Resurrecting a Monument – Almond Growers Building Remodel

April 10, 2014 a very special ribbon cutting ceremony will take place in Paso Robles. It’s fitting that it should happen in the year of our 125th anniversary, as the building being re-opened represents key elements of Paso Robles history and current success - agriculture, creative problem-solving and cooperation.


The newly restored, historically correct Almond Growers/Farmers Alliance building

The newly restored, historically correct Almond Growers/Farmers Alliance building

by Chris Weygandt Alba, originally run in the December 2013 edition of Paso Robles Magazine. 


A phenomenon happened on Riverside Avenue this year. A resurrection. Right here in Paso Robles. You can see it with your own eyes.

The corpse was a public spectacle for a generation of Roblans, abandoned at 525 Riverside Ave. for the elements to slowly decompose. Now, it stands boldly, blinking in the sunlight as if savoring this moment on the brink of charging into its new job.

Whatever this building knows about life and death, the old Farmers Alliance warehouse has experienced a resurrection. Continue reading

The History of the Paso Robles Farmers Alliance

(Editor’s Note: The Farmers Alliance was housed in the Almond Growers building at 525 Riverside. The building sat vacant since 1975 until a remodel was thoughtfully and carefully undertaken recently by Ray and Pam Derby of Derby Wine Estates. The ribbon cutting and grand reopening of the building happens on April 10, 2014.)

by Harold Franklin

Under construction in 1922. Photo courtesy of Derby Wine Estates

Under construction in 1922. Photo courtesy of Derby Wine Estates

The Paso Robles Farmers Alliance Business Association was organized June, 1891. A number of local farmers and ranchers had been meeting together for a few months talking about organizing a co-op. The Farmers Alliance had been organized in 1888 to serve farmers in the Midwest and West more efficiently in the light of the non-compromising railroad monopolies.

Some of the local men who organized the Farmers Alliance were Hans Iverson and his four sons- Mat- secretary of the Board, Iver, Chreston, and Clemen,  David Stockdale, Elias Brubakker, Amador Nevada Rude, William Tuley, Myron Brooke, Martin Hansen, J. Thomas Jones, Ambert Morehouse, Hansen True – President of the board from 1891 to 1914, Charley True, Niels Madsen, Patrick O’Donovan, Andrus Nelsen, Louis Lauridsen, John Hopper, Swan Nelsen, Knute Nelsen and many other concerned farmers. They were grain farmers from Willow Creek, Bethel, Union, San Juan, Cholame, Shandon, Estrella, Creston, Adelaide, El Pomar,  Cressy Grade, Linne, Sacramento Ranches, San Miguel and the Paso Roblers area. Continue reading

Hunter Ranch Celebrates 20 Years

While Paso Robles is turning 125, some of our notable local attractions are also celebrating milestone birthdays, some with fun promotions. Including this exceptional golf course.


Premier Paso Robles Golf Course Hits Milestone

April 2, 2014 (Paso Robles, CA) – Hunter Ranch Golf Course and Restaurant is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year in grand fashion. Starting with roll-back the rates this spring and finishing with a fall tournament, the 20th anniversary offers golfers the chance to celebrate throughout the year.

“It’s been quite a ride over the past two decades,” stated Managing General Partner Ken Hunter III, “we’re thankful the course has drawn a following with both locals and traveling players seeking out a premier course.” In 1994, Ken’s father, Ken Hunter Jr. opened the course on Highway 46 east before Paso Robles was a known destination. Hunter saw the need for a world-class public course, anticipating the area would grow into a celebrated region with its proximity to the coast, popular wines and small town charm.

20th Anniversary Celebration Promotions 

Beginning in March, the course will offer roll-back rates from 1994 on the the 20th of every month. Additional promotions include:
Hunter Ranch clubhouse

  • Special 20th anniversary coupon book of 20 rounds of golf
  • Weekly raffle for 20 straight weeks
  • 20th anniversary tournament in the fall

“We’re proud that 20 years later, we are still the place for world-class golf here in Paso Robles,” said Vice President and General Manager John Carson. “Celebrating 20 years in business gives us a reason to thank our long-time players and welcome those who are new.”

Prior to developing Hunter Ranch, the Hunter team also developed and built two other golf courses on the Central Coast, Sandpiper in Santa Barbara and La Purisima in Lompoc. The rolling hills and oak trees of Paso Robles inspired Hunter to create a course where players could be alone – away from homes and development. Hunter was a believer that golf courses need to incorporate natural terrain and fit into the landscape.

About Hunter Ranch Golf Course

Designed by Mike McGinnis and the late Ken Hunter Jr., the 18-hole public course features rolling hills, century-old oaks and stunning views of the neighboring vineyards and ranches that define Central California. The restaurant, the Grill at Hunter Ranch, offers exceptional dining – featuring breakfast, lunch and daily happy hour and an award-winning Sunday brunch. To learn more, visit or call 805-237-7444.

A Thank You for the 125th Birthday Party

The following letter was received by the 125th Anniversary planning committee and we just had to share it. It is our opinion that we owe thanks to the school district for helping us celebrate our first 125 years in such a fun, old-fashioned and inclusive way. 


The view from the stairs of the Carnegie Library during the birthday party

The view from the stairs of the Carnegie Library during the birthday party

Dear Freda and Staff,

About every 125 years, a city is given the opportunity to celebrate its beginning. The city of El Paso de Robles was given this unique opportunity in 2014.

The founding members of our community were hard-working visionaries. They knew that future generations would celebrate the very special beginnings of our city with great fanfare and remember always the pioneer spirit that built this town into what it is today.

I am very proud of our school district’s working relationship with the city of Paso Robles. Our community participation assures that our city will continue to flourish and prosper for another 125 years. Each of you created a memory for the members of this community that will not soon be forgotten.

Continued success to each of you.

Kathleen McNamara, Ed.D.
Paso Robles Joint Unified School District

Paso is Planting 125 Oak Trees for Arbor Day!

Arbor Day Celebration in Paso Robles
Friday, April 25, 2014
Noon to 6 p.m.
Paso Robles City Park

Be a part of Paso’s 125th anniversary celebration by planting an oak tree

You can be a part of the City’s 125th anniversary celebration by planting an oak tree.

On National Arbor Day, 125 oak trees and other drought-tolerant plants will be made available to the public – (recommended donation of $5.00 – proceeds to go to the 125th anniversary celebration).

Greg Ellis of One Cool Earth, students of Liberty High School’s GreenWorks Nursery, Gary Perruzzi of the Paso Robles REC Foundation and staff from Althouse and Meade, Inc. Biological and Environmental Services will be on hand to distribute trees and other native plants to the community and to offer advice regarding planting, watering and maintenance.

As a 125th anniversary gift to the community, City staff will also dedicate a new City Park oak tree during the event, donated by Martinelli Landscaping.

For more information, contact Julie Dahlen, Director of Library and Recreation Services at (805) 237-3993.

Upcoming Event: Women’s History Day at the Pioneer Museum

Mme. Paderewski, Paderewski, Mrs. R. von Moschzisker

The real Madame Paderewski

Women’s History Day
Saturday, March 29, 2014
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Paso Robles Pioneer Museum
2010 Riverside Avenue
Paso Robles, CA 93446

Costumed docents will bring the past alive at the Paso Robles Pioneer Museum “Women’s History Day”. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet national celebrities including Eleanor Roosevelt, Grandma Moses, Phoebe Hearst, Juliette Gordon Low; and local celebrities such as Dabirma Still, Dr. Myrtle Hedgpeth, Dr. Sigrid Helgesen, Madame Paderewski, and others.

Visitors will also get a chance to see what it was like to attend school in a one room schoolhouse, and see local women and men demonstrating woodcarving.

Happy Birthday 125th Paso Robles – Event Details

School parade, scavenger hunt, mail delivered by stagecoach and more1962 Pioneer Day Parade_12th and Pine Harris Stage Lines

PASO ROBLES, CA – The Paso Robles 125th Anniversary Committee and the Paso Robles schools are teaming up to help the community celebrate the 125th anniversary date of the city’s incorporation with the “Happy Birthday Paso Robles” event in the downtown City Park today,  Tuesday, March 11 from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.

The event will begin with a school parade around the park to the front of the Carnegie Library. The very last parade entry will be a stagecoach that will be delivering a letter postmarked March 11, 2014 to be deposited (along with a few other commemorative items) into a time capsule that will be set as part of the celebration. The stagecoach, provided by local favorite Harris Stage Lines, will trace a route from the San Miguel post office to the City Park and will be carrying both the Paso Robles and San Miguel postmasters, among others.

Once the parade has ended, there will be a brief program to commemorate the occasion, including raising the new city flag.   Attendees will enjoy brief speeches from civic leaders followed by 1,000 cupcakes provided by the Paso Robles Culinary Academy and a commemorative Ginger Ale, produced especially for the 125th Anniversary by Paso Robles merchant Pithy Little Wine Company & Soda Works.  A celebration photo of all participants is planned to commemorate the occasion.

There will also be railroad memorabilia on display for attendees to enjoy and learn about the early history of the area.

The 125th Anniversary Kids Historical Scavenger Hunt is being unveiled at the birthday party. Locals and visitors alike can pick up the map and follow clues through the downtown and answer historical questions for a chance to win prizes like Ravine Water Park passes, Mid-State Fair passes, movie tickets, and more. Forms will be available in the park during the Happy Birthday celebration, and available after that at the Visitor Center (1225 Park Street), the Paso Robles Historical Society (inside the Carnegie library in the park) and at the Paso Robles Pioneer Museum (2010 Riverside). Prizes will be awarded three times in 2014.

The public is asked to be in the park by 3:30 to greet the parade entries.   Street closures for the parade begin at 2 p.m.  In planning your route to the event, please note that Spring Street between 10th and 12th; 11th Street between Spring and Pine; 12th Street between Spring and Pine; and Pine Street between 11th and 12th will be closed until 5 p.m.


About the 125th Anniversary: 2014 marks the 125th Anniversary of Paso Robles incorporating as a city, and the community has planned a year’s worth of events to celebrate the occasion, including a “Happy Birthday, Paso Robles” event on March 11, 2014; a newly imagined 4th of July celebration; an Old-Fashioned Family Fun Day in the park during Pioneer Day in 2014 and a fireworks finale on December 31, 2014, an Historic Women’s Day, a 12.5-mile Fun Run and much more. For a complete list of events celebrating the 125th anniversary throughout 2014, go to