Naida West and Bill Geyer are selling their property along the Cosumnes River.
Rancho Murieta is getting ready to say goodbye to two longtime residents, people who live on a unique piece of the community. Many properties are called one-of-a-kind, but you could look a long time before finding another 11 acres like this – a wild river on one side and horse acreage on the other, all of it adjacent to suburbia and two golf courses.
Murietans Naida West and Bill Geyer live on the property, between the Cosumnes and the second and third holes of the North Course. They’ve lived there for 37 years and are moving to Campus Commons because they face health issues and want to be closer to services.
They bought the ranch after Geyer, playing golf, spotted an old, dirt-covered for-sale sign. Once they moved in, West also saw things no one else saw, things that connected this area to California history. Researching the land and its people, she has written and published three historical novels.
Naida West and Bill Geyer (File photos)
“When I researched the people who had lived here before me, including the native people, a big story developed, and that’s my trilogy, the three books together,” she said.
She worked on the trilogy for 20 years, doing her best to capture the history of 19th century California and the people – historical figures and others – who lived in this area. Over the years, she opened the ranch to occasional history tours, which she conducted, and she made multiple appearances on Rancho Murieta’s now-departed community TV channel, offering history tours of the area.
After 37 years, West says she and Geyer, who both formerly worked as government lobbyists, value what they found in Rancho Murieta.
“I’ve always felt this was the best of two worlds,” she said. “You have the privacy, the sense of rural – you can have horses. ... At the same time, you have a locked-gate community, and you can walk to a restaurant and get to know people. It’s like a small town. I think of it like two worlds, somewhat urban, but only a little bit. And then a lot of privacy and nature.”
She said she’s planning a big yard sale soon.