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A second Gold Rush

RANCHO
MURIETA
A modern-day history

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Gold Rush
Courtesy of Claude Luke

Gary Player hits into the seventh green at the 1988 Gold Rush.

 

January 1980: The Country Club's new Parasol Room opens. Streets and sidewalks are completed in Units 2 and 3. Work has begun on a dam for Lake Calero, which presently is about seven surface acres in size. The dam will bring it to more than 100 acres.

April 1980: A drawing is held for lots in Unit 3. The two-hour session yields $4.6 million in sales and closes deals on 40 percent of the available lots. Prices range from $21,000 to $43,500. In addition to estate lots up to one-third acre in size, the lottery features an innovation, 90-foot circle lots, designed, according to sales literature, to allow builders to site a home with the maximum capture of solar energy.

August 1980: Ford Motor Co. shoots a commercial for the new Mustang at several locations around Rancho Murieta.

October 1980: Rancho Murieta Properties Inc., developers of the community, proposes a $10-a-month increase in homeowner dues, up from about $25 a month.

January 1981: After 18 months of negotiations, a deal to sell Rancho Murieta falls apart. The Pension Trust Fund of the Operating Engineers, owners of the land, has been talking a deal with Davis farmer Jack Anderson, Pacific Coast Building Products Inc. and a party who was to be a silent partner, Sacramento developer Robert C. Powell. Although the negotiations will sputter on for a few more months, it's a pivotal moment when Powell walks away from the deal. The price being discussed was $35 million, which would have made it the largest real estate transaction in county history.

June 1982: Community voters approve the creation of the Community Services District and elect the first five members to the board.

July 4, 1982
The first July 4 parade, in 1982, was a late-afternoon affair.

July 1982: Some 600 people participate in the community's first July 4 parade of golf carts, bikes, trikes and wagons, which begins at 4:30 p.m. on Murieta Parkway. "Decorations and costumes are encouraged," says a note to the community. The parade is followed by a picnic dinner at the Gazebo. For sale are $2 dinners -- two hot dogs, corn or beans and salad.

November 1982: Lake Calero is dedicated, adding 2,600 acre feet of water to the community's supply.

June 1983: The community's population -- 681 adults and 160 children. There are 196 residents in the Village.

June 1984: By a 9-1 margin, Rancho Murieta voters approve expanding the powers of the two-year-old Community Services District. The vote is 373-41 to allow the CSD to offer such services as firefighting, emergency medical aid, garbage collection and mosquito abatement.

July 1984: Hollywood stars Loni Anderson and Lynda Carter spend a week in Rancho Murieta filming an episode of the TV show "Partners in Crime." With a few signs and flags, Rancho Murieta is turned into Ganders Health Spa for the show. The episode, called "Getting in Shape," airs just before Christmas.

November 1984: The Community Services District takes over responsibility for Rancho Murieta security, relieving the Rancho Murieta Association of the job.

February 1985: Residents are invited to a meeting with U.S. Postal Service officials to discuss that agency taking over mail delivery. Presently, the RMA delivers mail, but only Mondays through Fridays. Before this change can happen, the community must abandon its present system of house addresses, which uses community lot numbers rather than the true postal addresses, and install cluster mailboxes for centralized delivery and pickup.

June 1985: The Federal Aviation Administration announces Rancho Murieta will be the site of a new combined flight services station. Part of a national consolidation of FAA stations, the Rancho Murieta office will replace operations in Sacramento, Marysville, Fresno, Montague, Red Bluff and Stockton.

July 1985: Security assigns a full-time officer to horseback patrol of the community's back country.

Anderson

Davis agribusinessman Jack Anderson bought the undeveloped parts of the community in 1985 from the Pension Trust Fund of the Operating Engineers and defaulted it back to the PTF 12 years later.


Courtesy: Jim Noller
The Showdown at Rancho Murieta Skins Game in October 1985 featured golfers Fred Couples, Juli Inkster, Fuzzy Zoeller, Craig Stadler and others.

Gold Rush program Plaza opening
Courtesy: Hoberg family
Murieta Plaza was opened by the owners, Jerome and Marion Hoberg, in February 1986.

Gold Rush program Gold Rush program

The cover of the inaugural Gold Rush souvenir program in 1987.

 

 

 

 

 

Click to enlarge a photo

August 1985: Davis farmer Jack Anderson agrees to pay $42.2 million for the Rancho Murieta development, ending more than five years of negotiation and settling lawsuits. In 1984 Anderson sought $400 million in a lawsuit against the owners, the Pension Trust Fund of Operating Engineers Local 3, claiming the group had reneged on an agreement to sell him the development in 1981. Also a party to the settlement is Ray D. Henderson, former Murieta project manager for the Operating Engineers. Henderson, who realizes $2.5 million in the settlement, sued the union pension fund for $4.7 million in 1983. His ouster was linked to political struggles within the union.

September 1985: Some 10,000 people attend a midweek Sacramento International Airshow at Rancho Murieta Airport.

October 1985: A crowd of 2,200 attends the Showdown at Rancho Murieta skins game. Craig Stadler and Alice Miller win $105,000 of the $195,000 prize pool. Also in the field: Fred Couples, Juli Inkster, Fuzzy Zoeller and others.

February 1986: Murieta Plaza opens across Jackson Road from the North Gate. The commercial development, 66,000 square feet of commercial and office space, was built in about a year by businesspeople Jerome and Marion Hoberg.

February 1986: Rains bring serious flooding to the Sacramento area. In Rancho Murieta, 8 inches of rain fall during the storms, and the Cosumnes floods the South Course's 1st and 10th greens for days.

March 1986: The U.S. Postal Service begins deliveries in Rancho Murieta. Previously, mail service had been handled by the RMA and limited to weekdays.

March 1986: The Rancho Murieta Association board decides to add stop signs to Murieta Parkway.

May 1986: Plaza Foods opens, with 17,000 square feet of grocery shopping, in the new Murieta Plaza.

July 1986: It's announced that Rancho Murieta will host a three-day Senior Tour golf event on the North Course in August 1987. Legendary golfer Arnold Palmer attends a press conference about the event. Tournament officials announce plans for the construction of a third 18-hole championship course at Rancho Murieta, which will be built by the Palmer Course Design Company. The company will also redesign Rancho Murieta's original course, the North, in advance of next year's event.

July 1986: Part-time Murieta resident Greg LeMond wins the Tour de France, the world's most prestigious bicycle race.

August 1986: The first day of the Sacramento International Airshow draws a paid attendance of more than 11,000 to Rancho Murieta Airport.

September 1986: A ribbon is cut for the new post office, in Murieta Plaza.

September 1986: Cosumnes River Elementary begins a new school year. At the close of school in June there were 162 pupils; 177 are enrolled for the new year.

January 1987: The North Course closes for months of reworking -- renovation of greens, reseeding of fairways and installation of irrigation -- by Palmer Course Design Company. Golfers face months of double shotguns on the South.

August: 1987: A gate arm is installed at the North Gate.

August 1987: Nearly 100,000 spectators attend the weeklong inaugural Gold Rush tournament in Rancho Murieta, a Senior Tour record. It's the first golf played at the course since its closure last winter for renovation. Orville Moody wins the inaugural event amid much praise for Rancho Murieta's North Course, club facilities and the event staging. Every major senior player except Gary Player takes part in the event. There is some grumbling about the course fairways, which are still coming in due to the lengthy renovation of the course.

August 1987: The Sacramento area's first Street of Dreams begins a 30-day run in Rancho Murieta.

May 1988: An estimated 30,000 people turn out for the Sacramento International Airshow at Rancho Murieta Airport.

July 1988: Bob Charles wins the Rancho Murieta Senior Gold Rush. His 9-under-par 207 is two strokes better than Gary Player. The winner's purse is $52,500.

July 1988: Rancho Murieta water officials and downstream farmers battle over water from the Cosumnes, which has been reduced to a trickle by drought. One farmer says the community's officials are being "belligerent, hostile and greedy."

May 1989: Some 25,000 spectators attend the Sacramento International Airshow at Rancho Murieta Airport.

August 1989: Dave Hill captures the Rancho Murieta Senior Gold Rush with a 207, topping Orville Moody by a stroke and winning $52,500.

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If you have photographs, memories or memorabilia to share with the History Project, e-mail editor@ranchomurieta.com.