This is the first post for a "View from the Saddle" exhibit that I'm developing at the Hattie Weber Museum in Davis. We pointing out historic sites that are especially bike-able or cycle-able in or nearby Davis. Bike-able meaning meant for ages 8-80 and cycle-able meaning the terrain could be a little challenging. We consider the church and graveyard at the location of the former town of Tremont as a cycle-able location perfect for a bike ride. We hope you find the time to visit this location. – Aaron Wedra
Location: Tremont Road, Dixon, CA 95620 Visiting Hours: 8AM – 6PM
Information for this post is borrowed from an internet article here. The author of the post lists additional sources.
Tremont Township (now defunct) was a portion of Solano County, California. It comprised the portions of Solano County opposite Putah Creek from Davisville (now Davis). It appears on an 1890 map of Solano County.
Sources say the early settlers tended to be Germans who came for the gold and stayed for farming during the 1850s. Most started with land received as a land grant as part of the Homestead Act of 1862.
There was said to be a community hall, a school and a post office and store at Tremont and Eggert Road. For a time, trains stopped at nearby Tremont Station if there were passengers or freight.
Residents needed a local church, and in 1863 some local women formed The “Ladies Mite Society of Tremont” for that purpose.
There were various church-related mite societies around the U.S. at that time, named after a biblical story about a widow donating what little money (a “mite” [copper coin]) she had.
The families sold their share of the Silveyville church (about 10 miles away) for $700, and raised $600 from the Mite donations, and while temporarily meeting in the community hall, began to build their church. They built where two acres of land were donated by the Hyde family.
Much of the actual labor in constructing the church was volunteer. The pulpit was built by the Gordon brothers and Judge and Justice of the Peace, Joe Cloutman. The Gordon brothers were also responsible for most of the inside woodwork. Some items of furniture for the church were bought, some hand constructed and others donated by Hale’s and Breuners’ stores in Sacramento. Multiple sources confirm William Gordon’s involvement in the construction, and one source mentions a brother’s involvement as well (possibly Melvin).
The classic country church design was said to be in the Dutch Renaissance style, and it was named the Tremont Westminster Church (of the Presbyterian persuasion) when dedicated on April 25th in 1871 and was active until 1921. Because the church still wasn’t paid for, the Tremont Mite Society continued on, meeting and collecting donations. Mrs. Hyde was the society’s first president.
One local woman, Thelma Dietrich, was 101 in 2013, remembers attending Sunday school at the church in the early 1900s. At first, traveling pastors served the church; eventually it gained a resident pastor, Reverend Fairbairn. However, the church didn’t have the congregational size to support a pastor, and regular church services ended in 1912. Still, the Society worked to keep the building up, and occasional weddings and funerals were held there over the years.
The Westminster Presbyterian Church & Cemetery of Tremont is now listed in the California State Register of Historic Places. The Tremont Cemetery around the Church is part of the Silveyville Cemetery District.