The Nursery property
The nursery business of
California Nursery declined starting in the 1950s and
especially in the 1960s.
This was due to a changing
market and increasing push by developers.
Slowly the various
properties outside of Niles were lost to pay off loan
obligations and finally in 1971, developers Singer and
Brooks were able to obtain the remaining nursery property.
Saving the nursery grounds
The developers, Singer and Brooks
planned to put a housing subdivision on the 60 acres of
nursery property that they had acquired.
However, In order to get a
permit for the development from the City of Fremont, the
City required that Singer and Brooks provide acreage for a
public park/green space in their plans.
Thus as part of the land
development deal, title for 20 of the 60 acres was set aside
and title to that land was transferred to the City of
Part of this deal may have
been due to the concerted effort by the local community to
save the Nursery grounds from development (3).
The choice of the particular 20
acres out of 60 likely has to do with the number of key
historical Nursery buildings on the 20 acres chosen.
The Old Adobe was
important, one of the only remaining buildings in the area
of Californiaís rancho days and
one of the oldest
buildings still standing in Fremont.
(3) In 1971, based on a
submission by Lowell Barry, the Old Adobe was designated a
National Historic Place (though it is called the Niles
Nursery Guest House).
In addition, other
buildings were historical with the packing shed and take
going back to the 1890, the office and cottage to 1907 etc.
After acquiring the property, the
City of Fremont sublet the retail nursery grounds and some
of the buildings to various nurseries; with the last
occupant finishing just a few years ago.
Saving the documents and artifacts
The Roedings, and particularly
Bruce Roeding, have made it their lifeís work to not guard
the documents photos and artifacts relating to the nursery
but to also promote the development of a historic park that
would showcase the importance of the California Nursery
Company to the history of California and the United States
during a pivotal time in our nationís history.
The documents, photos and
artifacts combined with the the key buildings and plants
that remain on the property make California Historic Park a
completely unique and immeasurably valuable.
California Nursery Company business continues
Retail Nursery in Union City (1)
Despite the loss of the nursery
property, California Nursery Company is still an ongoing
After 1971, Mr. and Mrs.
George Roeding Jr., and their son, Bruce Roeding continued
the California Nursery Corporation as a retail mail order
They leased two warehouses
in Union City and had a small office on Decoto Road.
Using their decades of
expertise and business contacts they developed the business
Their operation was to
sell retail by mail or phone order or to be an intermediary
wholesaler and smaller
Trees usually arrived in
bundles of 10, and the Roedings separated, pruned and graded
each one individually for sale.
The trees would then be
shipped to individual clients or other retail nursery
to the poor health of George Jr. in the early 1980s the
Union City warehouses were closed and the retail operation
was moved to the Roeding property in Niles where they
continued for a couple of years until George Sr. and his
Pit processing in Modesto and Stockton (1)
A second operation of the CNC
starting in the early 1980s and continues to the present is
the processing of stone fruit pits from canneries and drying
and processing them for seed.(2)
for seed had always been
an important part of the CNC business from the early 1900s.
The recent pit processing
operation used the seed from canneries in Modesto and
Stockton, focusing on peach, apricot and plum pits.
At the height of this
operation in the late 1980s and 1990s, CNC was processing
250 tons of seed annually to be shipped to clients
throughout the United States.
The pits continued to use the
well known Roeding/CNC quality control.
Each batch would be tested
for viability by visual inspection and by getting a sample
of the seeds inspected by California State Department of
Certificates of viability
would be included with each sale.
Bruce Roeding was able to adapt
and improve the mechanization of drying and bagging the pits
using the legendary Roeding ingenuity.
Like his grandfather
before him he adapted a machine designed for another purpose
to serve the new process, in this case adapting a walnut
sorter into a pit cleaner and screener. Overall, he greatly
increased the efficiency of all phases of the pit
processing, reducing the amount of people required for the
same amount of seed from 8-12 men to 3-4.
Nursery Company still sells 20 tons of peach pits annually.
Bruce Roeding, personal communication
Scrapbooks -- California Nursery Company --
ads for pit seeds
Register website; Item No.
71000130 NRIS (National Register Information System
Register website; Item No.
71000130 NRIS (National Register Information System)