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


Old Paso: 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