The Butler Cherry Ranch Project and Community Orchard
Ella & George Butler, c. 1946. Courtesy Maryjean Laden/Tom Bertrand
A community orchard project honors the memory of George and Ella Butler and their much beloved u-pick Ukiah cherry ranch. After Butler Ranch sold and was converted to vineyards in 2000, a small group coalesced to continue the Butler orchard tradition at Ridgewood Ranch near Willits. We restored a historic apple orchard and added a diverse collection of fruit trees. In 2013, the Willits Grange assumed management of the orchard and offers a variety of educational experiences. The Project has culminated in a book of collected stories about George and Ella and the Butler Ranch.
Alan Chadwick Legacy Project
Alan Chadwick pruning at Covelo Round Valley Garden Project, 1970s.
Stories from apprentices who trained at five organic gardens with master gardener Alan Chadwick from 1967 to 1980. Chadwick taught French Intensive and Biodynamic gardening, popularizing both methods, a horticultural legacy still with us today.
A Passion for Plants and Place: Carl Purdy in Mendocino County
Carl Purdy in his garden, The Terraces, Ukiah, CA., 1940
Exhibition at Mendocino County Museum exploring Purdy's botanical discoveries and horticultural work in California from the 1870s - 1940s. Purdy named a dozen native plants for science, including the globe lily, which he called Calochortus amabilis (Latin for lovable) and the Coastal Range Mariposa Lily which he called Calochortus vestae, for his wife, Vesta. Purdy collaborated with renowned botanists Luther Burbank, Alice Eastwood, and Willis Jepson.
Heart of Ukiah Historic Downtown Walking Tour
A 1917 fire damaged 3 square blocks of downtown Ukiah.
Experience the heart of historic Ukiah in Mendocino County using this walking tour guide featuring 18 historic buildings. Filled with vintage photographs and site histories, the brochure includes a map. Click below to download PDF version.
Willits Heritage Ranch Tour
A tour of two Willits ranches -- Ford Ranch and Schmidbauer Ranch offered guests a chance to walk the land and learn about the cattle and sheep operations from the owners. Historical research revealed that the land each ranch occupies, on opposite ends of Willits Valley, had close ties to the notorious 19th century Coates-Frost Feud, Mendocino County's version of the Hatfields and McCoys.