Newman, Stanislaus County
San Joaquin Valley/North area, Central Valley region
Newman's tall, red brick Carnegie building now houses what was thought to be the first pioneer museum in Stanislaus County when it opened in the library basement in 1941, and which now occupies the whole building at the northwest corner of O and Kern streets. Newman is located just north of the Merced County line on old Highway 33 which runs north and south between Interstate Highway 5 and the San Joaquin River.
Simon Newman and settlers from nearby Hills Ferry transported their community to a railroad depot and turntable, which was established in 1888 when Southern Pacific extended a line down Stanislaus County's West Side. Then the area was dominated by range and dry land farming, enhanced later by extensive irrigation projects. The Newman Women's Club, founded in 1908 with a library as one of its goals, formed an early reading room, then a book exchange depot, and bought several lots in anticipation of a Carnegie grant. The sum of $8,000 was finally received in 1914 but, after further delays, the city was informed by the Carnegie Corporation that the grants were suspended for the duration of the war. It was 1919 before Francis Reid of Antioch designed the tall, red brick building, essentially Classical Revival with Colonial elements; Earl Hibbard was the contractor.