When families establish themselves and their business in certain locations, sometimes their history is marked with an enduring name informally given to that place. Cooper's Corner is such a place.
In 1879, Morris Van Gelder, his wife Eva and their two-year-old son Claude sold their farm and left Morley, Michigan and traveled west to new beginnings, new lives. They settled first in Sacramento where they started a nursery business in 1883. Soon, they set their eyes further south where there was plenty of good soil and eager farmers ready to plow up the wheat fields and buy new fruit trees to plant orchards. The fertile land was just north of the Mokelumne River in the Liberty Township of San Joaquin County.