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Living In Los Olivos, California:
Los Olivos is in central California. The city’s history is intertwined with that of California as a whole. Its growth is due almost entirely due to the gold rush that the state experienced during the second half of the nineteenth century. In 1880, a small two-story house was built just north of Ballard, south of modern-day Los Olivos. The owner of the house was Alden March Boyd, a New Yorker from Albany who bought not only the house but more than one hundred and fifty acres of land surrounding it.
He planned to plant thousands of olive trees on his land and decided to name it Rancho de Los Olivos—from this, we get the modern name of just Los Olivos. Just seven years later in 1887, the Pacific Coast Railway was extended from Los Alamos to Los Olivos, making this small ranch connected with the larger state and spurring growth.
Until 1934, Los Olivos was also connected by rail all the way to San Luis Obispo in the north. More recently, Los Olivos is a very small town in the state of California. As of 2010, just over one thousand people lived in Los Olivos—1,132 to be precise.
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The Original Mayberry:
Although a small town in terms of population, Los Olivos has had an outsized impact through popular culture. In the 1960s, the film Return to Mayberry used Los Olivos as the setting for the fictional town of Mayberry—this film was based on the immensely popular Andy Griffith Show.
Sideways And More:
Furthermore, Los Olivos was used in the 2004 film Sideways, and Fess Parkers’ Wine Country Inn, a major hotel in Los Olivos has also been used in NBC’s drama Santa Barbara. Through its use in film, many people may even know about Los Olivos even without knowing it, learning about it as the fictional Mayberry or having seen it in Sideways.
In addition to just being used in film, Los Olivos was also used in several music videos. In fact, the “Say Say Say” music video featuring Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney, two of the most famous musical stars of all time, was filmed just a few miles outside of Los Olivos in Sycamore Ranch.
In fact, Jackson liked the Sycamore Ranch so much that he eventually bought it in 1988. After taking over this property, he renamed it into the building we have all heard about before—Michael Jackson’s famed Neverland Ranch.
Despite its humble origins as a small ranch just for growing olives, the community founded by Alden March Boyd as Rancho de Los Olivos has grown in its nearly one hundred and fifty-year history into a small California town that has experienced a great deal of exposure due to its use in various films and music videos, not to mention the impact of Michael Jackson’s conversion of the Sycamore Ranch into Neverland Ranch.
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