Mendocino County
Boonville

Boonville is in the heart of the Anderson Valley through which Highway 128 winds it's way from the Central Valley to the coast.  Streams in the area feed the Navarro River and irrigate the vineyards and fruit orchards of the region.  Hills around the valley offer some of the most beautiful views imaginable.

In the nineteenth century the valley produced apples.  Part of the crop was dried and shipped all over the world from this very remote corner of the Redwood Empire. There are still a number of apple farms in the area and the annual Boonville Fair showcases their delicious produce.

Many of the early settlers were Scotch and Irish and came directly from the old country in the late nineteenth century.  A few hardy souls had preceeded this wave of new-comers and, to a certain extent, resented their arrival. In 1892 the story goes that a small group of old-timers sitting around a table in the Anytime Saloon in Boonville decided to invent their own private language called "Boontling".  The purpose was to exclude new-comers from the conversation.  It drew on a variety of sources including both the Scotch and Irish languages, native American words, and most of interest, local personalities and occurances.  In this way the word for telephone is "Buckwaller" after the name of the only man in town who had a telephone in his house.  Coffee is "Zeese" after the name of the cook who made the strongest coffee in town.  Work is "Otten" after Otto, the hardest working man in town.  To go to bed with a girl was originally "Burlap": after a famous trist that occured on top of a pile of burlap bags in the back of a feed store.  The word was changed when someone noticed the sound of squeeking springs in the hotel.  (This shows that all languages evolve.)

The names of the men who are credited with inventing "Boontling" are the Berger and the Buff brothers.  (How often is it possible to identify the individual founders of a language?)  Traces of the language can still be found in the town, but today the community welcomes visitors and does it's very best to treat them kindly.

Boonville

Boonville

Boonville

Boonville

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