A Noble Effort

December 5, 2015

(I’m titling the post ^ thusly so that I can remember what kind of tree we got this year. I’m always forgetting and feel like we start from scratch each year with the conversation: “What kind of tree shall we get?” “I don’t know, but something that smells good.”)

(Actually, last year was a Silver Tip and it was great, but this year, their Silver Tips were too short, so a noble it is; Peter is a tall tree kinda guy.)

The other thing we seem to mess up each year is finding our way to Silveyville…. we drove apparently aimlessly for awhile, unintentionally circumnavigating our destination. Well, almost.

Saw some nice countryside..


Finally went to the googles and got a bearing… posted on Facebook, too, and got a quick navigation suggestion from Don Shor, who happens to live out that way. Pretty funny.

Anyway, we did find the Silveyville Christmas Tree farm, after our annual, unplanned tour of the farms and ranches in the area.

We decided to visit the teeny museum they have on their property… really more of a tribute to Jerry, the founder of the Silveyville Christmas Tree farm, who died last year. We learned a little about the farm’s history: Jerry, and his wife Alberta, decided that after his retirement from some kind of machine building, they’d plant a tree farm, and name it in honor of the village of Silveyville (history of that is later in this post):


In 1979, they removed eleven acres of almonds, amended the soil, and planted their first crop of trees, and by 1981, they opened for business. The place has been a beloved local institution ever since.

Long ago, it looked like this:


The two wide dark strips are the rows of trees. We typically park in a large lot to the left of that red barn. This is looking south, Silveyville road in foreground.

This is it now. Some directions give you a nice, peaceful scene…


What you can’t see in this picture are the hundreds of saw-wielding patrons–some on sleigh rides; the huge (and very young) staff; Santa Claus; the giant fire pit; the store and museum; the games; apple cider, hot chocolate and popcorn venders.. and the music, decorations and general festive atmosphere.  Peter hasn’t gone with us now for two years… but we still go. Sigh.

We made quick work of our tree purchase–a 7′ noble fir. Shaken and netted.

What an operation.

Then, we headed out. We turned left, instead of right, following another suggestion Don gave us–to take a look at the historic marker for the once-village of Silveyville.

We found it and here’s what we learned: Silveyville was a settlement considered the halfway point between Sacramento and Benicia/SF Bay Area.  It was first settled by Elijah Silvey in 1852 and, in its about 16 years of existence, grew to include a post office, a church, a school building, a store and a telegraph office.

Here’s the marker on Silveyville Road, near the intersection with Schroeder, that basically says all that.


Later, in 1860, a Pony Express station was established in the village. It was called the Halfway Station.

Even later, when the California Pacific RR was finished in 1868, all the residents packed up and moved to Dixon.  They even took their church with them; it still exists as a place of worship in Dixon.

The Pony Express was pretty short-lived. But here is its historical marker:


Quite the historic morning, huh?

Found our way back to Davis using a much more straight forward route (I mean really… this tree farm is only ten minutes from Davis), catching a few nice fall scenes along the way:




And that was that.

The tree’s in and anchored in its place. I’d love to leave it as is.. undecorated… just a nice smelling fir..




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