There is much more to come, but this article is a good preview of what’s in store. We’ve been working hard to get everything in place and the dining room is, if we may say so, looking pretty spiffy.
Already on display are sound panels featuring images by the talented Deborah O’Grady of the historic Berkeley Olive Grove in Oroville, CA. As Maggie Klein wrote in her seminal work, Feast of the Olive (Chronicle Books, 1994), the Berkeley Grove is an important piece of northern California’s agricultural history, not to mention home to some of the oldest living olive trees in the area:
California land development occurred in waves. The wave that followed Woodson’s subdivision in Corning swept the state after 1910, when land was still cheap enough for developers to sell inexpensively to city dwellers who wanted to get rich quick or provide for their old age. During that time, an olive boom was rekindled in Oroville and attracted an unlikely group. Eight members of the faculty at the University of Nevada, and nine from the University of California at Berkeley – all graduates of Berkeley and from an assortment of disciplines – decided to invest together in agricultural land. For a minimal investment and the sweat of their own brows, they hoped to gain financial security for their families. Dr. Herbert Hill, an English professor, scouted the state an appropriate crop. He considered oranges, figs, nuts, grapes, and peaches. He decided on olives; they live forever. (Perhaps their classical history had some appeal for the professor as well.) The two engineers in the group, Dr. Charles Hyde and Dr Bernard Etcheverry, devised a hexagonal planting design that would facilitate cultivation. In 1914, Dr. Hill, Dr. Ralph Minor, a physicist, and Drs. Young and Frandsen began blasting holes in rock and setting out little trees. In ten years, the trees were self-supporting. Some of the professors came to Oroville in the summertime to work, and camped out in the orchards with their families. Professor Vaughn built a knotty pine cottage, to which he retired years later. During only two years did the venture show a loss, and that was during the Great Depression.
Stay tuned for more details about the official launch of the Meyer Sound system at Oliveto.
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