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Monday, August 2, 2010

Stanly Ranch - Part 4

In “The Box” that my Mom brought me, I keep finding what I refer to as “little treasures”. These are papers, some letter size and some legal size that are folded in this box. On this one photocopied page from a book is written a note in the margin. I recognize the handwriting as my grandma’s. It says “Michael went back to (Ireland) June 1890 after the death of his brother Peter. He never returned to America and never married.”

The book, or it may be a chapter in a book, has a title centered across the top of the page, “History Of Northern California”. It begins with “M. Flanagan. - Riverdale, Stanley’s ranch, comprises 1,600 acres, all tillable land, - sixty acres in orchard, mostly Bartlett and Beurre Cliargeau pears and French prunes, 110 acres in grapevines, all resistant stocks, grafted with variety Clarette grapes, about half of which is now in bearing. There is also a dairy of 266 cows and a tract of about 400 acres devoted to grainraising; and there is a winery, with a capacity of about 120,000 gallons of storage, where about 15,000 gallons have been made during the past two years, leaving on hand about 30,000 gallons….”

This excerpt reads like an inventory list. I’m not sure who wrote it and exactly what is also contained in this book. I found reference to a book online that was “A Memorial and biographical history of Northern California: containing a history of this important section of the Pacific Coast from the earliest period of its occupancy ... and biographical mention of many of its most eminent pioneers and also of prominent citizens of today. Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago - 1891 - 834 Pages California Local History - Rocq – 15952”:

Calif. State Library History Room (RR)

CALL NUMBER: \MICRO-\FILM\115\Reel 28\Book 5200\ -- Book

Sutro Library (RR)

CALL NUMBER: \MICRO-\FILM\115\Reel 28\Book 5200\ -- Book

This book is copyrighted 1891 and is apparently located in the CA State Library History Room. I bet I live 15 miles from that library. I emailed the page maintainer because it looks like the information was available online but the server has errorred out.

The page I have indicates that the lines of eucalyptus trees act as wind break to protect the land from the common high winds in the area. The article further indicates that “For two years, when almost all the vines in the valley were destroyed by frost, none were injured on this place. The wine cellar has two rooms below and one above ground.”

The next page of the article I have to quote fully and completely. If you have read Michael Flanagan Part 1-6 here in my blog, you know something of him and his character. Mind you, Governor Stanly is Edward Stanly, Judge Stanly’s uncle. The following is a true historical reference to this great man from my own family tree:

“Mr. Flanagan has lived in California and on this place for the past nineteen years. On his arrival in this state he came at once to Napa County and engaged in farming, renting this place from Governor Stanly, the former owner who purchased it from the original grantee. After Governor Stanly’s death, Mr. Flanagan has been superintendent of the place, managing it for the past fourteen years. He has planted, or superintended the planting of all vines and trees on the premises, and since the vines have been bearing he has had charge of the winery, making wine of so fine quality as to be worth three times as much as any other manufactured in the state.

Mr. Flanagan was born in County Louth, Ireland, in 1839. From the age of seventeen to twenty-one he served an apprenticeship in mercantile business. He next followed mining eight years in Australia, and five years in New Zealand. In 1870, he came to California and settled where he now lives.”

At this point, I have found exactly what I’ve been looking for about Michael Flanagan. That is the information that has been handed down from generation to generation. I do wonder more about the Stanly Ranch. I have found some additional information plus there is another story that comes from Michael’s connection to the Judge.

To be continued……………

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