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City of Livingston celebrates 100 years
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Livingston City Council Member Jose Moran, Mayor Pro-Tem Raul Garcia, Council Member Maria Soto and Council Member Gagandeep Kang unveil the centennial commemorative plaque in front of the Livingston Historical Museum (CHRISTOPHER CORREA/The Journal).

Sept. 11, 2022 officially marked the 100th birthday for the City of Livingston, a milestone that has been acknowledged through a series of events throughout the year. The year-long centennial celebration was highlighted with a downtown ceremony unveiling a commemorative plaque in front of the Livingston Historical Museum.

Hundreds of residents and visitors attended the celebration, including Mayor Juan Aguilar Jr., pastor and Police Chaplain Michael Outten, Merced County Supervisor and Livingston resident Rodrigo Espinoza and new Police Chief Chuck Hale. The Livingston High School marching band also made an appearance, opening the day’s festivities with a performance.

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Livingston Mayor Juan Aguilar Jr. and Mayor Pro-Tem Raul Garcia pose with Foster Farms CEO Donnie Smith and the Foster Imposter mascot at the city's Centennial Celebration (Photo contributed).

“This is a special day, a special event,” Aguilar said in his welcoming remarks. “Our city was incorporated in 1922, but [its history] started way before, so I encourage you to really come to the museum and come out and really learn about the history of Livingston. It’s very unique.”

Attendees were also treated to a free barbecue chicken dinner courtesy of Foster Farms, whose headquarters and main processing plant is in Livingston.

“Foster Farms products are distributed across the nation, but our roots are in the Central Valley and the City of Livingston,” said Ira Brill, Vice President of Communications for Foster Farms. “We are very pleased to be a part of Livingston’s Centennial celebration.”

During the event, the Livingston Historical Museum was open to the public, showcasing several artifacts from the city’s long storied history.

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Community members and visitors can pose for photos in front of the Livingston centennial logo in downtown Livingston.

As Aguilar alluded to, while the city was incorporated into Merced County in 1922, the area was first settled by wagon master David Baldwin Chedester in 1862. In the following years, development into a town site was stimulated by railway gang workers, gold seekers and farmers.

The town was named after the famed African explorer Dr. David Livingstone, whose disappearance at the time gained international notoriety. In 1873, in a petition for a new post office, the final letter "E" was removed and the town officially became Livingston. By 1909, irrigation became opened the doors for Livingston to experience steady growth, which led to the town to be incorporated in 1922 with Charles Daman as its first mayor.