Residents of bygone Goat Valley neighborhood hold annual reunion – News – – California News

Residents of bygone Goat Valley neighborhood hold annual reunion – News – – California News

STOCKTON — When he was a little boy, Bob Granados could stand in front of his house on Myrtle Street and see Roosevelt Elementary School, which he would attend from kindergarten through sixth grade.

“There was nothing in the way,” Granados said.

His father, he thinks, is one of the first people to have a home in the area that would come to be known as Goat Valley, a neighborhood of predominantly working-class Mexican-Americans and blacks, bounded roughly by Filbert Street east to the diverting canal and Marsh Street south to the Western Pacific Railroad tracks.

The Granados were living in the two-bedroom home — later added onto — when Bob was born in 1936. That was before one of the residents let his herd of goats roam a vacant field, thus inspiring the name “Goat Valley.”

Redevelopment — PDM Steel Service Centers, at 3535 E. Myrtle, sits where the Granados’ home once stood — and then the construction of the Crosstown Freeway doomed “Goat Valley” as it did other communities.

Many of the original residents of the neighborhood are gone, but their spirit lives on. Today marks the 38th annual El Barrio del Chivo (Goat Valley) reunion at Oak Park. A few who lived there, and now their children, continue to gather every year for the potluck/picnic in the gated area of the park on East Alpine Avenue.

The celebration runs from 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. and among the traditions is a photo wall of people who populated Goat Valley and attended the reunions.

Granados no longer attends the gathering. Most of his contemporaries have passed away, he said.

Art Maldonado, 11 years younger than Granados,…

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