Use these links and resources to help you with your research into Modesto’s heritage architecture and landscapes.
Online Editions of City and County Print Resources:
Modesto Architecture Guides Five different tour guides to help you explore Modesto’s architectural heritage starting in the 19th century and continuing to the Modernist period.
History of Stanislaus County, The first history of Stanislaus County, by L.C. Branch, published by Elliott and Moore, San Francisco, 1881. Helpful popular resource for digging into the lives of mid 19th century county residents. The illustrations of 19th century houses and buildings are excellent.
A Memorial and Biographical History of the Counties of Merced, Stanislaus, Calaveras, Tuolumne, and Mariposa, California, by Lewis Publishing Company, 1892. Section on Modesto starts on page 120.
History of the State of California and Biographical Record of the San Joaquin Valley by James Miller Guinn (1905) provides interesting information about many late 19th century and early 20th century residents of Modesto and Stanislaus County.
History of Stanislaus County by George Tinkham was completed in 1921. A helpful popular resource for researching the lives of early 20th century residents of the county.
The Story of Stanislaus by John Bramhall, 1914, has interesting information about the county in the early 20th century. The photographs are worth seeing.
Stanislaus County 1902 promotional booklet produced to attract new residents to the county. Wonderful photographs.
Modesto, The Automobile Gateway to Yosemite 1913, published by the Modesto Chamber of Commerce. This is a promotional booklet to attract residents to the city. More fun photographs.
Polk Husted Directory for Modesto, Turlock, & Stanislaus County, 1915 an excellent resource for discovering who lived where in 1915
Maps of Stanislaus County and Modesto
Historic Maps of Modesto Neighborhoods, Tracts, and Colonies
1906 Map of Stanislaus County a helpful map for finding out who might have owned your property in the early 20th century, particularly for areas still in the county.
1930s Map of Modesto helpful for getting a sense for the layout of the city.
House Identification Resources and Catalogues
The Summer 2009 edition of the Stanislaus Historical Quarterly has an article about house architecture in the Modesto area from the 1870s to the early 20th century.
Online Journals and Periodicals
These often mention building projects in Modesto including houses.
Daily Pacific Builder, 1907-1912, online at Internet Archive, use search term Modesto to start your research. Look in editions around the year your building or house was constructed.
Building & Industrial News / Building & Engineering News / Pacific Constructor, 1911-1939, online at Internet Archive, use search term Modesto to start your research. Look in editions around the year your building or house was constructed.
Architect and Engineer 1920s-1950s, online at Internet Archive, use search term Modesto to start your research. Look in editions around the year your building or house was constructed.
State and National Preservation Organizations
Other Helpful Web Resources