Riverbank, Stanislaus County
San Joaquin Valley/North area, Central Valley region
Riverbank Historical Society and Museum
On the banks of the Stanislaus River, Riverbank is between Modesto and Oakdale on Highway 108. The Carnegie building is in the old downtown, on the north side of Santa Fe Street between Second and Third streets. Its immediate neighbors are the police department, shops and residences. The old library itself is residential in appearance, one of four Craftsman style California Carnegies and one of the last three Carnegies constructed in California.
Riverbank history began with the 1895 extension of the San Francisco and San Joaquin Valley (later Santa Fe) railroad and in 1901 the Oakdale Irrigation Company brought water to its outlying areas. Its first library was in "The Mission Shop." In 1917 Stanislaus county received a Carnegie grant of $3000 each for Riverbank and Patterson. Building plans were delayed by the war and afterwards, when Riverbank seemed slow to move, Patterson requested Riverbank's $3000. Spurred to action, Riverbank citizens contributed to the purchase of a site notable for its large oak, which they later enhanced with other memorial and gift trees. The name of the contractor, "Miller," is listed but not that of the architect. When a new county library was built, citizens again rallied to save the library from being sold and it now houses a museum.