Early Ranches in the Badger Area

Most of this information was told to Pat Hart by Crawford Osborn

Now known as Elderwood, Stafford Corners will be our starting point as we work our way up the mountain.

About a mile north, on Highway 245, was the Gains place, next came the Shorty Hengst place and then the Jackson Ranch where the Woodlake Lions Club hold their annual rodeo.

Next is the Dudley Ranch, and the Lige Perkins place. (This is where Chris Evans was arrested after the shootout at Stone corral).

Right next to the road was the Elda School, where most of the children of Stokes Valley got their education. Miss Lucia Runyon taught here in 1923. The Roba Lomas Ranch is next on the right. Next were the Stokes family ranches: Grandpa Stokely Stokes, Harry Stokes and Will Stokes.

Just past Owl Peak, where Freeman Thomas had his homestead, was the Joe Allen place. Along the creek was the Wing place. Crossing Cottonwood Creek was the feed yards for the many teamsters and then, the old town of Auckland. Just around the turn is the remains of the old cellar where the saloon stood.

Continuing on the right was the Hud Barton Homestead. Barton was a well known pioneer of that era. He ranched and ran sawmills near Badger. His daughter, Maude (Barton) Ledbetter loved in Dinuba. The Jim Barton place is where the Orlopp turkey ranch later was.

Now, to the left, is Bull Creek and an old road that led to the Preston Cortner homestead. On up a ways was the Worthly Cattle Ranch. Again on the left was the Auckland School. Miss Lucia Runyon was one of the young school marms. Next to the school was the Dunn place. The Dunns ran cattle here and in the mountains in summer time. They also had a place in Eshom Valley.

To the right and across the road was the Ansel Smith place. Ansel was a son of Crosey Smith, one time owner of the Buckman Mill. Ansel's wife was Lottie, the daughter of Jim Barton. Next off to the left, is the John Bauman place. it is still operated by a son, Darden.

Just before the road to Drum Valley is an old gold mine on the Bart Robison homestead. Bart's place was also called "Slick Rock" (Mentioned in the history about Sontag & Evans). Of the several Robison boys, George maintained the homestead and Walter Robison homesteaded on Dry Creek and became a teamster. Walter married Winnie St. Clair. The St. Clair homestead was just beyond the Robison homestead.

Next came the Persian homestead. Here the road continued up the canyon, through Dudley's property and came out at the saddle just below Badger. Along this road was the Walter Bauman ranch. This place was long remembered by the teamsters hauling lumber out and supplies into Badger. It was a place to refresh the teams as well as the teamsters.

The Dry Creek Road came up to Mountain House, over to meet up with this road at the hump. This part of Dry Creek Road was below the present Highway 245 at this point. This was Bob Pendola's store and home. At this time, Dry Creek Road was know as the Hart Road before the road was completed below Bill Hart's place.

The Lebetters had a homestead between here and Badger. On the right, was the old grammar school. Before, the first school was down near Ledbetters store.

Dropping into Badger, the next place was Dean & Lucille Wedel's home. Now heading toward Eshom Valley is the Leora Baumann place. On the turn, to the right was the E. Badey place and now, the county yard. Next was Mrs. Ellinger place on the right. It was rumored that this is the only place that had both water and moonshine piped to the kitchen. In time, some of the good souls of the area blew the whistle on her, which only resulted in others starting up their own stills. Next was the Les Stapp place.

The road to the left, Hogback, is the road used to haul the lumber out of the Buckman Mill. A mill up Hogback a road branched tot he right that took one through the Peter's Ranch, Grouse Valley or the Fat Dean Cattle Camp on the way to the mill.

At Hogback, the Sierra School. This school was closed for several years, but reopened when enough students warranted. The school burned in 1975 and was soon rebuilt. Next, on the right, is the old Williamson place. Later this place was the home of Edith Barton.

Now we come to Sierra Glen, present location of the post office....

There will be more information added as we continue.