Blue Goose Fruit Shed
In the 1930s the American Fruit Growers Association, commonly called Blue Goose, operated out of the Loomis fruit sheds for many years. Near the end of the 1930’s the Association decided to build a new fruit shed on Taylor Road between King Road and Webb Street in Loomis. It was named the Blue Goose and opened for operation in 1945. Peaches, plums and pears were brought in all summer long by local farmers.
The facility was built with some of the first really good cold storage in the region. Mechanical refrigeration was a new process in those days and used ammonia gas with compressors that created a refrigeration unit. That large capacity cooling unit continued to run for many, many years contributing to the success and viability of the fruit growers’ organization.
In May, 1961 the American Fruit Growers officially changed its name to the Blue Goose Growers, Inc. They were headquartered in Fullerton, CA and had organizations throughout California and Arizona. The district office was in Newcastle.
When the Blue Goose Growers decided to move all their operations to Newcastle, they sold the Loomis property to the California Fruit Exchange for $10,000 on January 16, 1967. This gave the Exchange additional cold storage space and general storage space. They moved some of their plum packing operation there. They also put in an optical sizer which was a new innovative method of sizing fruit.
Over the next three decades, the Blue Goose processed local fruit. By the end of the 1950’s orchards occupied every usable acre of land at this end of Placer County. Many local farmers brought their peaches, pears and plums here to be graded, packed and shipped nationwide.
The last use of the Blue Goose was by the Loomis Fruit Growers Association. Fruit was picked, sorted and packed on each ranch and then delivered to the Association dock to be cooled and compiled into rail car shipments. Later fruit was shipped in refrigerated trucks or air shipped to markets as far away as Hong Kong and Japan.
The doors at the Blue Goose Fruit Shed were closed by the Loomis Fruit Growers on February 7, 2002. The keys had been handed over to the Loomis Basin Heritage Group in 1995 with the intention of preserving the architectural icon for future generations. The renamed group, South Placer Heritage Foundation, began the renovation project immediately.
During the summer of 2002, exterior changes were made to improve accessibility, rebuild the dock area and upgrade rain gutters and drain pipes. In 2003, a fire sprinkler system was installed throughout the 26,000 sq. ft. icon.
The summer of 2004 saw a flurry of activity as a small army of volunteer electricians, painters, sheet rock installers, plumbers, general contractors and electricians made major changes to 10,000 sq. ft. of the north end of the building. Over 100 businesses and community members donated in kind materials, labor and volunteer efforts valued at over $300,000 to complete this phase.
Today, the Blue Goose Fruit Shed houses retail operations including Sarah Whitcomb Antiques, The Loomis News and Blue Goose Produce, which showcases the locally grown crops of farmers who years before used the shed for packing and distribution. The centerpiece is a 400+ person capacity event and performance center that has retained the building’s character while enhancing the amenities for modern audiences.
Future plans for the building include continued restoration of the second floor with space for a museum of agricultural artifacts and history of the fruit producing county. The South Placer Heritage Foundation owns and operates the facility. As a non profit organization, the Foundation is dedicated to preserving and restoring sites of historical character and significance so that our communities are enhanced by retaining these links to the past.
Blue Goose Fruit Shed is located at 3550 Taylor Road, Loomis, CA
Service Dogs Only, Please