton 99 Speedway" is by Bill Poindexter, a former sports editor for The Bee.

The book describes 64 years of racing on the quarter-mile track, which bounced back after a 2006 closure and continues to be on the NASCAR circuit. It is part of the NASCAR Library Collection, a partnership with Arcadia Publishing.

The books sell for $21.99 at some bookstores and online at Arcadia Publishing, or (888) 313-2665. "Riverbank" also is available at the Riverbank Historical Museum, 3237 Santa Fe St. It is open from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and Thursdays and 1 to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

Bee staff writer John Holland can be reached at or (209) 578-2385.

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