Guide to the Irvine Valencia Growers Packing House Records

Processed by Hatheway and Associates, William Landis, Andre Ambrus, and Cyndi Shein; machine-readable finding aid created by Cyndi Shein
Special Collections and Archives
The UCI Libraries
P.O. Box 19557
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, California 92623-9557
Phone: (949) 824-3947
Fax: (949) 824-2472
Email: spcoll@uci.edu
URL: http://special.lib.uci.edu
© 2008
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.


Descriptive Summary

Title: Irvine Valencia Growers packing house records
Date: 1923-2003
Collection Number: MS-R114
Creator: Irvine Valencia Growers
Extent: 23.6 linear feet (47 boxes)
Languages: The collection is in English.
Repository: University of California, Irvine. Library. Special Collections and Archives.
Irvine, California 92623-9557
Abstract: This collection comprises records created and collected during a Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) project completed prior to the demolition of the Irvine Valencia Growers (IVG) packing house in Irvine, California, which belonged to the Irvine Company. The IVG packing house played a significant role in the growth of the Valencia orange industry in Orange County. The records of the packing house provide insights into the agricultural business and labor history of the county and constitute a rare and extensive set of resources for the study of citrus agriculture in Southern California.

Important Information for Researchers

Access

Collection is open for research. For preservation purposes, access to materials in boxes 1 and 3 is restricted. Researcher use copies of these materials are available.

Publication Rights

Property rights reside with the University of California. Intellectual property rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. Some of these materials are in the public domain. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

Preferred Citation

Irvine Valencia Growers Packing House Records. MS-R114. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California. Date accessed.
For the benefit of current and future researchers, please cite any additional information about sources consulted in this collection, including permanent URLs, item or folder descriptions, and box/folder locations.

Acquisition Information

Gift of the Irvine Company, 2004.

Processing History

Preliminary processing done by Hatheway and Associates and reviewed by William Landis in 2004. Finding aid begun by Andre Ambrus in 2005 and completed by Cyndi Shein in 2007.

Historical Background

Planning for the Irvine Valencia Growers (IVG) packing house in Orange County, California began as early as 1926. Initial plans, which were abandoned in 1928, included a joint facility with the Frances Citrus Association. Ultimately, the contract for the project, including all plans and specification and supervision of construction, was awarded to F. S. Bishop. IVG reached an agreement with the A. T. & S. F. Railroad on April 29, 1929 to provide railroad access to the facility. The land was acquired from the Irvine Company on July 1, 1929. The main purpose of the packing house was to protect the fruit from injury and decay during its journey from the citrus groves to the consumer. Oranges were picked by hand and transported by truck to the packing house. At the packing house they were sorted, graded, washed, and waxed. The oranges were then systematically and carefully packed in cartons, stacked on pallets, and stored in the pre-cooler until loaded onto the trucks or railway freight cars that transported them to their final destinations.
The first orange trees were planted in California in 1804 at the San Gabriel Mission, but the Californians did not send their product east in any significant quantity until 1877 after the opening of the transcontinental railroad. Citrus fruit soon became one of California's few export products and provided a significant economic base for the young state. The earliest California orange crops consisted of Navel oranges, which were harvested during the winter in Riverside County, and Valencia oranges, which ripened during the summer in Orange County. Complications in distribution in the early 1890s resulted in financial hardship for many growers and led them to band together into cooperatives. The growers established the Southern California Fruit Exchange in 1893 to protect their interests. The organization was renamed the California Fruit Growers Exchange in 1905 and renamed Sunkist Growers, Inc. in 1952. Throughout the years, the term "Sunkist" had been used by the exchange to identify their highest quality fruit.
James Irvine, owner of the Irvine Ranch in the early 1900s, was a supporter of the co-operative principle of marketing produce. The Irvine Ranch joined the California Fruit Growers Exchange. The Irvine Ranch had three co-operatives: The Valencia Growers Association, the Golden West Citrus Association, and the Frances Citrus Association. The first articles of association for IVG show the company name "Valencia Growers Association" crossed out and replaced by the name Irvine Valencia Growers. From its inception, the Irvine Valencia Growers was directed by men who were employed by the Irvine Ranch and/or close friends of the Irvine family, providing the Irvine Company with the potential to exert a strong influence over IVG. Case in point: IVG's first president, A. J. McFadden was also the president of the Irvine Foundation and later president of the Irvine Company. The Irvine Company acquired the packing house at some point, thus becoming the owner of its records.
Over the years, several alterations were made to the Irvine Valencia Growers building complex, greatly changing its appearance from its original state and compromising its historical significance from an architectural standpoint. Although the packing house was recognized as a cultural resource, an environmental impact report in 2003 recommended demolition of the complex due to its fragile condition and the prohibitive cost of preserving it. The historic status of the packing house led to a Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) project in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. HABS is administered by Heritage Documentation Programs and is the Federal Government's oldest preservation program. HABS was created in 1933 to document America's architectural heritage by recording the history of significant built environments prior to their destruction. The site upon which IVG once stood is now part of the Jeffrey Open Space Trail in Irvine; it is commemorated by a historical marker and a large mosaic.

Bibliography

Keith Companies and Hatheway and Associates. Irvine Valencia Growers Packing House HABS "Outline Format" Documentation Report. Irvine, California, 2003. Box 47: Folder 1. Irvine Valencia Growers Packing House Records. MS-R114. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California.
National Parks Service. "Heritage Documentation Programs. HABS." U.S. Department of the Interior: 2007. http://www.nps.gov/hdp/habs/index.htm (accessed January 31, 2008).

Collection Scope and Content Summary

This collection comprises records created and collected during a Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) project completed prior to the demolition of the Irvine Valencia Growers (IVG) packing house in Irvine, California. The IVG packing house played a significant role in the growth of the Valencia orange industry in Orange County. Spanning 70 years, its records provide insights into the agricultural business and labor history of the county and constitute an invaluable resource for the study of citrus agriculture in Southern California. The collection documents the day-to-day business, practices, and environment of IVG. The collection also documents such topics as the early 20th-century cooperative approach to fruit growing in California, the pervasive influence of the Irvine Company on the cooperative, and the association of the IVG packing house with significant citrus worker strikes that took place in the county from 1935 to 1936.
These materials are the product of an agreement between the City of Irvine, the Irvine Company, and the Keith Companies to document the packing house prior to its demolition in 2003. The collection primarily comprises photocopies of historic documents owned by the Irvine Company and original documentation created by the Keith Company for the HABS project. The narrative text of the HABS report conveys the historical context and significance of the IVG. The HABS project also provides maps, architectural records, and photographs that documented the IVG complex prior to its demolition. Materials include incorporation articles and by-laws, board and shareholders' meeting minutes, financial records, audit reports, annual reports, trademark files, growers' pool records and accounts, appraisals and inventories, correspondence concerning machinery and equipment, worker training and safety materials, and fruit crate labels, oral histories, and other interviews.

Collection Arrangement

This collection is arranged in two series.
  • Series 1. Historical American Building Survey (HABS) project documentation, 2001-2003. 3.5 linear feet
  • Series 2. Irvine Valencia Growers business records and historic documents, 1923-1998. 20.1 linear ft.

Processing Note

Prior to their donation to UC Irvine, the materials were compiled and organized by Hatheway and Associates, consultants for the Keith Companies, who contracted with the City of Irvine to perform the HABS project. For the most part, Hatheway's organizational scheme and description of materials has been retained.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

Subjects

Irvine Valencia Growers -- Archives.
Citrus fruit industry -- California -- Irvine -- Archives.
Citrus fruits --Cooperative marketing -- California -- Irvine -- Archives.
Historic buildings -- California -- Irvine -- Archives.
Land use -- California -- Irvine -- Archives.
Orange County (Calif.) -- Archives.
Irvine (Calif.) -- Archives.
Irvine Company -- Archives.

Genres and Formats of Materials

Photographic prints -- California -- Orange County -- 20th century.
Photographic prints -- California -- Orange County -- 21st century.
Film negatives -- California -- Orange County -- 20th century.
Slides -- 20th century.
Maps -- California -- Orange County -- 20th century.
Architectural drawings --20th century.
Fruit crate labels -- California -- Orange County -- 20th century.

Occupations

Orange growers.

Contributors

Irvine Company.
Historic American Buildings Survey.


Collection Contents

 

Series 1.  Historic American Building Survey (HABS) project documentation 2001-2003

Physical Description: 3.5 linear feet

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series contains materials prepared in conjunction with a Historic American Building Survey (HABS) completed in 2003 by The Keith Companies and their project subcontractor, Hatheway and Associates, and includes a historical report, photographs, maps, and drawings. Volume I and IV of the HABS report are particularly rich, providing item-level information about the contents of the photocopied records of the IVG packing house, which are located in Series 2 of this collection.

Arrangement

The series is arranged as it was produced by the HABS consultants, with the multiple volumes of the report itself followed by supplementary information.

Restrictions

Unbound archival copies of the Master Index, Volume I, and Volume IV of the HABS report are housed in boxes 1 and 3, to which access is restricted. Duplicate copies for researcher use are available in Box 47 and described below.
 

IVG packing house documentation report by HABS

 

Master index and user guide 2003

Box : Folder 1 : 1

Archival original

Access Information

Original report is restricted. Use copy is available.
Box : Folder 47 : 1

Use copy

 

Volume I, narrative text 2003

Scope and Content Note

Comprises an architectural description of the IVG packing house and its various construction phases, extensive historical background information on the orange industry in Southern California and on the Irvine Ranch, an overview of the business structure of the IVG packing house, biographical information on its founders, and interviews with several employees.
Box : Folder 1 : 2

Archival original

Access Information

Original report is restricted. Use copy is available.
Box : Folder 47 : 2

Use copy

Box : Folder 47 : 3

Volume II, photographs 2003

Scope and Content Note

Comprises printouts of digital reproductions of HABS project photographs taken by Tom Zimmerman and copies of historic photographs of the IVG packing house and its surroundings. Includes extensive data about each photograph. Copy prints and negatives for the HABS photographs are in "Related materials" within this series. Copy prints and negatives for the historic photographs are included in Series 2 of this collection.
Box : Folder 47 : 4

Volume III, maps and drawings 2003

Scope and Content Note

Comprises photocopies of maps and drawings of the IVG packing house, building sections, and orchards (originals dated 1929-2001). Copies of the historic maps and drawings are included in Series 2 of this collection. Several of the drawings were prepared by Thirtieth Street Architects, Inc. for the City of Irvine as part of a 2001 adaptive reuse study of the packing house. Copies are in "Related materials" within this series.
 

Volume IV, catalog of business records and historic documents 2003

Scope and Content Note

Serves as an index to the photocopied records and documents in Series 2 of this collection.
Box : Folder 3 : 1

Archival original

Access Information

Original report is restricted. Use copy is available.
Box : Folder 47 : 5

Use copy

 

Related materials accompanying the documentation report

Box : Folder 45 : 9-12

Drawings and plot plans of the general site and main building sections by Thirtieth Street Architects, Inc. 2001

 

HABS project photographs by Tom Zimmerman, copy negatives, and descriptive data 2003

Physical Description: 70 photographic prints and corresponding negatives

Scope and Content Note

See also the historic photographs in Series 2, box 8.
Box : Folder 4

Photographs 1-17

Box : Folder 5

Photographs 18-35

Box : Folder 6

Photographs 36-52

Box : Folder 7

Photographs 53-70

 

Supplemental materials

Box : Folder 2 : 1

Drover, Christopher, Phase I cultural resources inventory for Planning Area 9, Irvine, California 2001

Scope and Content Note

Inventory was prepared for the Irvine Community Development Company under the auspices of the Keith Companies.
Box : Folder 2 : 2

Templeton Planning Group, supplemental environmental impact report 2003

Scope and Content Note

Materials include Thirtieth Street Architects, Inc. feasibility study.
 

Series 2.  Irvine Valencia Growers business records and historic documents 1923-1998

Physical Description: 20.1 linear feet

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series comprises copies of Irvine Valencia Growers' business records, photographs, minutes, reports, fruit crate labels, and other historic documents. These copies were made by Hatheway and Associates in 2003 from originals owned by the Irvine Company.

Arrangement

The series is arranged as it was produced by the HABS consultants.
Box : Folder 8

Historic photographs of the IVG packing house facilities and orchards, 4x5 copy negatives, and descriptive data circa 1940- circa 1960

Physical Description: 21 photographic prints and corresponding negatives

Scope and Content Note

See also the photographs produced by HABS contemporaneous with the HABS report in Series 1, box 7.
Box : Folder 9 : 1-2

Articles of incorporation and amendments 1926-1989

Box : Folder 9 : 3-4

Bylaws and amendments 1926-1977

Box : Folder 9 : 5-6

Minutes, organizational meeting of the Board of Directors 1926-1998

Box : Folder 9 : 7-10, 10 : 1-9, 11 : 1-4

Minutes, Board of Directors meetings 1926-1998

Scope and Content Note

Materials document the primary management group of IVG and how they responded to changing political, social, and economic climates over time. Materials also provide insight into the Irvine Company's role in the finances and operations of the packing house.
Box : Folder 11 : 5-6

Minutes, annual shareholders meeting 1926-1998

Box : Folder 11 : 7-8

Fruit Growers Exchange agreements, funds, and compacts 1926-1946

Scope and Content Note

The Exchange was key to the marketing of citrus in California. Materials provide insight into the impact of the exchange on an individual packing house.
Box : Folder 11 : 9-10

Frances Mutual Water Co. agreements, resolutions, and by-laws 1923-1963

Box : Folder 11 : 11-12

Revolving fund agreement and resolutions 1926-1977

Box : Folder 12

Accounts payable 1926-1943

Scope and Content Note

Materials provide a highly detailed account of money paid to various contractors and suppliers for construction of the IVG packing house, as well as a glimpse of the management practices of both the packing house and the Irvine Company.
Box : Folder 13 : 1-10

Expense ledgers 1929-1944

 

Cash disbursements

Scope and Content Note

Materials record cash disbursements to various accounts, funds, individual agencies, and entities. They represent a nearly continuous record of the business expenses of the packing house for over 50 years. Each box contains a detailed listing of the items in that box (a printout from the catalog found in Volume IV of the HABS report).
Box : Folder 14-15

1926-1942 1926-1942

Box : Folder 16-17

Record of checks drawn 1926-1943

Box : Folder 18

1944-1945 January 1944-1945

Box : Folder 19

1945-1953 1945-1953

Box : Folder 20-21

Disbursements and cash received 1945-1959

Box : Folder 22-23

1960-1972 1969-1972

Box : Folder 24

Disbursements and checks drawn 1960-1968

Box : Folder 25

1973-1975 1972-1975

Box : Folder 26-27

1976-1980 1976-1980

Box : Folder 28 : 1-2

Maps of orchards associated with each grower and shareholder circa 1990

 

Growers' pool records

Scope and Content Note

Materials provide details about production, organized by fruit, brand, and grower, including many prominent people in the history of Orange County. Most boxes provide printouts from the Catalog (Volume IV) with a detailed listing of the items in that box.
Box : Folder 29

1929-1947 1929-1947

Box : Folder 30-31

1947-1959 1947-1959

Box : Folder 32

1960-1969 1960-1969

Box : Folder 28 : 3-4

Financial statement 1967-1969

Box : Folder 33

1970-1973 1970-1973

Box : Folder 28 : 5-7

1970-1986 1970-1986

 

Growers' accounts

Scope and Content Note

Contains production records that provide details about the number of boxes of fruit produced by different growers at different orchards and detail the impact of business cycles and weather on production over time.
Box : Folder 34 : 1-4

1929-1943 1929-1943

Box : Folder 35 : 1-3

1943-1946 1943-1946

Box : Folder 35 : 4-9

1953-1955 1953-1955

Box : Folder 36 : 1-10

1956-1960 1956-1960

Box : Folder 37 : 1-10

1961-1965 1961-1965

Box : Folder 38 : 1-8

1966-1969 1966-1969

Box : Folder 39 : 1-8

1970-1973 1970-1973

Box : Folder 40 : 1-8

1974-1977 1974-1977

Box : Folder 41 : 1-4

1978-1979 1978-1979

Box : Folder 41 : 5-6

Annual reports 1976-1985

Scope and Content Note

Prepared for the IVG board and shareholders at a time when increasing property values and development began to compete with the use of land for agricultural purposes in Orange County.
Box : Folder 41 : 7-8

Audit reports 1969-1977

Box : Folder 41 : 9-10,42 : 1-14

Trademark files 1928-1995

Box : Folder 42 : 15-16

Building records and notices of completion 1931-1969

Box : Folder 42 : 17-18

Building Committee minutes 1938, 1968

Box : Folder 42 : 19-22

Appraisal reports 1972, 1976

Box : Folder 43 : 1-2

Inventories of raw material, equipment, and machinery 1971-1978

Box : Folder 43 : 3-4

Valuation survey 1990

Box : Folder 43 : 5-6

Correspondence regarding machinery and equipment 1930-1981

Box : Folder 43 : 7-8

Fire sprinkler system correspondence and drawings 1978

Box : Folder 43 : 9-10

Job descriptions circa 1991

Scope and Content Note

Documents address the entire spectrum of labor required to run a packing house. Materials are in English and Spanish.
Box : Folder 43 : 11-12

Crew foreman training handbook circa 1990

Box : Folder 43 : 13-14

Safety handbook circa 1990

Scope and Content Note

Materials are in English and Spanish.
Box : Folder 43 : 15-16

Information for Santa Fe rail car loading 1971-1978

Box : Folder 44 : 1-2

"Irvine Valencia Growers switches to bin handling," P.H. Greene and G.R. Strauss, The California Citrograph (volume 47, number 10) 1962

Box : Folder 44 : 3-4

Job hazards list circa 1990

Scope and Content Note

Materials are in English and Spanish.
Box : Folder 44 : 5-13

Citrus Safety Training Program lecture scripts and slides on citrus, packing, and forklift safety circa 1980- circa 1990

Box : Folder 44 : 14-15

Accident prevention analysis reports (State Compensation Insurance Fund) 1973-1977

Box : Folder 45 : 1-8

Maps and drawings of the IVG packing house site and buildings 1929-1978

Physical Description: Photocopies on acid-free paper
Box : Folder 46

Fruit crate labels for IVG brands Satin, Linen, Irvale, Madras, Velvet, Tweed, and Serge circa 1950- circa 1960

Box : Folder 44 : 16-17

IVG stationery circa 1950- circa 1960