#1 LOOMIS LEGACY LOOP KIOSKI
Birthplace of the California Fruit Industry
The first car load of fresh fruit shipped out of California for the eastern markets was shipped from Newcastle to Chicago in about 1879. (It arrived a total loss.) Loomis opened its first fruit house in 1889 and grew to five shipping companies within eight years. “Mountain Grown” became known throughout the trade as a slogan for Placer County peaches, plums, and pears, with their exceptionally high quality of flavor. In the 1940s, the Loomis fruit district shipped 4,500 train cars of plums every summer.
#2 GATEWAY BRAND
Illinois native Lindsley J. Kinney came to San Francisco in 1881 where he worked for five years as a wholesale grocery clerk. Returning to Illinois, he worked in the grocery department of Sears-Roebuck Company until 1905. He came back to California and took up farming on a 50 acre ranch on King Road, 2.5 miles east of Loomis. He named his ranch “The Falls Orchard” after the 25 foot fall in the ditch on his property.
#3 VALLEY OF THE GODS
Scribner & Mayden
In 1919, Butler Noles Scribner, an insurance agent from Rocklin, and John Lincoln Mayden, a candy merchant from Sacramento, became partners in a pear orchard located at the corner of Citrus Colony Road and Del Mar Avenue, northwest of Loomis. Packed under the Valley of the Gods label, the fruit was marketed through the Pioneer Fruit Company.
#4 HOLLY GLEN ORCHARDS
John A. Ferguson
California native John A. Ferguson came to this area at age six and grew up working in his father’s orchards on Miner’s Ravine, southeast of Loomis. In 1896, he purchased 20 acres on Wells Avenue. He cleared the land, planted it to orchard, and named it Holly Glen. His holdings eventually grew to 200 acres. He shipped fruit with the Loomis Fruit Growers Association for which he served as president in 1919.
Loomis Fruit Growers Association
Loomis Fruit Growers Association incorporated April 29, 1901, with 18 charter members. It was the first member association of the California Fruit Exchange. The High-Hand label was in use by 1923 and was registered as a trademark in 1926. Within the trade, it was often referred to as the “Four Aces” brand. Early versions of the label had a white background, then a yellow background, and later a blue background. The last operating fruit shed in Placer County, Loomis Fruit Growers closed in 2001.
#6 MOTHER’S TREAT BRAND
In 1944, Ernest S. Beckett formed the Beckett Fruit Company, a fruit packing and shipping operation located in Penryn. Fruit was packed under the Mother’s Treat Brand label and marketed through Heggblade-Marguleas Company, a San Francisco based firm founded in 1934 by Frank Heggblade and Joseph Marguleas. Heggblade-Marguleas Company revolutionized the produce shipping business by selling direct to retailers, rather than through auction markets.
#7 MOONSHINE ORCHARD
Porter Lee Taylor, a native a Slick Rock, Kentucky, came to Loomis in 1901 at the age of 18. His home ranch, Moonshine Orchard, was located on Moonshine Lane, northeast of Loomis. He owned several ranches, managed various fruit houses including the American Fruit Growers (Blue Goose), and started the Canning Pear Association. He also owned the Herbert and Taylor label.
#8 MAGNOLIA ORCHARD
Son of Danish immigrants, Hans Nicholas “Nick” Hansen was born in Benicia, California, and came to Loomis in 1892 at age eight. He grew up on his father’s ranch on Dane Colony Lane, now Leak Lane, east of town. He purchased a nearby ranch on Horseshoe Bar Road at Hansen Road and named it Magnolia Orchard. He was president of the Loomis Fruit Growers Association from 1937 to 1950.
#9 VALLEY VISTA ORCHARD
A native of Denmark, Christian Larsen came to Loomis in 1901, purchasing a 40-acre ranch along Horseshoe Bar Road, 3.5 miles east of town. He grew plums, peaches, pears, cherries and nectarines. His Valley Vista label was printed by the Schmidt Lithograph Company, San Francisco. The Valley Vista name and the scene on the label were inspired by the view from his front porch.
#10 CALIFORNIA FRUIT EXCHANGE
The California Fruit Exchange incorporated May 1, 1901, with member associations from Loomis, Newcastle, and Penryn. It grew to be the largest fruit growers cooperative organization on the Pacific coast. The Loomis Agency was established as a direct unit of the company in 1928 after the Loomis Fruit Growers Association left the cooperative. A large shipping and packing house, built in 1931, was in use until the Loomis Agency closed in 1994.
#11 “OUR PICK”
Loomis Fruit Growers Association
In 1923, Loomis Fruit Growers Association developed a quality-control system for inspecting packing operations on the ranches. Three years later, they built a modern, highly mechanized Central Packing House and began offering fruit packing services, in addition to marketing and shipping. The facility was the first of its kind in Placer County. While the High-Hand label designated the company’s highest-quality fruit, the “Our Pick” label was used on crates of slightly lower grade product.
#12 H•P•L BRAND
Harold P. Leak
Harold P. Leak began making boxes in the Penryn fruit sheds at age ten. From 1920 to 1924, he managed the Loomis Agency of the American Fruit Growers (Blue Goose). He purchased 40 acres on Leak Lane, east of Loomis, in 1909 and 240 acres on the American River in 1921. He grew peaches, plums, pears, cherries, and grapes. His H•P•L Brand label was used on fruit crates packed in sheds at both ranch locations.
#13 BLUE ANCHOR
California Fruit Exchange
George H. Cutter, one of the founders of the California Fruit Exchange, suggested the “Anchor” as a symbol as early as 1903. It was first used in 1904 and gradually came to be accepted as the company logo. In 1923, it was registered as a trademark designating the company’s highest quality fruit. The California Fruit Exchange was renamed Blue Anchor, Inc. in 1969.
#14 BLUE GOOSE
American Fruit Growers, Inc.
American Fruit Growers, Inc., also known as American National Growers Corporation, was a fruit and vegetable packer and marketing organization that operated nation-wide under the Blue Goose brand. The Loomis Agency occupied various fruit sheds before building a new shipping and central packing house in 1931. The company officially changed its name to Blue Goose Growers, Inc., in 1961.
#15 Loomis Library & Community Learning Center
To learn more about the Historic Loomis, please visit the Loomis Library Historical Society Display at the Loomis Library & Community Learning Center, Open Thursday through Sunday.