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#castrovalley#news#fyi – We have some info from our wonderful local historian, Lucille Lorge on the “California State Hatchery” ghost sign unveiled on the side of Connie’s Pond and Koi earlier this week. Ray Lorge’s parents, Alice and Cyril Lorge, first came to Castro Valley in 1925 on their honeymoon. Cyril Lorge had been working for his uncle, Ed Perry, who had the first chicken incubator in Minnesota. Mr. Perry bought a hatchery in Rio Vista, before finally locating a second hatchery in Castro Valley, the “Hayward Rio Linda Hatchery”. In 1934, Cyril Lorge and Ed Perry established the “California State Hatchery at 2520 Castro Valley Boulevard, where the building still stands. Later, Ray took over the business when his father became ill. In 1953 when Ray and Lucille Lorge married, they purchased the property for a home on Almeda Street in Castro Valley, the area was a pear orchard. When they were open, the “California State Hatchery” sent chicken, turkey, pheasant, duck, and ostrich eggs all over California as well as Oregon, Washington, and Nevada. Some were even shipped to Hawaii, Guam, and the Philippines. But the days of booming business did not last forever. The industry continued to change and evolve and by 1960, the Lorge’s decided it was time to change and the hatchery became a feed store, then a pet store and was then sold to a new operator while the Lorge’s built a new store and started a coin-operated cleaning business that continues to this day.