Blum Ranch

Blum Ranch


Photos by Frank Zolnierowicz

George Blum and Magdalena Greutman, both Swiss immigrants, were married on February 6, 1889, in Chicago, and traveled west by train settling in Los Angeles. A stonecutter by trade, George became disenchanted with the stonecutting business and set out by train looking for a place to keep bees, farm, and raise a family. He got off in Acton where he decided to file homestead papers in 1891 on 160 acres, later turning back 120 acres, with 40 acres left to build a home and farm.

George and Magdelena had 6 children: George J., William (Bill), Frieda, Alma, Emma, and Bertha. The first years were very hard for the family. Cutting stones for a house, clearing brush, hauling rocks, digging wells, and raising animals. The first orchards of 1,200 pear and apple trees were planted in 1910 and 1911. Nine hives of bees in 1893 started the production of comb honey. By 1915 they had up to 500 hives. Blum House

In the early 1900's, George J. homesteaded 150 acres adjoining the original property, and Bill homesteaded property south in the canyon. They stayed on the ranch planting more pears, apples, and later lilacs, while continuing with the bees and honey.

In 1931, George J. married Rubey Kingsbury. They had 2 children: George Jr. and Elizabeth.

Elizabeth married her high school sweetheart, Ray Billet in 1953. They were blessed with 3 children: Richard, Terry, and Donald. Since late 1953, they have continued working the ranch with about 60 acres planted: 1,000 pear trees, 5,500 peaches with 3,000 of those Blum's Beauty that Ray developed, and 3 acres of lilacs. They are continuing a family tradition started in 1891, over 100 years ago.