When the home was built, it was virtually the only home in the area. The bay water, with a seven foot depth at high tide, reached to within fifty feet of the Edwards’ house. Many of the timbers used in the construction were shipped around the Horn. In the early 1880’s, the Edwards family sold the portion of their property where C&H now stands for the purpose of building a flour mill. In 1894, the flour mill was purchased by a George W. McNear with the idea of producing beet sugar. In 1897, McNear, along with a group of Californian and Hawaiian businessmen, bought the Edwards Ranch for $75,000, with a rental agreement allowing the Edwards family to continue occupying the Homestead.