Then – Named after Charles O'Neal who came to California in 1857. He managed the Santa Rita Ranch for cattle Baron Henry Hildreth and then for "California's Cattle King" Henry Miller. Charles and his wife Bettie purchased the Gilmore-Mace Ranch in Spring Valley. In 1887 he became postmaster and developed a store and a hotel. He gave this new "town" his name. Harmon Bigelow ran a phone line from his house to his mother-in-laws in 1903. Thus began the Bigelow Telephone Co. The Bigelow Stage Line, servicing Sugar Pine, Bass Lake, and North Fork made O'Neals a stage stop for a short time also.
Now – Cattle ranches are still a way of life for the people of O'Neals. In fact, the O"Neals are still in the cattle business here, along with many other pioneer rancher like the Bissetts, Ellis', McDougalds, and the Browns.
Harmon Bigelow's Telephone Company is now The Ponderosa Telephone Company. With a population of 434, O'Neals also supports the Spring Valley School and the up and coming Westbrook Winery. Be sure to call the Westbrook Winery for advanced tour reservation. You become part of the whole wine making experience when Tammy and Ray Krause host private tours of their winery. Who knows, after the tour, you may want to become part or their harvest team. If you are looking for a home in one of the smaller of the small mountain communities, shop for property in O'Neals.
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