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The Early Years

Interesting Dates in Woodland History

Southern Wintun people likely arrived in the Woodland area in present-day Yolo County as its first human inhabitants .
Circa 500
Franklin Freeman and his family built a brick general merchandise store at the corner of First and Main streets , which had been a dense valley oak forest inhabited by grizzly bears just a few years prior . Franklin also secured a U . S . Post Office for the rapidly growing Woodland community .
Following devastating flooding in Washington ( now the city of West Sacramento ), Yolo County supervisors voted to relocate the county seat from Washington to Woodland , where it remains today .
The Sacramento Record-Union called Woodland — by then a town of roughly 3,000 people — “ a delightful little city , with splendid future prospects . It is the county town of Yolo , and enjoys the distinction of being located in a section of the country that has no superior for either beauty of surroundings or fertility of soil .” Also in 1887 , the Woodland YMCA building was constructed , only the second YMCA building on the entire West Coast .
The original Woodland Opera House was constructed at Second and Main streets and opened in February 1885 with Shakespeare ’ s “ The Merchant of Venice .” After being closed for decades , the restored performance space reopened in 1989 with a gala featuring Bob Crosby and his orchestra .
1884 & 1885
The Town of Woodland is formally incorporated , initially bounded by East , Bartlett , West and Beamer streets .
February 22 , 1871
The “ Great Fire ” broke out in Downtown Woodland , killing one fireman and destroying three city blocks . The Yolo Democrat ( precursor to The Daily Democrat ) wrote : “ Certainly it was not possible for anybody to have worked with more persistence and determination , and to have given more unmistakable evidence of heroism than was manifested by the brave volunteer firemen of Woodland .” Much of today ’ s Historic Downtown Woodland is made up of buildings that were rebuilt after the fire .
The Woodland Women ’ s Improvement Club , organized in 1902 , raised enough money to buy the block of land that became the city ’ s first public park , City Park at Elm and Oak just south of Downtown .
Woodland ’ s Gloria Jacobs , “ The Miss Who Seldom Misses ,” was named World Champion Pistol Shot at just 17 years old .
34 comstocksmag . com | 2021