"A city named "Lard"" Manteca by sargentjeff

Manteca Travel Guide: 8 reviews and 18 photos

I'm grew up in Manteca, (lard in Spanish). They messed up on the train tickets in the 1800's. It was supposed to be Monteca.

Spent most of my youth life here, to include high school, first kiss, first date, drivers license, job etc.... I'll always have great memories of Manteca

The first white settlers came here after the California Gold Rush subsided. Before that time, only a few Indians lived here permanently. The area was used mostly for raising grain and cattle. The settlement was known as Cowell Station at this time, named for Joshua Cowell, who later became known as the "Father of Manteca." (Gee, what an achievement)
He came here around 1861, building a home on what would later become the center of the current city of Manteca. (at Yosemite and Main) When the Central Pacific Railroad came through in 1873, there was concern for the name as another Cowell Station existed south of Tracy, named for Wright Cowell, Joshua?s brother. The new name of Monteca was chosen. When the railroad printed the first tickets, the name was mis-spelled, "Manteca." (Spanish for lard) Though some were unhappy with the error, it was never corrected with the name remaining Manteca. Joshua Cowell became the first mayor of Manteca when it was incorporated in 1918.
The incorporation date of Manteca: May 28, 1918.

What most people miss about Manteca is Manteca. What happened to my city? Back when I was a kid there wasn't a bypass freeway, so every weekend Yosemite Boulevard was packed with cars heading to Yosemite. Now, the town center still posesses some of it's old town flair. See my travelogues for some other fun stuff to do in the area. Like the commercial says "MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANTECA!

I have so many memories from this town. When I was a kid I used to ride around town with friends on our bicycles carrying BB guns and shooting cans, birds and anything we could think of out in the fields. Scott and I would do some crazy stuff out at his parents farm house. Feeding his pigs fermented watermelons, 'axing' chickens, castrating and dehorning bulls and jumping on the trampoline were all part of the adventure. I admit, the animal stuff was rather unpleasant and seemingly cruel, but his family didn't do this for pleasure, this was their source of food. You do the same thing if you eat at McDonalds, only you don't have to do the dirty work.

We also had fun rafting down the river on inner-tubes, fleeing from dogs who'd chase us while we rode bicycles, catching lizards and all that stupid stuff boys do.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Good place to grow up
  • Cons:Quite needy of real culture
  • In a nutshell:I had a great time here
  • Last visit to Manteca: Apr 2000
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (10)

Travelogues (1)

Comments (12)

  • KiKitC's Profile Photo
    Sep 26, 2009 at 3:11 AM

    Interesting page on your hometown. Love your HS football photo.

  • Jun 24, 2008 at 2:29 PM

    Manteca Waterslides CLOSED and have been demolished in 2005!! Best to take this off your site!

  • cazz38's Profile Photo
    Dec 11, 2004 at 11:25 AM

    Great home page Jeff,the wine tasting sounds good to me.

  • newwave's Profile Photo
    Nov 18, 2004 at 7:48 PM

    what is in a name? Arghhhhh

  • margaretvn's Profile Photo
    Sep 4, 2004 at 7:08 AM

    great writing about your home town

  • catnl's Profile Photo
    Jul 13, 2004 at 5:52 AM

    reading i think ur home i really hope so for u and mariangela:-) take care!

  • Joan40's Profile Photo
    Jul 12, 2004 at 2:55 AM

    Hi Jeff, love your home town Manteca pages. But I think I would have grown up a vegetarian if I'd have lived there:-)

  • Callavetta's Profile Photo
    Oct 26, 2003 at 6:53 AM

    Just think, you could do for Manteca what Steinbeck has done for Salinas! Good work.

  • blaird's Profile Photo
    Mar 11, 2003 at 10:07 AM

    Fun info on Manteca...never been there. I'll stay away from sit-up contests after pizza, though.

  • unimatrix's Profile Photo
    Feb 13, 2003 at 4:31 PM

    Manteca is a great town. I have friends who live there who I consider to be family. I visited Manteca in 1993 and 1995. The best thing I can remember about the town is that, despite being a small town, it's a very friendly place.


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