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Farmington News
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From "Doc Alders, Farmington's Lone Eagle": The Alders Service Station was well equipped with horse harness, bits and bridles, single trees, double trees not to mention wagon and buggy wheels. Since he was working with horse-drawn vehicles, it was only natural for Doc to keep horses to pull them. Doc built a Phaeton cart to match his large Percheron. As a member, Doc would on occasion drive his own horse-drawn carriage in the annual California Carriage Foundation drive through Farmington. His proudest accomplishment was winning a blue ribbon for two successive years in the four-horse team competition at the California State Fair.

Doc even rebuilt a Bodie, which actually it was better known as a mud wagon. It had no windows or doors. It was built like a hard top surrey wagon, with three or four bench row seats. It ran from Sonora in the Mother Lode at about twenty-five hundred feet over the crest of the Sierra and down into the high desert east of the Sierra to the mining boomtown of Bodie, which is now famous as a ghost town. The coach was driven over the dangerous mountain road by Marge Giovanetti's father.

It later became the property of Mrs. Marge Giovanetti. She lived in Modesto along the river. She had it stored in an old barn with no roof. She bought the Bodie to Doc for him to restore. After it was restored she kept it at the ranch for a couple of years. She owned land by the Stanislaus River.

When Marge Giovanetti donated the Bodie Stage to the McHenry Museum, a service club was responsible for getting it from her ranch to the Museum. When they got it there, they were baffled as to how to get the coach inside the building. The doors of the building were not intended to accommodate large vehicles. They called Doc and he instructed them to take the wheels off then jockey it in. They did so and finally managed to get it inside by tipping it slightly on its side. As a reward for achieving this logistic triumph, they got their name on the plaque. Doc was not even mentioned.


A big "Happy Birthday" to Danielle Lawrence who will officially become a teenager on Friday, August 24th. Happy 13, Love Meme, Papa, Mom, Rick and Marvin.


Please contact me if you have items for the Farmington News column. E-mail me at or phone 896-6697.