The Harmony Grove Church Restoration Papers consist of correspondence, reports,
clippings, architect's drawings and unpublished histories pertaining to the restoration
of the Harmony Grove Church, Lockeford, Calif. (1967-1996).
In 1965, a century-old abandoned Methodist Episcopal Church, located at Harmony Grove
Cemetery near Lockeford, Calif., faced demolition after a developer purchased the land..
Recognizing the historical significance of the structure and property, many interested
people, including members of the Lockeford-Clements Woman's Club, successfully circulated
a petition both to stop development and to restore the old brick church. The
Lockeford-Clements Woman's Club received state and national citations for spearheading
the campaign to save the church. In September 1967 County Supervisors and property owner,
Lloyd Dawson of Lodi, reached an agreement whereby Dawson deeded the church and part of
the surrounding property to San Joaquin County, retaining a portion for cemetery purposes
under the condition that restoration would be started within five years or the land would
be returned to him. The County Parks & Recreation Department, working with the San
Joaquin County Historical Society, set up a trust fund, obtained Federal monies and
restored the Harmony Grove Church and grounds. The restored building was dedicated in
1973. An annual "Homecoming" and open house take place at the old church serving as a
reminder of the church's heritage and the remarkable efforts made to save it. The papers
in this collection document the activities and people who undertook the mission to save
the Harmony Grove Church.