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Pinehurst, California facts for kids

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Coordinates: 36°41′43″N 119°00′59″W / 36.69528°N 119.01639°W / 36.69528; -119.01639

Quick facts for kids
Country United States
State California
County Fresno County
4,003 ft (1,220 m)

Pinehurst (formerly, Neff Mills) is an unincorporated community in Fresno County, California. It is located 6.5 miles (10 km) east-southeast of Dunlap, at an elevation of 4003 feet (1220 m).

Pinehurst today is a small weekend getaway for residents of Fresno and other central valley cities that want to escape the summer heat and enjoy total peace and quiet with their families. Many families have owned homes and property there for three generations. This cluster of cabins, small farms and a few ranches are in stark contrast to the weekend retreats of Oakhurst, Bass and Shaver Lakes, Three Rivers, and other small mountain communities because there are no motor boating lakes or ski resorts nearby. Pinehurst is nothing more than small streams, Pine, Cedar, and Oak trees, the Pinehurst lodge and a picturesque 20 minute drive to the Giant Redwoods of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

Just a few miles down highway 245 from Pinehurst are two other small neighboring communities called Miramonte and Badger, where the local school for elementary school aged children is located, as well as the post office that serves all three communities.

The lands around Pinehurst and the other communities were originally established through the Homestead Act of 1862 by the Federal Government which allowed people to settle on land up to 160 acres (0.65 km2) for agricultural purposes only. Title was granted when farming took place. Most settlers around Pinehurst planted apple orchards to justify genuine settlement activity, and some of the original orchards can still be found at the Cedarbrook cabin area, the Pinehurst Ranch and other locations.

Logging rights were not granted via the Homestead Act, therefore 16 years later in 1878, the Timber and Stone Act was passed. Land deemed “unfit” for farming was sold for $2.50 per acre to individuals who were allowed to conduct logging or mining on their property. Residency was not required and most buyers eventually transferred ownership to the large logging companies being established in the 1880s. The remnants of this activity over a hundred years ago can be seen around Hume Lake, Converse Basin and of course in several locations throughout Sequoia Park. Pinehurst, previously known as Neff's Mill, had its first sawmill located near the Cedarbrook picnic area (mill creek) and later was moved near to where the Pinehurst Lodge is located today.

Cattle ranching, logging, fruit farming, the National Park and National Forest services were the mainstay of economic activity in and around Pinehurst for nearly 100 years. Today, recently planted apple and other fruit orchards can be found on several small farms around Pinehurst, yet nothing has changed much since the turn of the century except that logging as a business has nearly been banned in the area. Pinehurst and its surrounding communities of Badger and Miramonte may be some of the most untouched mountain communities in the state of California which were not affected by the real estate booms of the past 20 – 30 years—despite the fact that urban communities of almost one million people live less than 60 – 90 minutes away.

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