Oaks home and observatory, 40708 Balch Park Road, Springville, CA,
is located 5.5 miles up that road and just below the former
Sanford Starhome Observatory. It is visible on the ridge above the 25
inch telescope in the photo. Monsignor Ronald Royer bought the property
in 2000 and built a retirement home for his mother Violet and himself.
He moved the dome from his St. Pancratius parish in Lakewood. This dome
is a gift from Jim Westphal of Caltech who used it on White Mt. for IR
research and dust compaction on the moon for the Apollo 11 landing. It
was first moved to his parish in Azusa. It is used for research and for
education as we host many star parties for all ages of
John Sanford died December 11, 2011 and Violet Iris Rose Pompey Royer
died June 12, 2012..
Royer is a Roman Catholic priest, and a life-long amateur astronomer.
He is active with AAVSO
and his astrophotos are available from Science Photo Library.
He chose to retire to Springville in 2002 because of the combination of
dark skies and easy access to the necessities of senior living. The
beautiful views of the Sierras with their rainbows, golden sunsets, and
the Giant Sequoias on the ridge line (all easily visible from the house
and observatory) are a bonus!
Royer also gives tours to the many nearby Sequoia groves! E/MAIL
|First Light (June 10, 2003) for the
Chandlers' new 25" Dobsonian ("Big Mama") on its pad
at Royer Oaks Observatory. Shown are Billie Chandler, Msgr. Royer, and
92 year-old "Mama" Royer seated in the background.
Viewing Mars near 2003 Opposition
Alternative Observing Opportunity