California Nursery Historical Park

 The Roeding Family Home
under construction


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Over 100 years later, the Roeding Family House remains on the California Nursery property in Niles of Fremont. The home is a significant symbol for the growth that the Roedings experienced, both personally and professionally.


George Roeding Jr. and Francis Baldwin wed in 1927 in Hawaii, where Francis’ family shared large holdings in the Sugar Cane Industry. During this time, George Jr.’s father, George Roeding Sr., managed California Nursery Company. Unfortunately, George Sr.’s health began to debilitate and the California Nursery operations were signed off to George Jr. The newly wedded couple traveled to the California Nursery Company property and moved into a building initially inhabited by the Lehmann family, who had once worked on the property. This would become the Roeding’s lifelong home.


In 1928 the Roedings’ first child Bruce was born, followed by George III. Because their family was swiftly growing, the house required renovations. Two bedrooms were added and the living room was expanded. A two-car garage was included on the west side of the home to store the family’s two Buicks. Diana, their fourth and final child, was born in 1938. With the renovations complete, George Jr. and Francis delved into their pursuits.


As an artist who loved to landscape and create floral displays, Francis placed flowers around the house and in the backyard. She won many awards for her stunning floral arrangements. She also became involved in civic causes, specifically those that dealt with children. George Jr. participated in Niles politics and lobbied for the establishment of Fremont in the 1950s. He later became a member of the East Bay Regional Park Commission and grew involved in Fremont’s recreational projects. However, Francis and George Jr.’s most remarkable work was done within the expansion of the California Nursery Company.


To increase the company’s retail sales, George Jr. began holding bulb and tulip shows on the property for clients. Planning sessions for the event were held at the Roeding Family House. The first bulb show began in the 1930s and became an annual event well-known throughout the Bay Area. As many as 5,000 clients per weekend from different districts attended to learn about and purchase the flowers being showcased. Over 100,000 people would visit each year. The bulb show took place from mid-March to mid-April, displaying over 100,000 flowering bulbs. Visitors were taken on customized trucks for tours of the flower displays, gardens, large nursery property, and the growing grounds. The bulb and tulip shows were highly successful and the nursery became a destination for horticulturalists and garden lovers. Landscape design services were soon incorporated into the company.


Since the California Nursery Company prided itself on producing high-quality products, George Jr. had his trees and plants assessed by height, quality, and viability. In the 1930s, he obtained a Grades and Standards Law for trees passed in California and applied this methodology to the company. During the 1930s and 1940s, the nursery offered landscape design services in which the company provided and installed plants for businesses and large mansions. The nursery created pre-designed layouts for compact homes to accommodate the growing suburban market for residential gardens. George Jr. also had new display gardens built around the main nursery office and the “Old Adobe” building. The Adobe became such a favored stop for guests that it was turned into a tea house by landscape design father-and-son team Johannes and Frederic Reimers. Throughout these changes, the Roeding Family House witnessed the family’s growth and prosperity.


George Jr. and Francis resided in their home until their death. Their first son Bruce has currently resided in the home for the past 91 years. When foreclosure of the nursery property, not including the Roeding Family House, grew imminent in 1972, Bruce attempted to save as much of the California Nursery Company’s archives as possible. Two large trailers placed on the Roeding home site were filled with various memorabilia. This material remained in the containers until members of non-profit organization Math Science Nucleus began to work with Bruce in 2010 to organize these artifacts. Math Science Nucleus President Dr. Joyce Blueford states, “These materials tell the story of one of the most prominent businesses in Fremont that defined Niles for decades. We want to have exhibits and fundraising events. Because there are so many documents to sort through, we need help organizing the history.” 

 Contribution by: Joyce Blueford, Charlene Dixon (TriCity Voice)


managed by Math Science Nucleus
owned by
City of Fremont

36501 Niles Blvd, Fremont
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