About Cherry Valley, CA

Cherry Valley was originally known for its many cherry trees.  At one point, there were many u-pick farms in the area.  Situated just north of Beaumont, California, Cherry Valley is a quaint rural community of homesites and parcels of 1 acre or more.  Just a short drive (90 minutes) from Los Angeles, Orange County or San Diego and you are in a rural community.  Today, Cherry Valley is know for the Lavender Festival at Highland Springs Ranch and its beautiful wilderness area, Bogart Park.

Stagecoach Stop to Resort

In the early 1800s, the area was known as the San Gorgonio Rancho, an outpost for the San Gabriel Mission. A large portion of the area was a Spanish Land Grant made to a man by the name of Paulino Weaver.  In 1853, Weaver sold some of his land to Dr. Isaac William Smith, who was struck by the land's natural beauty while looking for stray cattle. Dr. Smith purchased a 1,000 acres for $1,000 from Weaver and established Smith Ranch and Highland Springs Ranch & Inn.  The original Smith residence stood near where the swimming pool is today. In 1862, Smith's ranch was dubbed "Smith Station" and was made a stagecoach stop.  In 1865, a young Wyatt Earp drove the route from San Bernardino to La Paz, Arizona on which Smith Station was a popular stop.

How Cherry Valley Got Its Name

During the years of  1864-1866, the route through Highland Springs along the Bradshaw Trail was the single connecting line for passenger, mail and the express travel between Southern California and the eastern regions of the nation.  Smith's Station slowly developed into a hotel bustling with traffic.  In 1884,  a Los Angeles company purchased the Smith property.  The new owners built a three-story hotel on the property calling it, Highland Home.  The first cherry trees in the area were planted here, contributing to the name that it is still known by today - Cherry Valley.

Highland Springs Resort

In 1927, the old Smith place was purchased by Fred and William Hirsch.  They renamed it, "Highland Springs Resort," and developed it into a health resort.  Fred Hirsch followed and experienced the health benefits of Professor Arnold Ehret's philosophy.  He was an early proponent of juice fasting and colon cleansing. The restaurant on the resort was vegetarian and Hirsch grew a lot of the produce served at the restaurant on the property.  He also grew his own grapes and operated a small vineyard. The resort became known as 'The Last Resort" as many sick people who were not able to get well with traditional methods, were able to recover through Hirsch's health practices while staying at the resort.

Today, Highland Springs Ranch has returned to its roots as an organic farm growing lavender and olives.  The property regularly hosts events and festivals focused on proper diet and health.  More information can be found at www.hsresort.com

A Doctor's Dream Becomes Bogart Park

Bogart Park sits within the foothills of Mount San Gorgonio. Truly, this is a really relaxing environment. Green grassy areas spread over 400 acres, in concert with the beautiful oak trees in abundance.  There are miles of biking, hiking and equestrian trails and camp grounds.

A local resident, Dr. Guy Bogart was instrumental in the development and vision of the park in 1929. He, along with many other business people, purchased the acreage and named it, International Park. It was dedicated to international peace. Dr. Bogart’s dream became reality with the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival held in the park on March 30, 1930. The Beaumont Rotary Club was the first to host a Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival in the United States. With acres of cherry trees planted and thriving, visitors rushed up from the LA area and that was no easy task as a drive from LA to Beaumont in 1930 could take several hours.

Unfortunately, the attack on Pearl Harbor brought an end to the Cherry Blossom Festival.  The park was renamed, Bogart Park.  The annual Cherry Festival later took its place each June in Beaumont.  Today, visitors and local residents enjoy the beauty and nature of Bogart Park.