|California Settlers Places Tremont CA|
Tremont is a farm community about 4 miles south of Davis and five miles northeast of Dixon.
Tremont is variously referred to in old records as "Tremont" and "Fremont." Speculation among some historians it was meant to be "Fremont," and either it was mispronounced or, because spellings were often a matter of interpretation, it became "Tremont."
For a time, trains stopped at nearby Tremont Station if there were passengers or freight.
They needed a local church and in 1863 some local women formed The "Ladies Mite Society of Tremont" for that purpose. The idea was for various families to contribute 50 cents each from time to time to help fund a church. There were various church-related mite societies around the U.S. at that time, named after a biblical story about a widow donating what little money (a "mite" [copper coins]) she had [Luke 21:1-4].
The families sold their share of the Silveyville church, about 10 miles away, for $700 and raised $600 from the Mite donations, and while temporarily meeting in the community hall, began to build their church.. They built at this location because that's where two acres of land were donated by the Hyde family.
Much of the actual labor in constructing the church was volunteer. The pulpit was built by the Gordon brothers and Judge and Justice of the Peace Cloutman.
More at the Silveyville Cemetery District page
The Gordon brothers were also responsible for most of the inside woodwork. Some items of furniture for the church were bought, some hand constructed and others donated by Hale's and Breuners' stores in Sacramento.
The classic country church design was said to be in the Dutch Renaissance style, and it was named the Tremont Westminster Church (of the Presbyterian persuasion) when dedicated on April 25 in 1871 and was active until 1921. Because the church still wasn't paid for, the Tremont Mite Society continued on, meeting and collecting donations. Mrs. Hyde was the society's first president.
One local woman, Thelma Dietrich, was 101 in 2013, remembers attending Sunday school at the church in the early 1900s. At first, traveling pastors served the church; eventually it gained a resident pastor, Reverend Fairbairn. However, with the arrival of motor vehicles, the church didn't have the congregational size to support a pastor, and regular church services ended in 1912. Still, the Society worked to keep the building up and occasional weddings and funerals were held there over the years.
The exterior was well-kept through the years, but the interior needed work. When the Tremont community hall burned during the '70s, the insurance money was donated to refurbish the inside of the church. The Mite Society has also received memorial donations over the years.
The "Tremont Mite Society" has been a functioning organization since that date and is considered to be the longest continuously chartered women's organization in California.
Emily Brooks Rowe, Tremont Mite Society Historian, is in the process of applying to have the Tremont Church listed in the California State Register of Historic Places.
Besides continuing to raise funds for the church, the Society is a social organization that over 150 years now has kept Tremont-area farm women and their descendants connected. The Society has kept the minutes of its meetings over this long time span - it's "a remarkable chronicle of life," says Emily Rowe - and many of the current members (the membership is 50) now meet in various homes eight times per year.
They hold a biannual open house from 2 to 4 on the ff See below. The Mite Society raises funds periodically for major upkeep.
The Tremont Cemetery around the Church is
part of the Silveyville Cemetery District - (707) 678-5578
Threshing operation at John Alva Sikes Ranch - 1884
In the 1960's much of the land was leveled and wells drilled to expand the number of crops that could be grown. Sugar beets were a popular crop then.
Our family still owns the property, as do many of the descendants of original families. It is farmed on a share crop basis.
Many Solano and Yolo County families trace their ancestry to the founders of the Tremont church.
Cornelia Jane Saunders came to California in 1853 and married S. Fred Hyde in San Jose in 1855. The couple moved to Tremont where a farm was homesteaded.
Jonathan Sikes and his brother Alva, who had come to California from Ohio in 1850 to try their luck in the gold fields, moved to Tremont somewhere between 1852 and 1854 and worked on local farms before applying for land of their own in 1856. Jonathan established the farm at the corner of Sikes Rd and Tremont Rd., and received his Homestead Certificate in 1869. The ranch was operated by Jonathan's son Alvin and grandson Jack until 1953 when Jack succumbed to polio. The ranch is still in the family and farmed by Timothy Farming on a sharecrop basis.
Patricia Sikes, Jack's wife, had a distinguished career as an author, editor and chief speech writer for
William B. Davis M.D. (Grandson of Alvin and Clara Sikes), a physician in Winters, is well know for his personal care of patients and his nationally recognized stand against assembly line medical care.
Jason Davis is a retired professional baseball player who played for the San Francisco Giants triple-A team.
Dr. Benjamin Davis, who succumbed to an ALS (Lou Gehrig) type disease in 2014, dedicated his career to groundbreaking research on the causes and treatment of emphysema and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
Click on map for a larger version.
1877 Map from www.SolanoHistory.org
The Foster farm was one of the most noted in Tremont. It is word-of-mouth history that Manuel Vaca was buried on the Foster place.
In 1853, George Foster joined one of the many wagon trains heading West. In 1856, he bought 160 acres in Tremont at $1.25 an acre. In 1860, he married a woman who lived in Santa Rosa.
When the railroad was established in 1869, George Foster donated 3 acres and built a depot-warehouse known as Foster's Station. It was later renamed Tremont Station. Trains stopped only if a flag was put out.
In 1871, Foster added a general merchandise store at the station, but his farming and warehouse duties took up so much time, he was unable to keep the store going and it closed.
Another well-known Tremont resident was Betsy Ann Judd, who was born in 1835 in Ohio.
The Greive family with 12 children moved to the area in 1864.
Johann H. Stick left his native Germany and set sail for San Francisco in 1851. In 1865, he married and purchased property in Tremont.
Stick's nephew by marriage, Jochim Jahn, joined him in 1873.
Andrew Maxwell, a native of Dumfriesssbire, Scotland, drove a herd of cattle across the Plains for his brother-in-law and then spent five years panning for gold.
John Rowe (known as "John O.") was born in Solano County on a farm that was part of the Armstrong Estate (half of which is now part of UC Davis). Around 1917 he and his brother bought the old Wilson Ranch in Tremont for $100 an acre. In 1924 he bought the Innisfail heard of Milking Shorthorns. In 1927 his new wife Lillian Barrett Wood, who also raised shorthorns, brought some of her cattle from Indiana to California.
John O. Rowe '13 was one of the first full time students at the Agricultural Campus of UC Berkeley, which is now the University of California at Davis.
John O's brother Ray met Verna Thomas, Clara Sikes sister, when she was visiting. They got married and settled near the Thomas family home in Lake County.
Several of the residents lived to the age of 100.
Families whose descendants have attended the biannual gathering recently:
Other Families: Behrens, Brady, Briggs, Brunson, Bulkley, Carey, Cloutman, Cooley, Drummond, Dunningsworth, Finadore, Frahm, Fredricks, Guysi, Henning, Holdridge, Hood, Hyland, Keister, Knuppe, Kuhl, Lennox, Ludington, Marden, Mastin, Mattox, Maxwell, McCann, McClure, Mntgomery, Mooney, Morgan, Poten, Priester, Reid, Royce, Slayback, Stelling, Watkins, Weber, Wester, Wilson
Tremont Mite Society Biennial Social
Most of the above came, with permission, from an April 2011 article at Dixon.Patch.com, by Bil Paul, who interviewed Emily Rowe, the unofficial historian of the Mite Society.
I've also included information from my Mother Jean McBride and my Aunt Dorothy Davis, who grew up on one of the farms in Tremont.
Also "Pioneers blazed trails in fertile farming region: Echos Of Solano's Past", by Kristin Delaplane at SolanoArticles.com. There is more information at that page.
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