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History of Cherry Acres

Cherry Acres continues on the "U-Pick" tradition started during the ealry years of WWII when fuel and resources were scarce. During 1941 when fuel shortages made fruit transportation uneconomical, the U-Pick System, where people pick their own cherries was created. After the war, the U-Pick System of "U-Pick Your Own Cherries" has continued as a tradition among a select group of orchards in the community of Cherry Valley, Caifornia. Cherry Acres is proud to preserve the rich history of Cherry Valley and carry on this wonderful tradition.

We purchased our first cherry orchard in Beaumont, CA in 1986. After seven fruitful years, we relocated to Cherry Valley where we found an older home on 4 acres. We renovated and planted 450 cherry trees with eight varieties of cherries. When we made the move to Cherry Valley, we changed our name from Clasen’s Cherry Orchard to the name it is today, Cherry Acres.

History of Cherry Valley

History from the 1820's
Cherry Valley is the oldest settlement in the San Gorgonio pass area dating back to the early 1820's when Spanish explorer's discovered the region.The San Gorgonio Pass has played an important role in the settling of California. The steep peaks of San Jacinto and San Gorgonio drop 9,000 feet to expose between them smooth, rolling hills that the present day Interstate 10 travels on. To the settlers traveling west to the Pacific Ocean, this smooth pass was a rare find; even today it is one of the easiest east to west routes in California.

In 1823 friars from the San Gabriel Mission established a Mission in an adobe building located where the Cherry Valley Fire Station 22 is today. In 1868 a United Post office was established at a local winery.

One of the early white settlers was Isaac Smith and family. He built a ranch which was later used as a stagecoach stop. It evolved into a small hotel for people passing through. In 1884, the property was bought by a Los Angeles company which built a larger hotel there. They named it Highland Home. Nearby Banning and Beaumont began to develop and the area continued to grow. After the railroad came into the area in the late 1800's, more people moved here. Many cherry trees were planted in the Highland Ranch area which later led to the naming of the region Cherry Valley.

Cherry Valley was originally known as Apple Valley. The first cherry trees in the area were planted in 1885 at Mile High Ranch north of Cherry Valley. Land in town was offered at from $50 to $200 per lot. Land in Apple Valley (Cherry Valley) was sold in 5, 10, and 20 acre parcels. The advertising slogan was "five acres and independence". The promotional and sales program was very successful. It attracted a large number of prospective buyers, many of whom were tourists and former farmers from the midwest. Its new residents planted apples, plums, peaches, olives, walnuts, apricots, and a few cherry trees. Many of the street names reflect the fruit trees that were grown in the area, as does the name of the valley itself.

When the stagecoach, railroads, and eventually the freeways came through the pass area as a major east-west route they would all be located south of Cherry Valley, keeping Cherry Valley rural and beautiful. During WWII Cherry Valley, which is part of unincorporated Riverside County, became famous and derived its name because of the U-pick your own cherries concept which was brought about by the shortage of help during the war.

Cherry Valley is a people-oriented, rural residential and agricultural community nestled by beautiful mountains. It has two historic landmarks: the Cherry Valley Grange 586 at 10478 Banning Avenue and The Edward-Dean Museum of Decorative Arts at 9401 Oak Glen Road. The community of 17 square miles is home to approximately 7,000 residents also has an annual Cherry Valley Festival that draws visitors from near and far.

The Cherry Festival which incorporates the surrounding cities of Beaumont and Banning, is held each June. The Cherry Valley Festival had its origin in 1914. During 1930, the first Cherry Valley Festival Queen was crowned. Today, the four day festival festival features a parade, booths, music, rides, live entertainment and much more. The parade parade begins on Beaumont Avenue and ends at City Hall on Sixth Street. The Cherry Harvest doesn't always come during the festival as it varies from year to year depending on the weather. The Cherry season usually only lasts for about a month each year.

 

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