The story of the Kenefick home

This is the beautiful home of the Kenefick family before the fire.  Galt lost another important part of history in that fire.

This photo was taken a few years before the fire that destroyed it totally.

Jeremiah Kenefick, born in 1831, was a pioneer farmer who settled in the Liberty Township in 1861.  His ranch included 375 acres of grain land.  On November 1, 186, Mr. Kenefick married Miss Rosa Dorsey, a native of Ireland, and they had five children: Annie, born on August 8, 1868 and later married Charles Conley; John Thomas, born December 24, 1865, and later married, Isabel Ellen Need; Edmund Hugh, who later married Sarah Ellen McEnerney; Rosa born in 1872 and died in 1900; and Ida Mary, born May 9, 1875, and died in 1939.

The Kenefick house was built for John T. Kenefick in 1911, on the farm which was purchased by his father, Jeremiah, in 1861.  This house replaced the old farm house.  When the Central California Traction Railroad Company was looking for land on which to lay track, Mr. Kenefick gave them the land at the east side of the property.  Kenefick Station was established there with a siding to allow train cars to load and unload there. Supplies to build the Kenefick home came around the Horn by ship, and up to Kenefickís ranch by train.  Kenefick Station proved to be a significant stop for the farmers in the area who shipped cream and grapes to Sacramento.  A granddaughter of Jeremiah Kenefick, recalled when the grapes were shipped, the railroad provided a boxcar on the siding.  It had ice in it to keep the grapes fresh.  The railroad company gave the Kenefick family permission to take some ice if they needed it, so the children would climb up on the car and get ice to make ice cream.

The builder of the home was Joe Vance, and the woodwork and staircases to the upstairs were done by E. B. Lachlan.  It was a two-story wood frame home with four bedrooms, a sewing room, a storeroom, and bathroom upstairs.  The southeast bedroom had curved glass windows and was larger than the rest.  The downstairs had a living room with curved glass windows and a fireplace, a dining room with as fireplace, a library with a built-in bookcase and a fireplace, a kitchen, and a maidís bedroom.

A circular porch with large support pillars surrounded the house from the library entrance on the south, to the front entrance on the east.  A screened back porch and a basement area completed the house.

A member of the Kenefick family resided in the family home, located on the corner of Liberty and Kenefick roads, until the death of Jeremiahís grandson, John E. Kenefick, in 1993.  The house then sat vacant for a number of years, becoming the victim of the elements. It was hoped that it would be restored and preserved, but in the early 2000ís, the home reached itís end when on a Thanksgiving Day it was engulfed in flames and entirely burned.  Only a fireplace chimney remained standing as a salute to the lovely Victorian Kenefick home.

A view of the Kenefick farm near Galt.

A view of the farm

Read more about the Kenefick family in Tapestry, a book about Galt pioneers.


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This page was last edited: 04/13/2007 - copyright Galt Area Historical Society
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