Explore Northdale’s Cattle Ranching Roots
From dairy and cattle ranching to community egg hunts, Northdale has evolved dramatically through the years.
Ever wonder why Ragg Road is called that or just what happened in Northdale before it became the community residents know today?
Members of the Northdale Civic Association recently shed some light on the community’s not-so-distant past. Through its website, the association shares the community’s rustic history and explains the evolution it underwent to transform from a dairy farm in the 1940s into a place that has more than 2,700 families and community events throughout the year to bring them together.
Nancy Stearns, secretary for the civic association, has lived in the same Northdale home for 34 years and says she “loved the community way back in 1979 when we only had 400 families living here.”
Back when Stearns moved in, Northdale was just beginning its transition into the community known today.
But what came before?
According to the association’s history, the 1,300 acres now known as Northdale belonged to the Nichols family in the 1940s. In 1946 or so, the land, a working dairy farm, was sold to Walter Wyman “Willie” Ragg.
Ragg ran the property as a dairy farm until the early 1960s. His son, Walter Wyman “Wy” Ragg Jr. was born in 1949. Wy lived in a log cabin on the property that had been a bunk house in the past. At one point, the property even served as home to three generations of Raggs.
The elder Ragg battled cancer twice and by the early 1970s decided it was time to sell most of the land to ensure his family’s security. The Criterion Corporation bought the land and its development into modern day Northdale began.
So, what happened to the Raggs Northdale’s Ragg Road is named after?
According to the association, the family bought a portion of the land back and in 1977 had two of the log cabins they called their own moved to fields along modern day Lake Shore Drive. Willie died in 1997 and is survived by a number of descendants.
Is Northdale still as special as it was when Stearns made it her home?
Ask Stearns and you’ll get a resounding yes.
“It is a great place to live and raise a family,” she said. “We are very civic minded folks and care deeply for our favorite community.”
For more information about Northdale’s past and present, visit the community association online.