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Cedar Ridge

Cedar Ridge and Peardale

Chicago Park

Cedar Ridge and Peardale / Chicago park

As so much of Western Nevada County, Chicago Park/Peardale/Cedar Ridge has interesting history. Now residential neighborhoods that are sought after, Chicago Park was named after founding residents who came from Chicago in the late 1800s to grow grapes for wine. Peardale
takes its name from Italian immigrants who established Pear groves that was subsequently run over by gold seekers pursuing the dreams of the 49ers.

Originally called Storms Station, named after Simmon P. Storms, who established a ranch on land overlooking the Bear River and hosted wrestling matches and bear fights. In 1872, the Coleman Brothers purchased Storms Station and the Buena Vista Ranch and established the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad to tie into the transcontinental railroad at Colfax, spurring agricultural development in the area.
In 1887, a group of Colfax and Chicago, Illinois investors acquired several thousand acres and drew up plans for the Chicago Park Colony. The Colony never materialized but 7,000 acres were sold mainly to residents of Chicago. Many tracts were planted with orchards and the area was called the Bartlett Pear Belt.

Fruit was king for 100 years. Pears, plums, peaches and apples were ubiquitous. Due to lack of water, dry farming techniques were developed and were found to improve fruit color. In 1904, William Bierwagen purchased much of Storms Station. The Bierwagen family continues to this day to grow apples and other fruit on the family farm in Chicago Park. The family also operates the Happy Apple Kitchen on Highway 170 adjacent to the orchards. Excellent food, some of the best burgers in the area, also known for their pies.

Today this is a sought-after residential community. Great neighborhoods abound, about nine miles southeast of Grass Valley, and three miles north of Colfax, on Highway 170. Often described as a “High-End” community, because of The Cedars, a gated community of properties in the $800,000 and up range (See our section on The Cedars.), the area offers a variety of housing types and values. Houses in the area are priced from $300,000 and up and often offer lots larger that found in the city proper.

Close by, Rollins Lake area is a favorite of recreational enthusiasts for boating, fishing, hiking, and biking. A number of fruit farms, including the Bierwagen’s Donner Trail Fruit Farm continue to draw visitors to the area.

Why visit when you can live right here!

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