Penngrove – small town country. Fourth of July Parade, one street downtown. Country roads, amazing views, 5 minutes from everything.
Pioneering families began farming in what was then known as Penn’s Grove in the mid-1800s. Today, many descendants of these original settlers still call Penngrove home. Longtime residents are fiercely proud of Penngrove’s community identity which revolves around the Penngrove Community Church, the 4-H Club, the Penngrove Social Fireman and its Women’s Auxiliary. In 1946, “The Farmer’s Daughter” was filmed in Penngrove and won an Academy Award for its star Loretta Young.
Today the unincorporated town of Penngrove boasts million dollar homes as well as ranch land which is still used for horses, cattle, sheep, some organic farming and grapes. With its rolling hills offering million dollar views, horse pastures, large plots of land (most parcels in Penngrove have a five acre minimum) and close proximity to Marin, San Francisco and other parts of Sonoma County, historic Penngrove offers the requisite country cachet without the inconvenience of more distant country vistas. The beauty of Penngrove is that it seems so country and so remote yet it’s a mere 5 minutes from the highway 101, shopping and restaurants.
Every fourth of July, the Social Fireman host a pancake breakfast at the local fire station. This is followed by the biggest event in Penngrove, the annual Fourth of July Penngrove Parade. The charm of this parade is in the fact that anyone who wants to be in it can just show up and register on the morning of the parade. Quintessentially small-town country, it starts with the National Anthem, continues with tractors, horses, small marching bands, caballeros dancing on their horses, boy scout troops, vintage cars and homemade floats. It ends with a big BBQ and old-fashioned American Pie Contest at the Penngrove Park
Penngrove’s downtown is so small that you might miss it if you blink. Even so, it houses the best pre-school in the county (Redwood Montessori – both my kids attended – hello Mayor Jeff and Ms. Kim!), an award-winning bread bakery (Full Circle Baking) and the best sausages (Yanni’s – my favorite is chicken limoncello) in the North Bay. You’ll also find wonderful Italian food at Caprara’s.