Located in the heart of the Central Valley, Waterford is the 8th largest city in Stanislaus County with a population which has grown steadily from 2,683 in 1980 to over 7,800 today. Known as the “Gateway to Recreation”, the City plays host to the thousands of people who travel through on their way to the many recreational opportunities in the area.
Originally settled in 1857 by William W. Baker, the town was originally named Bakersville. Mr. Baker homesteaded 160 acres just south of the river near Appling Road Bridge. In 1870 the Post Office was apparently having trouble delivering the mail as the name was being confused with the other places (at the time the only other similarity was Bakersfield) so the Post Office suggested the name be changed. So in 1870 the name was changed to Waterford.
The City is surrounded by a variety and abundance of rich agriculture. Several crops grown locally are almonds, peaches, apples, walnut, and corn.
The City is also on the way to many recreational area such as Turlock Lake State Recreation area, Lake Don Pedro Reservoir, Modesto Reservoir, New Melones Reservoir, La Grange Off Road Vehicle Recreation Area, and Yosemite National Park.
OTHER IMPORTANT DATES IN WATERFORD HISTORY
- 1866 – White Oak School District formed.
- 1891 – Southern Pacific Railroad reaches Waterford.
- 1893 – Community Baptist Church services began.
- 1904 – First telephone service reaches Waterford.
- 1908 – White Oak School changes to Waterford School.
- 1912 – First Waterford Library founded.
- 1913 – Waterford Irrigation District formed.
- 1920 – First Post Office Building.
- 1921 – Electricity lights up the streets.
- 1938 – Grange Hall built at Bentley and Highway 132.
- 1969 – Incorporated as a City. Richard M. Moon becomes first Mayor.