A True California Pioneer Woman and Writer

Watch the 20-minute trailer of God, Guts and Grit

The Story of Nina Paul Shumway

She was so far ahead of her time, people didn’t know what to do with her. She had guts and she had grit. . . when ladies weren’t supposed to have those specific traits in the early 1900s. But that didn’t stop Nina Paul Shumway – a force to be reckoned with – who became one of the final homesteaders and very first conservationists in the Coachella Valley and San Jacinto Mountain areas of the West.

Nina Paul stood about 4’11” tall and was always a lady. Yet, she blasted through mountain rock with dynamite, removing rocks with her bare hands, to make roads we still drive upon today.

She was born a wealthy Victorian princess, but suddenly experienced her life shifting radically when her father moved their family to the Coachella Valley to expand his farming interests. Her father, W.L. Paul, became a major force in starting the date industry that still is a booming industry of the Coachella Valley today.

Once in the desert, Nina understood nature so well she could survive the desert heat on 30-day treks alone through the Coachella desert, discovering the incredible art of the Cahuilla Indians along the way. And Nina understood the great challenges of growing crops on a ranch that thrived in 120-degree temperatures – a ranch that stayed alive only through the underground waters of artesian springs.

On a trip to rejoin her first husband Harry, a gold prospector in Alaska, Nina played poker with the boys in his mining camp. She was a darn good poker player and held her own, keeping up with the boys. But she was thrown out of the mining camp and forced to return home to California, simply because “poker playing women” weren’t welcome there. And her husband Harry agreed!

She divorced Harry after the tragic death of their child. After that divorce, God smiled on Nina when she began to explore the San Jacinto desert with her cousin Steven Shumway – who eventually became her husband, the love of her life. Together they built an incredible sanctuary 4,500 feet up in the San Jacinto Mountains. (That sanctuary and its aesthetic placement high in the mountains was later sold to silent film star Irene Rich and her daughter Francis, who utilized the beautiful property as a place of inspiration for Francis Rich to create her incredible world-renown sculptures.)

As a pioneer, Nina Paul Shumway endured great hardships with her family building their ranch. She endured divorce and the tragic death of a child . . . but she found great peace through the beauty and majesty of the desert . . . and that peace is what drew Nina closer to God. And all of this she recorded as a very accomplished writer.

Through her amazing life she gave us a gift: her beautiful poetry and writings – left here for all of us – to experience and cherish after her passing.

More About Nina Paul Shumway

Nina Paul Shumway, and dedicated men and women like her, used their great pioneering spirit to put The Coachella Valley on the map. Her father, William L. Paul, worked with other date ranchers in the valley and helped found the Coachella Valley Date Growers Association As President he negotiated the purchases of date shoots from Northern Africa and the Middle East. He also helped charter the California Date Growers Association.

Nina also knew and admired the indigenous people of the area. Through her explorations she collected Indian artifacts and left her vast collection to the Palm Springs Museum. Nina was also one of the very first environmentalists of the area. Her biggest desire was to preserve the area’s natural beauty so that it could be enjoyed by generations to come. She found the beauty and amazement of the area extremely healing.

Nina found Divinity, peace and serenity in the nature that surrounded her. She left us books and wonderful writings that document that beauty.

Nina Paul Shumway was a gift to The Coachella Valley, and she was loved and admired by other pioneering spirits like her friend, the great Nellie Coffman, who created the beloved Desert Inn.

To donate to the creation of this film, call or email John Kalb:
Tel: 760-908-2773     Email: NVTheatre01@aol.com

Emmy-Nominated Producer/Director Pamela Peak

Pamela Peak is an award-winning screenwriter, producer/director and filmmaker whose works have been seen by over 50 million viewers on PBS. When John and Yolanda Kalb brought the story of Nina Paul Shumway to Pamela she felt an immediate connection with Nina, her courage, her grit and the peace and divine serenity that Nina Paul Shumway found in the beautiful nature of The Coachella Valley.

“It was Nina’s spunky spirit that amazed me” says Pamela. “She was a woman who got involved in things to make them better and she never gave up!”

Pamela’s award-winning films Colorblind and Voices of a Never-Ending Dawn have been loved by PBS viewers across America and Canada. Pamela’s documentaries are always inspirational, and it was the great inspiration that Nina Paul Shumway found in nature that spoke to Pamela’s heart.

Please view trailers from Pamela’s award-winning PBS documentaries at the links above.

Producers John and Yolanda Kalb

John and Yolanda Kalb, the producers of the upcoming documentary film about Nina Paul Shumway, are residents of Mountain Center, California for 25 years, which is very close to Shumway Ranch. They were very excited to see what was developing when Daniel Foster, an award-winning community leader and non-profit executive director, told them about his vision for The Shumway Ranch. John and Yolanda were very inspired about the history that went on at the ranch and wanted to create a documentary film in honor of that history and in honor of Nina Paul Shumway.

To donate to the creation of this film, please call John Kalb at: 760-908-2773 or reach him by email at NVTheatre01@aol.com.


The Voice of Nina Paul Shumway

Playing the voice of Nina Paul Shumway, Tina Wilson has been a professional voiceover actress active in the voiceover industry since 2001. An incredible actress, Tina is known for having a voice that is warm, friendly, and empathetic. She is also well versed in multiple genres including Commercial, eLearning, Narration, Medical Narration, as well as, bringing a clear, genuine and upbeat introduction to a corporation’s callers for IVR projects. Tina played the lead role of Dorothea York (as the lead narrator) in Pamela Peak’s Emmy-Nominated film, Voices of a Never-Ending Dawn that appeared on PBS Nationally and throughout Canada. Her touching narration in that film closes this dramatic and moving film in a most memorable and inspirational way.

Tina’s goal is to interpret a story well and generously give every job and client exactly what they request. Tina has been blind since birth but never lets that stop her. She is a trained jazz singer following in her mother’s footsteps who sang with multiple bands in the Big Band Era.

Tina’s corporate commercial clients have included the Follett Corporation, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Western Federal Credit Union, Kerry Gold Butter, Zov’s Restaurant, Liberator Medical and many more.



A graduate of Chapman University Film School, Tim Hogel has worked on many projects with Pamela Peak Productions including her Award-winning films Colorblind and her Emmy-nominated film Voices of a Never-Ending Dawn (both seen on PBS Nationally and throughout Canada).

Tim’s skill in lighting and sound is top-notch. He knows what it takes to meet the stringent PBS Specifications. He also is a regular videographer for The Golf Channel, owned by NBC Sports Group, a division of NBCUniversal and a subsidiary of Comcast. Tim lives in San Diego, CA with his wife and children.



Working from his studio, Sherman Sound Suite, located within the Orange County Production Studios productions/post-production complex in Irvine, California, Emmy-nominated composer and audio engineer Rick Sherman has been providing specialized music and audio services for video and film, multimedia, radio, independent directors/producer advertising agencies and independent recording artists since 1983. Sherman’s specialty is scoring original music synced to video and film, where the goal of the music is to heighten the drama, humor, suspense, etc.

Sherman’s client roster includes scoring music for Disneyland, Universal Studios, Century 21, Mattel Toys, Isuzu, Hooked on Phonics, The Vons Companies, Allstate Insurance, Sea World, Toshiba, Toyota/Lexus, Taco Bell, Ditech.com, Mazda, Subaru. Carl’s Jr. Tarbell Realty, and the list goes on. He composed the original them song for PBS SoCal (KOCE- TV) with his theme song for the show “Real Orange”, a news/magazine show about Orange County, CA.

Sherman received an Emmy Nomination in the Audio category for his work on “Voices of a Never-Ending Dawn”, Producer/Director Pamela Peak’s World War 1 feature-length documentary broadcast nationally on PBS stations (and across Canada). Sherman has also received numerous awards from the International Television and Video Association and the Association of Visual Communicators for his musical compositions.

Orange County Production Studios is not only home to Sherman Sound Suite, but it is where The Real Housewives of Orange County has been regularly videoed. It is also home of Orange County Sound Stage, the largest digital green-screen sound stage in Orange County, CA, where ESPN, CNN, CNBC, FNC, etc., often Broadcast live.

To donate to the creation of this film, call or email John Kalb:
Tel: 760-908-2773     Email: NVTheatre01@aol.com