Nevada County’s Fourth of July Committee has announced the selection of Lowell G. Robinson as this year’s parade grand marshal, according to a news release from the committee.
“(Robinson) is a community partner, a champion for various local nonprofits and youth groups and a Nevada County entrepreneur,” a news release announcing the selection stated.
“The 4th of July Committee is excited to honor Lowell for all of his achievements and contributions to our county. Join us at 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 4, as we ‘Strike up the Band’ in downtown Grass Valley.”
According to the release, Robinson was born in Nevada City April 24, 1929, at Miss Elizabeth Watson’s historic Nevada County Sanitarium. His parents — like his grandparents and great-grandparents — were respected and successful ranchers at Indian Springs, near Penn Valley.
Robinson attended the one-room schoolhouse at Indian Springs for grades one through eight. He graduated from Grass Valley High School in 1948. As a schoolboy, he spent summer vacations assisting with annual cattle drives to his family’s high-country cow camp near the Sierra Buttes.
In 1949, the release states, Robinson began skidding logs for a local sawmill using improvised equipment of his own design.
One by one, he acquired several tractors, and by 1952, he had persuaded his father and younger brother, Neil, to join him in a partnership known as Robinson & Sons, which began small-scale logging operations in Nevada and Sierra counties.
His first maintenance and repair shop was built at the family homestead in Indian Springs in 1956.
By 1963, Robinson & Sons was recognized as Robinson Timber Inc. with headquarters and shops alongside the new Golden Center freeway, west of Nevada City.
Lowell and Neil Robinson and Joe Griggs Sr. founded Robinson Enterprises in 1971 to conduct a variety of operations that included logging, road construction, gold mining and petroleum distribution and sales.
Three years later, Cal-Sierra Timber was launched by the same trio to own and manage equipment and timberland used by other businesses.
In 1980, Lowell was elected president of the Association of California Loggers, an organization for which he had already served as secretary and vice president in 1976 and 1979.
The Sierra-Cascade Logging Conference honored Lowell as Logger of the Year in 1994.
Robinson and his companies have given generous support to such local causes and groups as the Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, Nevada Union High School, Sierra College, Nevada County Historical Society, Future Farmers of America, Boy Scouts of America, United Way, Junior Achievement, 4-H and local fire departments.
Sixty-four years after he began his logging career, Robinson remains active in all his enterprises and looks forward to giving even more time to the community to which his family has belonged for 148 years.
“The 4th of July Committee is excited to honor Lowell (Robinson) for all of his achievements and contributions to our county.”
— Nevada County Fourth of July Committee statement