Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Naming the Town of Lathrop

"In 1849, long before Lathrop officially became 'Lathrop,' a man named Leland Stanford ... dubbed the new town 'Wilson's Station,' in honor of a local merchant.

By 1869, Stanford was ready to move on, but not before designating a new name for the growing community. According to Evelyn Prouty of the Manteca Historical Society, some confusion remains about why the name "Lathrop" was selected.

'There are three versions of the story, with one of them being wrong,' she said. 'For a long time, people thought the town was named after Lathrop J. Tracy, who the city of Tracy is named after, but the timing doesn't work.'

Instead, Lathrop likely is named after Stanford's wife, Jane Lathrop, or her brother, Charles Lathrop, who worked as an engineer for Central Pacific at the time."

From: "Lathrop Days: A look at history" By Aaron Swarts, Tri-Valley Herald.

Accoring to Evelyn Prouty, author of the first definitive book about the history of Manteca and Lathrop:

"Lathrop, called Wilson's Station from 1849 until 1869, was given its name by Leland Stanford when he moved his Central Pacific Railroad terminal here and dedicated the town to his wife's family. In 1886, after a dispute with local citizens, Stanford moved the terminal to Tracy."