We’re really loving this page by page!
Page 6 drops us right into Land Values!
“Land Values are governed by their producing qualities…”
Indeed they are! When you think about vineyard land today there’s the wide variety spanning from table grapes all the way up to the finest wines. You can bet the high end wine grapes are rooted in land that costs more per acre than their table grape cousins.
“…as well as nearness to or remoteness from the leading business centers.”
Also true today! Remember, we learned that Fresno was built where it is because of the railroad line. Being able to get your goods to market in a timely manner makes a whole lot of sense and people were willing to pay for that.
“The commercial products of the county are varied, but the greatest is unquestionably the raisin, of which Fresno county is the greatest producing district in the world.”
How about that? Remember, this is back in the early 1900s and although there’s a bit of salesmanship going on, we were still recognized as a leader! The table above lists “Vineyards, in full bearing, with irrigation” as the most expensive of the land types they’ve broken out at $2.50 to $3.50 an acre.
For the record, that $3.50 would be equivalent to $124.05 today.
The page goes on to explain that the making of raisins is a very simple process taking about two weeks. This is, once again, a sales piece trying to entice new people to the area.
They do the math for us at the end, stating that the cost of production per acre is about $25 with gross returns per acre being about $125.
Life back in 1900 was hard. Upon reading this page we’re supposed to deduce that we can buy an acre of vineyard for $3.50, grow a bounty of grapes on that acre, harvest and process those into raisins and sell them for $125.00 – netting around $100 per acre?
BTW: $125 in 1900 U.S. dollars is equal to around $4,430 in today’s dollars.