On my way to Grandma Wells funeral on Wednesday, I happened to drive past Herndon Road in Ceres (right off Highway 99), which I’ve always wondered about. My great-great grandfather owned a house and small orchard there back in the 40s (and for years prior), when they were constructing Highway 99. The govt. bought the land from the family to construct Hwy 99, and as part of the deal, the streets were named for family. I suspect that a few names may have been changed over the years, because I couldn’t find 2 I was looking for. But I found Herndon Road, of course, which was the family name. (That part of the family is from Herndon, VA) Then I found Joyce, which is only a block and turns into a Hwy on-ramp, but was named for my mom when she was very small and the only grandchild. My great-great grandparents house was on the corner of Joyce and Herndon. I also saw Nadine, which was named for my great aunt, and Eugene, which was named for my great uncle (who died as an infant). Apparently my great grandfather lived on the corner of Nadine and Herndon, which had once been a part of his father’s land. I didn’t see Virginia or Florence, which I think used to be there, and were for my Grandma and Great Aunt Flo. And I think if there was a Eugene, there would have been one for my other great aunt, Roberta, who died as a child.
These were the two sides of my family coming together for me, as my Grandma whose life we were celebrating was my dad’s mother, and my great grandfather was on my mom’s side.
The money from that deal (eminent domain) paid to send my mom’s generation of cousins to college, I believe. So maybe not interesting to anyone else, but it was interesting to me. And kind of sad, because the neighborhood isn’t great. The houses all looked pretty run down. I considered trying to figure out if one of the houses might be the old farmhouse, but none of them looked like good candidates for that. Certainly a poor neighborhood between a highway and a Home Depot is not what the land looked like 75 years ago. Nice though, that the corners of Herdon and Joyce, and Herndon and Nadine, are still there today.