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Explore Oakdale History

Oakdale is proud to be the "Cowboy Capital of the World". We offer our visitors a taste of the Old West. Established in 1871, our historic town is home to boutique shopping, delicious cuisine and unique events.

History Lovers Tour

After breakfasting at Cahoots Corner Café, 110 E. F Street, head to the Oakdale History Museum, 212 W. F Street, to learn everything there is to know about the history of Oakdale since 1871. Grab lunch at Bachi’s Family Diner, 401 E. F Street, stop in next door at the Oakdale Cowboy Museum. Head East to Knight’s Ferry to take in the famous Covered Bridge, and visit the Knight’s Ferry Visitors Center Museum. Finish your day with dinner at the River’s Edge Restaurant and an after-dinner drink sitting right on the river.

View All Day Trip Itineraries 

Day Trip Itinerary

Oakdale Museum & History Center

Housed in the 1869 Prowse House, the Museum, opened in 1985, has been operated by the Friends of Oakdale Heritage since 2009.

Oakdale Cowboy Museum

The Cowboy Museum Nonprofit Organization has been conserving the heritage of the American West, preserving California's cultural history, & teaching the mutual evolutions of Agriculture & the American Cowboy since 1995!

Rustic Knights Ferry, California was originally founded in 1848. Founded by Dr. William Knight, and originally founded as a ferry-ing stop for those seeking gold, the town of Knights Ferry transitioned from gold rush town, to industrial area (you can still see the flour mill) to a haven for those seeking outdoor recreation.

The Tulloch Mill Ruins, huge roofless rooms scattered about with bits and pieces of old machinery, stonily overlook the Stanislaus River below. This massive building which once tapped the power of the fiery river now stands empty and silent; only the river remains unchanged.

Woodward Reservoir Regional Park is located at 14528 26-Mile Rd., a few miles north of Oakdale off Highway 120. It offers over 3,700 acres of land and 2,900 acres of reservoir for recreation and camping. 


Gold discovered along the Stanislous River 


The family of Francis Marion Cottle became the first settlers of present day Oakdale


Andrew Jackson Patterson offers a parcel of land to the railroad and Oakdale is established


The town reaches a population of 500


1,000 residents including three doctors and one dentist


Oakdale incorporated into a city


The first Oakdale Rodeo


Oakdale is the thriving Cowboy Capital of the World!

" We stayed in a one of a kind treehouse at Ozz Ranch! A perfect place to unwind after a day of hiking and exploring Oakdale history.


We have already reserved for next year!" 


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