Intense heat probably hampered attendance at the Saturday, Aug. 11 Centennial Stroll in downtown Ceres but those who did attend enjoyed fun conversation and food in the shade at the Clinton Whitmore Mansion.
The Ceres Centennial Committee and Whitmore Mansion Foundation hosted the “Centennial Stroll at the Mansion” as part of the yearlong celebration of the incorporation of the city.
Approximately 200 persons turned out for the event, which included hot dogs, homemade peach cobbler, ice cream, music and a tour of the Mansion. The event offered tours of the Whitmore Mansion north of North Street and between Fifth and Sixth streets, and the Daniel Whitmore Home, the event will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and included displays of historical memorabilia and antiques. Commemorative Centennial coins were also sold. A “Stroll through Ceres” map and guide to local businesses on the newly rehabilitated Fourth Street was offered as will music and refreshments.
Guests relaxed on the beautiful grounds with friends and family while a number of individuals played lawn games including horseshoes and Baggo.
Centennial Committee member Shelia Brandt said the stroll turned out more to be a picnic at the mansion because of the heat.
“Once they got to the mansion and did their tour and sat around and listened to the music and had things to eat, they really didn’t make it into the downtown area like we had hoped because it was just so hot,” Brandt told the council. “It was just a fun event.”
She also mentioned that the condition of downtown, with the trash on the ground, was a “bummer.”
“I thought it turned out pretty successful,” said Councilman Ken Lane.
The Ceres Centennial Committee chaired by Paul Caruso also sold Centennial coins, wine glasses and monument bricks to the public. The Whitmore Mansion committee also took time to honor the generous donors who sponsored the facelift of the Mansion. Both Try Us Transportation and Mike Tamana Freight Lines took an interest in the need for the mansion to be repainted and generously donated the funds to do so. In addition, Mikael Issa’s painting was recognized for diligent work to restore the outer beauty of the mansion. On site to receive recognition included Sake and Suki from Try- Us Transportation and Aman from Mike Tamana Freight Lines.
“These community leaders saw a need for our community’s history to be restored and they immediately created an opportunity for the Mansion to be painted and repaired, we are forever in their debt,” said Lisa Mantarro Moore, who oversees the operation of the Whitmore Mansion for the city of Ceres.
The Ceres Centennial Committee is trying to raise approximately $15,000 to $20,000 to build a Centennial Plaza feature on Fourth Street near the Community Center. Chad Kennedy of O’Dell Engineering voluntarily drew up a design for a feature at the corner of Fourth Street and Magnolia. The committee is seeking sponsorships for brick pavers to be engraved and placed in the sidewalks. Forms to buy bricks are available on the city’s website. The deadline to purchase bricks is Oct. 15.
Plans are to start construction in late October and completed by the first weekend in December.
The Centennial marks the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of the city of Ceres although Ceres itself traces its founding back to 1869. The first recorded map of the town of Ceres was filed Feb. 20, 1875. Ceres was incorporated as a city on March 4, 1918 and serving as the first mayor was S.W. Cartwright who served only a month and nine days until the first city election was held on April 8, 1918. Vaughn D. Whitmore beat out Cartwright by a single vote to become Ceres’ first elected mayor with 28 votes. Besides Whitmore and Cartwright, elected to the first City Council were C.T. Haynes, J.U. Gartin and C.H. Sikes.
For more information, contact CeresCelebrates100@gmail.com.