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May 20, 2022

Greenfield celebrates 75 years with burying of time capsule

Local officials, community members turn out for special anniversary

GREENFIELD — City of Greenfield celebrated its 75th anniversary with a special ceremony earlier this month, culminating in the burying of a time capsule that will be opened during the city’s centennial anniversary in 25 years.

The 75th celebration, also known as a diamond jubilee, took place Jan. 7 at the Greenfield Civic Center, where local officials, city staff and community members gathered for the occasion.

Mayor Lance Walker began the ceremony by providing a historic overview of the city, from when it started out as Clark Colony in 1905 before evolving into Clark City and then finally Greenfield.

“It was eventually renamed Greenfield after the United States Postal Service informed the city that there were too many ‘Clark Cities’ in the state,” Walker recalled. “The name Greenfield was picked to honor a longtime settler of the area, Mr. (Edward) Greenfield, who was instrumental in the formation of the city and was active in public affairs of the city and its service clubs, such as the Grange Organization.”

Greenfield was recognized as a municipality by the state of California Legislature and incorporated on Jan. 7, 1947. The city’s first mayor was Tom Rogers. According to Walker, there have been 17 mayors of Greenfield, with Elias De Leon being the first mayor elected by the people in 1986.

“I’m so very blessed and honored to call Greenfield my home, as I’m sure each and every one of you who live here feel the same,” Walker said. “There’s so much rich history here in our town. Just having the name, ‘The Heart of the Valley,’ that says it all. … Happy 75th anniversary, Greenfield. Can’t wait for the 100.”

Monterey County Supervisor Chris Lopez (left) shares personal experiences as a resident of Greenfield along with the area’s rich history during the city’s 75th anniversary celebration on Jan. 7. (Greenfield Fire Department)

Monterey County Supervisor Chris Lopez shared personal experiences as a resident of Greenfield along with the area’s rich history.

“We’ve seen generations of people come from all over the world to call Greenfield home. We honor them with street names, but more importantly, we never forget them,” Lopez said. “… Today, we’re primarily a farm-working community. People who work hard in the fields to put food on the tables of everybody around this nation, especially during a pandemic. We’re proud to call Greenfield home.”

Lopez also recognized the special event with a county proclamation, on behalf of the Monterey County Board of Supervisors.

“We recognize your 75th knowing there’ll be 75 more and 75 more after that because of the hardworking people that make up this city, that contribute every single day to the quality of life that people experience here in Greenfield,” he said.

The Offices of Assemblyman Robert Rivas and Sen. Anna Caballero then presented Greenfield with proclamations. The city also received a certificate of special congressional recognition from Congressman Jimmy Panetta. This was followed with singing “Happy Birthday” by Leo Trujillo, a City of Greenfield employee.

The ceremony ended with the burial of a time capsule outside near the City Hall entrance. Along with Mayor Walker, City Manager Paul Wood and City Council Members Yanely Martinez, Drew Tipton and Bob White shoveled the first scoops of dirt on the capsule.

According to Greenfield Recreation Coordinator Jesus Perez, the time capsule includes printed articles of last year’s city events; signed high school sports memorabilia; fire department memorabilia; technology, such as cell phones and USB drives with city event pictures and videos; 75th anniversary pins and mugs; the key to the city; past anniversary pamphlets celebrating the city’s birthdays over the years; and site plans for future developments.

The capsule is planned to be excavated and opened during the city’s 100th anniversary in 2047.

“There’s a lot of history in there,” Perez said. “… It’s very exciting, and it’s going to be wonderful to see in 25 years, everything that has happened, that’s been developed here in the city of Greenfield.”

A Greenfield Public Works employee holds up the time capsule before its burial on Jan. 7. The capsule, containing local memorabilia, will be opened during the city’s 100th anniversary in 2047. (Greenfield Community Science Workshop)
Ryan Cronk
Ryan Cronk is the managing editor for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for South Monterey County and the surrounding communities.
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