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The Ranch

Sometime in the Thirties, Emmett & Ida Louise Jackson (brother and sister) bought a 1,280 acre (2 square mile) spread of land near Point Arena ("the old Hoffman place").  They were neighbors to the Piper family, and raised peacocks for feathers, which she sold, and managed a sheep ranch.  About that time they logged the ranch, removing all of the large fir, pine, and redwoods.  (there are dozens of large stumps remaining.)  Now, after 70 years we have thick re-growth, but the largest tree trunk is smaller than 7 feet across.  We don't hear much about Emmett, although he was said to have owned a few restaurants in Oakland as well.  All the neighbors knew Ida Louise, the ranch was always referred to as "hers", but until we did our research, we never heard of Emmett.

Ida Louise was the first black public school teacher in California (We have done some research).   We've heard she always carried a .357 revolver when she went into town (which would be Boonville, Pt. Arena and Manchester).  Perhaps she wasn't very trusting, and being black in the 30's and 40's, she probably had reason not to be. 

According to a newspaper article in the AVA (ava.com, dated 12/21/11 Hendy Woods Then and Now)  "The singer that sang at the dedication (7/7/63) was blues singer Ethel Waters famous for her rendition of Stormy Weather. She was recruited by her personal friend Miss Ida Jackson"  to the opening of Hendy Woods State Park near Boonville for the inaugural ceremony.  That must have been wonderful.  (Hendy Woods is a beautiful campground on the Navarro River, part of the California state park system)  We don't know what happened to Emmett, but Ida sold the ranch in 1979, and went back to Oakland, and it seems died in 1996.  The ranch was subdivided it into several parcels, the south side of the road is now a 91-acre homestead, holding a vineyard and winery (Zinfandel, Syrah and Merlot, Mendocino Ridge appellation).  Buy a bottle of the very fine "Mariah" label to sample these grapes.  Four other parcels are private residences, our neighbors.  By all accounts Ida was quite a woman, she entertained frequently up at the ranch, we wish we could have spoken with her before she died.   She is certainly welcome to stay-

"Stanley" bought this parcel before us, in about 1991.  Stanley tore down the original house, and in 1994 built a Queen Anne Victorian-style home in its place.  He also improved the spring with a gas-powered pump to fill the original water tower, and added a 300 Watt solar array. (see Utilities for detail)  Maybe he didn't much like living in the country, or perhaps this was just an investment for him. For whatever reason he headed back to the city after a very short time.  We heard that he and his wife lived there for a year, before they moved again to the Santa Cruz mountains.  He rented out the ranch as a vacation house from 1995-1996 and put it up for sale in 1996.  We saw an ad for the house in a real estate flyer, and marked it for a visit during our 1996 (see Background ) visit, but never got that far south that year.

(Click on any photo for a larger image)

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Sunset 11-24-1999b.jpg (36692 bytes)   Sunrise12.jpg (155845 bytes)   piano.jpg (85696 bytes)   Sunset_17.jpg (14257 bytes)   Sunrise03.jpg (63001 bytes)

Cherry Blossom 01.jpg (2866774 bytes)   Waterfall 04.jpg (133139 bytes)   Stump 11-24-1999a.jpg (150884 bytes)   Snowing 05.jpg (115514 bytes)   Brush Creek 01.jpg (93108 bytes)

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