She lived in Yolo County at a time when the automobile was just becoming more widespread, and her remarkable feats in the dairy industry led to her becoming a quasi-celebrity, riding in a train parlor car and visiting the Palace Hotel in downtown San Francisco.
We’re talking, of course, about Tilly Alcartra, a Holstein Friesian cow who was renowned around Northern California and beyond for her world-record milk production.
Since then, a book has been written about her special capabilities and she even has a festival in her native county that bears her name, TillyFest, which is about to be hosted by Woodland for the second time.
Tilly lived between 1908 and 1924 and held the world record in milk production for six years starting in 1914.
In 1919, The Chronicle newspaper cited Tilly producing 33,424 lbs. of milk in a year.
The 2023 edition of TillyFest is set for Saturday, Nov. 4, starting at 9 a.m. at Blue Note Brewing and then continuing into the evening at Heritage Plaza in downtown Woodland.
The festival is organized by Woodland Parlor 30, a chapter of the Native Sons of the Golden West.
While the event celebrates the prizewinning cow, it also serves as a way to help establish a local history museum in the city, the county seat of Yolo County.
Organizers hope that the day-long event, which will include historical exhibits, live music, a market, food and games, and other activities, will help raise funds and get the community on the path to opening the museum in the near future.
This year’s edition will also feature a visit by Lynne Gough, the author of the book about Tilly the so-called “Holstein Queen.” Gough who is a great-granddaughter of Asa W. Morris, the farmer who owned the champion bovine.