When my close friend died suddenly Thanksgiving 2020 I attended his burial in Sacramento. There I met his adopted son and his young wife and baby. Struggling to recover from a work related injury, he had a desire to be back in California and close to his Mom who was now alone. We invited them to be our guests and show them around our newfound home in Plumas County. They fell in love our area and hoped to live here but it seemed impossible.
That Sunday they attended Church with us where the Pastor was kind enough to introduce them to the congregation and share their dream. Before he could finish speaking a woman we did not know stood up and said “I have an extra room.”
That woman was Mimi Garner. She gave up her beautiful master bedroom suite to take an extra room upstairs. They stayed with her for four months and became the substitute Mom and Gramma. When He found work and when they could afford a place of their own she work hard, calling in favors to find a place for them. She asked for no commissions. Thinking of my friend’s widow and her son and not knowing the lady, I did some checking.
This what I discovered.
Mimi Garner is a highly educated having a Bachelor of Science and Masters degree from one of the top business schools in the country. She has had legendary success in three different industries and retired making three different fortunes. Founding one of the most successful start-up company in the U.S. computer industry in partnership with I.B.M. She retired and sold her company to live outside the U.S.
Another opportunity presented itself and wooed her out of retirement. When she done her magic she had founded an organic farming enterprise with 20,000 acres under cultivation employing hundreds of workers. She is still considered a legend in this industry. Once again she sold her business and retired a second time able to live anywhere she desired.
She fell in love with the Lost Sierra and moved here to build her dream home. However that was not easy. She tried and tried to find a lot or some acreage to build a house but to no avail . The only land available was a large tract over 300 acres. She had no choice if she wanted that house. What evolved was Nakoma and Gold Mountain.
I also know that when her husband’s health failed and she was left to run Nakoma alone, she located a buyer and sold it to bring it out of bankruptcy that it might survive intact. This at great financial expense to herself.
I found out from her Pastor that she traveled to the East Coast some years ago to rescue her invalid sister, terminally ill who was about to be put in an institution by the relatives there . She took her into her home and cared for for eight years until she passed away.
Living in Blackhawk Country Club/Danville, CA in the ’90s , I know Mimi Garner spent tens of thousands of dollars a week for front page advertisements in the Contra Cost Times to make the public aware of the spectacular beauty of Plumas County and promote her projects.
If you want an insight into who Mimi Garner really is from a national perspective take a look at the articles Architectural Digest magazine wrote about her and the Nakoma project she built. These people love this lady and what she did. Nakoma is legendary in the annals of archetecture projects built in such mountain settings.
By the way because she built it and saved it at great personal expense it continues to bring millions of dollars a year in revenue a year.