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McFarland Ranch was originally owned by John McFarland, who gave the town of Galt its name. It is one of the properties maintained by the Galt Area Historical Society.

Looking to give local this Big Day of Giving? The Herald spoke to three Galt-area nonprofits raising funds through the charity event on May 5: Galt Area Historical Society, Hope for Horses and Purrfectly Pawsible. Some are already accepting donations. Read on to learn their stories and how to donate.

Goal: $10,000

How to donate: bigdayofgiving.org/organization/galthistory

The Galt Area Historical Society is not to be underestimated this Big Day of Giving. The society’s historian said its preservation efforts keep the community in touch with its roots.

The historical society pursues multiple projects to conserve Galt’s heritage, with one of the most visible being the historical buildings under its care, such as the Rae House Museum, which was recently renovated with displays on the history of the Galt area, and the McFarland Living History Ranch, which is furnished from top to bottom with period pieces.

The society also hosts events throughout the year at its facilities, including an annual car show, Sip and Snack and Kite Day, which the society combined with Eggstravaganza this year.

To fund its work to save more historic properties, the society has set a goal of raising $10,000 through Big Day of Giving.

Historian Dan Tarnasky said historical organizations like the society are often the last groups that people think of when making donations, but he emphasized how vital the society’s work is.

“If you don’t preserve local history, it’s going to disappear and you’re not going to know where you came from or where your community started,” Tarnasky said in an interview. “We’ve had a lot of the older buildings in town be demolished because nobody cared, and we’re hoping that people care enough to contribute to the historical society so we can keep things like that from happening.”

Notably, in 2019, the society moved the Liberty Schoolhouse from its location on Fourth Street to the parking lot of the Rae House so it could be preserved and restored.

“We’re in the process of (restoring) now, and we do have some funds, but we don’t have probably enough funds,” Tarnasky said.

The society wants to fit out the interior of the schoolhouse with period furnishings, a significant expense.

A property of particular concern for the society is the Lippi house, which was owned by Amadeo Lippi, an Italian immigrant who operated an orchard and a winery. The house is located on land being considered for a residential development.

“We’re not sure what the developer wants to do. We’ve expressed our opinion on that. If we have to take things to City Council and the Planning commission, we will do it to preserve,” Tarnasky said.

Another historical house, in western Galt, was recently restored and put on the market, “and we’re keeping an eye on that as well,” Tarnasky added.

Donations will also fund general upkeep on the Rae House, McFarland Ranch, and the Galt and Arno cemeteries.

Tarnasky said he hoped locals would understand the value of preserving the Galt area’s heritage, and he noted that many smaller donations can make a big impact.

“They don’t have to donate thousands. If we can just get people to donate $25 here, maybe $50 there … if we get enough people to do that, that money goes a long way.”