DEVIL’S GULCH RANCH | NICASIO –Devil’s Gulch originally received its name for the passageway between Nicasio Valley and Paper Mill Creek. The local history seems to indicate that the Gulch could have got its name because of how treacherous this important trail was, or because of the devilish screams of the mountain lions native to the area. In 1864 Devil’s Gulch Ranch (873 acres) split off from a larger parcel and was purchased by two Martinelli Brothers, Union Army Civil War officers using their wages to start fresh in California. The main barn built in 1867 is still in use today. It was part of the dairy farm selling cream while the skim milk went for the production of pork. The ranch was passed on from heirs to heirs until 1969 when John Moreda sold the ranch to a developer who split the ranch into parcels.
In 1971, Mark Pasternak purchased the heart of the Ranch, totaling 65 acres. He moved onto the property and began the creation of the ranch as it is today. The remainder of the 873 acres was purchased by other individuals, and was subsequently purchased by the federal government in 1980, and is now part of the Golden Gate National Recreational Area. Mark was joined by his wife, Myriam, in 1987 and their two daughters, Lydia and Kyla, thereafter. The family has a passion for agriculture and wants to share their experience as farmers with anyone who wants to learn.
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