ABOUT POTTER VALLEY
Just 18 miles north-northeast of Ukiah, breathtaking Potter Valley is carved out of the mountainous Northern California landscape. The Russian River East Fork’s headwaters start up in Potter Valley and meander their way to Lake Mendocino and south, helping to supply water to inland communities in Mendocino County and Sonoma County.
Ranches and farms abound in this valley known for its rich soils and small town atmosphere. The lush valley floor is fed by the Potter Valley Irrigation District. Pastures, vineyards, and pear orchards thrive as a result of some of the most affordable agricultural water in the state.
Potter Valley has a population of about 1,900 residents; nonetheless, a thriving community exists with schooling through High School, youth sports, and local medical and dental care providers.
The annual Potter Valley Expo and Rodeo is a county-wide event taking place each Memorial Day weekend. The weekend starts with a Saturday morning parade through downtown Potter Valley, followed by a chicken barbeque hosted by the Potter Valley Volunteer Fire Department. Saturday afternoon events include axe throwing, wood cutting and the Junior Rodeo. Saturday night brings on the music and dancing. Sunday and Monday follow with California Cowboys Pro Rodeo Association sanctioned rodeo events.
Potter Valley real estate epitomizes old-time country living. Homes for sale can sit on just an acre or involve ranches on hundreds of acres – just be prepared for occasional dirt roads and livestock. Vineyards and vineyard estates are increasingly seen in the valley, along with the traditional farming and livestock ranches.
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The Potter family’s first visit to the beautiful valley they would eventually call home was a 1852 trek from Sonoma County to find headwaters of the Russian River. At the time approximately 500 Pomos resided in the valley as part of three Pomo villages. By 1870, Potter Valley had a Post Office and was officially on the map.
The owner of racehorse Seabiscuit, Charles S. Howard, had a cattle ranch in Potter Valley. Seabiscuit would on occasion be brought to the cattle ranch to seclude the horse from the constant visitors at the Ridgewood Ranch (home of Seabiscuit) some 20 miles away.
Historical Mendocino County figure and painter Grace Hudson (1865-1937) was born in Potter Valley.
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